So Denilson is departing ‘by mutual consent’, despite having a year left on his current Arsenal contract.
What does that actually mean for Arsenal’s bank balance?
Most of us are interested in what spare cash is available for new players, so getting rid of one who is costing a big wage is a plus from that point of view, even if you happen to be the relatively rare type of person who thinks Denilson should still be in the Arsenal team.
Usually a departure ‘by mutual consent’ would involve some form of pay-off. The amount would normally be part but not all of the lost future earnings; I’d guess half would be typical. But Denilson is currently on loan, so the situation is less clear.
Denilson’s current Arsenal contract, I am informed, is worth about £45k a week, or £2.3m for the year left.
He gets this amount paid by someone, whether he is playing on loan or on the bench at Arsenal
He can sit tight and wait for the end of the contract and be guaranteed this sum by next June – so is he likely to settle for less?
Arsenal have been unable to sell him. This indicates that no other club wants to pay him his Arsenal salary, and like Almunia, Arshavin and Squillaci, he’s not of a mind to take a wage cut before he has to.
There’s no doubt at all that Arsenal are paying some of his wages while he’s on loan – the figure I’ve been told is we’re paying £25k of the £45k a week. Brazilian salaries are substantially lower than in the PL, so this seems a reasonable assumption.
So if he came back to Arsenal he’d cost the club £2.3m during next season
If he stayed on loan at those terms he’d cost Arsenal £1.3m during next season
Either way that’s all the expenditure and there’s no income from him.
As he’s leaving by mutual consent, he must be getting something, but you’d hope Arsenal would be clever enough not to pay him the full amount of his contract given he could be loaned more cheaply than that.
From Denilson’s point of view, if he’s free of a contract then perhaps he has more chance of agreeing a longer term deal with a new club. He won’t get the same wage he’s getting now, but if he gets half then he’ll be happy with half of his Arsenal contract being paid up, so effectively he’s lost nothing for the next 12 months and has a long contract afterwards. He could do nothing this year (ie decide to remain an Arsenal employee) and try for a deal with a new club next year, but if he’s got interest now then he’d probably rather confirm something now.
So the upshot of all that is that I reckon he’ll cost Arsenal about £1.3m to get rid of, the same sum he would probably have cost anyway by staying on loan. Thus the only real benefit for Arsenal of his contract ending now is the certainty that he won’t be recalled and given an increase and an extension!
However, if Arsenal could sell him, then there’s no further expenditure and they’d get a fee as well. Well known website transfermarkt.com list Denilson’s market value as 6.5 million euros, or about £5.5m! I’m not sure what market this is in, but I know I won’t be shopping there. Unfortunately no one else will either, for the simple reason that no club will match his current salary. This surely shows the folly of the ‘socialist’ wage policy of Arsène Wenger. Not only has he been paying Denilson at least £1m a year more than was sensible for the last several years, but Arsenal forfeit any chance of recouping money by selling him. How much have Arsenal lost there in total? £8m? £10m? In the interests of fairness, Arsène has made Arsenal a lot of money too, but his wages policy is demonstrably poor.
And what of Cesc? Many have not forgiven him for ‘going on strike’ in his last season at Arsenal, agitating for a move, refusing to play pre-season, making it clear he only wanted to go to one club and thus ruling out any chance of competition for his signature driving up the price, and finding that his mysterious long-term hamstring ailments have been miraculously cured by Spanish air. Doctors in London shook their heads and puzzled for years, and it turned out a simple easyjet flight to Barcelona was all that was needed.
Others think Cesc did little wrong in leaving, and we all knew he wanted to go home at some point, right?
Either way, after I wrote last week that he definitely wasn’t going anywhere, the papers have been full of stories of third hand quotes about where he may or may not go. Apparently he wants ‘guarantees’ about getting the chance to play at Barca. I still think this is no more than a bluff to secure a better deal of some kind from his current club and manager, whether more money or at least consideration of using his talents more fully (no one is ever going to guarantee to pick a player). I can’t see him wanting to give up his lifelong dream after two years.
However . . . if he does move, where is most likely? Firstly Arsenal have a buy-back agreement, though if Cesc really didn’t want to come back to Arsenal I don’t really see how this would work. At best they might be able to insist that he didn’t go to another English club or for a reduced fee, but in practice the buy-back agreement was more as a sop to Arsenal fans than anything meaningful. Players have too much power to ever make it hard and fast.
So ignoring the buy-back, where would he go? In England I’d say Arsenal would be the most likely, given his relationship with Arsène. Both Manchester clubs are changing managers, making them less certain destinations for a player in demand. Liverpool, Spurs and everyone below would be a step too far down, which leaves Chelsea. That’s a possibility I suppose, but I’m not aware of any interest from them.
One factor that makes Chelsea more likely than Manchester, and England more likely than Italy or Germany, is that Cesc’s partner (a 38 year old divorcee with two children from her marriage as well as a baby with Cesc) is based in London, where her older children are at school. It’s a bit of a commute from Barcelona to see his new family, or for them to see him. Slightly less trouble in Manchester, though still not ideal. Whereas he could slip back into the old routine at Arsenal with no trouble at all.
I still don’t think it will happen though.
And while we’re here: Rooney. It was all over twitter that Arsène had ‘confirmed his interest’ in Rooney. In reality, all he did was say that of course Rooney is a good player, in the same way that if you asked him what he thought of Messi he’d be complimentary. It means nothing.
Denilson is gone; Cesc probably isn’t coming; Rooney definitely isn’t.