Thursday, 7 July 2011

Cesc: "won't play again" - Wenger to speak - Benzema to join?

Morning Gooners.

Well it appears our protractive attempts to sign Gervinho will be completed on Friday when the club hope to officially announce to the world that the Ivorian has signed for Arsenal. The player was put through a medical yesterday and today is due to meet his team mates, spend time with journalists from the official website as they prepare interviews and a photo shoot to be released once the paper work on his deal is concluded. It is hoped this will be done by Friday, but the 24-year-old is booked on to the flight to Asia on Sunday, so it looks like everything is nearing its completion on this deal.

It's been a long drawn out process and I hope it's worth it. I'm looking forward to seeing him play. I don't expect we'll get anything more than 45 minutes whilst the team are on tour, mainly because he's not even started pre-season with the club.

I'm told that Arsene Wenger is scheduled to do an interview with the official site before the squad heads off, so hopefully we'll get to find out his thinking on a number of subjects including the club's position on Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas.

There appear to have been developments on the Frenchman's situation, with the news that Manchester United have made a bid in the region of £20m for the player according to the Daily Telegraph. It has been kept quiet for two weeks but on the eve of Nasri returning to London Colney for pre-season training, someone has told the media... is this to try and force Arsenal's hand?

It appears that Arsene Wenger is keen to talk to Nasri to attempt to talk him into signing a new deal with the club. There is talk of Arsenal upping the offer of a weekly wage to £100,000 a week for the player but I'm not sure how realistic that is.

We have several options and I don't think allowing Nasri to leave easily is one of them. It's widely reported he'll be on the plane to Asia on Sunday, so in someways it appears that Arsene Wenger wants to keep the player and allow him to see out the remaining year in his contract. If we've turned down an offer of £20m already, what is the price on Nasri's head?

Wenger has already said he won't sell to Manchester United and he won't allow the player to leave for free. So we've got to sell him to a club other than MUFC whilst achieving a good profit which can be straight away spent on the squad. Ideally it would be good to sell him abroad rather than to one of our competitors but it appears the Frenchman would like to stay in the Premier League.

Remember Nasri said himself the decision on his future is not down to money, so the £150k a week offered elsewhere won't come into his thinking. Both The Times and the Daily Telegraph say Nasri will tell the manager, who returned to take charge of pre-season training yesterday, that he wants to leave.

I say we sell to the highest bidder, expect of course if that's Manchester United. I couldn't stand him going there. But if he's set on a move to said club, let's get some cash out of them now rather than lose him for nothing next summer.

The other drawn out transfer story of the summer is Cesc Fabregas' move to Barcelona.

The Spaniards still won't stump up the cash for the player we're asking for the player, so it's a pretty simple matter at the moment.... no deal. It's being reported in the Daily Mirror that Cesc won't be going on the Asia tour because of his hamstring injury. It's also noticeable that despite everyone knowing he's back in London, not one picture of him is yet to appear on the official website. Can't the club's photographers find their way to the gym or have they been banned from taking his picture in order for us not to get our hopes up that he'll be an Arsenal player next season?

The Sun are running a story which claims Cesc has told his team mates that he won't play for the club again - which might be true, he could be sold, - and The Independent say Barcelona are prepared to wait until the close of the transfer window to do the deal. I doubt very much that Arsenal would be happy with that and will impose a deadline for any transfer to be concluded. If Cesc is to leave we need time to buy a replacement and that's not going to happen quickly as the deal for Gervinho has proved.

Who will we sign now though?

There is talk in the Daily Mail we'll go for Karim Benzema and make a bid of £27m for the French striker. Personally I can't see that one happening. Arsene Wenger has never spent that amount of money on a single player and it would be hard to see why he'd go after his countryman now, after both the player and Jose Mourinho said there wouldn't be a transfer this summer.

The Daily Express reignites our interest in Juan Mata  The 23-year-old is more of a possibility but considering he also comes with a hefty price tag, I'm not sure about this one either. But we could certainly offer him better wages than the £30k a week he's on at Valencia.

We've missed out on the signing of Ricky Alvarez. He's joined Inter Milan. It will be interesting to see how he progresses there but I'm annoyed we didn't conclude a deal for him prior to the Italian club confirming their interest in the player.

And finally, the Daily Star report we're running the rule over 26-year-old Argentina striker Lavezzi.

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