Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Gazidis' £5m goodbye -Szczesny thinks the unthinkable -Real Madrid defender linked

Morning Gooners.

Well it's nice that Ivan Gazidis has an exit strategy in place should the fake shiekhs take over at Arsenal. According to the Daily Mail, our CEO has a written offer from Stan Kroenke that he'll be paid around £5m if he decides to leave the club upon a take-over taking place.

Of course it's highly unlikely that Arsenal are going to be taken over by a Middle East consortium. Probably because they don't exist in the first place but even still it doesn't appear Kroenke wishes to sell in any case and is tied to Arsenal for the long haul.

The countdown has begun to our trip to Germany to face Bayern Munich. It's just a week away until we face the second leg of a tie which appears to be dead following our 3-1 defeat at the Grove. However with the players returning to the training ground for the first time since Sunday's north London derby, goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has spoken of the players' desire to win the second leg and progress.

Of course it will be a struggle to qualify for the last eight, but as we saw last night, playing the second leg at home doesn't necessarily bring an advantage. (Plus we might get a referee who will send one of the opposition players off to hand us the upper hand). Let's be honest, we need a miracle if we're going to both win and progress, but I won't give up hope - arguably because I'll see my trip to Germany as a waste of time.

Our Poland keeper though is talking up our chances, even though he probably knows deep down it's a tough ask for this team to score three goals and keep a clean sheet.

Szczesny said:
"Every time we lose a derby there is going to be disappointment, but we have to pick ourselves up. We have 10 days until the next game so we have to make sure we are prepared for that. 
"We have a lot of time to prepare for that game and if we manage to get a good result and hopefully qualify for the next round, that would be a massive boost to have a good run in the Champions League."
One positive which is being reported - by the Daily Mail - is that Kieran Gibbs has returned to training and could be available for the match. It would be a boost if we could play a Gibbs in his recognised position because frankly Thomas Vermaelen was awful there in the first leg. We'll have to wait for the manager's press conference on Tuesday to see whether Gibbs is fit enough to take part.

And the Guardian is reporting we've set our sights on a summer move for Swansea defender and Wales captain Ashley Williams. A deal could be worth £8m to the league cup holders. He's a  player who is in great form and could add something to our back line. Also being rumoured among our potential central defensive targets is Real Madrid's Raul Albiol, according to the Daily Mail. The Spain international can also play at right back and as a defensive midfielder.

Finally the club are reporting their is hope to take the first team squad to play a friendly in Vietnam as part of the pre-season tour. Nothing is finalised yet but talks are at an advanced stage.

That's it for today. Back with more tomorrow.

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