By Sir Hardly Anyone
If you have been following this column week by week you’ll know that linked to it is the Arsenal Transfer Index. The last edition published on 24 June showed 68 players tipped to transfer to Arsenal this summer. Only one has made it.
That kind of nonsense is to be expected, but of late we have had something of a slow down in the number of players said to be heading our way. Indeed since the Vardeskian Incident a number of transfer tipsters have been running articles saying, “Arsenal have now turned their attention to…” It was a ploy that lost a lot of its veracity through the fact that the players then named were played who had already been noted as transfers for Arsenal several weeks before.
However, perhaps surprisingly, the transfer tipsters have now managed to come up with no less than six transfers in the past week involving players not noted since we started gathering Arsenal transfer data last April. To commemorate this upturn the editorial board at Untold has authorised the release of a special extra supply of exclamation marks.
Two new additions this week:
a) We have noted where a source is a click bait site. We take the standard definition of click bait sites, which is to say sites that arrange themselves so as to trick readers to click on adverts, by making them think that they are clicking on the entrance to the story. For clarity, on this site, as on most sites, the adverts are quite clearly separated from the article, and Untold only gets any payment if you choose of your own volition to click on the advert. In a click bait site you are deliberately misled.
The major sponsor – in fact as far as I can see the only sponsor – of click bait sites is Sky Bet who ought to be utterly and totally ashamed of themselves. But in case they are not, we will publicise their linkage with click baiting until they stop.
b) We are not using the phrase “according to reports” any more (apart from in this sentence) since 99% of transfer rumours are “according to reports.”
So here we go, complete with added exclamations and a little bit of question marking.
1: NEW NOT PREVIOUSLY LISTED ON THE INDEX!!! Arsenal make ‘official’ transfer bid for Gabriel Barbosa!!!
This story comes from the Metro and ESPN Brazil, but has also been run on RedLondon.net (a click bait site advertising Sky Bet). The tale suggests that Arsenal have launched an ‘official’ bid to land Gabriel Barbosa.
Gabriel has scored 54 goals in 148 appearances for Santos since making his debut in 2013 and is said to be keen to sign. His contract has a £40m release clause, but with the FA now being the official UK body for deciding if footballers get work permits, and with them having an official policy of restricting the immigration of footballers into the UK, there may be some problems.
2: NEW TO THE INDEX THIS WEEK!!! Arsenal to sign Maycon!!!
This comes from Esport, and suggests Arsenal have opened negotiations with Corinthians over the potential transfer of 18 year old midfielder Maycon. He has played 16 times for Corinthians since making his debut earlier this year, having joined the club seven years ago. There is talk of him being the new Ronaldo or Neymar or both. Or neither.
According to Esporte, Arsenal would like to pay a nominal transfer fee but significant performance-related add-ons.
3: NEW TO THE INDEX THIS WEEK!!! Mauro Icardy!!!
According to talkSPORT Arsenal have made a £32m bid for Mauro Icardy from Inter with a £32m bid. He is 23-years old forward, and has scored 47 goals in 88 games in the league.
4: NEW TO THE INDEX THIS WEEK!!! Lukaku desperate to join Arsenal!!!
Not Romelu Lukaku but his younger brother Jordan. He is 21 and has been playing for Oostende, however he has rather spoiled his chances by deciding to tell Mr Wenger how to do his job, apparently saying, “Arsenal has to go out and spend. Arsenal has become a youth academy for other top clubs.” He rambled on a bit about Fabregas and the like but I rather lost interest in him at that point.
5: NEW TO THE INDEX THIS WEEK!!! Sadio Mane from Southampton???
This comes from Fast One Two.com, a click bait site supported by Sky Sports and from the Metro. The only problem is that the BBC are showing him as having transferred to Liverpool.
6: NEW TO THE INDEX THIS WEEK!!! Arsenal forward to leave???
Now we move onto the transfers that have been mentioned before but have popped up again this week.
7: Alexandra Lacazette (previously listed on the Index as possibly going to WHU)
The story is Mr Wenger is meeting the France international’s agent this week. Lacazette scored 21 goals in 33 league games this past season, although he didn’t make the France squad. Atletico Madrid are also said to be interested. And the player is priced at £45m. He’s 25 and has three years left on his contract.
8: Alexis Sanchez leaving Arsenal (this has been on the Index for 3 weeks)
The notion is that Alexis ‘intrigued’ by the idea of returning to Serie A. The other story is that the injury he got in the Copa America final has knackered him for several months to come.
9: Squaka highlight Morata, (but its another old story).
There really is nothing new to add to this one, its been around for weeks, and its return shows how anyone who has mastered the world of cut and paste can pick up a dozen stories in a trice and earn a living with Squaka.
10: Daley Blind (this week without the offensive remarks).
We had this last week with the “Is Arsene Wenger going blind” nonsense.
11: Besiktas are interested in signing Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina again (this one is over six weeks old)
One way to tell when goalkeeper stories are gibberish is when the report calls the keeper a “shot-stopper”. This piece from Squawka fails to explain why Ospina might be sold after such a dazzling performance in the USA this summer.
12: Barcelona Will Move For £43.1M Rated Arsenal Star, Say Multiple Sources
Now the question is, do you need the Express, Mirror and Standard to tell you what you should be thinking, or are you able to think for yourself? Or do you think this is enough to sway your thought processes in a certain direction?
Barcelona’s sporting director Robert Fernandez confirmed at the start of June that the club had yet to formalise interest in Bellerin, but after Alves’s departure, Arsenal’s defender seems like the most logical choice to replace a man who was spent eight years in that position for Barca.