Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Clubs "locked in talks" over van P€r$i€ -Barca fly in for Song

Morning Gooners.

Well the Robin van P€r$i€ transfer situation is rumbling on. Last night Arsenal and Manchester United where "locked in talks" over the fee which Alex Ferguson would be paying for last season's Premier League top scorer.

It seems there is certainly movement with this on-going saga as more focus is being placed on the deal by last season's league runners-up to get it done before the start of the season. I'm sure Arsenal want it all complete by Thursday night otherwise it's going to be quite tricky on Saturday, even if van P€r$i€ doesn't make the starting 11.

He'll still be expected to write his captain's notes in the match day programme and that will certainly be something worth reading should he still be at the club. His last "update for the fans" went down like a lead balloon. I can't imagine how he'll approach this captain's column having openly disagreed with the direction the club was going in and personally criticising the manager.

The other issue is which shirt number Lucas Podolski will wear. Arsenal has already released it's squad list for the forthcoming season with Podolski's name with an asterisk alongside it. The club can't wait too long to confirm the German international's number.

There will be a number of fans who might boo van P€r$i€ - like they did in Cologne. I certainly wouldn't be one of them. I hate the way van P€r$i€ has gone about things. He's been ill advised and stupid in my opinion. But if he's wearing an Arsenal shirt on the pitch come Saturday he'll have my full support.

Football isn't about individuals on the pitch. It's a team game and if he's part of the side I'll cheer him if he scores a goal and plays well for the club. On the pitch he'll have my 100% support - like I supported Samir Nasri when he played at the Grove against Liverpool at the start of last season. However off the pitch is a different matter.

In an ideal world, Manchester United would stump up the money Arsenal want for van P€r$i€ and get the deal done before Thursday when the Dutchman is due to return to the UK following international duty for his country.

Whether that can happen or not remains to be seen. But it is looking less and less likely we'll be seeing van
P€r$i€ in an Arsenal shirt again.

Elsewhere there are reports in The Sun that Barcelona vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu was in London yesterday to open talks over the transfer of Alex Song.

However Arsene Wenger had previously told The Sun:
"There's nothing going on with Song. There's nothing in that. 
"Song has three years' contract, he's not in the same situation as Robin Van Persie. 
"In Spain the newspapers are not really serious. We've had the experience of that. We've never had any contact with anybody from Barcelona."

It would be a huge surprise if we sold the Cameroon international, especially for the low fee - £12m - which is being reported in the papers. However we know how the manager claimed not to know who Santi Cazorla was days before signing him.

If the Song deal is done then I would expect Real Madrid’s Turkish midfielder Nuri Sahin to join on loan for the season. Yann M'Villa is another possibility but I don't think the club are prepared to pay the fee Rennes want for the France international.

Finally, bad news ahead of Saturday's game with the Daily Mirror reporting Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is to miss the game through injury. Theo Walcott yesterday pulled out of the England squad to face Italy tonight with a thigh problem. Hopefully that's not too serious.

That's if for today. More tomorrow.

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