Sunday 1 April 2012
- Many Gooners least favourite journo, Duncan Castles, the same chap who claimed Robin had already agreed terms with City*, has a more positive story in today’s The National. He reckons Jan Vertonghen wants to come to Arsenal over both Manchester clubs and Spurs. Something to do with his missus liking London plus Jan being BFF with Tom from the Belgian national team. Ajax are cool with it and the fee would be £10m. No doubt some fans will say we don’t need another centreback. But they said the same thing about buying Vincent Kompany for £6m, so I no longer feel inclined to listen to them.
- In the same article Castles also says we’ve contacted Montpellier about their striking sensation Olivier Giroud, who’s 25, 6’3” tall, and has netted 18 times in 27 starts this season. £8.5-12.5m will be enough to persuade the Frenchies to sell says Castles. Sounds cheap to me, and doesn’t make all that much sense if you assume the Podolski deal is done…
- Which it is according to Steve Stammers of The Mirror, who listlessly confirms for the fourteenth time that Poldi is a gooner. With a £10m fee and £80k p/w salary, the numbers at least sound right. Stammers signs off by quietly adding that Arsenal will now turn their attention to Yann M’Vila. Presumably because that’s what he head the big boys saying before they noticed he was listening and clammed up.
- There does seem to be impetus behind signing a new midfielder though, with the Mirror padding along after Boro Primorac to watch him watching Riccardo Montolivo. Ricky is 27 and likes to operate as a playmaker from deep. He’s also available on a Bosman in the Summer. Hmm, free is Arsene’s favourite pricepoint. Did someone say ‘budget Pirlo?’
- One midfielder it doesn’t sound like we’re likely to sign is Montpellier’s Younes Belhanda. According to Jamie Sanderson in the Metro PSG are ready to blow up to £20m on the playmaker’s signature. Too rich for our blood by far.
Wednesday 28 March 2012
- Were you baffled/furious when Johan ‘JD’ Djourou signed a new deal recently? Particularly as he’s obviously fourth choice at centreback, on good money, and hasn’t exactly pulled up any trees when he has played. (I’ve never been entirely clear why pulling up trees was such a desirable trait in anyone but lumberjacks without access to a branch of HSS.) Well, according to the Daily Express that deal may just have been a way to protect his value, with Juventus pondering a bid in the summer. Suits me fine, but worth remembering the Old Lady has got form when it comes to being linked to our players but not ponying up any sort of actual offer. And as goonerathena points out on Twitter, if Djourou goes: “who will do Arsenal Insider?!?!”
- Perhaps the answer is Ajax’s Jan Vertonghen, who the Mirror continues to insist will be Arsenal-bound – and for the less than princely sum of £7m, thanks to the fact the 24-year-old will be out of contract at the end of next season. Ha! What sort of club would let itself get in such a shambolic situation with one of its star players! Oh.
- Speaking slightly of which, the Telegraph is of the opinion that Arsenal will both offer Alex Song a new deal as reward for his swanlike transformation into the league’s best libero, while also whacking in a big money bid for Rennes’ Yann M’Vila (or, if that doesn’t work, Anderlecht’s Argentine enforcer Lucas Biglia). I’ve made my feelings on M’Vila crazy clear, but would just reiterate that buying him wouldn’t kill Coquelin. We need to stop worrying about ‘killing’ players full stop. If he’s good enough, and I suspect he is, he’ll get games – especially given our endless injury curse. But we can’t worry about not putting youngsters’ noses out of joint. We’re the Arsenal, not a community outreach program. And that approach hardly worked out well with Vela, Denilson and Bendtner, did it?
- Speaking of whom, the papers are full of talk of another attempted to summer clearout at Colney. Joining the three amigos above will be Almunia and Squillaci (don’t let the door hit you as your contracts expire, lads), and Chamakh and Arshavin, both of whom I once liked but now feel badly let down by. No, go on, go. I can’t look at you. Slicing their wages out of our eye-watering salary bill will free up extra cash to throw at Van Persie and The Ox like high-end confetti at a wedding.
- Super Mario isn’t coming. You knew that right, though? Götze is a supremely talented young player, happy where he is, having already won a league medal and broken into the German national side. Dortmund selling him would make about as much sense as Arsenal flogging Saucy Jack. It’s hardly a ‘blow’.
- At least the deal for Luka Podolski looks nailed on. Or so Jamie from Young Guns suggests in the Metro.
- We’re almost done. ‘But what of Denilson!” you possibly don’t trill. Well, it sounds like Sao Paulo want to extend his loan for another year, but are less keen on actually paying a fee for the unloved little urchin. Hmm. Maybe we arean outreach program.
Sunday 25 March 2012
- It looks like a case of Goodbye, Mr Chips with Real Sociedad’s prez due to fly in to negotiate the sale of Carlos Vela. That will leave a vital space in the squad for someone to bring on when we’re 3-0 up at home.
- According to the clowns at caughtoffside we’re consindering a summer move for Edin Dzeko. Aside from the fact we wouldn’t pay his crackers wages, he wouldn’t get in the same side as RVP, and we’ve already all but signed Podolski precisely because he can play in the same side as RVP, it seems like a strong story.
Tuesday 20 March 2012
- Having failed with a £20m bid for Rennes powerhouse Yann M’Vila in the summer splurge, Arsenal are watching the player again with a view to making another bid at the end of the season. So say the Express, although I’m slightly surprised they didn’t squeeze a possible McCann sighting at Stade Rennais in there somewhere.
- Another Frenchman likely to be in demand this summer is Montpellier marksman Oliver ‘Ollie’ Giroud, who the Metro says Villa now like the look of. On the upside, I’d rather be battling Villa for someone’s signature rather than Utd. On the downside, it’s the fucking Metro.
- Down to the bottom of the barrel now, and *vom* TalkSPORT, claim we’re looking at Udinese’s Mehdi Benatia and Mauricio Isla. But to be honest those names could be made up and I’d be none the wiser.
Sunday 18 March 2012
- Here’s the biggie (although not entirely out of the bluey): German paper Express reckon that Lukas ‘Prinz Poldi’ Podolski will be announced as an Arsenal player tomorrow. The paper has the fee pegged around the £12.5m mark, with two friendlies thrown in to sweeten the deal. Announcing a player acquisition outside the window doesn’t feel very Arsenal-ish, but as Gunnerblog points out, it wouldn’t be the first time.
- Not to be outdone, Germany’s Bild run with a story saying that Borussia Dortmund string-puller Shinji Kagawa has offers from Arsenal and, ugh, Man Utd to choose from. Let’s hope he isn’t using Google Translate, like I am.
- With incumbent Arsenal goalkeepers set to be culled like rabid badgers in the summer, the Mirror claim we’re in for Brum stopper Jack Butland. Heh. Butland.
- Short of flashing his undercrackers and trilling coooo-ey at Pat Rice, Ajax’s Jan Vertonghen’s come and get me pleas couldn’t be any more obvious. He’s another highly rated Belgian defender, joining the ranks of Vermalen, Kompany and Poirot. “I haven’t signed anything with [the Arsenal] yet. But I went to watch them against Milan, together with my Ajax team-mate Siem de Jong, after Vermaelen invited us.” Yet?! C’mon Jan, play it cool son. Play it cool.
- Yadda yadda Del Piero yadda yadda 37 yadda never going to happen.