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March 2021

This transfer now goes completely beyond a done deal.

By Sir Hardly Anyone.

Welcome to the all new approach for the last month of the jolly old fenêtre de transfert.   Today we introduce the amazingly new and unprecedented episodic approach as the event horizon draws ever closer.

For what we now have is the

  • The ever dependable rumour list
  • The not getting him, not a chance list
  • The injury chaos list
  • The fake transfer, let’s laugh at Arsenal list
  • The returnee we can’t find anyone new so lets buy the old list
  • And the existing player newslist
 So hold on to your hats loosen your ties, buckle your belts and stick a straw in your mouth, and off we go as Arsenal miss out on everyone they were not trying to get in the first place.

A: The old rumour list

1:  Riyad Mahrez has agreed a move to Arsenal, according to reports in Algeria or not according to reports in London.

And yes of course Algeria.  I lived in Algiers for a year – quite an experience.  I also lived in Tottenham for a could of years but I prefer not to think about that.  Anyway here is the big news…

“The Leicester star is a target for Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.”

Wow, wow and thrice wow.   And then there is also the fact that Claudio Ranieri admitting his player is “distracted”.

And according to claims in Algeria from the sports newspaper Le Buteur, (that’s The Striker in English guv) he has agreed to join Arsenal after turning down a new £100,000-a-week contract at Leicester.  Here’s the headline

Mahrez-Leicester, pas d’accord pour la prolongation de contrat

The Independent meanwhile says the whole deal is off, but what do they know.

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2:  The Alexandre Lacazette shuffle

“Arsenal have been handed a boost…” – you will notice that in these desperate days Arsenal can never do anything themselves – they are completely incapable of any deal.  So they have to wait to be “handed” things.  In this case the notion that Lyon manager Bruno Genesio has “admitted” the French club may be prepared to sell after all.

In the furtive minds of journalists, “Arsene Wenger may consider Genesio’s recent remarks to be a “come and get him” plea – so long as the Frenchman is prepared to increase his initial offer for Lacazette.” Genesio said (according to those who make up these things): “He can leave if Lyon want him to. There are some offers that you cannot refuse.”

With “the ball now in Arsenal’s court” (where do they find these ancient phrases?” [in the journalist’s dictionary of ‘How to write without thinking’ – Tony]) , the pressure is “heaped back onto the north London club”.

Anyway, “Arsene Wenger will make an improved bid for Alexandre Lacazette this week as they aim to secure the signing of an established centre forward before the season begins against Liverpool on August 14.”  I know that’s true cos I read it in the papers.

Now my question is: “Has anyone ever issued you with a come and get me plea?”  I’ve tried it a few times but no one turned up.

3:  Arsenal make ‘opening offer’ for Mustafi

But no, of course, it wasn’t enough.  Ho ho silly Arsenal.  

According to Plaza Deportiva, (that’s Sports Plaza ok?) Arsenal have put in an opening offer of £15.2m but Valencia said “no” which is not very exciting.  But did you know that “no” in Gaelic is “chan eil”?  Bet you didn’t.

Valencia want over £20m for the defender who started out at Everton, headed west and walked into the Irish Sea, got wet, went home, tried off… well, you know, stuff like that.

4:  Arsenal keen on Swansea pear

Actually I think that should be a Swansea pair.  According to our old chum “reports”, Arsenal are preparing a “double swoop” (wooooooooooooooooooo) for Swansea City “defensive pair” (told you so)  Ashley Williams and Federico Fernandez.  A pair of pears one might say.

The Daily Express suggest that Arsene Wenger may look to “Ashley Williams to fill the void left by Per Mertesacker”, which is interesting because before Per got injured they were saying he was a useless lump who should be put on the scrap heap.  Now he leaves a void.  Well, well.

The Wengerian quote on the subject is:

‘At the moment, I will have a look at everybody and then make my final decision but it is true that (Rob) Holding has adapted very well and quickly. All three defenders have top quality and all three miss a little bit of experience. We have to make a decision in two weeks.”

B:  The not getting list

1:  Ben Yedder ‘could have joined Arsenal’, claims former manager

Another Arsenal transfer target bites the dust it seems…   It’s new Sevilla signing Wissam Ben Yedder, who recently signed for Sevilla.   However, his former manager at Toulouse, Pascal Dupraz, has now stated that the striker was offered the chance to join Arsenal.

Arsenal said “non” which is deeply shocking since the player is very clearly on our list of 92 players that Arsenal are bidding for.   I mean if Arsenal keep turning down player opportunities, that undermines the entire window lark.

2: Ashley Williams to join Everton despite Arsenal interest

Everton have beaten Arsenal in the “race” to sign Ashley Williams for £10m in a race that Arsenal were never in, in the first place.  According to the Daily Mirror “In reality, this is a good price for the defender, but in the current climate, the £10m is a steal.”  I’m not sure I understand that.

And besides, when everyone is upping prices and trying to get more money, how can it be a race to sign a player first?   The whole concept of the “race” and “dithering” doesn’t fit with the notion that everyone is demanding the last number you thought of times two.

C:  Injury chaos

Arsenal get more injuries than everyone else.  True of false?   Well we all know, and so those who publish silly tales without checking are revelling in the notion that “Jack Wilshere appears to be injured”  He’ll be out for a “week”.

This is what we used to call “getting a knock”.  Now it is “Arsenal injury crisis.”

“Arsene Wenger inisists [that’s what the reprot actually says] that Wilshere will travel with the rest of the squad to Norway on Thursday ahead of Friday’s fixture against Viking FK.  It’s a slight patella problem but I think he should be with us on tour on Thursday,” Wenger said.

That’s what he said, according to those who make up such things.

D: The Fake Transfer, let’s laugh at Arsenal

Actually this is good if it makes anyone realise what a bunch of turnips journalists are.  They ran the story “Arda Turan to join Arsenal” and then said, “Here he is being unveiled during an interview with Arsenal’s TV channel.”

Then they published the Twatter reaction (remembering that five Twat equals a meltdown).  And then sniggered into their pints because it was all a fake.   The Telegraph then said…

“have to commend the edit, though. Whoever you are, wherever you are, kudos.”

Now that is really quite a moment – a national newspaper celebrating fake news at a time when they are constantly publishing fake news all the time.   It adds another flavour to yesterday’s article Transfers, sackings, injuries… most of it is untrue, and we can’t go on like this. But what happens next?

 E: Returnee news

Thomas Vermaelen could make shock return to Arsenal

Not really a shock because we ran that story last week, but a bit of a shock to the Sun, whose people were out taking over Talk Sport.   They were shocked!  And somewhat behind the times.  Although not behind the Times which is owned by the same old reprobate.

It also turned up in the Catalan newspaper Sport.   (And how disappointing is that.  Sport in Catalan is the same as in English.  I mean if you are not going to bother to make up new words, what is the point of having your own language?)   “Barcelona are seriously considering” says my translation unit.

F:  Young lad comes good news

Arsene Wenger: Oxlade-Chamberlain faces crucial season at Arsenal

Wakey-wakey.   Yes, he’s rather good, we know that.  “Arsene Wenger has admitted Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is facing a crucial 12 months”.   Well, aren’t we all.

G:  Going nowhere news

Simplest way to fill space, make up a story, and then say in profound tones, “the rumours that… are untrue”.   So back with the old Muckraker (the Sun that is) “Arsenal have rejected West Ham’s loan bid for full-back Kieran Gibbs.”

Apparently the journos’ favourite, Slaven Bilic, has viewed the 26-year-old as an ideal replacement for Aaron Cresswell who is our for four months with a knee injury.  (What do they do to players at State Aid Utd.  Jenkinson, now Creswell.  Could it be that State Aid get more injuries than anyone else shock horror?)

“Although Gibbs has fallen down the pecking order at the Emirates due to the form of Nacho Monreal, Arsene Wenger sees Gibbs as an adequate backup for the Spaniard.”

So there it is.   Coming, going, not coming, not going, made up arriving, and young man who done great.  There is just a chance that something on this list is true.  But don’t put your house on it.

Recent Posts

 And an anniversary memory

3 August 1999: Thierry Henry signed for Arsenal for the first time, from Juventus for £11m.  He played 16 games for Juve and it is said that Arsene Wenger and Henry had regular phone chats during in the seasons before Henry signed for Arsenal.  Just imagine if we signed a “reject” from Juve today!

All today’s anniversaries are on the home page as usual

22 comments to This transfer now goes completely beyond a done deal.

  • nicky

    Nice to see that Arsenal’s match v Man City in Gothenburg, Norway on Sunday will be live on ITV1 at 1745.

  • Goona

    This is one of the best articles I’ve ever read on News Now.

    Brilliant journalism indeed! so lets just hope and pray AW wakes up
    in todays world and realises prices for quality players have risen, and if he needs these guys to help us improve, reach for that purse and help us reach new heights this season and please don’t lower your sights Arsene.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Top work Sir H!

  • Old Man

    Evidently we have bought Mahrez and are bidding for Draxler. I always thought there were only 11 players in a team!!

  • para

    The one good thing about transfer rumours is that it benefits Arsenal in their dealings. As long as Arsenal say nothing no one knows anything except Arsenal and the selling club/player/agent.

    I suspect that this is where the rumours are leaked, club, player+friends and agent+friends.

    Of course Arsenal may do the same by faking interest in another player, or that player may well be the second choice.

    Exciting isn’t it? 🙂

  • Richard

    Such a fun piecce and refreshing. Of course what we all know and decide not to adhere to is that the only reliable place to get transfer news is from arsenal’s official website and these are only once the deals are done. Arsenal never make their dealings public however, they may throw out a hatful of names to places just to keep what they are really working on as quiet as possible. Personally I think there should be a petition for extra letters to be added to the alphabet just for us because we have been after every player from a-z and it would give these dolts other ways to amuse themselves and keep them off the streets making the world a safer place.

  • Ashley

    forgive me but what is the point of this post ?? is it an opinion ? is it meant to engage us ? is it meant to be thought provoking ? if anything it just highlights how utterly ridiculous the transfer policy and process is at arsenal and how badly wenger is letting us fans down …. do these rumours swirl around pep jose tuchel ,the guys at juve ? or simeone ? no , because they see what needs to be done and they go hell for leather until its done , journos and tabloids can have a field day with us because of that dithering idiot , i wonder who we we’ll panic buy after we lose to liverpool then ? i wonder how much wenger will have to calm ivan down after the first day of the season …

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Millions of alleged Arsenal ‘fans’ worldwide are reported to have had enough of the club’s non disclosure of its transfer policies and are seeking greener pastures . They scream out ,” Why is the club keeping quiet and not feeding us information ? What is it with this ‘dont fret , don’t tell’ policy ?”

    They are also asking for directions in seeking these fabled greener pastures. Please help ‘them’ in their quest .

    The Brickfields Gunners ‘ Blog was not available for any smart aleckly comebacks when contacted for comments .

  • colario

    Mr Brickfields. To day I read your lessen on how it was that Christopher Columbus discovered the New World.

    He didn’t have to answer any of the questions his wife might have asked him because he didn’t have a wife a wife.

    This lesson of yours ( which was a enjoyable read) made me think of the possible answer/s Mr Columbus might have given to Mrs Columbus had there been one or two or three Mrs Columbuses!

    The difference between a ‘happy marriage’ and a ‘unhappy marriage’

    I think to quote a much missed English comedy character/radio personality, ‘the answer lies in the soil’.

    No matter the question the Big Man has only one reply.

    The actual words he uses for his answer depends I think on the culture he is a member of.

    In one culture he will reply to any or all questions with:

    ‘Don’t ask’.


    ‘Don’t know’.



    ‘You want to know!’


    ‘Not important.’


    ‘Doesn’t matter.’


    ‘how do I know?’.

    Etc, etc.

    Now what is happening is that ‘her in doors’ wants to talk about it so she asks a starter question which invites the big strong man to talk.

    He doesn’t want to talk – he wants to ‘do it’.

    Not wanting to tell her to ‘shut up’ or ‘mind your own business’.

    He replies with a response that basically says ‘shut up’ but doesn’t say it.

    If in the marriage the man will accept that he will be invited to talk and she can accept that the invitation to talk will be refused.
    Then they have a happy marriage.

    However if one of them can not accept this arrangement then the marriage will be an unhappy one.

    The above was to be my last word on this. But.

    May be if Mr Columbus had a happy marriage as described above and still discovered America. Perhaps there would not be such a high divorce rate in America?

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Our main concern now should be in my own thinkin, at what and at which positions in the squad and in which Dept in the squad do we think Arsenal should upgrade to better enhance the playing capacity of the squad?

    Obviously for his lack of senior team experience, Rob Holding filling the void left behind by Rhinosacker for up to 4 to 5 months deep into the new coming season will be a big risk. Therefore, I see an upgrade requirement required at the Arsenal center-back position despite the availability of Holding, Chambers and Koscielny to mann it. I think the Boss can do with a new signing of an experienced top quality CB who shouldn’t be more than 25 years old.

    2ndly, looking at the crop of midfielders at Arsenal, 2-3 mids of: Wilshere, Chamberlain and Cazorla may not guarantee Arsenal a long spell injury free crisis season. It isn’t a prayer I am praying for them. But looking back on their past injury and fainting records which I need not to elaborate on, it will be nice if the Boss takes a proactive action to sign another top quality attacking midfielder for cover and option to further upgrade his midfield.

    3rdly, in an apparent attempt to save his career at Arsenal Walcott, is trying to trick the Boss again in this approaching new season just as he succeeded at tricking him last season into making the Boss to believe he can play as a striker. And now he’s saying he wants to be reassigned to the right wing all over again. What is that! Can Arsenal afford to be going round the virus circle? I don’t say the Boss should dispose of Walcott but he can’t take the risk to depend soley on Walcott again moreso this coming new season for high goals poaching. An upgrade is unfailingly required at the Arsenal forward-line before the end of the window who could be a new high goals scoring right winger or a centerforwad recruit.

    And lastly, if the Boss will buy into my belief and signs another mid which is unlikely he’ll do this window after he has signed Xhaka. He will have to sell one of his current mids or any other Gunner to accommodate the new mid. But the signings of new forward and CB are the all Boss’ initial upgrade thoughts and it is a very correct departmental upgrades.

  • Ashley, I suspect you haven’t been looking much at Untold before and thus it might all seem a bit odd. But you see we get around 6 million page views a year, and many people are regulars here and so the various series we run do have themes and often inter-relate. But popping in without actually looking at any of the previous 6000 plus articles on Untold and expecting it all to be laid out on a plate for you, well, that is demanding a lot.

    But let me give you a clue. To say that ” if anything it just highlights how utterly ridiculous the transfer policy and process is at arsenal and how badly wenger is letting us fans down” is about as far from the mark as possible. And to say, “do these rumours swirl around pep jose tuchel ,the guys at juve ? or simeone ? no” is almost as far from the mark.

    You might like to look back at our research into the comparative ways in which the major clubs are treated by the press or indeed the effectiveness of the money spent by clubs last summer vis a vis their final positions (that was quite a good article I think) or maybe study the Transfer Index we publish each week which tracks every single rumour of a transfer in and out in relation to this transfer window, and contemplate that we have now had over 90 players tipped to be joining Arsenal and 22 leaving.

    I know, its a bit of work, but could be worth it.

  • king2

    Ashley I suspect you are about 12years old,therefore I will be generous and say your comments are ill-informed and typically petulant.

  • Lawrie Hill

    Terrific piece on the transfer state of play and the vocabulary of the media.
    “Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is ready to swoop to land Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez”
    This was the transfer rumour Aug 30 2015!
    Many of our fans thought this a poor move for a ‘who is he?’ player.
    Now the same guys chase Wenger saying he is a ‘must have!”

  • Markyb

    Latest thing is ‘Wenger given green light to spend 100 million’ type stories so next it’ll be Wenger too tight to spend the money. Where they find out what the board is allowing him to spend I don’t know.

  • BarryL

    What journalists and the pundits don’t like is AW’s belief that transfer dealings should be a private matter rather than a public one; involving the two clubs and the Player concerned. So he doesn’t play their game like some well known managers.

    So the media folks check back on the internet and key in “Arsenal transfer targets” and will see the same recurring names …HIguain, Benzema, Morata, Draxler, etc etc. Did AW actually bid for any of these, I doubt it. When did we know about Ozil, Sanchez and Xhaka….when the deal was actually done.

    His stated philosophy is that any purchase should materially add to the squad strength, that the player should actually be available (i.e. their clubs must be ready to sell them), and at a reasonable price.

    So Higuaín (aged 30) went for £75m, Paul Pogba is valued at £120m, and John Stones (who Roy Hodgson didn’t trust to start for England) is valued at £50M, with Lukaku @ £65M.
    Are these players worth these sums which are getting to galactico levels. Definitely not.

    The AAA say if this is the price of winning the EPL then so be it, after all Arsenal have £150M in the bank. Apart from demonstrating an appalling ignorance about how plcs have to be run in the UK (compared to clubs owned by oil “sheikhs” or similar), UA has pointed out many times:
    – new players rarely make an impact in their first season
    – changing managers ditto
    – and many players from Ligue 1, Serie A, La Liga or the Bundesliga fail to adapt to the demands of the EPL in their first seasons.

    AW will try his damnedest to get in 2 signing (striker and CB) that will improve the squad before the window shuts. This will not of course satisfy the AAA but will reassure the rest of the Arsenal fans

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ colario August 3, 2016 at 10:51 am – Charles , not only did your premise befuddle me and had me totally flummoxed , it did seem to have a certain call for help . So am passing this to OMG for a second opinion . He does have the qualification for it !But do hang in there , all things must pass, even the largest of kidney stones !

    But let me allow you into my little secret , a bottle or two of fine wine will allow one to negate all the sings and symptoms of PMS and the menopause !

    Or taking it all out on ‘them’ ! With a smile ! And the knowledge that one day it will be their turn ! He , he , he !
    Sweet !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ king2 August 3, 2016 at 1:31 pm – And I’ll say that you are a true gentleman for not calling him a nincompoop !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    LIFE SKILL CLASS – You’ll thank me someday !


    Lesson one .

    DANGEROUS – What’s for dinner ?

    SAFER – Can I help you with dinner ?

    SAFEST – Where would you like to go for dinner ?

    ULTRA SAFE – Here, have some wine .

    Lesson two .

    DANGEROUS – Are you wearing that ?

    SAFER – You sure look good in brown !

    SAFEST – WOW ! Look at you !

    ULTRA SAFE – Here , have some wine .

    Lesson three .

    DANGEROUS – What are you so worked about ?

    SAFER – Could we be overreacting ?

    SAFEST – Here’s my paycheck .

    ULTRA SAFE – Here , have some wine .

    Lesson four .

    DANGEROUS – Should you be eating that ?

    SAFER – You know , there are a lot of apples left .

    SAFEST – Can I get you a piece of chocolate with that ?

    ULTRA SAFE – Here , have some wine .

    Lesson five .

    DANGEROUS – What did you do all day ?

    SAFER – I hope you didn’t over do it today .

    SAFEST – I’ve always loved you in that robe .

    ULTRA SAFE – Here , have some wine.

  • Brickfields Gunners


    DANGEROUS – Who died and made you AKBs king ?

    SAFER – I fully understand your commitment and passion.

    SAFEST – I bow before your age , superior intellect and wisdom .

    ULTRA SAFE – Here , have some more wine .

    SUPERULTRA SAFE – I think I ‘ll just scarper off and leave this site to you .

  • Richard

    The reason Jose and pep don’t have to be secretive is that they can pay over the odds for any player they like and still go and buy more players. We could get into a bidding war but it seriously damages our chances of getting more done.

    We have brought xhaxa and bid and failed to land vardy these things happen. Yes it’s frustrating not knowing what’s going on are we working on deals etc. But Wenger told us what to expect after season ended and that was!! Well let’s see a midfielder (xhaka) an attacker(vardy and alternates) defender. So to see news that we are rumoured to be after two attacking players and a defender doesn’t then quite add up. Of course you can guarantee if one or two of those supposed deals fail to go through it will be Wengers fault.

    What is annoying for me is to go and read a blog about transfer rumours and find it littered with the old Arsene doesn’t spend money claims all of which are undeniably untrue as a list of players would show Henry, Wiltord, arshavin, Cech, ozil Sanchez, xhaka Lehman just a few off the top of my head he has broken our transfer record time and again when it’s been right. Now 42.5 million for ozil was a fantastic deal a sensible deal 79 million for higuain is not only silly money but it’s also not value for money.

    Why do we need an attacker well because we have a shortage not as people would have you believe because we need a striker that’s going to bang in twenty plus goals a season. Last season we scored two less goals than Leicester and six less than man city. The 2014/2015 season we were two goals less than Chelsea and 12 behind city now in 2013/14 we were way behind city and Utd. By a massive 33 goals but they both topped 100 league goals . You may wonder why I mention city every season that’s because they scored a greater number of goals and still failed to win the league in the past two seasons so scoring the greatest number of goals does not mean you win the league.

  • Markyb

    Where are the articles accusing City of being flat track bullies in those seasons?

  • Brickfields Gunners


    As a boat docked into a tiny seaside village, a visiting businessman complimented the local fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

    “Not very long,” answered the fisherman.

    “But then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the businessman. The fisherman explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

    The businessman asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

    “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, play the guitar, and sing a few songs… I have a full life.”

    The businessman interrupted, “I have an MBA from Harvard, and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat.”

    “And after that?” asked the fisherman.

    “With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to the city, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge new enterprise.”

    “How long would that take?” asked the fisherman.

    “Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years,” replied the businessman.

    “And after that?”

    “Afterwards? Well my Friend, That’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the businessman, laughing. “When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!”

    “Millions? Really? And after that?” said the fisherman.

    “After that you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife and spend your evenings doing what you like and enjoying your friends.”