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Destination : Nigeria

Hello to you from a very wet Thursday where I am. Couple of hours of heavy downpour has caused the city to be in a standstill, especially with the morning traffic. But that’s not there reason you’re here isn’t it. You don’t want to listen to my rambling about how the rain lead to traffic congestion which ultimately lead to me being late for work this morning, do you? Alright then, then we better crack on to the football side of things.

Let’s start with something that will cheer up our Nigerian friends. Arsenal will now send Tomas Rosicky, Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski and Bacary Sagna to Lagos for promotional activities. This is to compensate for the cancellation of the tour to Nigeria, I guess. Fans would still be able to flock to the airport or wherever the promotional event is held and catch a glimpse of their heroes.

I can speak from a personal standpoint that even though the entire team won’t be able to make it this time, it will still be great to see a few players in your hometown. I can remember the buzz when Arsene Wenger came for non Arsenal related event. We still packed the place, just to see the great man himself.

Which on the other hands means that none of the established full German internationals will be on my shores when Arsenal touch down in Kuala Lumpur this Sunday. And that is disappointing, only because both of them weren’t here last year. Well, at least there’s still hope of Olivier Giroud making the flight to Asia. He’s set to join the training today, together with Theo Walcott. Both of whom were given extended holidays matching their respective countries’ progress at the Euros.

You want some transfer news don’t you. I might have one for you but that’s entirely down to me fully utilising my Grade 1 mathematical skills of 1+1=2 rather than any in-the-know or insider information. If you remember, previously there was a rumour going around about Arsenal being interested in one of the Spain’s winning squad from the recently concluded Euros. No particular names was mentioned at that time. Then today, I saw this news.

The news says that Malaga still owe their players 30 – 40% of the salary. Which is all a bit strange because of the wealthy nature of the current owners of the La Liga side. In fact, they went on a spending spree to get Malaga into this season’s Champions League. Perhaps they have gotten bored of it all and finally came to their senses that the Barcelona-Real Madrid domination could never be broken. Too bad the same didn’t happen to Manchester City.

For someone with the financial power that the Malaga owners have, it is perhaps telling that they have been unable to pay full salary to their staffs. Not a be all, end all situation but certainly a reminder of what could happen with such ownership. People who have no affiliation to the club and considers it as purely investment or worse, a play thing.

In any case, Santi Cazorla has been touted as one of the 4 players who went to the Spanish FA to complain about this late/delay/non payment. By now, I’m sure we all know of the Cazorla transfer last season. Where he was all but sure to join us, only for a final blocking point when Villareal increased their demand. So, we’re at least sure that Wenger was interested and admired him before. Things could have changed over the course of one season with rising players and the other transfer alternatives that Wenger took. Time will tell whether we are still interested in him.

Now, I’m not saying that late/delay/non payment of salary is cause enough for Cazorla to seek a move. But it is certainly plausible that we’ll revisit that transfer opportunity in his case should such an opening came along. He is certainly a player that I personally admire and would like to see in our squad. Let’s see how this pans out.

In a footballing world that is dominated by money, Zlatan Ibrahimovic finally confirms his move to PSG. The Swede perhaps not happy that his league title winning streak was stopped last season. The Ligue 1 title should have PSG colours half tied to it already. I should think that this transfer signals the start of a striker domino effect. One which could potentially involve several clubs shifting their strikers about and that includes us.

AC Milan now has some serious cash to spend and they will be looking to replace one of their standout performers in the past 2 seasons. A talismanic striker who have no immediate replacement within their squad. Edin Dzeko has been rumoured to be a possible replacement. If that materialises, then there’s space in the City squad for another striker. Which will then ultimately leads back to the Robin van Persie situation.

The next few weeks will be interesting, to say the least.