Friday, 10 June 2011

Where was Wenger? - Chamberlain "done deal" - Gazidis readying Cahill deal

Morning Gooners.

Well it appears to be a busy day in Arsenal land. Plenty to get through, with lots of transfer speculation around.

The main story regards Samir Nasri and his future as an Arsenal player. It appears that a third party of the player, although not his agent Jean Pierre Bernes, have been having discussions over a deal which would take him to Manchester United. Now you'd expect that kind of fact - no involvement of the player or his agent - would have been enough to keep the talks quiet, yet it's made news in all the tabloids.

However there appears to be genuine interest on both the players and Manchester United's side about making this deal happen. There is no way we're going to offer Nasri more money than Cesc Fabregas or Robin van Persie. Like Goodplaya says, he didn't do enough in the whole of last season and the previous two to deserve it.

Personally I hate the idea of him becoming a Manchester United player. Arsene Wenger has already stated that he won't sell to the Champions and I hope he keeps his word. But there does seem to be a lot of smoke around Nasri wanting to go to the north west. And no matter what kind of spin the Frenchman's team want to put on it, his decision is not about the kind of business Arsenal do in the transfer market but all about money.

If we signed Kaka or Messi would that mean Nasri would reduce his demands for £110,000 a week and accept our lesser offer? I very much doubt it. Whilst I think the Frenchman leaving would be a loss, half a good season doesn't make him world class player deserving top dollar.

Another player into the final year of his contract is Gael Clichy. All and sundry have linked him with a move to Liverpool. There has been little said about Clichy's situation but as with Nasri it's all down to money.

Arsenal aren't prepared to meet his wage demands and there have been whispers that he's been alerted to offers made by other clubs which would pay him more than what he's being offered by us. Last summer he was nearly on his way to Italy but didn't fancy it in the end. Would Liverpool be a better place for him to win trophies? Not if their record in the last five seasons is anything to go by.

Personally I'd like to see us keep Clichy. I know lots of Arsenal fans don't have time for him but I think he has one of the hardest roles on the pitch, with very little support from others in the team. He is also an nearly ever present in the team. He rarely gets injured and in the last few seasons has been in the top five players who have made the most appearances for the team.

At the moment I don't think Arsene Wenger can rely on Kieran Gibbs. He's just too injury prone and is untested at the highest level. Even last season when Gibbs was fit he was still unable to do enough in training to win the left back spot off the Frenchman. So in my eyes that would mean we'd have to purchase another left-back.

On to more positive news and the Daily Mirror report we've won the battle to sign Alex Chamberlain from Southampton in a deal worth up to £12million for the south coast club. The deal won't be announced until after July 1 for some reason.

Johan Djourou has been talking about Arsenal's movement in the transfer market and the possibilities of us signing defenders who could oust him from the team.

Speaking from his Kemi Malaika Foundation in Senegal, the Swiss international said:
"We probably need defenders. I am not worried – I am ready to fight to be a better player and for a place in the team.
"To be the best, you have to have competition in every position."
I love that sort of attitude. The fact that even if Wenger signs Cahill or Samba or some other defender Djourou wants to fight for his position in the team, prove himself good enough to play for the Arsenal and win trophies. That's the sort of determination you want from your players.

I've been impressed with Djourou this past season. He started it well down the pecking order but finished as one of our first choices. His form towards the end wasn't great and he was at fault for some goals but I think that was down to fatigue. He was involved in 35 games, more than a third of his total appearances for Arsenal in the seven years he's been at the club.

The defender is of the opinion that when we finally win a trophy that will open the flood gates and we'll be picking up silverware for years to come.

With Ivan Gazidis meeting with the other 19 Premier League chairman and chief executives yesterday, you'd hope he was using that time to do a few deals. It is starting to look like we're doing some deals. Gary Cahill looks like a good bet, although his name was doing the rounds last summer. The only thing I have reservations about is the central defender's price tag - £17million for a player in the final year of his contract does seem extreme. Hopefully Gazidis was twisting a few arms, especially the Bolton chairman's. The Daily Express believes we could spend up to £60million this summer.

One of the deals which could be made within the next week is the Lille forward Gervinho, who appears set to leave France after an excellent season. The price - around £8million - seems reasonable. However the issue I have with us signing him would be his availability in January when he'll be involved in the African Cup of Nations. Johan Djourou has spoken highly of him which is a good sign. You have to wonder which position in the team Arsene Wenger has in mind for him.

And talking of the manager, he was absent from his role as co-commentator for French TV last night. Bacray Sagna played the full 90 minutes and Abou Diaby the whole of the second half as France beat Poland 1-0. Wojciech Szczesny was in goal for Poland and played the complete 90 minutes. However there was no sign of Wenger. Let's hope he was doing some deals!

For some extra reading take in an interview with Tony Adams talking about Wenger and George Graham in the Daily Telegraph.

Finally Gerard Pique talks of his brotherly love for Cesc Fabregas in The Sun. Whilst there is a weird and perplexing story about Abou Diaby owning and wearing a Spurs shirt. Worrying.

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