Thursday, 4 August 2011

Cesc to train at Members Day -Jagielka off, Cahill on? -Eboue sold?

Morning Gooners,

Well it's Members Day at the Grove later and I'm hoping the weather won't force it's cancellation like it did for Festive Members Day last December.

Before the majority of fans get to enter the ground, the players will line up in front of the West Stand for the official first team photograph for the 2011-12 season. And the club have rubbished suggestions that there will be two pictures taken - one with Cesc Fabregas with captain and one with Robin van Persie as skipper.

There was plenty of speculation about whether the Spaniard would be there later but all the newspapers appear to be in agreement that our captain will be present. And why shouldn't he be? He's the club captain who is still employed by Arsenal Football Club, however much Barcelona would like to prize him off us for a knock-down fee.

Not surprisingly there is talk of negotiations going on in the back ground. For me there is nothing we should be talking to Barcelona about. Surely they should have got the message by now that we're not prepared to sell him Cesc unless they meet our valuation. There was talk in the Spanish media that the European champions were preparing their final bid for Cesc which would have still be short on what we're expecting them to offer.

Until the season begins will we fully be able to move our focus on whether Cesc will be an Arsenal player or not for the coming season. Will he play in the Champions League qualifier? At this point in time it's looking increasingly likely he may have to because we'll be without the suspended Robin van Persie and Samir Nasri. If he were to play in the qualifier, that would rule him out of playing for Barca in Europe's elite club competition were he to move. The Daily Star says Arsene Wenger is seriously considering picking our captain.

Hopefully the closer we get to the season, the sharper the Barcelona executives will focus on the situation. At the moment it really is hampering our pre-season preparations. We need to know whether he'll be playing for us or not and I expect Arsene Wenger will have to deal firmly with the situation once the season starts. We cannot allow this cycle to continue until the transfer window closes. It's unhealthy and not helpful for either the club or player.

There is positive vibes that Fabregas could be involved in the game with Benfica in Portugal on Saturday night. Expect more when the manager speaks to the press tomorrow.

There are suggestions that Emmanuel Eboue is finally set to complete his move to Galatasaray for £3.5million. The deal is yet to be announced as official by Arsenal.

Elsewhere the Daily Star suggest the club's interest in Phil Jagielka has cooled over Everton's demands for more than £12m for a player who turns 30 next August. Could this mean we'll go back to Bolton for Gary Cahill?

The Daily Mirror say we've been offered Marseille’s Argentine defender Lucho Gonzalez. They also suggest Nicklas Bendtner’s move to Sporting Lisbon has broken down because of his wage demands.

Whilst it's also belived we're scouting Real Madrid teenager Jose Rodriguez who was voted Player of the Tournament at the Under-17 World Cup.

For extra reading take a look at this superb piece from Yankee Gunner, entitled: The Summer of Our Discontent.

And finally, congratulations to Kyle Bartley on being rewarded with some promising games on loan last season with a contract extension. I thought he did well - apart from the own goal - at the Emirates Cup last Sunday. And his stature is impressive. He looked huge from where I was sitting. Let's hope he can develop even more this season. I'm expecting we'll see him move to a Premier League club on loan to continue his development.

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