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The transfer tale that you’ll never believe, and the only transfer column you can totally trust

With today’s guest publication: The Carrick Fergus Times

By Sir Hardly Anyone

One of the wonderful things we discovered last year in running this series on summer transfers was that an English paper (say the Daily Express) would quote the source of a story as being a Spanish newspaper.  Then if one went looking for that Spanish newspaper (armed of course with the statutory Spanish English dictionary) one would find that the paper was itself quoting the Express as the source.   It happened over and over again, so that in the end we gave up checking up on the sources because it was always a roundabout.

But still the newspapers position themselves as the only people who know what is going on inside football and the superior source, able to bring us mere mortals 97% untrue stories whilst retaining their own credibility.

And our claim to be trustworthy?  We always tell you the accuracy level is 3%.

For the bloggettas and the mass media that sponsors them, if transfers they predict don’t happen, that is the club’s fault for being so stupid and slow as not to follow their advice. These publications and their employees often seem to believe that the words that they publish are true because they say them, and anything they don’t comment on is irrelevant or untrue.   Indeed even when they are caught out either telling utter untruths or just utterly misleading us regular people who happen to support a football team, we’re the ones making it up!

So with that in mind, off we jolly well go…

Part One – coaching

1: Jens Lehmann,

Now this is new in the last few days.   The only man in the last 100 years to play every single match in a top division league season and remain unbeaten is “set to” return to Arsenal to work alongside the existing goalkeeping coach.  It is an interesting idea since Mr Wenger said at one stage in what seemed an occasionally frosty relationship with Lehmann that “Jens is lucky, he knows he is always right.”

Part Two – Outgoing players

2: The Ox to Liverpool

It’s a story that has been around since the sinking of Titanic, and it just won’t go away but, that doesn’t mean it is going to happen.   Certainly last season at this time we had a lot of these stories – but I think who leaves primarily depends on what transfers inwards, actually happen.  But we do have to lose one player for every newcomer to make the “25” fit – and even then we don’t have room for any of the players who are moving up from the under 21s.

3: Yaya Sanogo

Sanogo has actually been released by Arsenal, and so he’s not really a transfer out, but it has been recorded by ESPN that Toulouse are considering a move.  Obviously that will be a private affair between him and them.

4: Theo to West Ham

Now this is interesting because what we have here is the notion of the Commentatura researching make believe reports by the Commentariat.  Maybe they have been reading Untold and have realised that the Daily Mirror actually just claimed that West Ham ought to try and get him, not that he was actually going to go.

But if we are going to start unravelling stories, we’ll soon find nothing is true.  And as proof, look at this:

5: Oliver Giroud may not being going to West Ham either!

Well what can I say.  It’s as if Donald Trump has got hold of a Twitter account and is just making it up as he goes along.


Anyway, let’s have a laugh.  This is an actual quote

“Tottenham have already finished above Arsenal, Liverpool & Manchester United before the season starts.”

Yep.  It’s the kit.  Apparently.

6:  All our goalkeepers are leaving which is why we need to buy another one.

From the paper that read Wee Donald’s tweets and thought they were the truth rather than the ravings of a degranged demagogue, ie the Sun on Sunday, comes the report that “Fenerbahce are eyeing current number two Ospina, while Juventus are keeping track of Szczesny following his two-year loan stint at Roma.   As for Martinez, Spanish side Valencia are believed to be admirers of the shot-stopper, who has been an Arsenal player since 2010 when he joined the youth academy from Independiente.”

Yep all three backup keepers are going because Arsenal are too silly to be able to realise that they need someone between the sticks.  So they are now being forced to buy Rob Green from Leeds.

Anyway Szczesny has posted a farewell message on Instagram, although he is probably bidding farewell to AS Roma not Arsenal, saying he will always be grateful to the club and its fans for the experience.

7: Gibbs

We are told by the Mail (at least I think it was, but I didn’t pick it up as I didn’t want to make my hands dirty) that the asking price lowered from £15 to £8m, that Gibbs’ wage demands are also an obstacle and that Watford, Stoke and Brighton have an interest.

Part Three: The loanee who is joining the first team this year

8: Kelechi Nwakali

The story is that Kelechi Nwakali is training with Arsenal’s first team.  He has played in the under 17 world cup in 2015 as captain of Nigeria, and last season played 29 times for Maastricht on loan.   This doesn’t actually mean he is in the first team squad – but rather the club is, as always, using these days at the start of training when there isn’t a plethora of players available, to watch the youngsters in training alongside whichever non-international players are training at the same time.

Part Four: Yer actual transfers inwards.

9:  Arsenal’s chances of signing Thomas Lemar may have received a blow…

as the player’s father wants him to say in France.    Now isn’t it rather strange that M Lemar didn’t say this before, rather than letting all of us get over excited.   And yes we have just found that Lemar’s entourage feel he has a greater chance of making France’s World Cup squad if he remains at Monaco.

But oh what is this?  Lemar would like to work under Arsene Wenger.


And I say again, “Well.”

10: Riyad Mahrez from Leicester to Arsenal

This story has one of the best headlines of the day: “Journalist claims Arsenal will confirm signing of top 26-year-old winger this week”.  What next, “Journalist claims, the earth is flat” shock horror. Or “Journalist claims, ‘we make it all up’.”   Or “Journalist claims he was totally drunk when he said Arsenal had just signed Algenon Fitzgibbon.”   (I was at Oxford with Algie, and let me tell you he is completely useless at everything, including football.)

But CalcioMercato reports that Arsenal will get Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City, “soon.”

He wants to leave, Leicester say he can leave, and Arsenal want him, so what could possibly go wrong?

11: Jordan McEneff signs!

You may have missed this one but it was in the Carrick Fergus Times, which is required reading for all serious transfer hunters so you really should try and keep up.

Recommended by Arsenal’s Head of Recruitment, Steve Morrow, McEneff has impressed enough to earn one of 12 places on the 2017 scholarship programme as an attacking midfielder

11a (last minute addition and I can’t be arsed to renumber everything) Carvalho and Martins

According to A Bola Mr Wenger has his eye on £70m Portuguese pair Carvalho and Martins, who both ply their trade for Primeira Liga club Sporting.  They are both about to sign for Arsenal.

Part something or other: News of those who left before

12:  From the Harrow Times

Harrow Borough sign former Arsenal defender Arinse Uade.   I thought you would like to know.

13:  Sean O’Connor.

Former Arsenal defender Sean O’Connor has been offered to Newcastle on free transfer as Rafa Benitez looks to strengthen squad.

Part the next: not coming

14: Defender Dalbert would prefer to join Inter Milan instead of Arsenal.

The Brazilian has informed his current club that he wants to leave this summer after learning of the growing interest in his services.

And that, wrapping it all up, is from Talk Sprout which is by and large what most of the media has been doing for years.

There are no more parts but there are some recent posts


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4 comments to The transfer tale that you’ll never believe, and the only transfer column you can totally trust

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Wow, these transfer rumours taught indeed, don’t they? Nevertheless, I think transfer news on the BBC, Sky Sports & Espnfc apps are relatively reliable to trust than the ones coming out from the mainstream online newspaper publications. More especially if it’s not a done deal story they’re running.

    How about the story I read this morning on the Sun newspaper saying, Diego Costa who still has 2 years left on his current deal at Chelsea is now retaliating what Antonio Conte has done to him by declaring him as surplus to requirement this summer through texting to consequently hold up Romelu Lukaku move to former club Chelsea by refusing to leave Chelsea this summer even turning down a Chinese Super League club side offer of transfer. But will only leave on his own terms probably to Atletico Madrid during the next January window so as to frustrate Chelsea transfer plans this summer. Is this Diego Costa story on the Sun newspaper credible?

  • So if Ozil and Sanchez don’t sign new contracts and no other team wants to stump up the 40-50 mill and meet there wage demands .

    Looks like they might hang on to Jan start negotiating with whoever to facilitate a free move in the summer with the likelihood of getting the wages they crave

  • Andy Mack

    It should be pointed out that these players that are supposedly running their contracts down, do so at a great risk.
    Someone like Ox seems to be quite injury prone (not as much as other but still a fair few injuries). If he gets an injury at the wrong time then his bargaining power disappears and his £X2 salary target could become reality at 50% of his existing contract.
    Obviously we tried to take advantage of that same situation with the Yaya Sanogo although that gamble was a clear loss… (he really was a very impressive youth player!).

    However Oxs age is a great positive in as much as he’s young enough to get over most injuries, stands a good chance of regaining his existing level and possibly raising it higher (and getting another big contract before his career is over).

    However with older players (Alexis amongst others) a major injury could easily result in a downward spiral for him especially as he’s such a fitness orientated player.

    This is a risk that only the exceptionally well paid can take, as they already have enough money to survive for their entire life time…

    It’ll be interesting to see how this window pans out…