When the transfer window opens, it spells opportunity for headlines to be created. It is also a period where clubs and agents try to flocked off their players and to get into the market for new ones. Some of which are based on actual contacts between clubs while many more are mere stories making their rounds to just to get their player’s name in the papers.
Juan Mata is the latest being linked with a possible move to Arsenal. Although he has a £22 million release clause in his contract, Arsenal has supposedly offered somewhere in the region of £18 million. If true, that would make him our record signing. A paltry figure when compared to where is market is currently at. That being said, the player himself is not prepared to go on record to state his preference to any move.
Whether this is the fallback option should we decide to let Samir Nasri go, remains to be seen. Mata is by trade a typical Spanish player who is at his best on the wings but equally comfortable in other areas of the forward line. There’s no doubting the fact that he could easily fit into the Arsenal style of play but again, if no one leaves, that is a position which Arsenal do have other options currently within the squad. However, signing Mata with that sum of money involve would represent a big sign of intent from the club and Arsene Wenger.
Ricky Alvarez is another winger linked with us. There’s plenty of clubs who are interested in this Argentinian who is currently contracted to Velez Sarsfield. Just like Mata, this left footed specialist is also able to play in the centre of the park. AS Roma seemed to have distanced themselves from the bidding table as they and Palermo are convinced that Arsenal have already secured that player. That is proven to be untrue as now Inter Milan looks the likeliest destination. If Inter are offering £100k salary, then it signals the end of our hopes of attaining him. I won’t be too sad to see that happen because frankly, Alvarez is not that all that special. I’m not saying he’s not good but perhaps not at the level of readiness that can made an immediate impact.
Other stories include Alex Oxlade Chamberlain of Southampton. Could be another speedy forward that we nick from the lower league English club. This story has been around far too long for me to be bothered about it. If it happens, it happens. WBA managed to stay up in the Premier League and owe Peter Odemwingie a big pay-off for helping them achieved that. Yet, there’s a reason why he’s at WBA and not some other major clubs. Not enough quality.
As the Bolton link gets quieter, the Everton one gets stronger. Phil Jagielka has once again found his name linked with us. I like what I’ve thus far seen of him. Strong in the air and doesn’t do rash challenges. The Merseyside may one to block this one though, as David Moyes seek to push his side further up the table. Another British player, this time a striker, has also found his name written next to Arsenal in the papers. Kevin Doyle of Wolverhampton Wanderers is the one. He’s a handy player but again, not necessarily enough quality to wear the red and white.
As you can already see, I’m not overly excited with most of those names but there’s 2 from Bundesliga which interest me. Arturo Vidal is an all action midfielder who could really provide that protection and help that our defence needs. Question is, will Arsenal the many other clubs who shares the same interest? Another one is the giant Per Mertesacker of Werder Bremen. Lack of European football next season could play this transfer to our hands. More importantly, the lower transfer fee compared to that of English players would also make the move all the likelier to happen.
The last 2 names comes from Ligue 1. Marseille’s stalwart Mathieu Valbuena is the first one. He emerged after the departure of Nasri from the side and is very similar in stature and style of play. Can’t see this one happening without his predecessor moving on. Also, his previous admiration for Manchester United could also see him turning the move. The second one is Eden Hazard. It feels that we’ve been looking at him for far too long and that boat has sailed, at least for this new season.
We can be rest assured that Wenger and his team are working over time to ensure the right targets are secured. Negotiations can sometimes be very long winded. Both clubs have to come up with an agreement on the fees involved as well as individually with the player itself. There’s still a long way to go before the end of the transfer window and there’s absolutely no need to go crazy just because we’ve not started our business yet. Have some faith.