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Has the summer already started?

By Walter Broeckx

Are we June already? Just checking my calendar and it still is only March. Okay, I admit we near April but still there is a big gap between now and the transfer period. Yet, Barcelona is talking again about Cesc. Not much news you could say. They are talking always about Cesc whenever they can.

But maybe this time the tone is slightly different. Because last season the new president of Barcelona was talking about Cesc coming over as a certainty. It was as if the deal was done. Nothing could stop Cesc coming home. Yes there was the small matter of Arsenal, Wenger and a contract that was signed. But who on earth could stop Cesc going to Barcelona if Barcelona wanted him to come?

Well he didn’t came. Wenger showed why he is who he is and told them to forget it. Sometimes being stubborn is a good thing. So our manager said No to Barcelona in all languages he knows and that are quit a bit in fact. In fact Barcelona president Rossel told that it was a rather firm answer they got from Arsenal telling them to shove it to a place where the sun don’t shine. It seems that they didn’t expect Arsenal to stand firm as we did.

And Rossel then went on to say that maybe they will try again this summer but they will make a lower offer than they did last year. They will not pay 50M euro he said for a player even if Guardiola asks them to do so, he said. He thinks this is a foolish price for Fabregas. Looking at the prices other clubs pay for players with less quality than Cesc I think it is rather low. He is worth a sight more than 50M euro if you ask me. Well Rossel didn’t ask me but I just wanted to let this know to him.

Barcelona president Rossel then also mentioned the fact that the relations between Arsenal and Barcelona are on a low. Not just the refusal to let Cesc go hurts them but also the arrival of Jon Miquel Toral, one of the biggest talents of the Barcelona youth set up to Arsenal at the age of 16 has made a deep scarf.

I must admit I have never seen this Toral play so I cannot say if he is any good at all. I think on the Young Guns blog you can find more information on this new boy then I can give you for the moment.  But if Arsène Wenger wants him, I trust Wenger. If Barcelona is furious that he leaves I think Toral will be a boy who knows how to kick against a ball a bit better than most of us can.

So I think this boy can be a good addition for our squad. And being half English (his mother is English) the story goes that Toral himself wanted to go to England to play in the PL. One could say his DNA dragged him back to England.  And obvious even for a star in the Barcelona youth the ideal destination to develop further and to get more chances of playing first team football is not automatically Barcelona. No, Toral opted to let Wenger work on him to make him better. And the way we know things Wenger is the ideal person to bring such 16-year old player in the team and develop them and make them better.

If we just look at our current squad and see the likes of Cesc, Walcott, Ramsey, Wilshere, Bendtner, Gibbs, Szczesny, Djourou, all have been brought in at around 16 or earlier and have had their chances to develop further and become better players. And some of them are not just good players but are great players. So if this Toral can walk the same path, it will be another fine move from our manager and the board. And to think I have left the young and upcoming talents out of my list who are on loan for the moment.

And if the arrival of Toral has brought the relation between Arsenal and Barcelona to an all time low, I don’t give a toss about it. In fact lets keep it like that for a while. Because if a friend asks you a favour (sell me Cesc for a reasonable price) you could think well he is a good friend so I will do him a favour. But if someone with whom you have a cold relationship asks you the same, you just tell him to go back home and forget it.

So Rossel saying that they will maybe make a lower bid if Guardiola asks them to means to me that they seem to have given up on Cesc for the moment. That’s fine for me. After all why would a team that has plenty of players like Wilshere in their reserves need a player like Cesc? They don’t need Cesc, they just have to go to their reserves and take out the player that they have developed themselves.

Lets just hope for a summer with no daily Cesc saga like last summer.

30 comments to Has the summer already started?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Here’s hoping! I suppose the problem could arise if the player really wants to leave – if he does, we will have to let him go at some point but no harm in bringing about a bidding war in that scenario – others covet Cesc as we know.
    We all know that he wants to return to Barca at some point but does not seem unhappy at Arsenal – and certainly commits himself to the cause.
    It is clear Barca want Cesc to put in a transfer request so they stand more chance of getting him on the cheap – I just hope Cesc will show more class than the likes of Rooney and Tevez not do that to the club.
    Didn’t they tell him it was now or never….last summer? Now they want to come back in again?

  • Shard

    A quiet summer? No Cesc saga? Please.. we might as well hope that John Terry reforms himself. Both have absolutely zero chance of happening..

    But I read those comments from the Barca president, and I think at the end of the season, it is time we hit back at them through the media. They have propounded falsehoods and utter crap, unchallenged, for long enough. And if he feels our club has caused any of the poor relationship, well then we should go out and make it even poorer. I know Arsenal don’t behave that way, but sometimes you just need to hit back in the same coin to be understood. Politeness and courtesy only works in a scenario that people respect them. Barcelona are simply not capable of understanding that.

  • Archimedes

    Sell him before his hamstring becomes chronic and zaps his market value. You can’t build a team around injury prone players vP and now Vermaelen…Rosicky after a year in sick bed did not score a goal for 13 months, will Ramsay fulfill his potential after that injury? Djourou the same, the list goes on and on. Get the clone of MilanLab!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Maybe they are still smarting at the whole world witnessing them needing a bent ref to help them out against us!

  • Shard


    While we’re at it. Can we also get a clone of the Italian referees? Oh..calciopoli is already happening here..forget that.. Unless Collina is up for being cloned.

  • Shard

    @Mandy Dodd

    THAT is actually the truth I think. The way they reacted after WINNING was out of this absolute determination to hide that fact. They knew they were beaten, and they set out on an even fiercer defamation campaign than before against Arsenal, so as to bury that fact under all the crap.

  • Dark Prince

    Anybody expecting Cesc to extend his contract with us?? 🙂

  • nicky

    There are so many imponderables surrounding Fabregas, it is impossible to forecast a satisfactory solution for all concerned. On the one hand, he wants to return home and Barcelona want to sign him (for the lowest possible price). On the other hand, Arsenal have set their own valuation and want this to be met before they will part with him. Fine up to now?
    Wait! This season a nasty hamstring injury as raised its ugly head, time and time again. Should Arsenal cut their losses, accept an offer below their valuation on the basis that the warmth of Spain might restore his health while the English winter cannot.
    It’s a problem that Arsene will have to face during his brief summer hols. I wish him well.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Have to say, I am going into the summer with a default gut feeling that Cesc will not be an Arsenal player next year, if he is, I will be delighted.
    Not sure if his injuries are down to just going to the WC while clearly not 100% recovered or if they really do point to some chronic problem. And if our medics are as poor as some suggest – will they even be able to tell! Sorry- cheap shot!
    If Cesc does go, we will need a proper replacement, to appease fans and for the main reason, we just do not look as good without him
    Dont you just love the summer time!

  • Gooner80

    I think arsenal are in the position where they can let contracts run down rather than be dictated to, and if that happens with cesc and his injury problems continues he runs a dangerous risk of failing medicals and not able to sign a contract NOW that is a big risk.

    Most players at arsenal will not result in us losing money if their contract runs out, You have to ask yourself why didnt arsenal extend Gallas, Flamini, Merida’s contracts because it was easier to let them go, Arsenal must have measures in place when a contract runs to a certain point, gallas and falmini were offered some form of contract but arsenal have chosen not to be dictated to and in some ways it shows with certain players they play for the bank balance not for any other reason, Im sure arsenal would gladly sign a contract where the player made some concessions if they played out of their skin or a right to renegotiate if they are playing exceptional, but how many agents ring up and say lets re negotiate the contract because my player has been rubbish.

    I think part of the reason Wenger focuses on youth is because they have a real love for the game and are not yet tainted with the trappings of a millionaire lifestyle.

    Also there is reports of clichy refusing a new contract, I dont honestly know what kind of world players live in, maybe there is less loyalty to a country you are not born, surely if you are french you are close to paris on the euro star, you play for one of the biggest clubs in the world with almost guaranteed champions league football, excellent facilities why would you ever want to leave?

    My only hope is we keep a squad together long enough to build on

  • Shard

    @Mandy Dodd
    I share that gut feeling actually. But I only hope that if he does go, it is on our terms. Terms that we dictate, because, as Gooner80 points out, we are in a position of strength. Cesc should not go for less than what we value him at. Of course, it would be even better if Cesc stayed. Either way, it will be a tedious summer. But I think it’ll also be a quite eventful summer for Arsenal, and not just with the Cesc situation.

  • Phil

    Interesting that Rosell says they won’t bid more for him, as players value fall over time. WHile in principle that is true, it only really applies when you get into the last two years of the contract.
    So they didn’t bid enough last summer, and are only going to bid less this summer… unless cesc can force a transfer out for a fee below his market value the two clubs will find themselves at an impasse.

    My main concern is around his injury troubles. We’d be better cashing in (£50m, no less) and build the team around a more consistently fit player. Barca however don’t have that cash. Unless Cesc rocks the boat a lot (I can’t see it happening myself) he’ll be here next season.

    Good article Walter

  • Shard


    IF, and that’s a big if, Barca offer 50 million pounds for Cesc, then I think we will take it. But as you say, it has to be at least that. The only other way is for a cash plus player deal. But do they really have someone we would want? And would our valuations of the other player meet?

    I think barca do have the money now, delivered from Qatar. But will they spend it on a player even their fans think they don’t need? I don’t think so. It’s much easier for them to play the moral high ground and act as if they are just sticking to their principles. All to win public favour who I’m sure love hearing how fair, and principled Barca are.
    In my view really, I think the transfer won’t happen unless Cesc, privately puts pressure on Arsenal. That might well happen. I don’t think he would do so publicly though.

  • Ugandan Goon

    @walter et al,
    It is not the summer, although of course daylight saving(?) has kicked in. The phenomenon you refer to is what is known as Churnalism- truly the bread and butter of hacks up and down the land- Whenever there is an international break and there isn’t any real football to write about, all the old favourites are wheeled out viz. fabregas is going to barca, clichy to italy ( the idiots won’t even countanace armand traore finally getting games for juve might be why their club directors are in town! absolute imbeciles!), niklas bendtner’s dad/ coach says xyz about arsenal, etc etc. the media works on the principle that there is one fuckwit born every minute, somebody some where is going to be going wow i did’nt know that but even slightly more depressing is the fact that for most people they’ll have forgotten that the story was absolute bunkum the last time they heard it, and of course seeing as the paper only costs 20p, then it would be tight not to get it- i say fuck ’em Untold costs nothing i’ll get my news there thank you.

  • Gooner80

    Thierry Henry special sky sports NEWS NOW GUYS

  • Alex

    I am kind of confuse on this Cesc saga.Could someone clarify the following :

    A-Cesc is still under contract with Arsenal.So what is all the fuss about ?

    B-Cesc, provided that he hands the transfer request in writing what are his obligation under the circumstances ?

    C- Who gave that divine right to Barcelona if Mancity or others place a higher bid ?

    D- What is the point that clubs signs contract with players if both they do ot abide by the agreement ?


  • Wrenny

    My feeling is that we will hold on to Cesc.

    I don’t believe Barcelona are in any rush to sign him – they don’t need him yet, and they don’t have real reason to worry about losing him to another club. They know Cesc only has eyes for Barca.

    And if Cesc only has eyes for Barca, they don’t need to jump on him before someone else does. They can afford to be patient, let Cesc’s contract run down while Xavi is still at his peak.

  • Wrenny

    And I should add – I believe Cesc is too humble and respectful to Arsenal and Wenger to force his way out of the club.

    Arsenal and Barca are at something of an impasse in my opinion, which can only really be broken if another club made a move for Cesc. Unless that happens, my feeling is Barca will continue to play their wooing game and made low bids for the player, hoping that Cesc will become frustrated and force his way out.

  • Gooner80

    As long as Cesc gives 100% while in an arsenal shirt I am happy, if he runs his contract down and leaves for nothing that wouldnt bother me, If you dont like playing for a club I feel you shouldnt sign long contracts or at least have a buy out clause otherwise you should honour that contract

  • Bexxy

    Maybe the time is right for all parties for Cesc to move on. Here’s hoping, if he does leave, he takes s winners medal with him.

  • nicky

    Alex, Regrettably, I’m afraid you are naive about the ways of professional footballers. Unlike other professions, contracts mean absolutely nothing. They are signed, initially, to obtain employment for a set wage but before the ink has dried, the player, guided by his greedy agent is already planning either a move away or a plea for an improved deal. Do you recall the recent new contract for that thug Rooney? “I’m definitely away but, hang on, a disgustingly improved new offer has changed my mind”. What an example for the Country’s youth.

  • arsene-al

    Apart from being an absolutely absurd comment on rosells part, I think its a ploy to try and get cesc to push for a move. Obviously cesc loves his hometown and its completely understandable, so what I think barcelona is hoping for is for him to start thinking “maybe going to barca might never happen, I should do something”. Now I doubt cesc will do this but maybe the people behind barca are actually obnoxious enough to believe so. Or it could just be the rantings of a fool

  • mike_greece

    I ‘d gladly sell Cesc for the right price. He is a top quality player, maybe the best talent in our team. There are only two problems. First, he is almost always injuring his harmstrings and obviously there is no solution in this problem and second he is no leader. It’s not that he is not good enough, I think it is just in his character. He never was and never will be a leader in any top team. The main reason that Arsene gave him the armband was to make his bonds with the club stronger, to make him have second thoughts about leaving. Arsenal having no leader on the pitch is one of the squad’s main problems for the last few years.

    So, yes, I ‘d sell him for the right price. The right price for me is anywhere above 45m Euros. But, ok, it’s Arsene’s job to decide the amount of money he wants. I don’t really think Barcelona have that kind of money at the moment, but if AW makes it clear that he sells, can you not see the likes of Real Madrid, Man City or Inter make better offers? I certainly can. They ‘ll have to bleed (financially) to get Cesc, that is for certain.

    I also have to point out that we don’t really need a replacement. Nasri and Ramsey can play the playmaker role. With the money we get, we can buy a good winger (e.g. Hazard) and also make at least another top signing (e.g. goalkeeper, centre back, defensive midfielder or whatever AW thinks necessary). In my eyes it’s a really good piece of business and it strengthens rather than weakens our squad.

  • Shard

    Away from the Cesc stuff, but did anyone read the reports about Mourinho wanting a 20 mil pound salary, and 150 mil transfer budget, as a price for his return to England? Are there still people who want him at our club? I mean, even Robbie Savage realises that to do that would be a complete turnaround of all we’ve built.

  • walter

    Mourinho would be perfect for city. Money meets money….

  • Shard

    Money meets ego.. But yes, I do think City is where he’ll go. How else will he buy the title?

  • Gooner80


    I heard that story, he worked miracles at porto but somewhere down the line he began to believe his own hype, The one thing I would say is some managers have spent as much and not got no success at least he almost guarantees it, he has a 64% win ratio that is phenomenal, he hasnt been beaten at in a home league game in I dont know how many seasons, but there is no way in Hell he will ever go to arsenal, Arsenal are light years a head of their prem rivals, the best way is the organic way buying Marquee signing has no guarantee there is very few players in the world that guarantee success as City have found out and Chelsea. Clubs are starting to catch on and are now starting to buy young and get 20-30 million players for like £5 million it is a product line on the arsenal factory. That is why it is crucial all future managers maintain all the hard work that was carried out, if it is maintained, player after player will be churned out in a totally self sustaining model, as a pioneering club I would like us to take leaps and bounds into sports science and medical facilities.

    Back onto Mourinho if really wanted to show what a good manager he is, he would take a team struggling and build something great, but a lot of people would argue that he has been successful why take a step back. Also the man truly doesnt understand Future planning look at the shape he left chelsea in, he was there long enough to build a youth programme,he just spends spends until all the billionaire’s run out. The dark one is nothing more than a pyramid scheme waiting to collapse that is why he has to move onto the next victim when the money stops flowing

  • Yommex

    Nice article but it is about the first time I’m seeing so many typos in an article on this blog. More care should please be taken to ensure that things are done the Arsenal way which is always way ahead of the chasing pack. Thank you.

  • Anne

    @Ugandan Goon,

    Thank you for making the comment that I myself was about to leave. The only reason we’re seeing Cesc transfer rumors now is because it’s a slow news period, and Cesc transfer stories sell more papers and generate more website hits than any of the other BS they can make up.

    Also notice that these stories generally tend to appear when the players allegedly interviewed are out of the country, on vacation, etc., so they couldn’t respond if they wanted to. If Fernando Torres is in Lithuania with Spain (I’m assuming he is), why would he choose that particular moment to give an interview to the Daily Mail?

    Cesc is not going to go to Barcelona this summer. He was not going to go to Barcelona last summer, and he was not going to go to Barcelona any time before that, either. Barcelona doesn’t want or need him, and Cesc has stated publicly on more than one occasion that he doesn’t want to leave Arsenal for Barcelona. If you didn’t know that, it’s because the English media hasn’t reported it. But why would Cesc want to leave Arsenal, a team where he’s a starter and Captain, to go somewhere where he’s just going to sit on the bench?

    As for Barcelona, they’re bringing up Thiago Alcantara behind Xavi, and that is who will eventually replace him. He’s being promoted to the first team full time next season, and he’ll be hitting his peak at the time Xavi retires. Cesc will be, what, 26 by that time? Barca isn’t going to pay top dollar for a player that age and bring him in ahead of their own youth player who’s ready to go. And Thiago is excellent, btw. There’s a good chance he’s going to be better than both Cesc and Xavi. The Xavi replacement spot is his, NOT Cesc’s.

    Anyway, I absolutely promise you that this transfer is not going to happen. Definitely not this summer, and most likely not at any time in the future, either. But I can also promise you that you won’t be able to escape the obnoxious “transfer saga” in the media. They’ll bring it up this summer and the next and the next, until people finally recognize it for the complete hoax that it is. Until then, it will continue to be way too profitable for the fraudsters behind it to give it up (those fraudsters being the English and Spanish sports tabloids,for anyone who didn’t already know).

  • Rhys Jaggar

    My reading of the situation is that the Barca President was telling Guardiola that he won’t get Fabregas unless he decides to sell someone in his current squad.

    He was effectively saying: ‘Arsenal won’t sell for the transfer budget we have available, so if you want him you need to sell’.

    I wouldn’t say it was much more than that really…….

    Maybe also telling Fabregas what the situation is through the Press………

    There are two ways of interpreting that:

    1. A graceful way of backing down.
    2. A test of his manager’s desire to land his man.

    In the former, Arsenal can rest easy.

    In the latter, they get the price they want or he isn’t sold.

    So, all in all, little reason for worry, is there?