By Sir Hardly Anyone.
The Director of Football story is back on the agenda after at least a week without it coming up. And so are the stories about the new manager.
This time it is Borussia Dortmund man Michael Zorc who has been approached about taking a job in London – and the usual commentators are adding two and two and making 33. Marc Overmars, director of football at Ajax, is also being considered by Ivan Gazidis or so the story goes.
Now it is interesting that the newspaper highlighting the story (the Daily Telegraph) also includes this little snippet. “The club’s player recruitment has not been particularly successful over recent years…” – a typical throwaway line, without any evidence. I would have thought that buying Alexis for the price we paid was a rather clever move, as was the purchase of Bellerin from Barcelona, to name but two.
What is interesting is that they also say is that this is happening while “Wenger’s future is unresolved” and without mentioning the work of StatDNA which Arsenal own. Yet many other sources say that Mr Wenger’s future is resolved, but the club and the manager decided not to make an announcement until the end of the season. The Telegraph give no evidence for their statement, nor for their view that Dick Law “is expected to leave Arsenal in the next 12 months,” although of course it could be just to go on holiday.
But the overall assertion is that Arsenal “would look to sign a striker, a central defender, a wide player, a left-back and a goalkeeper.” And they also suggest that “Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel is also thought to be among the names Arsenal will consider if Wenger does leave the Emirates, but no talks have taken place over that role.” I think using “thought to be” is about right. And someone thinking something doesn’t make it real. Especially when it is a professional journalist.
However the Zorc story is building and we are told he “has built a reputation as being one of the best sporting directors in Europe, having helped Dortmund win three Bundesliga titles and reach the final of the Champions League.” Also, that “Zorc signed a contract with Dortmund that runs to 2019 three years ago, but there have been a series of disagreements behind the scenes this season that has placed doubts over the future of several members of club staff.”
Meanwhile of course the rumours are manufactured. A few days back we published part 5 of this summer’s Transfer Index and found 33 players thus far tipped to come to Arsenal. Last year the total reached 110 by the time the window smashed closed amid a lot of silly ramblings by the media and broken glass on the floor. Three players actually did make it to Arsenal – but they were not mentioned until a few days before each deal.
So the race is on to see if the percentage drops any lower this year.
Here are those doing the rounds today
1: James Rodriguez (The Star, Metro, Canon, Mirror, Express, Pain in the Arsenal, Telegraph, TalkSprout, Bleacher).
Arsenal have reportedly “earmarked” Real Madrid’s Rodriguez as a replacement for Alexis Sanchez at the end of this ‘campaign’.
2: Jordon Pickford (Express, Metro, Star, Mirror)
Everton are leading the “race” to sign the goalkeeper from Sunderland, who as you may know have been relegated, but Arsenal are also interested. As are Man United and Liverpool.
3: Sead Kolasinac (Metro, Sun, Bleacher, Goal, Football London, ESPN, Star, Mail, Tribal, Mirror)
He is going to make up his mind which club he wants and he is doing it this week, “according to reports”. It could be Arsenal or it could be Man City. Or was it AC Milan? He’s a left back and he thinks he would get on rather well in English football. At least “according to reports” he does.
The only problem is that two weeks ago the deal was 95 percent done. Whatever happened to the last five percent?
4: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang again to replace Alexis (Mirror, Star, Hard Tackle, Metro, Telegraph, Star, Sun)
The price is now being quoted at £80m. It is going up all the time but that probably has more to do with the collapse of the British currency than any sort of rise in the real price.
5: Wojciech Szczesny (Independent, TalkSprout, GreatGoals, Metro, ESPN, Mail).
The man who was personally responsible for Untold being called racist (for endlessly misspelling his name) is “reportedly” ready to return to Arsenal and “fight to be the club’s number one”. All the reports say that he has been in great form playing for Roma, and at 27 years old is a mere stripling in goalkeeper terms. He doesn’t smoke in the showers any more either.
6: Kylian Mbappe (Metro, Standard, Star, Mail, Sun, Bleacher, Mirror; but the Independent says he turned the chance down – how could they get it so wrong???).
He’s the AS Monaco wonderkid; he’s 18 and has “burst on the scene” getting 24 goals including home and away against Manchester C and Borussia D. The Mail even says that Arsenal are willing to pay £85m. Apparently so are Real Mad although they tend to like their young men a bit younger according to the courts.
7: Carlos Bacca (Fantagazzetta. Calciomercato, Mirror, Sun, Cannon, Star, Metro, Squwaka, TalkSprout, Sports Mole, Football Italia, Express)
Now we are told his agent has been with AC Milan’s boss men to discuss potential options for his client to leave the club in the summer. The club, we are told, are short on the reddies. €25m has been mooted. (What an odd word that is!) Bacca is ‘all set’ to leave the club at the end of the season, Calciomercato says in an “exclusive”(?).
And yes we know he “was set to move to West Ham last season, only to call everything off at the last minute” but that was just because he didn’t fancy working for K. Brady. But now for €25 to 30 million, some Chinese and Spanish clubs also fancy him.
8: Jordan Pickford (Standard, Metro, Sun (twice) Express, Bleacher, Goal, Star, Telegraph, Mirror (twice)
He’s the Sunderland keeper an a Mr Moyes has warned him against moving to a club in which he wouldn’t be number one. Mind you the Sunderland directors have warned Mr M about taking out a long lease on a house in the area, which might not be needed.
Everton want him, and are willing to “break the bank” for him. That would however be a crime under English law, and could see the directors imprisoned just as they were starting to build their new stadium with no money put into it by Liverpool Council. He’s 23, and will cost £15m
And the latest news of the many, many players who will be tipped to be leaving (remembering that last season the entire squad was said to be off…)
Turkish-Football claims that Barcelona are “eyeing up” a “shock move”. Wow!
And as for the wildest transfer story ever….
Stan Collymore has “urged Arsene Wenger to make a bold bid to try and sign Gareth Bale from Real Madrid”. Mind you other reports claim Manchester United have already agreed terms.
Told you it was wild.
- Arsenal v Tottenham update, team news and appalling, flagrant media bias
- Arsenal have benefitted by the world cup break: allegedly.
- Arsenal and Tottenham: which has had the easier ride so far this season?
- Arsenal v Tottenham: not exactly a battle of equals.
- Death by 300,000 passes: how the Arsenal transformation started 2 seasons ago.