So many things are starting to move now. The silly season has now moved into political posturing season. This post will give you an educated (you know what I mean) overview of what’s happening and why certain moves are important…
Firstly, the big news yesterday was that United have weighed in with a £26m bid for Cesc Fabregas. Why is this important? Well, for a number of reasons. Remember at the start of the summer I told you the club have told Cesc if he wants to leave, he’ll have to tell Barca, so we can activate that clause and not get drawn into a bidding war. Well, he didn’t do that. Why? Because politically it would be a dumb move. His family are over there… a second transfer out of Catalunya blacklists his family from every bar and public park in town.
That’s why a United bid is exactly what Cesc needed. Firstly, it’ll show him whether he’s valued by Barca… his first choice of football home. Then, if he’s not, it gives him the power of choice. He can move to Arsenal, which, so I’m informed, is his first choice should he move. Something tells me his team have encouraged this move to test Barca’s loyalty.
Why would he move to Arsenal? Well, would you want to work under Moyes after Wenger who breast fed you for 8 years? Would the drill sergent nature appeal after Guardiola, one of the greatest coaches in Barca’s history? Not likely. About as appealing sharing a sharing a hotel room with Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand in Ayia Napa. Manchester isn’t an appealing place either. Well, compared to London and Barcelona anyway. I know it’s nice for a night out, but there’s a reason so many BBC execs are on the meds after the big move to north.
… and for flip sake people. He has a young child in London! That is such an important factor. Football preference kind of goes out the window when family is involved.
This whole bidding process works for us… but only if Barca accept. Why would they accept? They’re skint. They’ve blown a huge chunk of cash on Neymar, they’ve had to sell Thiago for peanuts… Leo is on a £20m a year (7 Diaby’s)… and they’re desperate for defenders… as well as a lighter wage bill. I’m not saying this will definitely happen… but don’t rule it out. If Barca want to sell him, we’ll be straight in there with a bid. Remember, he’s been talking to Arsenal this summer, there’s no rift, the father / son bond with Wenger is still there… the fans would idolise him… and if we bought him, we’d never have to suffer ‘Cesc is going home’ rumours again. In fact he’d probably receive a chunky pay rise on his current salary.
Onto the Suarez story, he’s the number one target. He’s the best striker in the league and he’s a far better player than Higuain. I think he’s better than Robin, he doesn’t need world class service to bang in goals. He makes things happen by himself. He’ll push for a move when he’s back at training, then Liverpool have a problem. Why would they keep him? What use is £100k a week sitting on the bench?
£35m is a huge sum of money for a player who has a 6 match ban and a terrible reputation which went a long way to damaging the global view of Liverpool.
Factor in that they’re a club who have no money, they have no Champions League and they have a weak squad that needs an injection of money if they have any hope of competing this year. The talk of Madrid going in for Suarez might be off the mark as well… they’ve just spanked £35m on a DM, they don’t have the cash to bid for Bale and Cristiano is looking for £400k a week… not to mention possible tax hikes on the way (as well as impending FFP rules) and I’m not sure they have the finances to fund Suarez. Otherwise, let’s be honest, they’d have moved by now… right?
The rumour is that Arsenal are forcing Madrid’s hand by bidding for Suarez. In fact, the reason Madrid put the price of Higuain up to €40m from €30m is because that’s what the believe they need to replace him. Arsenal bidding for Suarez actually stifles Madrid and their capabilities. Well, reading between the lines anyway. They’ll also be mindful Spurs are selling Bale next year. Bleeding the coffers this year might not be smart if they have any hope of landing him for a gazillion pounds.
So in short, Arsenal are in a great position. Europe is skint. We’re cash rich, FFP compliant and stable. There is a rain cloud over Europe and it’s pouring. Time for us to take advantage of the all the saving we’ve been doing and make some hay whilst the sun is blistering over Arsenal.
The only negative is that we don’t have to move for Suarez until the end of the summer. If we get into a game of chicken with Liverpool we could end the summer looking pretty silly… well if they have any resolve. The Americans aren’t stupid up north. They’ve not been afraid to take a fee and they’ll know the days of £50m fees are probably over… at least for a player with extreme baggage.
Let it fester, or take the cash and let Rodgers rebuild? Or make a disruptive point for the sake of it?
So, keep positive, I’m calm things are going to drop and it could be special.
I’m also positive on other areas as well. We have to buy a centre back as Vermaelen is out for possibly 4 months with a stress fracture to his back. Not even Arsene would be mad enough to go into a season with two recognised centre backs. He also needs a terrier in midfield. We bid for Lars Bender, I’d be surprised if that’s the last player we move for in that area. I’ve heard nowt on Fellaini… all summer. I think they’ll look at someone with more pace personally. Not that I don’t pine for the Belgian…
I also don’t think there’s much action going on keeper wise. That’s not to say I know everything that’s going on, I just haven’t heard anything at all. I’m pretty certain there was never anything in the Cesar rumours. There were unflattering stories emanating from QPR about his time there and I’d guess Arsenal probably heard them as well as took time out to watch his performances. He might be the Brazil number one, but so was Dida… and Taffarel (remember him? What a joker). They’ve never really boasted world class keepers and Cesar just isn’t a Premiership fit. He’s for Italy or Spain. Not London.
I just hope if the manager is opting to keep things the same, he goes with Fabianski. I’ve not been a huge fan of his, but word on the street is that he’s worked on the mental side of his game… dealing with disappointment and injuries has made him a different beast… and as a reactionary keeper, he’s far better than the arrogant Chesney. I still think we should be making a bold move though. We can’t go into a season with a risk cloud over such and important position.
Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for you today. Hopefully that’ll keep you going until lunch…
Geoff is back with you tomorrow!