Saturday, 25 August 2012

Walcott's contract talks -Wenger makes M'Vila hint -Midfielder heading to AC Milan?

Morning Gooners.

The manager hosted his pre-match press conference yesterday and the team news is pretty positive. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is back in contention for a place within the squad but Laurent Koscielny misses out after failing to recover from a calf injury. There are slight doubts over Wojciech Szczesny who will have a late fitness test but should be fit. Lukasz Fabianski is back in the squad.

Wenger has revealed why he's decided not to sign Nuri Sahin.

He said:
"Sahin isn't a defensive midfielder.I see Sahin as not a deep, deep midfielder, but a little bit higher. 
"We have Wilshere coming back quicker and he is a similar type of player. 
"But of course Sahin wants to join a club where he will play. We have nine midfielders and they all need a chance to play."
One of the huge issues Arsenal faced with the Sahin deal was the player really wanted to return to Madrid at the end of the loan agreement. So when the clubs talked about an option to buy at the end of the season - which is what Arsenal wanted - the deal was a non starter.

Liverpool were also prepared to pay a higher percentage of his wages, with Madrid funding the rest. The Merseyside club were prepared to also spend more money on a loan fee for the player. In purely financial terms, the deal wasn't right for Arsenal.

They could spend up to £7m on a player for one season and not get the option to own him at the end of it. And with the manager looking at Sahin as back-up for Jack Wilshere should anything go wrong during his comeback, a £7m safety blanket is too costly, even if as a club we are cash rich.

The manager will now turn his attention to other players who he's been keeping tabs on. One of those he'll re-evaluate is Yann M'Vila. He hinted as much in his press conference yesterday.

He said:
"I do not need to buy an average midfielder.  
"If someone top, top class turns up, completely defensive, we will consider it."
Completely defensive? Yann M'Vila ticks that box. But can the manager get Rennes to drop their £17m asking price? Hopefully with the end of the window approaching fast a deal could be reached.

There is also M'Vila's France team mate Etienne Capoue who plays in midfield for Toulouse as an alternative. The manager has admitted he's got a clear idea of what he wants to do. Let's hope he can achieve his goal.

One aim before the end of the window will be to secure Theo Walcott to a new long term contract. The manager has admitted the club have opened talks with Walcott's people on a five-year-deal worth an initial £70,000 a week.

Wenger said:
"I hope he will stay, and that’s it. There is big competition going on everywhere. We have so many players in midfield and on the flanks but Theo is a very important player for me. 
"Negotiations continue, at the moment not directly with me, but we try to sort it out, and we will try to sort it out one way or the other. 
"We want to extend his contract, and to keep him at the club - but you need not only our desire. His desire is also right, he wants to stay and we need to find an agreement. 
"I could spend all of my press conferences dealing with the if question. But let’s live in the real world. At the moment both parties are around the table."
With Walcott able to talk to European clubs from January, Arsenal need to secure the England international's signature now. Or otherwise we'll have to sell him.

One player who might be on his way to AC Milan is Denilson according to the Daily Mail. Nicklas Bendtner is also set to depart with the manager's blessing.

And finally, there is lots of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain stores out there. They all come from John Cross' interview with the new face of FIFA 13. Read the Daily Mirror man's Q&A with the Arsenal teenager. Well worth ten minutes of your time.

That's it for today. Back with more, including a preview of the Stoke game, tomorrow.

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