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June 2021

Arsenal to make one more transfer in coming days, and then that will be that.

By Dr Billy “the dog” McGraw

It appears that Arsenal have raised the stakes for Mbappé, seeming to have offered €142 million now for the player.

By setting the bar as high, with the transfer window just six days old,  Arsenal are helping to spiral the prices of players to previously unimaginable levels, meaning that whoever wants Mbappé the most won’t have much other money to spend after that…and may have to sell.

Does it really sound possible for Arsenal actually to spend €142 million?  I find it unlikely in any circumstances, but in these circumstances, having just spent so much on Lacazette – it seems very very unlikely.  More likely, the club is playing the game that has been around for a few seasons now – pushing other clubs to the very edge of the precipice.

We know that what a player is worth is merely what someone is willing to pay for him, and so his value can go up and down very easily.   We also know that while for many years the notion of anyone telling the truth about a club’s intentions has been out of fashion, in recent years the matter has got far worse.

We also know that in less than two years the UK will leave the EU, and that the key aspect of that move is a desire by some to cut immigration.  At that moment, as things stands, none of the EU nationals playing in the UK will have the automatic right to stay, their transfer value reduced by 80% overnight.  (That deduction because no English club could sign the player, and because there will be too many of them flooding the market.

Even if some get work permits, there will be many who won’t meet the sort of criteria that is being talked about.  And do remember, the people making these rules in London are not football supporters – they are trying to salvage an entire economy, and no one is going to think about the rights of EU footballers until it is far too late.

And above all this, we know that downright lying and breaking the rules is now central not just to politics, but also to football.  Lying as an everyday modus operandi started with Liverpool in particular with the rejection of the £40m plus a penny deal offered by Arsenal and the notorious “what are they smoking at the Emirates” comment.  That offer turned into a triumph for Liverpool – with a perfect version of Fake PR the club said, no there was no such clause and the media lapped it up repeating it ad nauseam.

The media never bothered to go back to Arsenal and ask what made them think there was such a clause – and that was of course because everyone knew there really was exactly that clause – as a few finally reported when the Liverpool owner, a Mr Henry, declared at a sports conference in the US that of course there was a £40m buy out clause – they just said there wasn’t, “because contracts in soccer aren’t worth anything.”

Clubs have been following this line for a while quite happily until Liverpool and Manchester City got banned from signing youth players and Liverpool were caught tapping-up Virgil van Dijk.   Liverpool, realising they’d been caught red handed, pulled out of that deal.  Now, as we reported, Velez Sarsfield of Argentina have taken Manchester City to the Court for Arbitration in Sports in the Benjamin Garré case.

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Of course Fifa (sponsored by a middle east airline) rejected an initial complaint from Velez last September against Man City (sponsored by a middle east airline) which is why it has gone to CAS.  If Velez win, City might be banned from registering players for one or two transfer windows.  But these penalties have a habit of being whittled away.

City have reacted exactly as their fans did when it was suggested by Untold that Uefa was after them for breaking the Financial Fair Play regulations – they dismiss the allegations out of hand, claim they are illegal and claim they don’t apply in this case.  But others suggest that the reasons they are looking to sign anyone who moves is because if there is a ban it will not come into place until January.

The Velez case is interesting, in that Fifa rules allow players under 18 to move between clubs only in EU countries. Fifa said Garre has an Italian passport and therefore he’s ok to move.  However the rule actually says that the move has to be between EU clubs – something that will of course put England outside the opportunity of signing EU youngsters in a couple of years time.

Bernardo Bertelloni, the Velez club secretary, has said that the player left Velez just before his 16th birthday and spent a few days in Germany before entering England one day after his 16th birthday, in order to get round the rules.   They say the deal however was set up before the 16th birthday and issued a notice to Manchester City to say the club had been rumbled.

It is felt that Fifa agreed that the transfer was ok, because they had made the initial mistake in misunderstanding their own rules, something that is becoming increasingly common as the previously active members of Fifa (on the Ethics Committee and elsewhere) are all removed and replaced by people more inclined to let absolutely anything go through on the nod.

All this will leave clubs with a plethora of players they can’t recoup any money on, or who might well not have permission to play in England, is now part of the game.  Yes there is still time for more transfers and Arsenal might well buy Riyad Mahrez, and then, with three players signed (and as we said yesterday, still too many on the books to fit into the “25”), that could well be that.

Not just because that gives us a nicely balanced team, even if Alexis goes, but also because the risk exposure is otherwise too great even before we take into account that there could be a serious decline in the bid made by media operations next time around, because of the dramatic decline in the TV audience.

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19 comments to Arsenal to make one more transfer in coming days, and then that will be that.

  • Leon

    I wouldn’t mind at all if it became much more difficult for overseas footballers to play for English teams. We may even get to go back to the days of thirty years (and more) ago when most of our club’s league players were recruited locally and from the youth sides. These were blokes (and I use that word deliberately) you could actually relate to. No chances of that exact situation ever again, but if some good things come out of the Brexit disaster then this could be one of them.

  • para

    It seems the money(for Mbappe) will be coming from the Alexis sale to ManC.

    Everyone is saying that AW wont sell to ManC, but if Alexis wants to go there, and Arsenal get Mbappe, then i think he will end up at city, as they are the only ones interested who will/can pay his wages.

    If Arsenal can get £50-60m from city this will redress the cost of Mbappe.

    Still, i may be wrong and Alexis has decided to stay at Arsenal this season(because AW wont sell to city) and then go free to city, and we have saved our money over the last years for just this purpose, to buy expensive players(Laca, Mbappe) that we truly need now.

    Alexis wages seem too much for Arsenal else the new contract would be signed by now and there would be no talk of free, but maybe he wants to go to Manc.

    Imagine he walks on a free next season and Pep gets sacked from City. Bummer.

  • Tom

    Alexis should not allow Money to lead him out?

  • I cannot get my head around the Wages that Footballers what these days I watched my first Game at Highbury in 1953 the year they won the League that was before the first Hundred pound a week Player Jonny Haynes, I wouldn’t like Sanchez to go BUT 400,000 per week , Adios and get a couple of extra players . I’m off to watch the Gunners in Sydney , then go back to the uk for a Visit , Hoping to get A ticket for the 1st game come on you Gunners big year 17/18. Iwan. BRISBANE AUST

  • Lanz

    Pray, what was Alexis relation with Pep like while at Barca?

  • stefan melzak

    Sanchez’ alleged latest wage demands- £400,000a week if true- indicate that he is definitely going. Selling him will cover the Lacazette purchase. That will leave arsenal will plenty of money still to spend. I don’t see the Mbappe purchase as realistic. Mahrez seems more likely.

  • Shakabula Gooner

    What I find interesting in this year’s window thus far, is the sudden realization by the big clubs, in England and in Europe, that Arsenal is ready to hold its own, a big club too, with enough money to deal in the market with the right mix of deep strategy and chutzpah.

    That we may yet have Mbappe and Mahrez/Lemar and lose Sanchez while still keeping Bellerin, The Ox and Giroud excites me. That everyone of our players’ status (to keep or to let go) is subject more to our strategic choices than to the financial pressures of the big hitters in England or Europe is a welcome evidence of how the Arsenal/Wenger club strategy of the past 10 or so years have panned out.

    It is even more gratifying that Wenger has stayed long enough to be the initiator of the new and more confident Arsenal in the transfer market.

    Plus: No more do we retain lower grade players out of necessity. They are being let go systematically. Better grade players are being brought in to give those still in the books fierce competition for their positions.

    Had Wenger been let go and the newly hired coach were the one operating in this confident and ruthless fashion, pundits and fans who clamored for his removal would have felt vindicated that, indeed, he didn’t have what it takes to operate in the mode of the coach of a big, confident and rich club!

  • Chris

    Considering the fact that Monaco have raised Mbappé’s wages dramatically, the effect of Arsenal’s offer has been felt there to begin with, leaving them with a lesser budget to purchase players. Which in the end may mean they’d have to sell other players to keep M’Bappé.

    The other thing is that if Arsenal are to sell whoever, the price will have gone up as well, so they’ll recoup more.

  • Chris

    I’m not so sure we are going to lose Sanchez to City. I would not be surprised if Arsenal just stay put and keep him. Sure the transfer fee would be important. On the other hand his salary will not increase next year. And considering a World Cup is coming, he will not change and will give his best on the field. And why make an opponent that much better and lessen our chances for a title.

    Keeping him and even getting Mahrez would give us a front line with for example Ozil, Alexis, Mahrez, Lacazette…add Giroud, Walcott, Welbeck, Iwobi, the Ox and Perez as alternatives and I cannot see why this would not represent our best shot at a title.

    Come next year, imagining Arsenal have had success, the situation will be different. He can get a signing bonus from AFC, a raise, whatever, having played with a front line including Ozil, Lacazette, maybe Mahrez may have given him what he wants : titles. And in a year’s time, who knows how the situation in the Uk will be, how the other clubs have fared financially, maybe even City$ will be banned from transferts for a few periods.

    I believe Arsenal are in a position to palce a bet on the team staying strong, and not selling star players.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    If Le Prof must eat a frog(sign another top quality left winger or a top quality forward who can play in all front three positions), let him eat(sign) the one that has eggs(top quality) inside. If the Metro claims of Alexis demands of £400k/w wage is true and he stands by that demand not accepting the £275k/w wage purportedly offered to him by Arsenal to collect. And if Arsenal in my opinion up that to £300k/w which I believe is the highest Man City will pay him if he goes there. But if he still rejects the £300k/w wage I am suggesting Arsenal should offer to him as their very last offer, then, I’ll suggest Arsenal should sell him this summer to the highest bidder to avoid losing him for free next season which won’t be wise to do by Arsenal on the financial front for the club. But his sales should not be less than £60m transfer fee.

    If Alexis is adamant not to lower his wage demands to what Arsenal can afford to pay him, say, £275k – £300k per week wage. And a final decision to sell him to the highest bidder is arrived at by Le Prof and the Arsenal board, obviously, Le Prof could replace him with one of Kylian Mbappe at most (a frog with eggs inside it) or Thomas Lemar at least (another frog with egge inside it). The bottom line is if the top quality goals scorer Alexis leaves us, Le Prof MUST replace him with a likewise quality or one above him in quality.

    I think if Arsenal get £60m or more from Alexis sales. That amount will cover what they’ve spent in the transfer of Lacazette to us. And Originally, Arsenal have certain amount which they’ve set aside to do this summer incoming tranfers. And they can buy one of Mbappe and Lemar from the money they’ve set aside to do this summer transfer business depending which of the duo Le Prof preferred to buy. And let’s not forget that Arsenal will recoup some of the cash they’ll use in getting Mbappe or Lemar transferred to Arsenal as they too the Arsenal, get money from the players they’ll sell and loan out this summer.

  • Must make another signing: Desperately need a keeper. Cech isn’t half the goalie he was without all those dirty Chavs in front of him. Martinez is still a rookie, and we can’t count on him developing into a top-flight keeper in one season. Szczesny and Ospina both look as good as gone. Winning games 4-3 wasn’t a good plan in the Swindin and Wright years, it won’t be a good plan now.

  • Jammy J

    Does anyone even have any proof that Alexis is asking for £400,000? Yesterday it was £300,000 and today it has magically gone up another £100,000. And where did this juicy piece of insider information come from? Well, none other than; the Mirror! A paper that is known by all, for its cutting-edge insider scoops! Why does everyone seem to believe this utter tripe?

  • Chris

    Well, just reading Lukaku would go to MU for £ 75 million.
    If that ends up being true, I’d say that the price for Lacazette, around £ 45 million plus bonuses seems very good business to me…
    This inflation is just insane.

  • Goonermikey

    Well said Jammy

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Go for a day out with the family. Nobody knows what is really going on. At least on a picnic you can step on the things that bug you.

  • Josif

    In my humble opinion (and let’s not forget I made a correct prediction regarding who would win the league last season before the first game had started), Arsenal don’t need any new signings except for a central midfielder. Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey have forged a strong partnership in a new formation but all other available options are not so good and we will have around 60 games next season provided that we reach a Europa League semifinal and an FA Cup quarterfinal (Europa League has an extra knockout round comparing with Champions League as there is also Round of 32). That means we need a squad depth (which we obviously have), especially in the central midfield where we have had most of the injury problems during the last few years. We already have Santi Cazorla out at least until Christmas and Jack Wilshere picked a serious injury against Spuds while he was on loan at Bournemouth. That’s two central midfielders unavailable. Yes, we have Xhaka, Ramsey, Elneny, Coquelin, Jeff and Maitland-Niles but like I said, a central midfielder that would improve the team wouldn’t be a bad purchase.

    We have four options for goalkeepers, five with Macey and that means at least two goalkeepers should be offloaded (Ospina looks like one good candidate for departure as he is neither a HG-goalkeeper like Szczesny nor a first-choice like Čech).

    We have four options for right (wing-)back position with Debuchy and Jenkinson likely to be a surplus to requirements and Ox is yet to sign a new contract.

    We have three options for the left (wing-)back with Gibbs likely to be a surplus and he has less than 12 months on his contract.

    We have six central defenders plus Nacho but with three at back, Gabriel being injured, Koscielny’s problems with Achilles and being suspended for the opening game(s) and Per admitting he can’t play every three days, we don’t have space to lose any of our current central defenders. The partnership between Rob Holding and Calum Chambers is a special treat we might enjoy in the next decade.

    After Lacazette’s arrival, our attack is pretty crowded. Özil, Alexis, Lucas Perez, Giroud, Welbeck, Walcott, Iwobi, Campbell, Akpom and Lacazette can all play and there are either three or four places in the first 11, depending on our formation. Mind you, we are heading into a pre-WC season which means all our international players will seek for a regular football in order to stay fit for their respective national teams. In my opinion, I think we can lose Theo, Lucas, Akpom and, as much as I hate to say that, Campbell with a note I’d like to see Akpom taking one more loan spell before making a final judgement on his future at Arsenal. Given the circumstances, I don’t think we need either Mahrez or Lemar right now. If I can choose between two of them, I’d go with Lemar as I see Mahrez as a one season wonder and a diver.

    As for Alexis and Özil, keeping two of them is vital for so many reasons. With Lacazette’s pace and powerful right foot, Özil should enjoy a great season, especially given that he will go through a preseason with the team. Alexis has shown many times he can score vital goals, especially at Wembley and if we really have to lose him, we have to 1) try to sell him abroad and 2) find a replacement for him. The 1) would be difficult as not too many foreign clubs can pay his alleged wage demands and 2) would be even more difficult as that transfer would include a massive transfer fee and (very likely) a massive wage for the new superstar.

  • nicky

    Can’t agree with your isolationistic view on recruiting local talent.
    Witness our national side as a warning. 😉

  • omgarsenal

    Uncle Mike:¨Must make another signing: Desperately need a keeper. Cech isn’t half the goalie he was without all those dirty Chavs in front of him. Martinez is still a rookie, and we can’t count on him developing into a top-flight keeper in one season. Szczesny and Ospina both look as good as gone. Winning games 4-3 wasn’t a good plan in the Swindin and Wright years, it won’t be a good plan now.¨

    Did you bother to verify Cech’s performances this season before spouting such nonsense?
    What makes you say that Szez and Ospina look as good as gone? Is it their aftershave?
    How many games did we win last season 4-3? Exactly NONE!

    Go back to your knitting, its the only thing you are actually good at!

  • Menace

    Amazed that a so called Arsenal fan wants to turn us into a Sunday League team. Local players (bollocks)!! We have the most disgusting group of ‘locals’ in the PGMOL. If that is what your dream is then please take the FA & PGMOL to Sunday League & let in foreign officials to officiate the EPL so that we can watch a game on a level playing field.