By Sir Hardly Anyone
In the ongoing struggle to find players who by a very long stretch of the imagination might actually come to Arsenal, the media have, since we last looked, found another 10, thus taking the total so far to 46. And remember the transfer window isn’t even slightly ajar as yet.
But still, the fantasists are alive with their wild tales, 97% of which will be untrue (at least if last year’s totals are to be followed).
And there is one little technical thing to note as these stories emerge. The Mirror owns Football.London which churns out around 40 Arsenal stories a day, all generated by computer to the same format, each consisting of six one line paragraphs of introduction and then a one line story. Now the Mirror is upping the output of its own football transfer site rivalling its own FootLond football transfer site. And any moment now they are going to start citing each other as a source for the stories.
Here are the rumours…
1: Thomas Meunier
Arsenal fans don’t want to sign Belgian international defender Meunier this summer according to TBR football. But apparently we are still going to do it as Arsenal Station and the Daily Mail say Arsenal are talking with PSG in order to sign the full-back for around £30m. TheSportsReview also has Arsenal actively trying to get the man.
2: Ruslan Malinovskyi
The Daily Canon tells us that 26-year-old Ruslan Malinovskyi is likely to leave Genk this summer and Arsenal are one of a number of clubs interested in his services. He is a Ukraine midfielder.
Foxsportsasia announce that Arsenal are about to make this player the first signing of the summer. A bold statement and we shall of course hold them to it. He will cost in the region of €10m. Real Betis also remain interested in the player but HITC have the story as well. Youssef En-Nesyri scored nine times in his debut season, is 21 years old and a Moroccan international. He plays for Leganes, and Borussia Dortmund and Schalke are both expressing interest while Betis have offered around £9 million.
4. Marcos Llorente
He is 24, and plays defensive midfield for Real Madrid. In 2016/17 he went on loan to Alaves and has not played a league match for Real Mad since then although on 22 December 2018 he played and scored for Real Mad in the Fifa Club World Cup and was named player of the match. Transfer Market say he will cost £13.5m. TM cite HITC.
5. Eric Bailly.
Here we have a 25 year old centre back from the Ivory Coast currently with Manchester United and said to be worth £27m. TransferMarket think he is on the way.
Isco plays for Real Mad, is an attacking midfielder and in 2017, he was selected as one of the 30 best players in the world for that season. He played 27 games for them last season and is valued at £54m which I would have thought is a bit out of our reach, but Transfer Market has him listed as an Arsenal possible
7/8: Joachim Anderson and Dennis Praet
This story pops up in various places including Calciomeracto and Tuttosport with Arsenal offering £37m to get both of the players in one go from Sampdoria. Anderson is a centre back who played 39 times for the club last season; Praet is a 25 year old attacking midfielder who played 34 games last time around. Talk Sport say the deal is on and that it will use up virtually the entire transfer budget. The Mirror says that the story that Praet has a release clause is not true.
He is a centre defender from Leipzig and the Express claim that we are going to get him and Anderson (see above) which raises the question of how many central defenders we want. Mind you the Express also say that Arsenal’s transfer budget is confirmed and that it is “about £50m” – a story they get from the Daily Star! Talk about the blind leading the bland.
10: Danny Loader
FootballLeagueWorld and Goal are both saying that Arsenal and Chelsea want the 18 year old Reading striker.
The Times are reporting that Guangzhou Evergrande and Shanghai SIPG are working on getting Aubameyang to China for a salary of £15.6m a year – and it seems they are encouraged by the fact that for Mr Emery to have money to buy players he has to sell players.
Aubameyang has two years left on his current contract and the reports say if he won’t sign a new deal he will go. Caughtoffside say that Auba has removed all traces of Arsenal from his Instagram site – further proof that he is leaving.
Caught offside (again) say that Xhaka is close to moving to InterMilan. Although we should add that Suburban Gooners say that neither is going because both are needed by the manager. Which seems fair enough.
Napoli have opted to keep Ospina according to Caught Offside.
TheWeek say that Atletico Madrid are seeking to buy him as are Barcelona. They put the blame for this tale on the Evening Standard.
Arseblog has Freddie Ljungberg leaving the under 23s and joining the first team coaching staff for the coming season.
And that for the moment is that.