All the latest Arsenal transfer news

  • Rooney – still definitely not coming
  • Cesc – not going anywhere this year
  • Fellaini – possible
  • Higuain – possible
  • Jovetic – most unlikely

That’s about it. To be honest you may as well chill, because we know Arsène’s methods by now:

  • consider every player very carefully, particularly how he will fit into the system Arsène likes to play
  • consider the effect on the development of other players in the squad
  • consider the value you’ll be getting and don’t pay over the odds
  • keep everything really quiet for as long as possible so those buggers at Chelsea don’t get a sniff
  • negotiate as hard as possible on fee, but give the player what you think is a fair salary compared to his peers already at Arsenal, regardless of whether he’s on anything like that now and would be happy to sign for 10 bob and a packet of pork scratchings

All this means that if Arsenal sign someone before the end of June it is unlikely to be the star name we all seem to crave. More likely it will be someone from the French second division we’ve never heard of. Said Frenchman may turn out to be brilliant, of course; it’s happened before. All I’m saying is the big names won’t be along just yet. Maybe later in the summer.

On the subject of transfers I was reminded the other day on twitter by @yorkshiregunner of the story of how Igors Stepanovs got signed. According to Ray Parlour, who was there at the time, Martin Keown used to get really wound up if he thought another centre back was going to be signed and potentially displace him from the team. So Ray and some of the others started talking about Stepanovs, saying how great he’d been when he came for a trial, and how they thought he’d fit right in at Arsenal. This wound Keown up no end, but no one was more surprised than Parlour when Stepanovs actually turned up as a new signing. When Arsène was questioned about it by the players, he said he’d heard them all saying how good Stepanovs was so decided to sign him on that basis!

Make of that what you will.

One of Arsène’s former clubs, AS Monaco, are the source of a lot of transfer rumour right now. Having just won promotion back to Ligue 1, they seem hell bent on challenging PSG in a Chelsea/City style spending war. I can only assume that either their owners haven’t heard about FFP, or are thinking, “We’ll qualify for the Champions League first, then we’ll worry about whether they’ll let us in.”

On the plus side they are rumoured to be interested in John Terry, which would at least get rid of him from my view.

Monaco and their players have just had a bit of bad news though: they need to pay tax. No one has paid income tax in Monaco since 1869, except for French citizens who have moved there since 1957. However, the French FA decided that was giving the football team an unfair advantage so have ruled that all French league clubs must now have a ‘tax residence’ in France, meaning all employees of the football club are now liable for income tax. Harry Redknapp is said to be no longer interested in taking over as manager.

Back at home Ivan Gazidis has given a long interview to various journalists, the full transcript of which is available on the Daily Mirror site. It’s an interesting read, if you can get past the feeling of having heard it all before. The difference this year is that Ivan is really pushing the ‘We’ve got money to spend’ angle, in a clear message that if it doesn’t get spent it’s down to one person and one person only, the manager.

Ivan said so much that it’s possible for any Arsenal fan of any persuasion to point to bits that support their own views and say, “I knew it! There was/wasn’t money to spend before! It’s all the Board’s/manager’s fault we didn’t spend last year!” You can cut it any way you want, but whatever the message you take, it’s still just talk. Ivan doesn’t decide which players to buy, he doesn’t decide how much to pay for them and he doesn’t decide how much to pay them. (Though he carefully used words to give the impression that he is very much involved in all those activities, without actually claiming that he makes the decisions.)

Anyway, I think we’ve all had enough of talk. I want to see transfer action. But with Arsène at the helm, I’m not holding my breath. And that’s where we came in.     

Twitter: @AngryOfN5


17 thoughts on “All the latest Arsenal transfer news

  1. Why do you get your knickers in a twist anytime anything concerning Arsene is touched upon? According to your article, you are well versed with his methods yet you still manage to sound disappointed and spread that melancholy liberally. It seems to me you really do not like Arsene Wenger for whatever(personal)reason. Need I remind you that your responsibility is to support the club. Give the man and your arse a chance. If he doesn’t cut it this season he really has nowhere to hide. Just please tone down on the doom and gloom.

  2. Jeez Phil I thought you had emigrated to Spain for the sun ! All the garbage being peddled about possible signings and you gone missing . Phew, ! Anyway the amount of drivel that I have read as to who may or may not be joining this summer has been more pronounced than usual. What with all the cash being made available for the aquisition of new players (with Ivans blessing of course) one would have thought that deals were already done and that the gunners were heading back to the top table . But sadly that is not the case, at least not yet. The fact that AW is the best known procrastinator in football management.seems to have gone unnoticed, and all the chat is about the big money signings that are going to be made .Funny thing is, that if he was serious about Jovetic or Higuain one or both would have been signed by now . Its a simple matter of the early bird catching the worm . The trouble with Arsene Wenger is that when it comes to big signings he just does not trust himself. He mulls over it , thinks about the value for money, wages etc (All may I say very commendable), trouble is, by the time he has made up his mind the player is already gone elsewhere. Whats the betting that Jovetic will be at Spartak Chelski next season ? Better than Arsenals chances of landing him I dare say. Then we have our “friend” Mr Rooney , a mere snip at 25 million ! Of course the little matter of his current weekly wages of 250,000 pounds (approx) or that he likes his tipple with a smoke has’nt seemed to bother many fans. Rooney is a great player , he can score goals, is strong on the ball . But for me his long term position is as an attacking midfielder . He could be a great asset but not with his current attitude and I don’t honestly believe he wants to leave the manx anyway. So where does that leave us ? Well I think that AW will revert to form and that we will see a mixture of wannabees and one or two experienced journeymen pros ( pulled from the French league). You see, leopards don’t change their spots and men in their sixties don’t change their ways. I hope that I am completely wrong and if I am I promise to eat someones hat (I don’t have one of my own)

  3. Imagine! AW signing a player above 20m, can impossibility bcom possible? Come to think of it, is this not another method deployed by Ivan and AW to appease us? What is Kroenke stance on this? In terms of identifying players for other clubs, AW is the best. Is it the press that is causing these problems? Anywhere time would tell… Pls fool us no more.

  4. I believe with rooney gunner will have a perfect season ahead,just make it realistic mr gszidi…..gunners 4 life.

  5. these names will never come to arsenal, wenger will find someone else that is not in these tranfer roumers… up gunners.

  6. I am not happy with Arsene when it comes to transfers.. He scouts the best players for other teams to sign them at last.. I wont be suprised if afc end up not signing any top player this summer..

  7. Phil, isn’t Arsene an employee? And isn’t it the norm in any business that the owner decides how much is spent, not the guys he employs? Listen, we know professional football is something of a dream factory, often defies logic, but do you honestly believe at Arsenal (and, apparently, ONLY Arsenal), the tail is wagging the dog? What astonishes me most is that anybody takes anything Gazidis says as gospel. And selectively as gospel. So that when he says Arsene has a pile of dough to spend, we believe him – and when he says Arsene is the best manager for Arsenal, we don’t believe him. Let’s not forget that Ivan (and PHW and others) have been insisting for years that Wenger has money available IF HE NEEDS ANY. (PHW’s mythical £70m, remember?) Indeed it was only a few months ago Ivan admitted that there was never any money, Arsene had worked with one hand tied behind his back, had performed miracles, etc. Now he tells us all change, money is there IF ARSENE CHOOSES TO SPEND. In other words, if the summer signings are a disappointment (or non-existent), BLAME WENGER. Gazidis is sly, a master of spin: his press statements are designed to raise hopes and to deflect blame if (when?) they are unfulfilled. For once, let’s not allow ourselves to be deceived by him. If Wenger falls short, it’s most likely because his boss (the Silent One) has not authorized the expenditure.

    • Some good points, but Arsene Wenger is no patsy. He has tremendous clout in the game and if he were being made a potential scapegoat, he probably wouldn’t take it lying down.

      I think the problem is that people imagine this as a dispute between Wenger and the board. I think it’s more likely that both Wenger and the board have known and agreed to work in a certain way based on the realities of the situation.

      Gazidis’ message is unprecedented. People like to criticise the ‘we have money’ statements, but Arsenal have never come out and said what Gazidis said there. Wenger, not so long ago said we had to cut back with our finances but now we’ve come through that phase. The club are broadly advertising their wealth (and they’ve been doing it more and more since the new Emirates deal was announced). To do that and not back that up would be foolish and invite more of a backlash. I don’t think Arsenal are foolish. The financial constraints have eased to a large degree.

      • I’d guess that you are right: ‘Wenger and the Board..agreed to work in a certain way based on the realities of the situation’. Back then the ‘reality’ for Danny & Co was austerity rather than a capital injection by, say, a dilution of their holdings with a Rights Issue. Their Club, their option. Being forthright guys they probably also advised Arsene that he would be taking the flak from fans, not themselves (better for the Club’s image). In the event their ‘reality’ turned out to be the sale of the Club to Kroenke – bringing with it a different kind of ‘reality’, one which nobody appears to have fathomed yet. Does anyone know our majority owner’s intentions? Not Lady N or Mr U, for sure. Does he share our yearning for success, for a seat at the top table again? Not much sign of that thus far, not at AFC nor at any of his other sports ‘franchises’. Does he have the will to spend what is needed rather than the least he can get away with? Again, his past record must make us suspect it will be the latter. So what can we expect? One major signing perhaps, a medium one maybe, a couple of minor ones. Enough to make the squad a match for the best? I don’t think so.

      • Kroenke doesn’t spend his own money. Although, yes, he’d sanction how much can be spent of Arsenal’s money.

        The motive I ascribe to Kroenke is of making a return on his investment. What will he do to make that return is the question. Well, so far, what he’s not done, is do anything harmful. He has also helped by putting in place a team which has boosted our incoming commercial revenue to elite levels. His contacts with the US might also potentially open up a market for us (and a revenue stream for him) in the future. So, as of now, it’s been positive with him.

        But what does he get from not spending Arsenal’s money? At the most, I can see it as a reduction in his holdings if Arsenal lose money. But surely that is more than counterbalanced by the potential gain in revenue from being truly competitive and garnering more viewership for his investment. (Also the loss involved in not doing so)

        What past record? He’s only been in charge for two years, and through none of his actions, those two years have been the one with the most turmoil. Conversely, that means we’re at the start of a new era now.

        Basically, whatever his primary motivation (money or prestige) I reckon the best way for him to achieve that is to sanction some spending. If the club weren’t looking to spend, they wouldn’t have been so bullish since the new Emirates deal was announced. I also can;t think of another reason why we’d get Emirates (and Puma too apparently) to pay us a part of the sponsorship money a year early. We’re looking to spend this season. Of that I am convinced. Let’s hope we can do it on some quality players.

  8. Good job banging on about the wage structure once again Phil.

    As one other contributor here constantly points out. Arsenal’s squad players are not paid more than squad players at other top 4 clubs. Arsenal’s star players are paid less than at other clubs, but that is due to the size of the wage bill. You bridge that gap by reducing the money spent on the squad, you’ll risk losing your squad, and still won’t have enough to protect your stars. But now that our revenues are growing, we’ll see more disparity between our top earners and our mid range earners.

    You bring up Welbeck a few times with him being on 15k for a while till he signed a new contract. How much do you think Chamberlain was on before he signed a new contract? About the same. How much is Jenkinson on? Probably around 30k (according to the last reports I read after his extension)

    The era when we were paying only on potential (because we couldn’t afford transfer fees in addition to such wages) is basically over. It was a necessity at the time.

    Don’t you think that makes more sense than Wenger being an idiot in negotiations?

  9. Shard: What you are banking on, basically, is that Kroenke’s best interests (in your words ‘making a return on his investment’) coincides with our yearnings (Arsenal competing for and winning major trophies). It’s not difficult, however, to imagine a scenario where the two might not coincide. But instead let’s take your best hope and imagine that they do coincide. A Man U situation, perhaps: the team wins a load of trophies and the owner siphons off a load of dough. Is that what we deserve? Is that what you want for Arsenal?

    • That’s a slight misinterpretation of my contention.

      My contention is that I think his interests coincide with ours. But I am not basing that on just wishful thinking. As I said, the noises from the club about our financial capacity are unprecedented. I know it’s generally accepted that the club have always said this, but that is simply not true. If you disagree with that, that’s fine, but I’m absolutely 100% certain about the fact that Arsenal have never made such noises before.

      Now, of course this could be just noise, and I would agree that the more important aspect is what we do rather than what we say. But making those noises if they don’t intend to back that up would be counter-productive. They would not come out and say this if they didn’t intend to spend.

      Moreover, we’ve brought some part of the Emirates money forward. The deal doesn’t kick in till next season but we’ve asked for a portion of it up front this year (and reportedly have done the same with Puma) I can think of no other reason to do this, that is more likely than the chance of us wanting to spend in the transfer market.

      My contention wasn’t about what we’ll do. Simply that I am sure that we intend to strengthen, and that money is less of a problem now. What we do in terms of specifics, who we buy or don’t, is something that I didn’t touch on.

      As for going towards taking dividends or the Glazer model etc, Absolutely not. But that is a hypothetical at this point. As far as is known, he hasn’t purchased us through an LBO. He hasn’t taken dividends. The only way that he’s taken money out of the club so far, has been through his salary of 25k per year. That is all that is certain. Would I prefer to not have a majority shareholder because of the risks involved. Sure? But the reality is he’s here. You’re right to be cautious and on the lookout for it. But what do you propose is done to cut that out? That’s an entirely different discussion to the one we’ve been having.

  10. What do I propose we do right now? Spend the summer in a golden glow, untroubled, confident that Ivan, hand-in-hand with Arsene, bearing the standard of St Stanley, are faithfully fulfilling the Word as writ by the blessed Danny a decade ago.

  11. Wenger needs to make appropriate decisions this summer,replace right people and place the correct ones for success

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