By Sir Hardly Anyone
Sepp Blatter has suggested that some European draws were fixed by placing certain balls in the refrigerator before the draw, so that person pulling the balls out of the box or bag knows to pick a big name or small name club or country.
A Uefa person reacted by saying, “Allegations that Uefa has in the past fixed draws for its competitions are completely absurd and therefore not worth a reaction.” So that is ok, because we always believe Uefa.
Blatter is also alleged to have said that security inside and outside the grounds at the Euros is excellent, he had no worries about the behaviour of fans, and that Mars was being invited to send a team to the next world cup.
So now onto the transfers…
Here’s the one we seem to have got and the one that got away:
CHUKS GUNNERS Nigerian wonderkid Samuel Chukwueze performs a dramatic U-turn over Arsenal move and now set for Porto
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger misses out on Super Eagles starlet to Portuguese club despite club getting deal for team-mate Kelechi Nwakali over the line on a five-year contract
Now this story has been buzzing back and forth for weeks and weeks. Have we signed Nwakali? Yes or no? Answers please because there seems to be no definitive answer. But then there never is.
So without any whatnot let’s have the mainstream gibberish from the hacks and the bloggettas.
1: With Vardy being difficult who should we get?
This is the story occupying what passes for the minds of the people who make up transfer rumours, and they are coming up with various names. Let’s start with
Islam Slimani, Edinson Cavani, Christian Benteke
Arsenal and Liverpool have made an official approach to sign Islam Slimani but his club Sporting Lisbon have rejected both offers, Express Sport has revealed.
Apparently he scored 31 goals in 46 appearances in all competitions.
Sporting Lisbon manager Jorge Jesus was full of praise for the Algerian as he declared that he would be perfect for the English Premier League. “In England if he is guided by a manager who knows a lot about football, he can score double the goals Vardy does,” his manager is reported to have said.
Exclusive: Arsenal prioritise Cavani if Vardy deal flops amid PSG star’s China rejection
He’s the Metro’s choice. But, but, but….
2: But that is not all because we also have Robert Lewandowski.
Lethal in front of goal, the Bayern Munich front-man reportedly wants to leave this summer. Could he replicate his stunning Bundesliga form at the Emirates?
3: And then we must not forget Romelu Lukaku:
Has been in impressive form, scoring 18 goals during 2015/16 despite Everton’s struggles and Graeme Souness believes Lukaku could be the answer to Arsenal’s woes. (And what exactly are those woes we might ask, having scored just three fewer than the team that won the league. But no perhaps we should not ask).
And while we are at it, how about…
4: And the rest…
- Alexandre Lacazette: One of Europe’s top marksmen, scoring 21 goals for Lyon during the 2015/16 season
- Gonzalo Higuain: Always there to make up the numbers in any editor’s list of suspects.
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: Now he is making the top of the list in a lot of papers. The man from Borussia Dortmund scored 36 goals in 45 appearances and is attracting interest.
- Arsenal Could Seal £25million Deal For Bundesliga Star This Week
- Henrikh Mkhitaryan has signed for Arsenal ahead of Manchester United, confirms player’s sister
So that must be true because if you can’t trust a player’s sister who can you trust?
But although the deal for Mr Unpronounceable had been talked up as done with the player “jetting in” and “estate agents gearing themselves up for a bonanza”, now suddenly the story has change.
Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has said they are reluctant to sell him and has vowed to keep Mkhitaryan until the end of his contract. “We have been negotiating with Henrikh Mkhitaryan for four months for him to extend his contract with us,” Watzke told Bild.
“Now we know that it is not extended, it was never our commitment that Mkhitaryan may leave us prematurely. We have intensely discussed the question of an early transfer in all club bodies and came to the conclusion that Mkhitaryan will stay in Dortmund next season.”
That of course could just be an attempt to get even more money out of someone, knowing that the player will leave for free at the end of next season. Besides hanging onto a player who wants to go is never going to get the best out of him.
And thus Mkhitaryan’s agent Mino Raiola has started to talk up… Man U. Oooops. That’s from the Guardian.
“Dortmund presented an official offer which was rejected, but now the BVB bosses fear of their own fans. Suddenly they tell Micki, that he should go next season on a free transfer. This is very bad management. Manchester United is a unique opportunity, Micki wants to go there,” he added.
But the Independent has this…
Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc has confirmed the Bundesliga club “will make a decision this week” as Henrikh Mkhitaryan continues to be linked with a switch to Arsenal.
When quizzed on the future of Mkhitaryan – and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Zorc said Dortmund will act “this week”.
One insight into the problem is that Dortmund players want release clauses in their contracts but Dortmund are refusing to entertain such a clause after seeing both Mario Götze and Mats Hummels leave for Bayern.
6: Arsene Wenger has heaped praise on N’Golo Kante
So there we are another Leicester man to Arsenal. He’s 25, he has a £20m release clause (where have we seen that before) and Mr Wenger is alleged to have said all the right things.
“I admire and like N’Golo Kante a lot. It gives you ideas,” he told beIN Sports. “He gives you the feeling that the higher the level he plays at, the more at ease he is.”
7: Arsenal’s hopes of signing Riyad Mahrez this summer have been given a significant boost after the Leicester City winger reportedly decided to leave the Foxes. According to reports.
Mahrez: ‘It is possible that I stay, it is possible that I leave’
According to other reports.
The problem is that Leicester simply don’t have the machinery to handle the sort of interest their players are said to be getting, and their approach seems to have been to have handed out an extra £35m in salary promises for next season already. So it does look as if they might have to sell someone, just to keep balancing the books. Mahrez is said to have signed a new contract with Leicester last summer so that means he should be ready to move on now.
But Arsenal really should be very grateful to Leicester as they have taken all the heat off. Normally by now we’d have headlines about Ozil leaving, Alexis going to Man U, Iwobi being taken by Chelsea, Santi Caz going back to Spain and so on. But because of Leicester’s lack of a quality press and marketing team on the spot, they don’t have mechanisms to deflect all the stories about not getting their sums right, having to pay sell on fees, upping salaries and then doing it again…
Coming again soon – the updated Great Arsenal Transfer Index.
You know it makes no sense.
- Arsenal to play each team twice!
- Vardy’s drugs issues causes transfer concern
- To all Arsenal fans: your club urgently needs your help. Now.
And on the Arsenal History site…
- Arsenal in the 1930s – the full story of 1930/1, Arsenal’s first league championship, has been told in a series of 12 episodes. Probably the most detailed analysis ever published.
- The First League Season, including a review of each player who played in that season
- Arsenal in the 1970s – the complete review of every game and every transfer
- Arsenal in the summer – the transfers, the friendlies, year by year
- Arsenal anniversaries – nearly 5000 entries
The full index to all the series is on Arsenal History Society Web Site
5: Ricardo Rodriguez wants to leave Wolfsburg amid speculation he’s set to join Arsenal, the German club’s sporting director Klaus Allofs has confirmed.
‘As we have recently gathered, it was clear. His idea is to leave us,’ Allofs told Blick. And you can’t say fairer than that can you, especially since his team mate Granit Xhaka has already done the deal. It’s “understood” by people who make these things up that he has a £19million release clause in his contract at Wolfsburg.
6: Liverpool prepare £25m bid for Arsenal’s Theo Walcott Standard
Are Liverpool considering making a £50m bid for Arsenal’s Theo Walcott? Rush to the Kop
7: The eyes of Arsene Wenger appear to be fixed on Albania right-back Elseid Hysaj.
Apparently with Barcelona sniffing around Bellerin and Debuchy sure to leave we have real problems and so here is the solution. Although I suspect it is a solution to a problem we don’t have.
Hysaj turned heads for club side Napoli last season, helping Maurizio Sarri’s men to a second-placed finish in Serie A, as they conceded just 32 goals in those 38 games.
But if we don’t get him, it is all Wenger’s fault…
However, the north London outfit may need to act quickly to get their man, with another impressive display in the 1-0 defeat to Switzerland for the Shqiponjat on Saturday believed to have attracted other illustrious suitors.
So there it is.