Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Cesc trains with Campbell as Barca fly in - £6m final offer for Nasri

Morning Gooners,

It appears to me that Pep Guardiola and Barcelona really don't get it when it comes to signing players from other clubs. It appears they believe that every transfer negotiation they enter into as fait accompli. The selling club has to agree to sell at the price the Spanish champions are prepared to pay.

Well I'm sorry Senor Rosell and Guardiola, that's not the way it works. Arsenal do not have to sell Cesc Fabregas to you at the derisory sum you offer us for a world class player. We set the price and if you meet it then we can move on from there.

Guardiola talks about "fighting to the end" to sign our captain. There is no fight. You know what it will take to sign our captain. It appears that Ivan Gazidis is prepared to sanction a move when the magic sum of £40m is put on the table. And as much as I don't believe that's the sum Cesc is worth - I would like to see us hold out for £50m - I get the impression that Arsenal want to make the deal happen and see at least £40m as a fair price to allow our captain to get the move he wants.

Arsenal are being made to look like the bad guys but it is Barcelona who have failed to put up the money. Our chairman Peter Hill Wood was right when he said yesterday that the Spaniards don't seem that interested in signing Cesc if the only bid they've made is for £26m. And Guardiola said yesterday that our player isn't even their first choice. How soul destroying must that be for Cesc?

The Daily Mirror and Daily Express say that Fabregas trained with Sol Campbell yesterday as he's not yet ready to declare himself fully fit to join up with the rest of the first team. It appears that he'll be short of fitness to be included in the trip to Germany on Friday and subsequent training camp. Both newspapers report that a Barcelona delegation are due to fly into London today to attempt to do a deal for Cesc with Arsenal executives. And as The Guardian point out, the Spaniards have until the Emirates Cup weekend to do that deal  otherwise Arsene Wenger will pull the plug on any negotiations because he needs to prepare his team for the forthcoming campaign without any distractions.

The other issue the club are looking to deal with is the future of Samir Nasri. The Daily Star say the Frenchman is set to be offered a new contract worth £115k a week. I would expect this to be our best offer to the player. But whether it will be acceptable is another thing. I really don't think we've handled this deal with the urgency it required. However in the club's defence, our transfer policy is hamstrung with the Cesc situation.

Saying that it still seems shocking to me that we allowed Nasri to enter the last year of his contract without him agreeing to sign an extension. The player holds all the cards now and I can't help but think he won't be an Arsenal player after next summer. I really hope the club do not lose sight of the bigger picture which is that losing Nasri on a free transfer next June is not a situation the club can afford. We know the price of quality replacements and it's not as if we've got lots of cash sitting in Swiss bank accounts waiting to be spent. So if he doesn't agree to the extension, for me he has to be sold.

We've heard little to encourage us that the defensive signings we need will be coming in any time soon, so I'm hopeful the manager will run the rule over Kyle Bartley before the season starts in a competitive match. The defender impressed at Rangers whilst on loan in the second half of last season. And the Scottish club would be keen to take him back north of the border according to the Daily Express. If we aren't to sign another central defender I hope that Bartley will be given the chance to step up.

Johan Djourou has been speaking about who he believes our main title rivals will be next season.

Our bid to sign Joel Campbell looks dead in the water after the player failed to turn up to a meeting with us. Manchester United are said to be keen on him.

And finally, Alex Chamberlain has given an interview to the Daily Mirror. For a young man he seems very level headed and really wants to test himself at the top of the English game sooner rather than lately.

Arsenal are very keen on him as is he on moving to Arsenal. A chance to sign for us would be a perfect fit for both parties, however his club Southampton really want to keep hold of him. And you can understand their point of view. I hope for everyones sake we can negotiate this deal to meet an outcome everyone is happy with.

Follow Ashburton Grove on Twitter, chatting Arsenal throughout the day. To receive the blog everyday you can subscribe via e-mail or take the RSS feed to your favourite reader.

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