Who’s leaving, who’s staying: the (almost) complete transfer news (plus Cesc being paid for by the photocopier)

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By Tony Attwood

This is a summary of where I believe we have got to as we approach to opening of the transfer window.  I don’t claim much special knowledge – just a few friends on the inside and one or two remaining buddies in the world of journalism (who haven’t given up on me after my endless attacks on their current and my ex-trade).

Much still depends on the format we go to next season.  Is it 4-4-2 or 4-3-3, and how often might we move to 4-5-1, or even 4-4-1-1.

Those leaving

Almunia. All quiet on the Almunian front, and he might be involved in some sort of exchange deal with another player.

Cesc Fábregas will be allowed to leave for Barca on two conditions.  One is that Samir Nasri stays and two is that the offer gets closer to £40m.

Barca has a policy of selling young talent in order to raise desperately needed short term funding, and then offering to buy back the player as a star, with the gibberish talk of DNA.  (Cesc, like you, me and the rest of the population has 98% the same DNA as a monkey.)

Sandro Rosell (El Presidente) actually said in a televised press conference that the club were saving money to buy players by banning colour photocopying at the Camp Nou.    So presumably Fabregas will be paid for by Xerox just like Real Mad once paid for C Ronaldo by flogging shirts to Portugal.

He says, and I quote a decent translation, the club was seeking to avoid last year’s embarrassment when it failed to pay the players wages in June,  “By being austere, hard and losing friends. We are suffering with it. We removed the catering events, our bodyguards. And we have even stopped making photocopies in colour at the club. Now we do black and white and save on toner.”

Nice place to go Cesc, don’t say we didn’t warn you.

The BBC story about someone unnamed at the club saying “we’ll have to sell him” is just a fantasy, and it is sad to see the BBC reduced to such levels because of cuts in its funding by the Coalition Government.  I can understand the Conservative Party crippling the BBC – they see criticism of the government as the equivalence of being a traitor – but the Liberal Party ought to know better.   Amusing to see that our young friends in the AAA enjoyed it though.

Clichy – seems to have gone quiet but there was that extraordinarily low Liverpool bid.  Much depends on what happens with the shifting around of the defence, where Vermaelen plays, if Gibbs can stay fit, if Coquelin joins the first team and then where he plays, and what happens to Traore.

Denilson – no news at all and there is a feeling around his time has gone.

Rosicky – a sad recognition that he never regained his previous abilities after the year out with injury, so he has to move on.

Vela – this is a question mark.  Some people are saying, obviously he’s out after a moderate showing on loan despite a good start to the season.  But his agent is making big noises about him staying.  Which is not what agents normally do – normally they tout their players as available.

Nicklas Bendtner – seems like the guys who sit behind me in block 99 will get there wish.

Those staying and those coming in…

Samir Nasri will stay if the contract offer is improved.  The only problem with this is that it will make him better paid than Cesc, which is why the two players are linked.

Philip Nikodem Jagielka (born 17 August 1982 in Cheshire).   Can play central midfield, central defence.  Has even played in goal, but we are fairly flush with keepers – with Almunia gone I count five, including the new Argentine who was called up to their first team squad.   I should also add my pal Ian is on holiday in Florida and bumped into Seaman’s brother there with his family.  How about that!

Joined Everton in 2007 for £4m.  England international at under-21, B team and full international level.  Has had an anterior cruciate ligament injury and missed nearly a whole season.  Played 428 games scored 26 goals.

Ricardo Gabriel Álvarez, plays for Vélez Sársfield in Argentina.  The president of Palmero, Maurizio Zamparini, said recently “Alvarez has given us the slip and signed for Arsenal”, so it appears a deal may be close.  Or maybe the Palmero boss made that up to keep his fans happy.

Nicknamed “Ricky” (born April 12, 1988) he is a left-footed attacking midfielder.  Played his first professional game in 2008 but then injured his cruciate knee ligament.  

He played 15 games (13 as sub) during the Vélez 2010 campaign playing all across the midfield.   With the Argentine season just ending he has played to date 44 games and scored 5 goals in last two seasons.

Incidentally I want to deviate into Argentine football for a moment, in case you have missed the story.

River Plate has been relegated for the first time in their 111 year history, with the final game abandoned as spectators smashed up bits of the stadium.  They then turned on their own players, and did in the local area.  The Guardian said, “Psychiatrists have been looking at the impact the club’s relegation might have on the nation as millions of depressed workers try to deal with taunts from rival fans. Demand for antidepressants has soared, they say.”

Gervinho from the Ivory Coast is a striker. He plays for Lille who won the league and cup double in France last year with the player scoring 15 goals. If he does join the club, the 24-year-old, who played in last summer’s World Cup, is likely to cost around £12m.  An additional problem has been added to this transfer as Lille want St Etienne winger Payet, but Paris Saint-Germain also want him.  This is a problem because on 31 May 2011, PSG announced that Qatar Investment Authority bought a controlling 70% stake in the club and we all know what that means (see my earlier article on this.  Seems the under 12s section of Arsenal support haven’t quite got the fact of what is going on in France, and are blaming Arsenal for being slow.  Never mind guys, when you grow up you can read newspapers.  And blogs.

Timothy Filiga Cahill (born 6 December 1979) is an Australian international playing as an attacking midfielder or striker, and is the captain of Everton.  He has scored more world cup goals than any other Oz.   Made his  200th appearance for Everton last April and is on a four year contract with the club.  Got injured last season playing for his country in the Aisa Cup and played under 10 games. He is the  record holder for most headed goals in the Premier League (31).

Christopher Samba plays for Congo and Blackburn.  Born in France he played for Rouen and CS Sedan, before a poor period with Hertha Berlin, and then moving to Blackburn for half a million pounds in January 2007.  Plays in central defence but has turned up as a striker.

Signed a five-year contract in 2009, and this last season was captain until saying he wanted to go somewhere that played football rather than “park the team bus” (actually he may not have said that exactly, but it is something like that.)  He then signed a one-year contract extension on 2 February 2011.

Eden Hazard plays with Gervinho, and I would refer you to Walter’s in depth article on the player. (Link below)


Hard to say exactly who will make it but the talk is generally of Jay Emmanuel Thomas, Francis Coquelin, Henri Lansbury, and most of all Emmanuel Frimpong.   There’s always someone, but often it is a surprise just who it is.  I would refer you to our regular pieces on this.


The list is eternal, and I have to do some work to earn some money so I am going to stop.  But there’s Reina, Given, Enrique, Baines, Barton, Defoe…   Add some more or give a nice summary of any of them.  I’ll try and do another update later.


Gervinho: nice to see you again

Hazard: Golden Boy or Not?

Does Arsenal’s war chest actually exist or not?

The transfer deal to end all transfer deals

66 Replies to “Who’s leaving, who’s staying: the (almost) complete transfer news (plus Cesc being paid for by the photocopier)”

  1. Is that the right ‘Cahill’ you have there? Thought it was the Bolton Cahill we were linked to.

  2. I am not sure what to believe to be honest but if we sell our best player off the back of a bad season, then what does that say to the fans? At a time when season tickets are at an all time high, on average, the highest in Europe, how can we selling players as well. As much as people say that Arsene will replace him – have we replaced Henry? Have we replaced Adebayor? Have we replaced Hleb? Have we replaced Vieira? Have we replaced Toure? Have we replaced Lehmann?

    The replacements for those players have been the free or cheap signings, Bendtner and Chamakh – the rubbish that is Theo Walcott and Thomas Rosicky… and of course, the lameness of Almunia and company… Instead of Vieira we have the potential of Ramsey, Jack and Song – who will all go on to become world beaters… one day…. but not in the last few seasons, and maybe not next season either. We simply don’t replace quality with quality. We replace quality with cheap replacements – if you do that in a house, it will crumble, so Arsene better be warned…

    If we sell Cesc, we will not compete for a top four position next season, mark my words. If we sell Cesc AND Nasri, then we’re about as good as Wigan. Nasri and Cesc are two out of our three best players, Van Persie aside. We will not be able to replace them on as shoestring budget. If they both go, we will have major problems next season.

  3. I am not sure how to read this article. The list of players going out seems possible, but the list of players coming in is too long; I do not see so many new players arriving at Arsenal over the summer. It’s more of a list of players that migth come in. Which players do you deem most likely to play for Arsenal next season?

  4. Dont know how you missed out on Scott Parker and Mata in the players we could be after…

  5. i am sure you mean Gary Cahill and not tim. would be a rather bizarre purchase considering the other players we are linked with and the talent already occupying those positions.

  6. Some of us are looking enviously at Man Utd getting their transfer act together and finished early doors whilst Arsenal drag theirs on.

    But then I think of the ‘others’.

    Man City and Chelsea aren’t doing much either and I honestly thought that City would have bought Pele, Maradona and a family bucket from KFC by now and that Chelsea would have sacked their new manager.

    So while the news is repeated that Cesc Fabregas is ‘about to join Barca’ for the 124353th time, and that Arsenal are ‘about to sign unknown Argentinian’, surely it can’t get any worse right?

    The only way is up!

    We all know that Arsene Wenger is looking to strengthen the squad and it will happen because it has to.

    Don’t lose your sanity like Britney Spears with an umbrella. Be a little more patient because I think we will surprised with who comes in.

    I can feel it in my bones.

  7. As hard as is it to stomach, i happen to think that Fabregas will go on to become one of the best midfielders around at Barca. Playing with top players in that team will bring him on no end.
    He may not get as much playing time at first but in the end he will become one of the first names on the team sheet.

    And lets face it the only reason he wants to go is that he has obviously be promised the world by Wenger when it comes to bringing in top talent and winning trophies and at the end of the day he got neither.
    If our manager had done what we all know he should’ve then we would be trophy winners by now and he probably wouldn’t want to go.

    He must be fed up with carrying this team and looking around and seeing the drivel playing alongside him.
    Watch some of the games and see the frustration on his face. I think i’d feel eaxctly the same.

  8. @Tony – The BBC is a publicly owned broadcast company – you know, that TV license we all pay – so i doubt spending cuts by government would affect its quality of news. Saying that the BBC is meant to be impartial, and usually the last website to report a story – so its strange they would publish an arsenal story which is all rumour and conjecture.

  9. Have you guys noticed that Cesc is not on the advertising for the new kit on the Arsenal site 🙁

  10. Can someone please enlighten about Gary Cahill. What has the man ever done? He can’t get into a piss-poor England team and was mugged by the Stoke forwards in the FA Cup semi-final. When the Stoke forwards did it to our defence their were screams to have them hanged drawn & quartered.

    The reason we’ve been so quiet in the transfer market is because the UK transfer window opened on 1 June and the European transfer window opens on 1 July. We’ve bought all the players we are going to from English clubs (Jenkinson). Next week expect to see the comings and goings start.

    That’s the problem with the AAA. They’re really good at telling everyone what to do but they don’t know the rules. Just like 12 year olds.

  11. my thoughts exactly andy, the amount of time ive heard so called supporters using manure as an example of how transfer activity should be conducted is crazy. how thick are some people really?

    jeru i thought he meant gary but he wouldnt be my first choice defender, but it got me thinking he did mean tim. could fit in? maybe. we complain or should i say i, about no one getting on the end of crosses. is he not a proven goal poacher. can i see everton letting him go without a ridiculous price? doubt it.
    im partly with dp, id like to see mata come in on the left and shift nasri to the right.

    plus im sure new studies show that its now 95% not 98. wont be long before its 55%

  12. Snehal – yes I am fully familiar with the BBC and its funding, and indeed did work with the BBC on Doctor Who and Blake’s 7. Not the news service, but I have been there, been on the news programmes, and been involved.

    The fact is that the funding is under attack – hence the reviews of late of the Asian Network, Radio 6, daytime BBC 2 programming cutbacks, wholesale removal of World Service programming – is having an impact throughout the BBC. The reduction in quality of the news coverage in sports is noticeable, for while the Corporation is maintaining its presence around the world and the coverage of political events worldwide, it is cutting back on sports journalism. As a result we get more pundits who know very little and who churn out whatever the papers were saying that day, and less and less insight based on fact.

    The Cesc story is one of many that they have run which has an unattributable source making a highly ambiguous statement and then putting a spin on it.

  13. No depth to the BBC story – but in reality, the essence of the story could well be true

  14. @Paul – I don’t think that’s a genuine letter, in the 1st paragraph he has stated he will not discuss individual players then in the 5th paragraph names individual players. Also, it’s in the Sun for gods sake! 🙂

  15. @frodo stop calling people rubbish cus they are human beings like you. just because you dont like them does not mean you should call them names.

  16. It would obviously be a shame to see Fabregas move on but it has obviously been on the cards for a while. However, say for example he does move for £40m and in his place we get Gervinho, Alvarez and maybe Mata. Those, along with Nasri staying, the re-emergence of Ramsey and the addition of a Lansbury or JET will more than cover the loss of Cesc, Rosicky and Denilson, especially when you consider that fabregas has missed a lot of games this season (12 in the league) and was maybe not at 100% for a few games just after the injuries.

    @Andy – Yes, I think that is correct about the two different transfer windows. If no deals can be done internationally until July then we’re very unlikely to see any movement at Arsenal, especially when we do the vast majority of our dealings with clubs overseas.

  17. Hmm

    I’m pretty sure the Cahill we were supposedly after is Gary, not Tim.

    As a side note I have to say that this kind of mistake is not (and should not) be easily forgiven, coming from you, Tony.

    I also have to say that sadly enough I wasn’t impressed with Arsene’s reply. Very diplomatic and sincere, but did not shed any more light or bring anything new.

  18. Cahills – ooooops this is what comes of having a neat database of players to cut and paste details from and trying to write copy at 7am after an interrupted night’s sleep. Really sorry everyone – I can only ask you to believe I do not normally make cock ups of this magnitude

    The other Cahill started with Aston Villa’s academy and with Burnley.

    In September 2007 Cahill joined Sheffield United on loan.

    In January 2008, he went to Bolton Wanderers. In2009 he signed a three year contract. He played for England for the first time on 29 March 2011. He has played 111 times and scored 11 goals.

    Again, apologies.

  19. TommieGun – that’s a bit harsh. I have a full time job, and run this site with the help of others for fun. If I were paid for this then yes, fair enough. But it is just a hobby which some other people kindly choose to share with me.

  20. @Andy kelly: I doubt there is genuine interest in any one British – Cahill, Samba could have already been bought – but the fact AW hasn’t added anyone to the squad indicates he is looking abroad. We will see what happens in the next couple of weeks, a lot hinges on who leaves too.

  21. @Andy kelly – And who do you think that will involve? maybe you can enlighten all of us on who the AKB believe we will sign this summer. Or did you drop a hint already with your “12 year olds” remark.

  22. Tony,
    I, as a regular reader, have been delighted with the quality of articles here at the Untold and Woolwich Arsenal which is some credit to you as the editor. You are always owed a few mistakes.
    PS- Is it not possible to go back and delete that section about Tim Cahill?

  23. Any news on Jan Vertonghen, btw? He would be the ultimate defender for Arsenal, but from what I’ve heard, City has the advantage. I’d prefer him over Samba or the overrated Gary Cahill.

  24. Ps what is this nonsense about not signing players beofre July? Zenit have announced that they have signed a deal for Serie A’s best left back Criscito, Newcastle have announced several foreign signings including Cabaye from Lille, and so on.. Deals can be done at any time, it’s just that the player’s registration can’t be moved.

    That is, unless they are in the same league which is something that Arsenal supporters are actually keen to see. If Arsenal wanted Cahill all they would have to do is bid the well known £17m asking price. But given the lack of official reports, it’s starting to look like either Arsenal aren’t interested in him or that we are playing hardball. Bolton need to sell Cahill in order to raise money to replace Sturridge and Elmander because they are beyond flat broke. So they are flogging Cahill harder than a dead horse. But Arsenal know that in January Cahill will be available for like, what, £5m? Maybe we will see Arsenal spend a record transfer fee on a defender in the last year of his contract who plays for a team that are desperate to sell, but somehow I doubt it.

    What I am sure of is that we really don’t know what’s going on. But hey, not knowing what’s going on never stopped anyone before so, I guess I’ll go back to sighing.

  25. So the great Perry Groves thinks that if Fabregas joins Barcelona “no Arsenal fans will moan” and he then goes onto say this is ok as we’ll get £35m for him. The man displays as much ability as a pundit as he did as a player. Apart from setting up Charlie Nicholas to beat Liverpool in 1987 what did he do? Fabregas has been the heartbeat of our side for over five years now and some stats suggest he’s got more assists than any other player in Europe over that period. No-one can galvanise us like him. Even when he wasn’t fully fit, we still saw how he could play at the end of last season (Spurs). We’ve not won anything, but that’s down to the dross that invariably surrounds him, not Fabregas. So we are to lose our only world-class player and people think we’ll manage- really? Nasri is uncommitted and his departure, if not soon, is surely only delayed- his creativity, determination and will to win is not evident. Wilshere and Ramsey are not there yet and I really wonder if the latter will ever get there. We are losing our best player and the fault lies squarely with Wenger. Two or three years ago Cesc said he’d eventually want to return to Spain, “but he has plenty of time as he was still young.” This time last year he finally realised that this team was going nowhere, despite continual promises from Wenger to all of us that “this was the time for the team to deliver.” Any class player would have given up hope before now and to suggest that we’ll get the same amount for him as Carroll went to Liverpool- well I’m speechless, it’ll probably happen. Mr Groves, stop embarrassing yourself with your regular banal utterances, you’re clueless. Cesc is one of the best central midfield players in the world, but how would a speedy donkey realise that?

  26. Apart from setting up Charlie Nicholas to beat Liverpool in 1987 what did he do?

    He also won league titles in 1988-89 and 1990-91, and has used his celebrity status to shag a load of women. Which is more than you have done so I would say he is opinion is better placed than your’s.

  27. Yipee, the transfer madness has arrived! 😀

    A time when fans, delirious in their impatience for fresh meat, completely abandon all logic and forget that players are actually human beings with their own thoughts and ideas, and thus cannot be bonked on the head, dragged over to London, and be forced to sign a contract with Arsenal against their will.

    We made a big bid for Phil Jones, it was accepted, and we offered him a better wage deal than Man Utd did. But he chose them. It appears that staying up north near his family was a big factor for young Jones. We didn’t miss out on him from being ‘tight’, even though that’s what the Junior Gunners lot are probably claiming.

    We’ve made an equally large bid for Gary Cahill (thought to be around £17m, his release clause), which Bolton have accepted, but nothing much seems to have happened since. Man City are also thought to be interested but it’s believed they haven’t made any bid. My feeling is that Cahill is waiting on Man City, otherwise he would have been an Arsenal player by now. Personally I hope City come along and trump us because I’ve never thought much at all of Cahill, he seems to me just a big lump of a defender who can stick his head on a ball and not much else. Even if that’s something which would be of benefit to us, Chris Samba is a bigger and better lump and comes at half the price. I say let City have the next Lescott.

    The Gervinho deal should be done eventually – he wants to come to us and Lille are happy to sell him to us, but the replacement for Gervinho that Lille had lined up hasn’t run smoothly as Tony explained.

  28. Not sure that it matters what the BBC claim- we all know that the club’s position with Fabregas has changed- and it has to because the player wants to leave and has done for the past couple of years. If Cesc goes- we will remember this era fondly- the time when we once had a great player and we could occasionally compete with the best in the EPL. Has Arsene not tried to build a castle on sand with Cesc and Nasri? Either way- there is no sign the club will replace Fabregas with a player of equivalent experience and quality. Mata is as big a risk as Reyes- certainly a player who would be good- but not as a replacement for Fabregas. But in all honesty we a are a mile away from getting any of the players you have mentioned and I wont hold my breath. In all honesty I dont see Wenger lasting longer than 6 months after Fabregas leaves. Losing your best player on top of our last 3 months playing record and the club’s recent record of failed transfer dealings is not exactly a recipe for success and optimism.

  29. If Cesc leaves it is a blow on a lot of levels. To those who just say well there’s life after Cesc and stiff upper lip and all that, well it’s just psychic armor – our self-protection in the face of the possible rejection to come. I’m haunted by the (pained) look on Cesc’s face when the lads took the season’s last walk around the Ems, applauding the fans and all that. This was a tormented soul. Whether he was taking his final look at the Ems and the home fans, or in was still in the throes of a decision that would mean giving all this up remains to be seen. But Cesc, at least then, was a man in pain. And I think his departure, if it comes, will leave us all in pain – for the loss of his talents, for his/our not having realized any of last season’s quadruple potential. I remember how happy he was, and all of us were in the early victories and how he and Nasri and Chamakh, etc. were then firing on all cylinders. Sadly, I have to agree that there’s not been enough depth of surrounding talent to raise this 23 year old’s game. And intuitively I feel that (as I projecting away here) he does not feel AFC will land another demonstrated world-class purchase or two that would complement and grow his talents. Carrying it all on one’s shoulders – even a world’s cup winning champion’s – I believe has worn him out and he’s lost faith, or knows something that we don’t. At 23 he’s young enough to stay on if there were a real reason – and perhaps there is – and then go to Barca in a few seasons’ time and, in short, have his cake and eat it. I do feel that Cesc’s staying or going will be a barometer that shows what weather we can expect. Will there be life after Cesc? Of course. But let’s not pretend his departure would not be a failure (though not fatal), or that it’s not a painful loss, or that pretend his departure can be readily overcome by chanting the mantra of we’ll have 35, 40, 50 M to spend to upgrade what’s on the pitch. I too live in that hope – and that’s all it is, a hope – and July 1 cannot come soon enough.

  30. BTW, as we do have Cesc under contract for 4 more years AFC will hopefully will act on this fact: that we actually are in the driver’s seat and will not settle for less than a HUGE compensation in cash or cash and players. I do fear that AFC will not maximize this position. Who will bear responsibility for this – if it happens – sorry outcome remains to be seen, but it is possible. As fans, this deal will not compensate us on the pitch; but, it will help a bit to partly salve the wound of his loss. Will we ever know the inside story after the final curtain? Probably not. For me, there’s a bit of consolation to know that the media will lose their Cesc leaving/tapping/staying saga as one of its top cash-cow profit centers.

  31. @Wrenny

    I think statistically, Cahill is slightly better than Samba. I still would prefer Samba between the two actually but that’s just my illogical (non logical) preference. Cahill is younger and English (ref bias, homegrown rules), but is probably more expensive. The defender I would really like is Jagielka though.

  32. Rumors, Rumors, Rumors thats all I keep hearing and what really annoys me about this whole Cesc Fabregas thing is that how is he only worth 40 Million {one of the best midfielders in the world] but yet people like Andy Carrol goes for 35 Million. HMM Sounds ridiculious to me. Another example is kaka moved to realy madrid for like 75 million and he has been injured most the season haha. I think Fabergas is worth around the mark of 50-55 million not 40 million{and yet they are still complain about the price} in 5 years time fabergas will be the best Midfielder in the world especially if he goes Barca because your deffo looking him to be worth around the mark of 100 million !!! and there is no doubt about it.

  33. @Stevie E:

    Thank you for saving me the trouble of responding about that Arsene Wenger “letter” that appeared in the Sun. I’m just going to quote you for good measure 🙂 :

    “I don’t think that’s a genuine letter, in the 1st paragraph he has stated he will not discuss individual players then in the 5th paragraph names individual players. Also, it’s in the Sun for gods sake! 🙂 “

  34. @Everyone who is speculating that Cesc will go to Barca:

    Here is the official position of FC Barcelona with regard to transfers this summer, as stated by Sandro Rosell in a recent televised interview:

    Barca’s maximum transfer budget this summer is 45 million euros. However, Rosell stated clearly and unequivocally that Barca WAS NOT willing to spend more than 40 million on Cesc. Unless Arsenal is willing to sell Cesc for less than 40 million, he is NOT going to Barcelona. End of story.

    Also, while Rosell did appear to confirm that Barca was in negotiations over certain other players, he claimed that he had “no idea” whether or not the club might try to sign Cesc this summer. Personally, I would read that as “no.” However, if Barca IS in negotiations to sign other players, that would take an even bigger chunk out of the 45 million before Barca would have money to spend on Cesc. Reading between the lines of Rosell’s interview, I don’t think that Barca is even planning to make an offer for Cesc.

    Finally, I want to address the issue of Cesc’s supposed “dream” to return to Barcelona. I have heard Cesc state publicly on more than one occasion that he is happy at Arsenal, and does NOT want to leave Arsenal to go to Barcelona. All he’s ever said is that he would enjoy having the chance to play at Barcelona SOMEDAY, but he has no idea whether that will ever happen. But he’s perfectly happy at Arsenal.

    Personally, I would suggest that you take Cesc’s word on this, as opposed to the words of various “others” who have attributed to him this supposed “desire” to leave.

    Ok, that’s the end of my “Cesc transfer saga” rant. In truth, if you don’t believe me by now, you probably never will, so I’ll leave you to it. Cheers 🙂

  35. Oh, and on a related note to the above post:

    I would also like to make it clear that Barcelona DID NOT make a 27 million euro offer for Cesc, as was reported last week. If Barca had made an offer, it would have been formally announced by the club, which has not happened. We’ve also had no official statement from Arsenal about any “offer.”

    In fact, the whole story emerged from an EXTREMELY dubious and completely unsourced claim in the Sun that Sandro Rosell had called up Ivan Gazidis and made a “verbal offer” of 27 million, which was immediately rejected. Personally, I don’t believe it. And in any case, a “verbal offer” isn’t really an offer at all. So, Barcelona has not made any offers for Cesc this summer, and I don’t expect them to.

    Think about it. If Barcelona is so short on money that they can’t afford to make color copies, then surely they don’t have enough extra paper lying around to be sending it straight to the rubbish bins in the Arsenal offices. It doesn’t make any sense 🙂

  36. Breaking news: Lille has officially bought Payet from Saint-Etienne. Does this mean that Gervinho will be announced shortly at Arsenal?

  37. @Anne: I have read your Cesc 2-parter with great interest – and a lot of your comments here too. Will you continue to keep track of the Cesc transfer saga throughout the rest of this summer? And more importantly, is there a place on the web where I could follow you (Twitter, a website or something)? I’d really like to continue to read your views on whatever developments there will be in this case 🙂 Thanks for all the good work!

  38. That sun letter looked like a collage of wengers press conferences, I need to see proof it is genuine.
    I that said I do not expect to see fab in an arsenal shirt again,

  39. The Blaze,
    You have beaten me on this one. I think this will be the last hurdle that we needed to take before Lille would sell Gervinho to us.
    That is if Arsenal really want Gervinho to come

  40. Today’s issue of Murdoch’s Sun – said-to-be the world’s largest daily by circulation – is obsessed with a Cesc-to-leave feature, Arsene’s letter, a will Cesc be at Arsenal’s training session, and another tale of Arsenal woe. The Sun’s editor, Dominic “Gotcha” Mohan, says Wikipedia, has personal split football loyalties between Arsenal and Bristol (!). The Sun, with offices in London and Manchester (plus Dublin and Glasgow), reaches over 3M in the UK per day and a total of 7M all over the Anglosphere. If Wikipedia is right, perhaps Mohan should be anointed king of the AAA. Also, the scope of the Sun’s outreach helps explain the daily media saturation that ensnares our eyes and ears within their ongoing Cesc soap opera. Witness how many specific trails within Anne’s recent analysis of last summer’s Freak Show led back to the The Sun. Indeed the Cesc Story is best understood as a Profit-Center within Sir Rupert’s media empire.

  41. @Goonerette86:

    I will definitely be continuing to follow the Cesc transfer saga throughout the summer (if for no other reason than because it makes me so angry that I can’t ignore it 🙂 ), so if you ever want to ask me for an update on it, you’ll be able to find me on here. And I’ll be more than happy to give my take (with my full apologies to Untold for straying off topic).

    Unfortunately, I’m not sufficiently important to have my own webpage or a twitter feed or anything, but if you look for me around here, I’ll definitely be happy to give my opinions on any questions you might have. And thanks for appreciating my hard work. Cheers 🙂

  42. @bob:

    I have to admit that I was a little bit down on your Untold Media project at first, and I think that was due mainly to the fact that I was just burnt out by the amount of work that I put into that last article and all of the follow up posts. But now that you mention it, WHY EXACTLY is it that so much of this crap seems to originate with the Sun?! I’m not sure, but I wouldn’t mind trying to find out.

    Honestly, I think that you might have just reinvigorated me by pointing that out. And I’ll be more than happy to participate in your Untold Media project in future, so long as you allow me to select the Sun as the periodical that I will be monitoring… The b******s… So, now that we have that sorted…:)

  43. @Mandy Dodd:

    I think that you can count on seeing Cesc in an Arsenal shirt for years to come. Of course, we’ll have to wait until the end of the summer to know for sure, but that’s where I would have my money if I was a betting person 🙂

  44. Anne,
    Great. The Sun is Ruppie’s most effective newspaper tool. The why’s for their targeting – beyond that it sells and they know how to sell it, if not helped stoke it in the first place – remain to be analyzed (or, let’s say, harpooned like Moby Dick). So, yes, please be Captain Ahab to Ruppie’s Sun. It’s your beat! My hypothesis, btw, is that The Sun’s coverage reflects Ruppie’s (and his News Corpse’s, which includes Sky’s) interest in maintaining the EPL status quo with ManUre as its proven flagship enterprise. Because Arsenal is the anti-ManUre, it gets trashed in his media. However, trashing Arsenal and ridiculing Arsene have also become a proven cash-cow; a profit-center that keeps on giving. Ker-ching. Anyway, that’s how I see it these daze, but would be happy to be disproven by more nuanced evidence. As for Untold Media, perhaps the best way to proceed is just to agree – so far, you, Shard, Stevie E, myself – on when to file our weekly report. If we post our weekly media match reports after Walter files his Ref Review, then we could be in sync with Walter and reference what he covers versus how The Sun (you), Guardian (me), Mirror (shard), Evening Star (stevie e) covered (or covered up) the match. Also, we wouldn’t be limited to only Walter’s view Vs the Media view, but it would be a nice way to tie this Media watch into UA’s spirit and analytic product. We all can refine and clarify what we’re doing as the season approaches. As ever, if any readers want to jump in, just pick a TV broadcast or newspaper (and online versions are fine) and we’re off and running.

  45. @bob:

    The fact that you mention the Sun being linked to Rupert Murdoch is very interesting to me. And one of the main reasons for that is that, where I live, Fox Soccer Channel (ie Murdoch) is pretty much the only way that I can even follow football at all. That, combined with the Spanish channels.

    And it’s lucky that I understand Spanish, because Fox Soccer Channel REALLY doesn’t like to show Arsenal. Seriously, they’ll choose to show Wigan v Bolton rather than Arsenal, and I frequently have to watch Arsenal in Spanish. And even over the summer, when they’re showing replays of matches, they just show ManU over and over and over again.

    So, I’m more than open to the possibility that the Murdoch media networks have something against Arsenal. And if you tell me that the Sun is somehow linked to those networks, it makes me view their (dubious) reporting about Arsenal and Barcelona in a whole other light.

    Honestly, my only problem with the whole Untold Media thing is that I don’t think it’s fair to ask Untold to lend their name to something that’s really nothing more than an experiment on our part. We don’t know at this point whether this is something that we’ll be able to make work or not, and I wouldn’t want to tarnish them if we end up completely screwing it up.

    If we do do this, my thinking is that the best way to handle it would be to do it completely on our own, and not ask them for anything more than a link. Do you have any thoughts on this?

  46. @Shard:

    Jesus, I’ve just gotten around to debunking the last 27 mil offer, and now I have a new 34 mil offer to debunk?! There’s nothing on Arsenal’s or Barca’s official websites in reference to this “offer”… But I expect that I’ll have to wait at least a few days before the various parties involved screw up their stories enough for me to be able to debunk them.

    These people really like to keep me working, don’t they? 🙂

  47. @anne – just a quickie, im reading thus morning that real have launched an audacious £45m bid for cesc citing reports in the Spanish press as their source… I don’t believe a word but have you seen/read anything to the same effect or are they just using Spanish press cos no one will check it? Cheers!

  48. Seriously, I sometimes wonder whether the Sun, the Mirror, Sport, and El Mundo Deportivo aren’t actually the four horsemen of the apocolypse….

  49. @Shard:

    Lol. I guess you’re right in saying that Viviano looks a lot like Almunia. Although I think the funniest part of your link is the picture of Arsene next to the article titled “Arsene’s Letter to Unhappy Fan” 🙂

    Oh, and well done for Bergkamp at Ajax. I’ll be interested to see how that plays out in the coming years.

  50. @Stevie E:

    Based on a quick look at the Spanish tabloids, none of them is saying anything about a Real Madrid offer for Cesc. The Barca tabloids are off and running about this alleged £34 mil offer for Cesc, but the Madrid tabloids haven’t even mentioned that one at all.

    But no one has said anything about Real Madrid making a £45m offer for Cesc. To me, it looks like the English press has gotten the scoop on the Spanish press on this one, but never fear. I’m sure that the Spanish tabloids will have rectified that by the end of the day.

    At this point, the only thing that anyone in Spain seems able to agree on is that Cesc has refused to speak to the press at any time in the near future. Personally, I believe that they’re telling the truth on that one 🙂

  51. Is there a team out there that desperately needs Nasri? I ask as he has one year left on his contract and would represent one of the best Bosman’s of all time next year if a team is prepared to wait.
    Madrid might be daft enough to pay now for a player they can get for free, Manure probably aren’t, we wouldn’t sell to them anyway.
    Because if no-one wants him now, he might be persuaded to sign a five year contract early next season instead.
    I would contrast this situation with Cesc, where the only team that he would join don’t especially need him, as the weather in Catalunya is nice and the benches are adequately warmed by the sun. Only in fantasy land is Cesc happy to come back to Barca on pathetic wages (about ten Eurocents a sheet) and man the photocopiers, occasionally getting a game when Xavi is nursing his hamstrings…

  52. @Anne: Walter said he would confer about the Untold Media idea after Tony returned from vacation. I’ve also gently nudged to find out whether/when there’s been a decision. Nothing is unfair, and it’s all up front. So, I’m waiting for that, as Walter had indicated they’d confer on it.

  53. @Anne: If you check News Corporation on Wikipedia, you will see what its worldwide holdings are. Two of them are Fox Soccer Channel and The Sun.

  54. p.s. Untold Media needn’t be a formal part of UA. It could just be an agreement to post our respective reports on UA, say by ____ time within 2-3 days of each match, or after Walter’s Ref Review coverage of that match. Formal or informal – it doesn’t matter. If someone screws up, then the readers hereabouts are demonstrably more than capable of weighing in and correcting the analysis/furthering our understandings.

  55. @Anne – Sorry, forgot to say thanks for the reply, I asked when I was on the train then got caught up in the chat on the next page. Thanks!

  56. @Stevie E:

    No prob. Didn’t take me long to glance over there and notice that the Madrid “offer” wasn’t generating any headlines. I notice that it appears that the English papers also haven’t been too eager to repeat that one 🙂

  57. @bob:

    Thanks for clearing up some of my questions about Untold Media. I guess it’s up to Tony and Walter, but I’ll do whatever I can. I guess my main worry is that my time won’t allow me to always get something in during a specific time frame. If I’m going to put my name on something, I’m meticulous about the details and don’t like to leave any openings for anyone to tell me that I’m wrong, which usually means exhaustive research.

    We’ll just have to see, and even if Tony and Walter aren’t interested in it, this is something that I wouldn’t mind monitoring more on my own. Especially with that link you just pointed out to me between the Sun and Fox Soccer Channel. That was something that I was completely unaware of, and that I find highly intriguing.

    I suppose the idea of a “media conspiracy” becomes much more plausible if the media outlets involved can be linked to a single company. Very interesting indeed…Good work 🙂

  58. So it looks like all those AAA’s who said we had a rubbish team and manager are proved so wrong during the past few weeks, afterall with Barca, Real, Man UTD, Man City, Chelski all pulling up their skirts and showing their knickers to try and sign our players Arsene Wenger must have done something right to get us into this postion of other club envy in the first place.
    Lets take it player by player:

    Cesc – Has not been the same player for about 2 and a half seasons now, should he be sold back to his DNA doner – well if we get 45 million pounds plus, then yes.

    Clichy – It’s a no brainer sell him off and fast, he’s been the big problem for our defence for two seasons now and every other team in the EPL knows it.

    Nasri – Here’s another one of those players who have only given us one half season of good play in the last two and a half seasons, now he thinks he’s bigger than the club, again it’s a no brainer, get shot of him and fast.

    Players in: Time to promomte from the youth ranks, Lansbury, Bartley both of who have just had great seasons with the respective loan clubs Glasgow Rangers and Norwich City
    Francis Couqulin and young Frimpong.

    I’m not against bringing in players from outside but I think it’s time we looked to our own Arsenal players for the spine of the team.

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