Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Fabregas offered £43m to stay - Chamberlain wants Arsenal - Lansbury bid snubbed

Morning Gooners.

We've finally got something to celebrate as Arsenal have confirmed that Gervinho has officially been registered as our player and will join up with his team mates for his first training session with the whole squad at London Colney today as the players return to training following the Asia Tour.

Normally I hate reading the words: "on a long-term contract for an undisclosed fee" but this time I was glad to see them. It confirms that Arsenal are still in the business of doing deals, even if they take weeks to complete.

It's good that the "injured" Emmanuel Eboue, a fellow Ivorian, has been able to help Gervinho get acclimatized to the wonderful British weather we've been experiencing these last few days and to life in the UK as well. Let's hope the tiger suit our prized joker is so fond of has yet to make an outing because we don't want our new signing to be scared off already.

And despite making two signings already - surely using up our quota - chief executive Ivan Gazidis has said we're not finished there and still plan to be active in the window. Hopefully we can get our defensive targets closer in our sights sooner rather than later because we can't go into the new season with the same four central defenders who were so inept at dealing with set pieces last season. Admittedly Thomas Vermaelen wasn't involved for the majority of the season. But the culture is still there and by bringing a fresh face into the mix Arsene Wenger could do a lot to change the mentality of the way our side defend.

I enjoyed watching Carl Jenkinson in action during the recent Asia tour. He's still very raw but shows a never say die attitude which I love and a willingness to throw his body in the way of any danger, which I think is a promising sign.

With our tough start to the season it would be good to conclude a deal for Gary Cahill sooner rather than later. I'm told that Bolton are stalling on the deal and despite Arsenal making an offer for the player, which isn't the £17m that they're after, Owen Coyle's board want to wait and see if another club comes in with a better offer. However I think I'd be surprised if Cahill was wearing a Bolton shirt after the window closes.

One issue the Arsenal board and management want resolved is that of Cesc Fabregas' future. According to the Daily Mirror and Daily Express we're set to offer Cesc a contract extension on his current deal which would keep him at the club until 2017 and pay him £140,000 a week.

In the Daily Star, chairman Peter Hill-Wood has said we've received just one offer from Barcelona from Cesc of £26m. What a derisory offer for a player who is worth twice that amount. Do the European champions really want him?

I very much doubt that Cesc will accept any new offer that the club put to him. It feels to me that he's not interested in the cash - because he's willing to accept a pay cut to return to his homeland. But Arsenal are certainly trying to get some definitive movement on this issue. I think it's very wise of the club to have set  a deadline. We can't allow this situation to continue the way it has been. We need Cesc to be fully focused on playing for us - if that's what he's going to do this season - especially as we've got a very tough start to our campaign.

One player who would love to sign for us is Alex Chamberlain and he's put out a plea to Southampton to let him leave in the Daily Mirror. It appears the south coast club are not even willing to enter into negotiations for the player, so maybe Chamberlain's plea will fall on deaf ears.

I know he is very keen to join Arsenal. The deal would have happened in January had the details of the contract been finalised, but it appears the Saint's demands for a large sell-on clause are the stumbling block.

With Denilson leaving on loan, it's good that we've turned down a bid from Norwich for Henri Lansbury. I would really like to see the Englishman given a chance to prove himself at the club this season.

And finally, chief executive Ivan Gazidis has said majority shareholder Stan Kroenke has a keen interest in what's happening at the Grove this summer. Which is nice to hear. But we're yet to hear his vision for Arsenal and I think I'd like to know what he expects of the team and the manager this coming season.

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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