Tuesday Transfer Tattle
With the Euros still a couple of weeks away, post-season thoughts are very much focused on possible transfers.
Further discussions on Robin van Persie’s contract extension will now take place only after the tournament. I think both club and player have done the right thing by imposing a media blackout during the competition on speculation regarding his Arsenal future. Even if he were to leave later in the summer, the ban in the meantime, will prevent journos from twisting and rehashing the most innocent comments into a statement of the Dutch striker’s intent.
The positive aspect of the RvP situation is that reported interest from Manchester City has cooled, whereas Juventus are supposedly reluctant to meet the £130k-per-week wages which Arsenal have tabled. There is news that Anzhi Makhachkala are ready to bid £45m for his services and offer the striker £300k-a-week to relocate to Russia. It’s really hard to see Robin moving there at present though – unless he really does want to buy that island in the Bahamas.
While the Van Persie issue is hogging the headlines, Theo Walcott and Alex Song’s contracts are also entering their final year. Arsene Wenger will be treating the extension of their deals as seriously as pursuing new signings – maintaining stability and continuity will be paramount to building on this season’s finish.
Eden Hazard has been batting eyelids at Abramovich’s Chelsea, with Manchester City’s Premier League triumph dwarfed by the Blues’ Champions League success. Manchester United remain in the picture too. While he’s a fantastic player and has been in blistering form for Lille this season, the £35m price tag stuck to him meant he was never coming to Arsenal.
A player we were linked with earlier in the season is Jan Vertonghen. Currently, the Belgian is reported to have eyes only for the chokers up the road. About two months ago, I did a post on why the versatile defender might be a good acquisition for Arsenal. The latest reports are baffling – why he would want to move from Champions League football with Ajax to Thursday nights with a small team from North London is beyond me. If it were true, I have to admit my delight at missing out on the Ajax captain – we don’t need another defender prone to making errors of judgement.
There is no more news on Yann M’Vila either. The French midfielder was to have announced his intentions after the last league game on Sunday. Of course, ‘after’ could be anytime until 23:59 on 31st August. If no information is forthcoming before the start of Euro 2012 on 8th June, I think this is another one that will drag until the end of July.
Arsenal are reported to retain some interest in Borussia Dortmund’s attacking midfielder Shinji Kagawa, although Manchester United seem to be favorites to land him. Dortmund’s £16m asking price is proving to be an obstacle though. Could the Japanese provide healthy competition for places in the midfield role behind the striker?
If his wage demands are reasonable and he’s interested to come to Arsenal, the youngster would be just the kind of signing that would excite fans. It remains to be seen how Arsene weighs up his current midfield resources though, and whether he feels any reinforcements are needed in that area with the return of Jack Wilshere and hopefully Abou Diaby.