So, just as most of the players have returned to pre-season training and we’re in the middle of trying to organise our start to the season, we’ve suddenly(ish) been in talks with Man City about the transfer of Adebayor up north. Many newspapers and reports suggest that there is a stickyness over the fee – Man City apparently offering £20m and Arsenal holding out for £25m.
Just over 48 hours after City announced they were no longer pursuing Samuel Eto’o, it is understood that talks between Arsenal and City over Adebayor opened on Monday afternoon. Neither club has yet to comment on the speculation but it’s believed that City have offered £20m for the Togo striker.
Various sources also comment on AC Milan’s interest – and potentially the Italians may come in with an offer if they know Man City are in and a deal is in progress. Despite all these rumours, it is understood that a fee was initally agreed yesterday at £23.5m.
Determined to hold out for £25m, Arsenal are mindful of AC Milan’s interest in Adebayor and one complication in the proposed deal may be the player’s reputed preference for moving to Italy. Whether that would remain the case in view of the wages apparently on offer in Manchester remains to be seen.
The Daily Mail report that Adebayor expected to open talks on a five-year deal worth £170,000 a week and also go on to say that the deal could even be completed today if all goes well. A little premature in regards to completing today and I do expect Barcelona and AC Milan to revive their interests after their bids to purchase David Villa and Dzeko have fallen through respectively.
So over to Adebayor and will you miss him if he were to depart – would you miss the winner of the most offsides in Europe? Will you miss the 30 goal man of the season before last? Who can come in to replace him? Do we need anyone to replace him?
Our striking berth without Manu consists of player of the season, Robin Van Persie alongide a selection of Eduardo, Carlos Vela, Niklas Bendtner and Theo Walcott. The combination of Van Persie and Eduardo would look like our first choice and although they’ve not had too much game time together, it does look like an interesting combination – a la Bergkamp and Henry maybe? The back up roles for Carlos Vela and Niklas Bendtner also seem adequate – both staking their claim for a starting berth, with Bendtner beating Ade in the goalscoring charts and Vela’s cameo appearances, mainly in the cups, showing his ability to finish.
But is that enough? When you’re in four competitions – The Premier League, The Champions League, The FA Cup and The Carling Cup, that’s a lot of games… throw in an injury or two and suddenly we’re a little stretched – and I believe Arsene knows this – he did say he was interested in signing a striker only in the event of a departure – and for that comment he was talking about a certain Maroune Chamakh.
Chamakh hasn’t got the reputation that a player like Benezma has developed, nor does he has the goal scoring record that his former compatriot did, but he is highly rated by Arsene and could fill the numbers that would be needed for a long campaign. Players like Ade, Henry and Anelka weren’t very prolific either – until they played for Arsenal – so it’s clear that Arsene can work on this with someone. We’ve also been linked for Huntelaar amongst a few others, but I really feel that we will move for Chamakh if Ade does complete his move. The player would cost us in the region of £7m and that would allow us to pursue another target, namely the defensive midfielder that we’ve been missing this year and last.
It’s a little strange – in our Masters League game within Pro Evo on the PS, we’ve recently added Arshavin as well as a few attacking players – but found it very difficult to find a decent defensive midfielder – in fact, it’s our third season and we’ve failed to land a defensive midfielder in the last two transfer windows (four if you include the January transfer window too)… so kudos to Arsene if he does eventually get a quality DM in. Whilst Felipe Melo is a good player, in reality, he’s not world class, but amongst the only few available players. I don’t think Arsene rates Cana and I don’t think he rates Veloso in the £15 – £20m category either. A player like Matuidi is more Arsene’s style, and in all honesty, I can’t really think of too many decent players who aren’t already playing for top teams.
In other transfer news, all three ex-Arsenal defensive midfielders, Lassana Diarra, Patrick Vieira and Matthieu Flamini have been linked to Sp*rs… in all honesty I can’t see Paddy going there – but wouldn’t put it past the other two. Arsene – I know you don’t like taking back players, but wouldn’t Matty F be a good one?
And finally, it looks like Ivan Gazidis will be joined by another American, Tom Fox as his number 2… here’s a bit of background…
Multiple industry sources said last week the former NBA, Nike and Gatorade executive has accepted a job offer from Premier League power Arsenal where he will be the No. 2 executive to CEO Ivan Gazidis. Fox’s title is still to be determined, but it likely will be chief commercial officer, a position in which he will have responsibility for all revenue Fox would not comment. Sources said he will start the new job in August.
Very interesting and a big sign that our Global merchandising will start to kick off very soon, and maybe one day our quiet Hungarian / Austrian training camp will end being the US tour that so many of our rivals are currently cashing in on… maybe not if Arsene has his way…