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Arsenal’s summer transfers: how Puma got involved and other moves.

By Tony Attwood

The Balotelli transfer has seemed very odd from the off.  Hardly likely to be true, and yet not your typical vapour transfer.  So what’s been going on?

A vapour transfer is one that is invented by a club in order to throw other clubs off the track, allowing the first club to buy its players, while wasting the time of others who shoot off in the wrong direction.

Yet clearly this wasn’t happening with Balotelli – everyone knew about him, and even his club has possibly been saying that they would listen to offers.

A phantom transfer is one that the media and agents make up – the former to get more stories to write about without having to do any research, the latter to beef up the price of the player.

Balotelli’s story looked more like phantom than vapour, and yet it still didn’t seem to fit, as phantoms come and go quickly – this one kept running.  It all just looked so unlikely.  You could imagine the Star writing it up for a day or two, but not all the papers going on and on about it day after day.

The only explanation could be that the press were being fed new bits of the story day by day to keep the tale alive.  But still, the question was, by whom?   Indeed so persistent did the stories become, that in the end some of the media started running the line that “Arsenal has repeatedly been linked with” and “Balotelli has repeatedly been linked with a move to London”.

But now even the normally patient Arsène Wenger has had enough for yesterday he came out and denied reports that Arsenal were agreeing a deal for Balotelli.  Some papers tried to save their faces by claiming that Mr Wenger said that Arsenal were “not close” to signing, and so made that into “discussions are on going”.  But what he said was that the tale was “pure invention”.

He said: “We cannot believe absolutely everything that is on the internet or in the papers. Sometimes it is created by agents or by press who need news. But in this case, it’s not true.”

Which is a bit of a blow for Barbara Berlusconi, Milan’s vice president who is quoted on the official AC Milan web site as saying, “Balotelli is a great player… But the way I see it, I don’t believe that someone can be irreplaceable. We will see what happens.”

Balotelli’s agent, Mino Raiola, also suggested his client may be interested in a move to Arsenal, saying: “Arsenal are a fantastic club. Only eight or 10 clubs in the world can afford Mario Balotelli – like all premium players, and he is one of the greatest. Anything is possible.”

The Daily Star however didn’t let the facts of Wenger’s denial get in the way, and instead ran the story that Napoli had “hi-jacked” Arsenal’s bid for Balotelli, which of course a few of the AAA sites picked up on, blaming Wenger for being in Brazil when he should be wheeling and dealing… presumably like Arry.

The actual truth of to where the powerhouse is that has kept this most unlikely tale going is that the sportswear firm Puma, who now pay Arsenal £30m a year as sponsors, are also sponsors of Balotelli. Having Balotelli and Arsenal on board looked like a dream team for them.   

So vapour transfers, phantom transfers, and now what… sponsor transfers.  Well, well.  And Mr Wenger stepped on it in the end because it was getting in the way of Arsenal’s own vapour transfer stories.  Naughty Puma.

As for what else in the frantic transfer market that hasn’t actually opened yet…

Arsenal are said to have “made an enquiry” about Alexis Sanchez of Chile.   The fanatically anti-foreigners Daily Express, tried it all ways, trying to keep up interest while currying favour with the AAA, its natural readership.

“…sources claim that Gunners boss, Arsene Wenger, has met with the Chilean’s representatives in Brazil to discuss a potential switch to the Emirates…. And rumours have only intensified with his virtuoso performances in the World Cup, typified in last week’s 2-0 victory over reigning champions Spain.

“Despite reports suggesting the 25-year-old favours a move to the Premier League, Arsenal appeared to be on the periphery of any deal.  Wenger’s renowned tentative approach to the transfer market looked to have given Manchester United and Liverpool an advantage over the North London side.

“But in uncharacteristic fashion, the veteran French boss has seized his opportunity to bolster Arsenal’s attacking options whilst in Brazil commentating for TV station TF1…. Wenger wants to sign at least one new forward this summer and is also chasing Italy’s Mario Balotelli, who AC Milan are keen to cash in on.”

The point about Sanchez is that he can play centre, left and right in the forward line, and so looks a much more likely target for Arsenal.  A straight duplicate of Giroud seems pointless to me, since we’d just be hiring another forward who needs a year or two to settle in, when we’ve got one who just settled in.

I doubt any of the above is true, but I just love the way the Express is writing stuff that tries to have it all ways.

Elsewhere stories continue

Divock Origi of Belgium is 19 and plays for Lille, and scored when Belgium beat Russia.  Tottenham are said to be interested, but of course when the player sees the stadium and the lack of Champs League activity, that does look a little down market.  Mind you everyone else, including Arsenal, are said to be looking.

Chuks Aneke has been signed by Zulte Waregem of Belgium (blimey Walter why is it all Belgium at the moment???)

Julian Draxler has said he will stay with Schalke for another season.

Juanfran is staying at Atletico Madrid.  He was touted as a replacement for Sagna.

And in the “reports have claimed” department Arsenal are “in talks” to get a £26 million deal done for Luiz Gustavo of Wolfsburg who plays in midfield for Brazil.

Actually you know times are getting tough in the make-it-up department when not only is the biggest story invented by your sponsor, but when also make-it-up sites are struggling to find anything to get a new headline.  Football Roar, a web site, runs “Striker to be an Arsenal player next season confirms agent” this morning, and on clicking you find they are still talking about Joel Campbell.

Meanwhile No Easy Games is running, “Arsenal get striker deal done and dusted” and they are still talking about Carlos Vela.

It seems like even the phantom transfer inventors have been having a day off.  I mean, if the blokes down the pub can’t make up something new each night, what’s the world coming to?

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11 comments to Arsenal’s summer transfers: how Puma got involved and other moves.

  • saundygunner

    Well said Tony, the intenret is full of rumours, along with the trademark headline s of various websites like No Easy Games, Sqauwka, Football Roar. Seems like these sites will still continue to run these ‘Stories’ till Carlos Vela’s or joel Campbell’s kids get a run out in the training grounds. Unfortunate result of these stories is that arsenal fans and some sites alike jump the gun and start opining on every rumour and become petulant at Wenger and the Board.

  • byron

    Sadly other clubs have real transfer stories 🙁

  • blacksheep63

    oh for goodness sake Byron, go jump in the Hellespont 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    It sure seems to be the case, Tony.

    I will be keeping an eye on how Chucks is doing at Zulte Waregem. A team with a coach that you could compare with Moyes and Everton. A manager that seems to be made for the club. Just as Moyes was for Everton. And when that manager Dury tried to go to another team it didn’t really work completely. Came back and now for a few seasons running they are the pleasant surprise team in the Belgian league. So when they come to my part of the world in the neighbourhood of Antwerp I will see how Chucks is doing.

    Strange how a career can go. Aneke was once linked with a move to Barcelona when being a youngster and now at the age of 21 (I think) he finds himself in Belgium and at Zulte Waregem…. The last step is the most difficult to make in a football career.

    Aneke saying to Belgian reporters that he came to Belgium because he liked the Belgian league were good enough reason for me to start LOL and to ROFLMAO 🙂 🙂 🙂 Seriously Chucks 🙂 Do you seriously think there is one person who believes this? 🙂 Nice try, great sense of humour. 🙂

    But be sure that I hope for you that you will bring Zulte Waregem to the next level. Ho Warehem* as they would say in their local tongue 😉

    * for some strange and inexplicable reason in the local dialect of most parts of West Flanders and a big part of East Flanders the ‘G’ is pronounced like a ‘H’ and a ‘H’ is prononounced like a ‘G’ So when they want to say ‘Go Waregem’ you will hear ‘Ho Warehem’.

    ** and I should know as my wife is from Ypres and when she talks her local dialect from over there she does it like that. And they do the same in Bruhhe, mostly known as Brugge (or Bruges) Which the locals would pronounce as Bruhes.

    *** still with me on the news about Belgium 🙂

  • nicky

    Regardless of the £30m Arsenal get from Puma OR how much Puma will make from the deal, this shirts change every season is an absolute disgrace and a con trick aimed directly at the Arsenal faithful.
    I can imagine those family men with young children being pestered each season to buy the new kit “so we look like all the other boys”.
    Yet another example of the business side of a football club having little regard for the families forming its historic
    backbone.

  • Micheal Ram

    Oh god, I never trusted this transfer rumours. And I don’t think anyone with a right mind would either. Such paper selling tactics have been operating for decades now and I reckon people are wiser now. The excitement of false hope are for fake dreamers. Only real people gets excited with end product. And I’m sure Arsene Wenger will produce something great with this already amazing squad.

  • Pete

    I’ve seen that any possible announcements will be held until 1 July when Puma take over and the players can be paraded in their new Puma kit. Not sure how this ties in with the official kit launch on a date I can’t remember?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Wenger made a widely reported quote that he would make big signings in the future, but NOT for marketing reasons, so if he does sign super mario, it would presumably be for football reasons, which to me at least would be a huge surprise, good player, but a barking mad loner who could disrupt what appears to be a very good team spirit.
    Have been hearing tales of the likes Sanchez and Reus as well. The problem with such players, they are hard to get. Already at big clubs who will only be selling them if they are not good enough or they want someone else, and perhaps want the money for someone else, or will offer such players as make weight. Barca / Suarez / Liverpool / Sanchez any one? Sorry, that was pure press driven conjecture, but my point, if we are aiming this high, that in itself presents difficulties and people should not rush to blame wenger or the board should such deals….assuming we actually are interested…fall through. But some Arsenal fans being what they are….
    Transfers are difficult, unpredictable, time consuming, fraught with risk. Think we should get the youth development back on track and quickly, producing significant numbers of our own, with the odd transfer in to strengthen where needed, far less risky and maybe ultimately more rewarding.

  • Mandy Dodd,

    “Transfers are difficult……”

    No they are not. Wenger just sucks at it. He has “£100 million” FFS. He should follow the Tottenham model from last year and just spend it all.

    You know I’m just messin’ with ya 🙂

  • Ben

    Wilshere followed Balotelli on twitter and everyone was giddy that he was coming to Arsenal.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Bootoomee, following the Spuds model and spend it all…..on dross!
    Perhaps with the exception of Eriksen