By Sir Hardly Anyone
According to those who know these things, or at least those who claim that they know these things, this is going to be one hell of a transfer window for Arsenal, for not only are better players needed, Arsenal need to change the “weak, leaderless dressing-room culture” and stop recruiting players who take selfies.
Apparently taking selfies means one can’t play football; (it is now a well known fact that needs no evidence). Or perhaps players who can play football don’t take selfies – at least that is how the Telegraph see it.
So who is Arsenal going to buy? And who will be the new manager. We have it all. Or at least the start.
In the last episode we reported 10 players being hotly tipped by the media to be coming to Arsenal. Now the number is down to six, although sadly for those who like continuity it is a different six from the original ten.
Given that we don’t know who will be the manager next season and we don’t know who will be leaving, and with 11 weeks to go before the transfer window creaks open (let alone smashes into bits at the start of September), we thus already have 16 players who apparently are destined to come to Arsenal. It is going to be one hell of a summer. With 140 days to go we only need to find another two thirds of a player a day to match last year’s record.
Here are the new names not mentioned last time around.
1: Andrea Belotti
Torino’s Belotti is Serie A’s joint-top goalscorer this season with 24 goals in 28 matches. He’s 23-year-old and signed a new contract four months ago, but with a buy-out clause of €100m. (The IB Times, Sky Sports, Metro, Mirror, Express).
2: Sead Kolasinac
Arsenal are in talks over a summer move for Schalke midfielder Sead Kolasinac, and indeed have spoken to the 23-year-old’s representatives for a second time after holding initial talks earlier this year. His contract is up at the end of this season.
Chelsea had a £5.3 million offer for the Bosnia-Herzegovina international rejected in the January transfer window but are “understood” by those who use such words lightly, to have retained their interest. (Metro, Daily Mail, TalkSport, Express).
The 25-year-old forward is currently under contract in Naples until June 2019 but his club are eager to tie him down to longer terms. He is eager to toddle off elsewhere. (Metro, TalkSport, The Sun, The Star).
4: Alexandre Lacazette
Manchester City are ready (ie “set to launch”) a bid for Alexandre Lacazette after Arsene Wenger gave Arsenal the go ahead to sign the attacker, “according to reports”. Lacazette has scored 30 goals this season and is valued at around £40 million by his club. (The Daily Mirror, Metro, PainintheArsenal, Bleacher, Daily Express)
5: Iker Casillas
It is to be all change with Arsenal’s goalkeeping team this summer with FC Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas coming in, while Ospina is going and Wojtek Szczęsny is “set to” be ignored. Other reports have Petr Cech being shown the door, more on the outgoings below. (The Daily Express, The Daily Mirror, TalkSport, The Daily Mail).
6. Kasper Schmeichel.
As an alternative to Casillas Arsenal are looking at Leicester’s goalkeeper, but are fighting Man U who also want him. (The Daily Express, The Sun, The Metro).
7: Ben Gibson
Arsenal are planning to buy Middlesbrough centre-back Ben Gibson with a £30m deal. Tottenham also want him. (Evening Standard, Metro, Bleacher, Daily Mirror).
OUT GOING PLAYERS
1: Lucas Perez to PSG (or is that West Ham?)
Football Insider tells us of “EURO GIANTS RE-IGNITE PURSUIT OF ARSENAL ACE NEGLECTED BY WENGER – REPORT” (It’s important to put these things in capitals apparently).
Paris Saint-Germain are “believed to be” considering a summer move for “Arsenal outcast” Lucas Perez this summer, “according to a report”. Goal also claim that the French giants are “set to” renew their interest having been “foiled” by Arsenal last summer. (Also in the Mirror, PainintheArsenal, Sun, Express)
2: Oooooospina to Fenerbache.
REPLACING THE MANAGER
The current news is Mr Wenger had not signed new contract. (101, Metro, Express, Star) So the hunt for a new man continues
1: Ernesto Valverde
Arsenal have made an enquiry about the possible availability of Athletic Bilbao boss Ernesto Valverde as a replacement for Arsene Wenger. He is also a candidate to take over at Barcelona who are getting anxious following another Champs League disaster, this time against Juve.
Marca claims the manager’s contract expires at the end of this season. (All Arsenal, Marca, GoonerTalk, Star, Independent, Metro).
2: Diego Simeone
The Atletico Madrid manager has gained one La Liga title, and two Champions League finals. He has a 62.5% win ratio at the Spanish club (although this is the Spanish league where the team placed sixth is looking a possible relegation candidate). (Real Sport, Metro, Star, Sky Sports, Express).
3: Thomas Tuchel
Joined Borussia Dortmund in 2015, and they gained second place in the Bundesliga in his first season (as Arsenal did last season in fact, although not in the Bundesliga of course. But it is funny how 2nd in another league now outweighs second in the Premier League). He has a win ratio of just over 61% from 88 games so far, and they are fourth in the league but that is not a trophy.
He is seen as an attacking manager, rather than Simeone who is seen as defensively inclined. (Metro, the Sun; although BBC and Goal carry reports denying the story, which is most confusing).
4: Massimiliano Allegri
Juventus manager since 2014, and has won the domestic double twice in the one team league and is a Champions League finalist. He has a win ratio of just over 70%; in a one team league. He also won the league with Milan when it was a two team league. (Read Arsenal, PainintheArsenal, TalkSport, Metro, Read Arsenal).
Chelsea’s goalkeeping coach Christophe Lollichon is “set to” follow Cech to Arsenal (Daily Express).
The competition (El Competitiono)
Here are the entries from last week’s initials competition. Thanks to all as always.
Unerringly Negates & Takes On Lowlives’ Duplicity
Stupid People Under Daniel’s Spell
Spurs Practice Underhand Diving Stunts
More are welcome. You can choose any football word and turn it into a set of initials (which I suppose is called initialisation). If stuck try FOOTBALL.
In today’s Anniversaries: 22 years ago – facing relegation. (The full list of today’s anniversaries is here).