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Behind Closed Doors – how the transfer market really works, and how Arsenal really does.

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS – Don McMahon

I am less interested in opinions and rumours in the transfer window than I am in reality and hard facts, so I decided to speak with a close friend who used to be a NASL and European scout for a professional soccer team where I live. He kindly agreed to answer my numerous questions about the transfer process worldwide (he also worked in Latin America and Europe). Here is what he told me:

1)  Current regulations from FIFA and EUFA strictly prohibit a Club or ANY of its members/representatives from approaching a player under contract directly or indirectly, through a 3rd party, the media or through the player’s agent(s) or family.

2) Every professional Club uses a system of player evaluation which takes into account their skill-set, fitness, playing and injury record, current compensation, physical and age parameters, versatility and flexibility in playing more than one position, mental and psychological fitness and attitude, discipline record, playing style (European versus Latin American, etc.), family obligations and situation, nationality and preferred environment/climate.  This is just a partial list – there are many more factors looked at.

3) Every professional Club also relies on its scouting network, and other similar networks to fill in the blanks about any targets. They have a computerized system that uses a number of commercial databases and research sites, as well as a template unique to each Club.

4) Many managers have specific requirements for a potential transfer and, surprisingly enough, cost is usually NOT the principle factor to be considered. He told me that Wenger is reputed to be very specifically demanding when it comes to on-the-ball skills, field vision, maturity and team spirit/teamwork.

5) He said that most managers, including Wenger, will watch a minimum of  200 hours of game and training videos before they are satisfied that they have a player of interest. He also said that Wenger and a few others will go and watch a player in person, when they can do so surreptitiously. Apparently these videos are freely exchanged between professional Clubs and Leagues. Fifa and Uefa provide access to International competition videos as well.

6) Apparently, according to him, the decision to proceed with an ¨enquiry¨ is always a team decision, rarely a manager’s alone. He said in AFC’s case , Gazidis, Tim Law, the Arsenal medical team, Bould and Wenger probably ruminate about each potential transfer for a few weeks before authorizing an approach to the Board for the funds needed and then the offer to the selling Club.

7) He said that most professional teams abhor any publicity or media attention to this process because it can skew the demands from the selling club, negatively influences the player and alerts other Clubs to the buyer’s interest. The selling club’s interest is often to keep a very low profile about the potential sale. Fan reactions can be a very detrimental thing to the stability of the club if the sale gets out too early. He also mentioned that many selling clubs like to have a potential transfer in before advertising the loss of their player.

8)  He said that from his experience, the average time it took from initial interest and research to an actual transfer agreement varied between 6 to 12 weeks, if the buyer, agent, club and the player were in common accord. He said that should there be any disagreement between any of these parties, it could double the time or even scupper the deal entirely.

9) The fastest transfer he has ever seen was between 2 NASL Clubs ….it took  less than a week. The longest transfer was in Argentina, where it took almost a full season. Interestingly he also mentioned that there are certain players whose reputations proceed them and that makes it hard for their agents to find buyers either because their charges are too unpredictable or too unreliable, etc.

10)  In his opinion, Arsenal are about in the middle of the spectrum when it comes to clubs and transfers. On one end you have the clubs that finance their existence by selling their players and on the other you have clubs that buy anything that breathes or moves (preferably both). He also said that this particular season has been specifically below average for the transfer activities so far but he expects it to heat up as we approach the TW deadline. In his opinion, with FFP and severally tightening financial situations at many clubs (especially in Spain), he would really be surprised to see this window produce a really blockbuster series of transfers.

His opinions hold weight but are still only one man’s (now retired) experiences. Wouldn’t it be great if we could ask someone at AFC how they actually go about their transfer activities?

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58 comments to Behind Closed Doors – how the transfer market really works, and how Arsenal really does.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Fascinating read Don, many thanks!

  • adam t

    As a fan with all the speculation, it has been a frustrating time!!
    You just know if any transfer do happen, it will be on
    31st August !

  • Dave

    A really good article. Thank you.

  • Lobster

    I suspect the “200 game or training hours” Roma watched of Gervinho will be played to the background music from Just for Laughs (including laughing tracks!)… Just joking… Not really

  • Jean Tigana

    I have always been keen to know the inner workings of the transfer market.
    Although the article offers a lot of insight, it’s depth for me remains insufficient.
    It is certainly a decent attempt at providing clarity on a subject area that seems
    to be surrounded by a air of mystery.

  • Jean Tigana…
    We have run a series of articles on Vapour Transfers which give some information.

  • Stevie E

    Thanks Don
    Really good insight into what goes on and makes a mockery of those who say we should buy this or that player having never heard of him prior to the “Arsenal Poised To Pounce” story in the paper and then watching a 5 minute best of video on YouTube. It wouldn’t surprise me if the massive press coverage of the Higuian transfer was one of the reasons the deal didn’t go through, although comments from Madrid suggest Arsenal weren’t in for him anyway and it was just press speculation. Guess we’ll never know.

  • Arun

    Thanks Don for this article.

    Here is a compilation for all the transfer rumors so far.
    http://arsenalssillyseason.wordpress.com/2013-summer/
    Thanks to jonbran for going through the various newspapers to compile all this data.

  • Nigerian Gunner

    What happens when a club wants to buy players in the mold of sanderos, sqillaci, pascal cygan or even charmak. I bet they will have a good laugh watching these guys strut their stuff.

  • hazardous matt

    Nice article – while it doesn’t make me any less frustrated with our inactivity its good to have a clearer insight to the transfer process. I still have the feeling (probably misguided) that Wenger and co are going to pull a few rabbits out of the hat. God I hate the off season these days.

  • uk

    lolz @ nigerian gunner

  • uk

    nice article, though i doubt you learnt anything new.
    also, i guess when common opinion is that ‘arsenal is flunking the transfer window’, articles portraying arsenal as ‘middle of the road’/ normal club become fashionable. prior to that, while fans still believe in the club’s ambition, the articles usually favor the ‘i like the way we do it/ we are not like others/ we make our own stars’ ooinions

  • nicky

    @Stevie E,
    I only hope the impatient fans have read your comment, as well as Don’s excellent post, and now realise just how much behind the scenes work goes into transfers.

  • tommyt

    Imagine being the one tasked with watching 200+ hours of Squillaci. That not exactly IMAX material.

  • henry Root

    Funny then that Wenger signed Ljungberg in 1999 having seen him for the first time on television against England the week before!

  • Stevie E

    @nicky
    Not holding my breath, I doubt if certain people actually read any of the articles with the intention of learning anything, just jumping to the comments to spout their usual rhetoric. Honestly, some of the comments I’ve seen lately have been utterly shameful.

  • Nice article. I am assuming it is different, at lest in some ways, for each club.

  • Stevie E

    Henry root
    That’s not the full story is it? Freddie was watched for over a year by Arsenal scouts before being signed. However, AW hasn’t seen him live but thought, after watching Sweden beat England that he had the ability to play against English apponents.

  • Super Singh

    Guess if you don’t do your research and plan carefully? You could buy George Weah’s brother or cousin who apparently is just as good as him during his hey day? Think it was Southampton under Graham Souness reign? Lol

  • Shard

    A good article Don, and what I hope is a discussion starter rather than bringing our the rabble rabble folk.

    In my view, it is certain aspects of our scouting system, such as the 200 hours of video (much mirth among some) as well as the amount of depth that our scouts can report in, that has been the lesser recognised victim of the oiler clubs.

    Arsenal used to be renowned for scouting players in great depth over a period of many months by sending scouts to not just matches, but also training sessions. Holding meetings with former and current coaches of the player (when possible) to determine not just his skill level, but his attitude, his injury history etc.

    Now it stands to reason, that once the big money clubs started following Wenger’s template, Arsenal had less time to be so thorough with their scouting. Take too long, and the big money clubs will already have stolen a march on you. Particularly if they hear of you taking such a deep interest in the player. Take too little time, and you run the risk of not being able to judge the player as well as you would like.

    I do not think the likes of Gervinho, Park, Santos were scouted in the depth that you say is normally done.

    There are 3 categories of players

    1) Star Players
    There is little need to ‘scout’ the star players so much, because they are already known quantities. In star players’ cases, money rules the roost. Arsenal in the last few years, had little chance to get them.

    2) The promising players who might be on the cusp on superstardom, in the 21-24 age range. Think Henry when we bought him. Or Hazard and Gotze now.

    These players are lesser known quantities, and hence require deep scouting. Both in terms of their ability and how they’ll fit in to a system, but also in terms of their attitude. Also, with the big money clubs getting more interested in buying players of this sort, the competition for their signature is immense. In this case, not only do you need to scout them intensively, you also need to be prepared to pay big. Little chance for a club like Arsenal unless they take a quick gamble without deep scouting.

    3)The youngsters
    Now there are literally thousands of youngsters. It is far easier to scout them deeply because the competition for them is less intense (on account of not many clubs looking to buy inexperienced players, and because there are so many players of the age who show potential) It is far trickier to predict how a player will develop when he’s in this age group. Generally, the players in this age group can be scouted at great depth, and also the cost isn’t prohibitive. Some special young players might be more easily recognised as great talents and have to be paid fairly big fees for, but the competition for them is still less, and Arsenal’s reputation for developing players gives them a chance to buy them. Think Ramsey, Chamberlain, Jenkinson.

    So it isn’t just a case of us being outbid by the money clubs. The money in the transfer market indirectly affects the way scouting is done as well. While Arsenal will have more money, some of these issues will remain because the competition will remain intense for some types of players.

    P.S. There is also a 4th type of player. These are like Podolski, Cazorla etc. The ones who were once the 2nd category of player, but never progressed to being considered superstars. There is less competition for them. Nobody wants the ‘last big thing’. They are all looking for the ‘next big thing’. These players can make exceptional signings if scouted properly, as I think was done in the cases I mentioned.

  • Sean Spillane

    Yeah yeah yeah…so WHEN are we actually going to spend on product rather than potential…WENGER OUT!!!

  • Pat

    Very interesting article Don.

    Shard’s additional points also interesting.

    Who on earth is Sean Spillane?

  • goonergerry

    In the words of Swiss Ramble:” the cash flow from operating activities was £28 million, which was actually the third best in the Premier League.
    The problem is that Arsenal have spent very little of this on improving their squad: in 2011/12 the net expenditure on player purchases was just £1.8 million – only four clubs spent less than the Gunners. Most of the available funds have instead gone towards financing the Emirates Stadium: £13.1 interest and £6.2 million on debt repayments. A further £8.6 million was invested in fixed assets for enhancements to Club Level, more “Arsenalisation” of the stadium and new medical facilities and pitches at the London Colney training ground.”
    The key question for me is:
    If all top clubs adopt pretty much the same system of assessing players, why is Arsenal’s net expenditure on players so low last year compared to others in EPL? and shaping up to be even lower this year?
    I guess its an issue about priorities-about what to invest profits in- and new players have over time- not been top of the list of this Arsenal Board’s investment priorities-and probably aren’t now.

  • gunner17

    i still don’t understand why clubs are waiting until the deadline to do business? surely it’s in the interest of all parties for deals to be done sooner than later…?

  • zach

    Nice article although it doesn’t explain why Arsenal are so incredibly inept and doing the obvious. Napoli enters this summer knowing that Cavani is off to greener pastures. They find a buyer, work out a deal, and poof…he’s gone. They then, in a matter of 3 or 4 weeks, locate a replacement, work out a deal, and poof…they have Higuain. All while purchasing other players that they feel fill obvious voids within their squad. Arsenal have shown year in and year out that they absolutely are not capable of accomplishing any of this with any sort of fluidity. Either A, they are crazy enough to think that a team that dropped 16 out of 18 points vs the EPL’s top 3 last year can now all of the sudden compete, or B, they really just don’t want to spend the money. They only seem to spend anything when they can buy a player at 60-80% of his value like Cazorla or spend like 13mil on a player they “hope” is really worth like 25mil like Giroud.

  • weedonald

    I want to remind most of you that this was one person’s opinion and experiences, NOT anyone from AFC, although he did say he had dealt with David Dein once and found him a very astute negotiator.
    To answer a few of the questions posed:

    1)Nigerian Gooner….the answer is simple, they buy the likes of Carroll, Torres, Bentley, Gallas, etc. since they already had ¨good¨ reputations….but as my friend said, it is often a crap shoot despite doing your due diligence.

    2)henry Root…..Wenger can’t be everywhere but his scouts are and I would say they did their job very well, wouldn’t you? Ljunberg had some success at AFC afterall.

    3)Sean Spillane…Cazorla, Monreal, Giroud, Podolski,. Mertesacker, Koscielny, Arteta etc. Good investments, more than potential, so your premise is flawed mate.

    4)goonergerry…until recently we were restrained to sell before buying due to the stadium debt, as your comment mentioned. Now we have some cash but Wenger is keeping his cards close to his vest as usual. Did you bother to read this article, where this is all explained?

    5)gunner17…Each transfer window is different and like most businessmen, each party wants the best deal at the best price….so that means trying to psych their counterparts in the selling club(s) and getting the advantage … a last minute bargain.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Fascinating read. Players will come in and there may be surprises. This is a World Cup year, that makes signings difficult, any incoming players worth their salt from likely World Cup competitors will want guarantees of starting, that will be difficult considering how well we have done lately. Then there are the non World Cup players, but could for instance the likes of Ashley Williams oust kos, per, and a fit and pain free tv? And if not, why would he sign and we sign him? How to find a DM who would oust arteta and Rambo? And what formation will we play next season? We will sign because without doing so, our squad is not strong enough for 60 games, but in a World Cup year, and with numerous anti FFP clubs around, not so easy. The annual tottenphobes are already out, yes they have signed players, one I have never heard of , one plays for brazil, but in the game I saw was firmly eclipsed by a player we already have and then maybe soldado, a man who defines the word unproven. Then there is the bale conundrum which we are more than familiar with. We have clearly an excellent spirit in our squad, it is a World Cup year, we have superb players in place and certain teams are going out of their way to put two fingers up to FFP….they may or may not succeed, Platinis silence is deafening, but for us, we need strengthening but also a bit of patience

  • Adam

    It has always baffled me why people complain that we haven’t concluded our business early, as the later in the registration window you acquire your players the less time you give your competitors to react.

    Anyway I believe the squad strong enough as it stands.

    Nice read Don.

  • nelson wong

    Very detail and sensible way. Thank you for bringing this out and telling the world that football managers run their team with some business sense rather than like some who just jump and say “buy, buy, buy.”

    This only serve to confirm my point. The closest thing we do to buying/ selling a player is buying/selling of our house/ flat. Being professionals, managers pay even more attention to a player than we do to our target home… I do not think anyone would spend 200 hours to check the new property before we buy.

    Anyway, having a passion on football and loving a team do not mean one loses the basic senses.

    I like UNTOLD not because of its position in defending Arsene + team but UNTOLD tries to talk with sense. Thank you for that!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Again , nice work , Dom.

  • Prince from Nigeria

    Thanks Don for your wonderful enlightment, my only take on this article is my country player Godfrey Oboabuna who is blaming Wenger of not signing him after his trial at emirate, I hope my brother Godfrey will read the article to know facts concerning him, especially his hours of playing time which l believe is not up 200 hours. Cup of Nation winning is not enough to judge ur capability, ur age matter, since Nigerian footballers are known to have irregularities is another factor l presume.

  • ARSENAL 13

    hah….makes so much sense. And how pleasant the environment is here today..

  • uk

    @adam,
    maybe because the people who bought these players late then use their late arrivals as an excuse for failure, or their sympathizers, might excuse their inability to secure top targets by saying there wasnt enough time for the selling club to properly replace. methinks thats the reason why some cant understand the rationale behind conducting business late.

  • elkieno

    I think our current 11 is good enough to get us off the mark running. The signings don’t need to be ready to go from 1st game, so it’s not an urgent rush to sign up people. I think we will sign some players before season starts so they can watch us start and then join the party as the games come in.
    Coyg and manager!!!

  • para

    Tis a tricky business the transfer window, and the media does not help with their made up articles at all. But they have become a part of it and are used by the clubs and players and agents, so we have to get used to it i suppose.
    //
    One thing AW never does is to buy an established or super star player. The fact that he is after Suarez(?) is something completely different for AW, and i really am at exactly 50% for or against, meaning i just don’t know. Super players hardly ever stay settled, but become more an asset than a team player, and i think AW has now built a team, and is looking for those extra players to complete the team, without having to sign a super star. AFC and AW would like to build a team that BECOMES stars together and rule for the next decade or more.

  • Rufusstan

    Don — interesting article which doesn’t fill in all of the gaps, but asks a few more questions.

    Some thoughts:

    @Goonergerry nice quote. Swiss ramble is great. Bit selective though.

    ‘However, much of this excellent performance has been down to profits from player sales (e.g. £65 million in 2011/12) and property development (e.g. £13 million in 2010/11), while the operating profit has been steadily declining with the club actually reporting an operating loss of £16 million last season.’

    Actually from the same article, and highlighting the problem. We’ve had static incomes for the last few years and increased outgoings (wages mostly). The last few years are just a consequence of that, and us trying to break even. (sell-to-buy, compromising on targets).

    The only way to break out of the holding pattern we have been in is to either raise incomes (new sponsorships, new TV deal)) or cut wages (clearing the deadwood). This year we are doing both (finally).

    If you look at our rivals:

    United just keep generating more commercial income, that keeps them ahead of the game, now our handcuffs are off, maybe we can learn from what they have gone.

    Chelsea and City don’t live in the same world as we do: City will make a huge loss again this year and no one care, Chelsea are £900+ mil in the hole and it doesn’t matter.

    Spurs are like us, just on a smaller scale, but their financial plan is where we were in 2003-04.

  • Rufusstan

    @Gooner 17 — I guess the perspective comes from which club, and which player?

    Its good to buy early, but much of the time, the selling club is fighting tooth and nail to keep the player, which delays things. If they are either resigned to loosing the player (or want rid), doing business early is good for them, because of course it gives more time to bring in replacements.

    With apologies to anyone if I tear open old wounds, but looking at our recent outgoings, it is interesting:

    In their equivalent transfer windows, Hleb, Kolo and Adebayor were gone by now.

    These are the ones I don’t think Arsenal minded losing (or worse).

    Cesc, RVP and Nasri didn’t get sold until after the season started. (Mid August for the first 2, last week of the window for Nasri).

    There are the guys we really didn’t want to lose, so were dragging it out as long as possible to try to either: keep them, make things as difficult as possible for the buying club, squeeze every penny out we could, try to control the destination (RVP), or force as many concessions as we could (Cesc).

    You could argue that it was a Naive hope we could hold on to them, and if we were pragmatic, we should have just done the deal and got it over with. Perhaps, but to me, that is what would REALLY make us a selling club.

    The real downside is that it delays replacements for 12 months, because by the time we finally give in, there isn’t enough time to go through the whole process again; with us as the buyers.

    Hence in 2011 we sell Cesc and Nasri; 2012 In come Poldi and Cazorla
    Last summer out goes RVP, and what is our priority but this summer? (no judgement on equivalent quality; just manpower).

  • Adam

    @UK, I suppose it comes down to your perception of failure.

  • You first point is rather ludicrous to rely on. If the ban on contacting a player’s reps was enforced, and it’s not, how did Arsenal know of the misread clause in Suarez’s contact requiring a 40 mill bid as a trigger, or how was Goetze able to have negotiated transfer and contact terms with Bayern on the eve if the CL final? That sort of immediately undermines your whole, as you say factual case.

  • mystic

    All this experience is great, far more that I have, however there is one thing that both your friend and myself have in common – neither of us have actually worked WITH Wenger.

    ‘Many managers have specific requirements for a potential transfer and, surprisingly enough, cost is usually NOT the principle factor to be considered.’

    USUALLY – and the exception is………. Though maybe it is wrong of me to suggest that Arsenal keep missing out on transfers(darn it must be all these players Mata / Hazard / Higuain / Jovetic / Cavani….don’t have the appropriate skills….)

  • uk

    @adam,
    totally agree with you there. different perceptions of failure. though usually excuses should only come as a way of explaining accepted failure

  • uk

    lol @mystic… so true. the skill set required are only possesed by senderos and djourou unfortunately

  • santori

    Much of our buying strategy is/must co-relate to our ability to generate income.

    As commercial front is still low, we are still depedent to some extent on player sales, ticket sales and (now) re-negotiated sponsorships to carry us forward.

    Wenger may traditionally spend low (below 20m) but that as much affords him to hedge his risk on a player.

    We have a fair share of duds which can be seen by our long list of deadwood now thankfully being shed this summer with surprising expediency.

    But much of the loss (if any) on these players are minimized because we did not spend hefty sums on their gamble.

    …now a Suarez 40m+++ is Still a gamble regardless of star quality as is (to lesser extend) a Higuain past 35m.

    If either failed to deliver, we would have been facing far larger loss on their sale down the line which we are in a poorer position to afford (to City or Chelsea) and given our income stream, will have a direct and detrimental affect on near future spending power.

    So I can understand the caution on the part of the management and certainly would feel a little uncomfortable suddenly seeing us plunger into 40m bracket for one player.

    As the transfer window draws closer to its end, players like Suarez if they remain on the shelf will be a similar issue for clubs like Liverpool, who would prefer to take some money rather than keep a disgruntled player in the dressing room or on the bench as high wage.

    Anyone who has done a bit of haggling will know it is a game of who blinks first. The longer wenger waits and gives out the perception that he can do without, the better the price for him.

    This granted that :

    1) No one-else swoops in for his target.
    2) Alternates do not start to move elsewhere meanwhile.

    In the case of Suarez, bidding high limits the direct competitors for him to really likely us and possibly Real (if they don’t commit to a huge buy in North London)

    Thereby if Suarez is still on the shelf growing a new set of teeth close to end of transfer window, there may be likelihood even that his price may come down to 30m for a quick deal as the pendulum then swings in favour of the buyer.

    Let’s not forget two things. Suarez wants CL (hence the imp of the 4th spot ‘trophy over certain F all cups) AND Liverpool will also have to give themselves sufficient time to buy a replacement (not least get cash in hand to do so)

    Where I feel we may have gotten a bit muddled may be early in the window when Gazidis fired a shot across the bow trumpeting our purchasing power. I’m not sure if that is anything other than a detrimental affect to our bargaining position but political issues may be at root in this case with the suits having to demonstrate to the fan base our desire to spend because of recent hits to our branding.

    More recently, the pendulum seems to have swung back to Wenger which is why he is back to the usual talk about not needing any signings, in order to dampen the heat and position himself better to negotiate with the selling clubs.

    There are some players in market that can still transform Arsenal very quickly to heavy contenders, and who may see price drops if they continue not to conclude any deals with respective suitors. Some that come to mind – Fellaini, Capoue, Fabregas (although I see him at Barca, Benteke, possibly Michu (if slightly old), Konoplyanka, Leandro Damiao (if a bit off the boil)

    As someone mentioned before, we rarely know about Wenger’s targets until many are announced. Arteta and Santi for instance came in under the press radar and happened very quickly at the end of the window. Both of whom are experienced and top quality additions in recent seasons.

  • santori

    Overall I feel, it is also the sum of parts that is most important, granted we do need 2-3 quality additions.

    Most likely we will have to also weigh how the money is spent.

    I feel if we work on a theoretical kitty of 70m, likely Wenger will reserve 10m for contingency/ contract improvements.

    So realistically, we would be OK to spend up to 60m.

    That sum has to spread across our positional requirements namely Striker, DM/CB, LW/CAM

    So if we spend say 40m on a Suarez, ore than likely Wenger will either spend the remaining 20m on 2 players ( you can work out the price and quality we will be looking at if so) or should he say decide to go for a more economical alternate in say Benteke for say 22m(if still available) than we are free to spend 38m on 2-3 positions left which means a Fellaini at 24m would be a possibility.

    Thereby Benteke-Fellaini-(and maybe a creative winger like Konoplyanka) or say Suarez-Fellaini or more likely Suarez- Capoue (to cover both at DM and as CB alternate)

    not saying these are targets we should have but just like to illustrate the sort of combinations that factor into our possible strategic thought when it comes to buying.

    I highly doubt that the price to player index is not influenced by considerations to our other possible targets is what I am trying to put across.

    This is a plan process in an organic situation and can never be perfect unless you have a bottom less hole with money called and oil well (and for you Usamov supporters, with no strings attached);)

  • sylar

    Here is my thought on the Suarez deal:I do not believe that this will happen. Not at the price being dangled around. Look. No player is even worth 50 mill. Liverpool is asking for 60 mill. Actually even the 40 million that Arsenal is reported to be offering is already over the top but is still palatable since he is indeed an elite player. But truth to be told, it is really amazing how he was never picked up by Arsenal 2 years ago when he was only around 22.8 mill. I think it was clear to everyone even at that time that he is probably a marquee player and 22.8 million was actually a bargain considering the fact that his value will definitely rise even more which is definitely a surety since his talents is no doubt but his baggage is . It would be a kick in the teeth for Arsenal to pay even 35 million dollars for this guy when there Arsene could have just paid 23 million at that time. Let’s put things into perspective shall we. Mario Goetz, the most important player in Borussia left for 32.5 million. Surely Suarez should not cost much more then 32.5 mill. Maybe say 38-39 is already over the top. So maybe 40 mill -42 mill will be pushing it a bit. It would already be very painful to pay this amount for Wenger. It would be an insult for Arsenal to pay 50 million for this player if you know Arsene’s character. 50 million should be able to get 2 very very good potentials and for Arsene to spend 50 million on just 1 very good player will be an insult to him. If he was able to spend 50 mill, he would have spend a lot of money even last year to prevent RVP from leaving. Arsene could have spend 25-30 mill on a big name and RVP will not leave. It would be more cost effective then spending say 50 million on Suarez. 1 year wouldn’t make much difference in the main scheme of things. Especially between 30 million and potential 50 million they have to pay Liverpool for Suarez. RVP is a much bigger player then Suarez from Arsenal’s perspective and the fact that Arsenal would not even pay 25 million on a marquee player shows that they would definitely not pay 50 million for a player who is probably worth 38million. It would be very uncharacteristic for Arsene to do that. The probability of that happening is almost 0%(maybe 5% at most) and I will view Arsene in a different light. I dun think Arsene likes Liverpool and he would definitely not ‘reward’ them with an over to top. Liverpool is actually committing suicide by valuing Suarez at 60 mill given the fact that after this season, he would only have 2 years left in his contract and his value may even be less then 26 million as he will definitely not be happy. RVP cost 22 million with just 1 year left but even then he is considered expensive and the real value was 18 million. A not too happy Suarez will definitely cost not much more then 22 million with just 2 years remaining and so 26 mill is actually a good valuation. So a 60 million valuation is actually committing financial suicide because it means that they will have a very unhappy player who knows that Liverpool is not giviing him a chance to move forward and a massive drop in valuation. But Liverpool isn’t really known to be financially astute.

  • sylar

    If Arsene spends 50 million or more on Suarez, I will be very dissapointed in him.

  • Stuart

    OK,
    This Suarez thing, it’s all just a game, so is the whole transfer saga this season.
    Man Utd want Fabregas and we don’t want them to have him.
    We have made it known that we have money so that they know we can afford him.
    We haven’t bought anybody yet because then Man Utd would know we don’t have the money for Fabregas.
    We have made an offer for Suarez because we knew Man U would hear about it through more reliable channels than the media.
    This would remove any doubt as to whether we were really going to splash the cash, even on Fabregas or at least make them cautious.
    Something is already planned to happen (or has happened already and will be announced) on the last day or two of the transfer window.
    This will avoid weeks of opportunity for counter offers / bids pushing the price up by £10 to £20 Million as we have seen happen this transfer window already.

  • sylar

    So you feel that we are not really interested in Suarez. This Suarez speculation is just a ‘bait and switch’

  • sylar

    But I think that liverpool just shot themselves on the foot and has ended up with a very unhappy player

  • Stuart

    It is possible Suarez is something for us to fall back on but I can’t believe he is a number 1 target. He doesn’t fit the typical profile, is banned for the start of the season (when we need him most) and is too expensive for what we will get in return.

  • sylar

    I thought one of the themes for this transfer window was to get a marquee signing. Higuain was supposed to be this marquee signing. I would think that if Liverpool gave in and was willing to sell Suarez between 35 million and 40 million, we would have brought him in as in today’s transfer value, Suarez is indeed worth 35 million and 40 million and would have added value to our squad. It would be hard to improve this squad without marquee spending as most of the positions has been covered.

  • sylar

    I mean most of the positions are quality but you got to admit that we do not have someone like a RVP that would give fear to the opposition team.

  • Stuart

    A marquee signing perhaps but I don’t believe that is Suarez, his ban makes him worth less, he will miss 15% of the season before taking into account the possibility of injuries also. Liverpool know this hence the £50 Million stance to try and get the actual price they want without the ban. why would you buy someone you can’t use, whom you can’t integrate into the team and is also a liability? It doesn’t make sense.

  • Stuart

    Lewandowski is still an option.

  • sylar

    I think you are perhaps right on this. He would not have committed the various atrocities he did in Liverpool if he had learn his lesson. He could break the entire season if he made the same mistakes over at Arsenal as he would have been the main player. Maybe on second thoughts, it is best that he is not being signed.

  • sylar

    He wouldn’t even be worth 50 million dollars without the ban. The ban would not affect the overall price if say the player can demonstrate that they will not make the same mistakes again. I mean you are not exactly going to buy him just for 1 season.

  • Stuart

    We will see, it’s just my opinion.