Sunday, 5 June 2011

Fabregas, Nasri and Arshavin to leave? - £15m Phil Jones to join?

Morning Gooners.

The big story today is from the Sunday Mirror who report Arsene Wenger will have to rebuild his squad this summer because of the departures of three key players: Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Andrey Arshavin.

They report Arsenal will prepared to listen to offers of around £40m for their captain, whilst they are not prepared to let Samir Nasri walk out of the club on a free transfer next summer so he will be sold unless he signs a new contract. Andrey Arshavin is the other player the newspaper says could be sold.

Whilst it is unthinkable that all three will leave in one summer, it is possible Arsene Wenger could be forced into letting all three leave north London.

The two we hold the cards with are Fabregas and Arshavin. They are both tied to contracts. The captains deal runs until 2015, whilst the Russian still has two years left to run. Nasri of course has entered the final 12 months of his deal, seemingly unlikely to sign a new deal because Arsenal will not meet his wage demands.

From what I'm told, it is plausible that all three could leave. Arsenal are prepared to listen to offers for Fabregas but only if they reach his true valuation and not the derisory sum Barcelona offered up last summer for a World Cup and European Championship winner. Let's think Fernando Torres rather than Andy Carroll when we're talking fees. A bid from the Spanish champions of £50m would be acceptable.

Today there are reports in The People that Inter Milan are ready to bid £50m for Cesc whilst the Daily Star Sunday say Chelsea would also be interested if we were listening to offers for our captain. There is no certainty that Fabregas will end up returning to Barcelona. What Arsenal are not prepared to do is let the Spaniards try and sign Cesc on the cheap. There is no evidence to suggest Fabregas would be willing to join another Premier League team but if more clubs from Italy and Spain were to bid that would increase what Arsenal can get for the player.

However only big money will be considered if Fabregas is going to leave. The club would rather keep the player than accept £30m for him.

I've already blogged about Cesc saying his goodbyes to members of the Arsenal staff, Andrey Arshavin has said he gave every player a gift before they left for the summer break.

Arshavin said:

"Fabregas gave little gifts to each player and I asked him, ‘What is it – a parting gift?’
"He did not answer. It says that there is something behind this silence."

Read into that whatever you like.

Nasri's financial demands of £110,000 a week are not likely to be met. Talks have been at a deadlock with neither party prepared to budge. Arsene Wenger doesn't want to lose the player but he refused to enter contract talks at the back end of last summer and has since dragged out the negotiations until this summer. It is not true to suggest that Arsenal have not been trying to get the deal done with Nasri. But little progress has been made. Had be been more open to doing a deal last summer, we wouldn't be in the position we are currently in and facing the sale of a player we'd probably like to keep.

As for Arshavin, whilst he may tell the press he's keen to stay is that something to do with a loyalty bonus he has due? Any suggestion from the Russian he's not happy at the club and wants to move away will make that cash disappear.  It's true that Arsenal are open to offers for him. If they received a bid of more than £12m it's likely they could do a deal. But Arshavin's future at the club is linked with Nasri's and if the Frenchman is sold, the Russian would more than likely be kept.



Steve Stammers the author of the Sunday Mirror's piece has also put together a list of players who are expected to come in and out of the Highbury House door this summer. The usual names are suggested:

INS: Karim Benzema; Stuart Downing; Phil Jones; Christopher Samba; Scott Parker; Mamadou Sakho
OUTS: Emmanuel Eboue; Denilson; Gael Clichy; Tomas Rosicky; Nicklas Bendtner; Carlos Vela; Manuel Almunia.

Of those possible ins only Benzema, Jones and Sakho interest me. You can keep Downing, Samba and Parker - who I wasn't that impressed with yesterday for England. If Wenger can snap up Jones for £15m like The People suggest, I think we should definitely be in for him.

The News of the World say that Lille are prepared to accept £15m for Ivory Coast striker Gervinho who is set to make up his mind on where he want to play football next season after his country's African Nations Cup qualifier later.

Scott Parker is of no interest to Arsene Wenger according to the News of the World who say the Frenchman doesn't believe the West Ham midfielder is the type of player we need.

And out of left-field, The People say we're interested in resigning Sebastian Larsson.

Bonus reading comes in the form of an interview with Henri Lansbury in The Observer.

Some injury news from Friday's international games. Bacary Sagna (hamstring) and Samir Nasri (knee) are slight concerns for France who will play Ukraine tomorrow.

And a round-up from yesterday's games:

Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott started for Fabio Capello's England as they drew 2-2 with Switzerland at Wembley. Johan Djourou completed the 90 minutes as did Wilshere with Walcott being substituted after 77 minutes.

Robin van Persie played 63 minutes for Holland in their 0-0 with Brazil.

Andrey Arshavin played the whole match as Russia beat Armenia 3-1.

Nicklas Bendtner completed the 90 minutes as Denmark beat Iceland 2-0.

Marouane Chamakh scored as Morocco beat Algeria 4-0.



And if there wasn't reason enough to hate Ryan Shawcross, the Daily Star Sunday give us another. They say he could be on his way to Spurs.

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