By Sir Hardly Anyone.
Now before we get going, let me offer you this.
On this day, in 1789, Louis XVI, king of France wrote in his diary as he went to bed “Rien” as his record of the day’s events. The Bastille had just fallen. So don’t judge things too quickly is my motto.
And yes there is one big story today… It is our old friend Gonzalo Higuain.
Arsenal are making a 93 million Euro bid for Higuain. That is on RedLondon.net, a clickbait site sponsored by Sky Bet. Fastonetwo.com, another click baiter, with the same sponsor, has the same story. What is the chance of that? Two sites with the same tale? It must be true.
Arsenalfever.com tells us that Arsenal have agreed a 5 year deal worth £7.6m a season (a journalist has confirmed it) except I can’t get their web site to load. Maybe everyone wants to be on it to find out who it is and it crashed. Or maybe they didn’t pay their monthly server fees.
Liga Financial say the deal is done too and are also quoting the salary. Squaka has the story as well and quotes the deal at £78.8m. See, I told you, it is everywhere.
Fun soccer gives us a real back to front story and says that Arsenal have agreed a contract with the player but not actually opened discussions with him yet.
Here’s another variation. We haven’t had any rumours of Olivier Giroud moving but now they are here – he will travel to Napoli as a part exchange for Gonzalo Higuain. His provocative agent (geddit? oh, never mind) said, “There is no fear in Olivier possibly going to Napoli, it is a magnificent city. In Campania, my client could live a wonderful life, not to mention that the type of game orchestrated by Napoli coach Sarri could enhance the quality of a centre-forward like him.” Napoli officials are said to have been spotted at the airport, so an all out watch is now being kept on estate agent windows.
Mind you Tribal Football says that Napoli have just dropped the asking price of Gonzalo and RedLondon says yes Napoli are involved but actually we are after Kalidou Koulibaly who can play right back, centre, back and defensive midfield, although probably not at the same time.
So, is this real? Well, not everyone is going down this line. The Independent is running with the notion that Chuba Akpom “is set to start the new Premier League season as Arsenal’s only fully-fit centre forward.”
You can see where this is going. Before you know it there will be multiple rumours that Theo is injured or off. And of course because Theo had a hard time of it for a part of last season that will be it; it will be useless forever. Because the last thing we’ve seen is always the definitive thing we’ve seen until we’ve seen something new.
Anyway, the Independent’s list of summer transfer targets for Arsenal only has 12 players as possible signings while Untold’s Great Transfer Index, has getting on for 100 so they have probably missed a few centre forwards.
Julian Draxler, the Wolfsburg winger is high up the list still for £55m. Liverpool want him too as they attempt to recover from year after year in seventh and eighth. Yakkity Yak (the radio station previously known as TalkSprout) have said Arsenal are “preparing” a €50m bid and that is soon going to be worth more that £55m, especially with Boris Johnson as foreign secretary. (I think we’ve just declared war on Freedonia, but I’ll come back to that one later).
But no, here’s a goodie, and one I have not seen so far – so one more for the great Index. “Arsene Wenger has also been linked with making a move to re-sign Thomas Vermaelen, who is reportedly stalling on signing a deal to join West Ham in the hope that he will be able to return to the Emirates instead.”
Sport (published in Spain) says it is highly likely (“highly likely” mark you) the Belgium international will return to Arsenal only two seasons after leaving the club to join Barcelona. TV played 21 times for Barcelona last season.
Roma has made an offer we are told but Barcelona turned it down as they want £10 million.
However there is probably only room for one centre half as we used to call them, and that would seem to be Jeison Murillo from Inter. Talks have already begun over a £15m deal for the man from Colombia.
Sky Sports say the deal is on the move.
And now back to the tangled web that is Naples. Neil Banfield has been talking and saying that Napoli’s Jorginho is “the strongest midfielder” in Serie A, adding that “watching him play is a pleasure for the eyes”. Does that constitute genuine admiration or a transfer bid? And do we need any more such players? Maybe not but according to “reports” Mr B has said he would sign a blank cheque for him. Fortunately he doesn’t control the bank account.
Well, maybe we are in Naples but for someone else as Marek Hamsik‘s dad has said that if Napoli don’t come up with a better offer his son will go somewhere that will. “We expect a richer contract,” are his exact words. Maybe.
Mauro Icardi would prefer to stay at Inter but his wife has had a chat with Corriere della Sera suggesting that maybe the family is off to London following transfer chat between Juventus and Inter being interrupted by the good lady say the €50 million deal is off and it is London that is their destination.
His agent said, “Atletico Madrid, Tottenham and Arsenal have made contact. Napoli and AS Roma are also interested. Mauro, though, wants to stay at Inter and that’s what I want too. Icardi respects (Roberto) Mancini. He has never said anything wrong but we want to be respected as well.”
“I am pregnant now,” (sorry we are back with the good lady wife in another statement, not the agent), “I don’t want to move somewhere else. I don’t want to move four people away. However, both me and Mauro know the importance of money. Our families were not so rich so we know how important money is.”
The 25-year-old Roma and Greece international Kostas Manolas is on the way to either Arsenal or Chelsea, says Corriere dello Sport whose accuracy record in such matters is about as good as mine.
Speaking of Roma, we all thought that Roma had now re-signed Wojciech Szczesny for another year, but seemingly not because now Mr S might be staying as part of the Manolas deal. He (Wojciech) played 34 times for them last season. Of course that now means lots of stories about smoking under water (or at least in the showers).
Arsenal and Chelsea are now fighting it out over Arda Turan from Barcelona (according to reports, ho ho). He’s a midfielder, as is everyone these days it seems. He’s only been there for a year having come from Atletico Madrid. But it seems his tax affairs were all in order so he didn’t really have anything in common with all the other players.
But he’s 29, which is a bit old for a Wengerian signing. And he’s said he wants to stay in Barcelona and learn more about local tax legislation. Apparently he’s available for £23m, although I suspect that amount is actually quoted in the much stronger and safer Euro currency. Oh yes and Borussia Dortmund and Fenerbahce are also after him.
Meanwhile we can consider Juventian defender Daniele Rugani. Gianluca Di Marzio, (a website) says Everton and Napoli are after him for £25.5 million to secure the youngster’s services. Arsenal’s name was then thrown in, although probably just to fill up space.
Juventus having sold Paul Pogba and Leonardo Bonucci for billions (well, maybe £135m) will use some £36m of it to buy Alexis Sanchez, according to the fictionaires at Gazzetta dello Sport.
But of course this would not be a transfer window without Arsenal having been too slow and let someone they could have had slip through the net. Today it is Djibril Sidibe who according to Le 10 Sport has now made his move between Monaco and Lille and Arsenal offering more money isn’t going to do anything to change that.
On to a player we have already signed, Kelechi Nwakali, who the rumour has it doesn’t have a work permit. Oooops, silly Arsenal. Always forgetting the detail. This story is in African Football. So the 18 year old is going to play in Belgium, where he can get a work permit.
OK, that’s enough.
- Aaron Ramsey: our undervalued midfield maestro
- “It’s been 12 hours since we last attacked Arsène Wenger. What’s keeping you???”
- Why do some football supporters of a certain football club get so very angry?
- Football is being murdered in front of our own eyes.
Untold Arsenal has published five books on Arsenal – all are available as paperback and three are now available on Kindle. The books are
- The Arsenal Yankee by Danny Karbassiyoon with a foreword by Arsene Wenger.
- Arsenal: the long sleep 1953 – 1970; a view from the terrace. By John Sowman with an introduction by Bob Wilson.
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football. By Tony Attwood, Andy Kelly and Mark Andrews.
- Making the Arsenal: a novel by Tony Attwood.
- The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal by Mark Andrews.
You can find details of all five on our new Arsenal Books page