Posts Tagged ‘Arsene Wenger’

Football

Arsenal update: Suarez ‘interested,’ Flamini wants Prem return

By Stefano on July 10th, 2013

Launch new kit. Tick. Dispose of a few deadwood players. Tick. Sign some new ones. Well hopefully that will be Arsene Wenger’s agenda this week and top of his wants list appears to be Luis Suarez.

At first it seemed that the so called bid for the Liverpool striker was a bit of smoke screen to let the wavering Higuain and Real know that Arsenal had other options. But nope, it looks like Arsenal are serious and according to the papers this morning Suarez is taking their interest seriously too.

In spite of all the talk of how much he hates the British media the player now appears to be up for any team that will offer him Champions League and big pay packet. He told a Uruguayan radio station

“But in football, as I have always said, you never know what is going to happen. I’ve said everything I have said. As things stand I have to present myself there but just a phone call could change those plans. It is good to know I’m still valued by teams like Arsenal.

“Friends call me up to ask if I am moving to Chelsea, to which I laugh. The important thing in the market, whatever else has happened, is for teams to continue to value me for what I’ve done as a player on the pitch. It is not one club at the moment, there are lots of options.

“I do not think any of them are concrete yet. There are two or three teams that are possibilities.”

With still no movement on Fellaini and Gareth Barry increasingly looking like a Plan B I wonder if Arsene will this morning be thinking about another old flame – Matty Flamini.

After several tricky years in Italy the player is said to be keen to move back to the Premiership as he had unfinished business.

He is 29 now and clearly a shadow of the player he was when he left Arsenal, but there are a trio of clubs interested in securing his services. Is Arsenal one of them?

Flamini told The Sun, reported here.

“Milan offered me a contract for two years but I need to take my time and make the right decision. I’ve been in Italy for five years, I’ve had a great time and learnt a lot. But I miss England and I want to win the Premier League. It has a special place in my heart. I like the pace and the physicality of English football and I like that every game is very open.”



Football

Arsenal update: Is Michu on the radar as Swansea close in on Bony?

By Stefano on July 8th, 2013

So, we are rapidly approaching the middle of July and Arsenal still haven’t signed a player – apart from of course that young, French, injury-prone striker. Higuain is either about to sign or cosying up to Ancelotti, depending on which paper you read. Rooney is staying at United. Jovetic, well who knows. Which brings us nicely back to Michu.

As we know all too well the Spanish striker was an absolute bargain for Swansea and has a proven track record now in the Premier League. He may have a few weaknesses to his game but if anyone looks like an RVP replacement it is him.

So why is Michu (last linked with Arsenal back in early June) back in the picture? Well according to the BBC the Swans are on the verge of signing another name that Arsenal have been linked to Wilfried Bony. The Ivory Coast international will apparently join the welsh team for around £13 million.

Bony joins Jonjo Shelvey from Liverpool, Alejandro Pozuelo from Real Betis, Jose Canas from Real Betis, Jordi Amat from Espanyol, Gregor Zabret from NK Domzale and Alex Gogic from Olympiakos in what has been a bumper spree for Swansea – get the hint Arsene.

But the arrival of a new star striker must once again put a question mark over the future of Michu? Is Laudrup preparing to cash in on his prize asset? And if he does leave might Wenger be interested?

And you could imagine how quickly and easily he could slot into Arsenal’s frontline. It is a long shot and I think Michu may be more likely to end up back in Spain, but I’d be surprised if Michu and Arsenal are linked together again very shortly.



Football

Five reasons why Arsenal will make big transfer announcements this week

By Stefano on July 1st, 2013

The last month or so has been a long and painful one for Arsenal fans as they have watched as potential targets have whizzed in and out of Arsene Wenger’s radar before deciding that they don’t fancy north London at all, or Arsene doesn’t fancy the size of their proposed wage packet – you decide.

However I think the phony war could be about to come to an end and and here are five reasons why.

1 Arsenal need to sign players soon – The team’s disastrous start to the 2011-2012 season was characterised by the fact that Wenger left most of his shopping to deadline day. He didn’t last year and it helped. And he won’t again this year. Arsenal need players embedded in the squad quickly, after all the team have the small matter of a Champions League qualifier on the horizon.

2 The Transfer window is officially lifted today – Ok, so you can make deals and sign players in June but it all becomes official today as the transfer widow begins. Expect to see a couple of mooted signings like Yaya Sanogo plus a few youngsters announced very shortly.

3 The Arsenal back room staff are back at work – The team are back from their well earned break today, tanned, rested and eager to get back to work. Deals, if they are going to to happen, can happen quickly now

4 One big deal must be ready by now – The hot money is obviously on Higuain, but you never know. The Marouane Fellaini discussions might be a lot further advanced than everyone outside of the club thinks.

5 Arsene Wenger has relocated the Arsenal fax machine – It hasn’t been used since January and was probably tidied away by the cleaner. But it is plugged in and ready to start whirring now. Hopefully.



Football

Arsenal update: Jovetic news, Serge Aurier wants to be a Gooner

By Stefano on June 28th, 2013

After dominating Arsenal transfer news for months things have gone a little quiet around Fiorentina’s Stevan Jovetic lately. At one point its seemed as if Arsenal and Juve would be battling for the player’s signature, but now it seems that Arsenal are pursuing Higuain while Juve have landed Tevez.

But there still remains the possibility that Wenger might sign two strikers this month especially considering the ongoing gossip around the club’s pursuit of Wayne Rooney.

If Arsenal are back in for Jovetic though they might find some new opposition. The Star is suggesting that Real Madrid are making a move for the player who is apparently coveted by both Arsenal and Chelsea.

It says

New Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti is keen on landing Jovetic, who is valued at around £20m.

I guess the issue for Ancelotti is whether he can land his supposed number one target Liverpool’s Luis Suarez.

If Ancelotti does sign either of the players he will most likely have spent £50 million in a week (after grabbing Isco for £30 milion). I bet some Arsenal fans wish that their manager was as decisive in the transfer market.

Meanwhile Serge Aurier, the 20 year old right back currently playing for Toulouse, has given the club a huge come and get me plea. The player was seen wearing an Arsenal shirt on holiday which he then posted to Facebook and Twitter. Maybe he knows something that the rest of us don’t…



Football

Rooney – Arsenal ready to pounce if he decides to leave United

By Stefano on June 27th, 2013

Monday is set to be a big day for one Wayne Rooney. For that’s the day the England striker will meet his current boss, David Moyes,  to discuss his future.

If they do decide to part company then the Daily Star reports that Arsenal are ready with a package to tempt the player to north London.

The paper says

The Gunners are convinced they have a realistic chance of persuading the England strikerto join their revolution.

The Emirates hierarchy feel they need to start joining the big boys when it comes to transfers, especially if they want to persuade boss Arsene Wenger to sign an extension, with his contract ending next summer and Paris St-Germain interested in his services.

It’s understood Wenger and Arsenal would like to see a dream partnership of Real Madrid’s Gonzalo Higuain as a central striker with Rooney playing behind him.

Wages of £200k per week have been mooted by The Star,  though it is tricky to imagine that Arsenal will match those. The United player may have to take a drop.

If Arsenal do have a chance it will rest on three factors. Firstly Rooney will get the chance to play with some of his young England pals in the guise of Wilshere, Walcott and Oxlade Chamberlain – that might appeal to him. Secondly if he does sign he will have been convinced by the Arsenal board that they really are ready to challenge for honours this season and have the squad to do this.

Most importantly though that the player thinks that London is a better bet for him that moving abroad to either Paris or Barcelona.



Football

Arsenal update: Real after Cazorla, Higuain news and Benjamin Mendy details

By Stefano on June 25th, 2013

Well we thought this was the summer it wasn’t going to happen, but it seems that several clubs are sniffing around some of Arsenal’s most high profile players. Like Laurent Koscielny who seems to be hinting that he is staying at The Emirates in spite of interest from a number of clubs.

But he isn’t only one. The Daily Star says that Real are planning a surprise move for Arsenal playmaker Santi Cazorla. The little Spaniard, who has at times been breathtaking this season, doesn’t sound however as if he is going anywhere.

He said

“In football you have to live in the moment,”

“I have three years left on my contract and I have not thought of anything like that. My plan is to continue at the club.

“Arsenal are treating me very well and I want to win a title with them. In football, you cannot predict the future at any time.”

The Higuain saga rumbles on, though the confirmation of Carlo Ancelotti as new manager of Real ought in theory to hurry up the player’s exit. A lot of sites, including SportstDirectNews, are predicting that the player will announce his move, almost certainly to Arsenal by the end of the week.

Finally HITC has the lowdown on French teenager Benjamin Mendy who The Gunners are allegedly trying to tempt away from Le Havre. Although he has been billed as a left back – which is odd given the prowess of the two left backs on Arsenal’s books – Mendy can play on the left side of the centre. Given that he is 6 foot 1 inch, this could well be why Wenger is targeting him, maybe as a Vermaelen replacement? Arsenal are reported to have bid £2.5 million for the player which Le Havre obviously don’t feel is anything like enough.



Accessories, Football

Arsenal update: Higuain deal close, Payet buzz, Villa off to Spurs?

By Stefano on June 24th, 2013

There is still no hard news coming out of Madrid this morning, which means that several news sites are running with ‘Gonzalo Higuain deal gets even closer’ type stories. At least a couple of sites have claimed that an Arsenal entourage are in Madrid and that Wenger may be jetting out to join them soon.

Goal also says that Higuain’s father has confirmed that talks between Real Madrid and potential suitors Arsenal and Juventus are at an “advanced stage” regarding the striker’s transfer.

Gunners officials have travelled to Madrid in order to finalise a move for the 25-year-old with Arsene Wenger’s side looking to tie up a deal for just over €20 million, while the Spanish club are looking for a figure of over €25m. The Premier League club have already agreed a contract with Higuain that will start with a wage of €115,000-a-week.

The reason why the deal hasn’t go through is largely believed to be because Real Madrid are without a manager at the moment. So it may take a week more before it all gets finalised.

Meanwhile Touchlinetalk has the lowdown on another key Arsenal target Florent Dimitri Payet. The site runs through the career history of the Frenchman who can play as a winger or an attacking midfielder. Payet is said to be a selfless player on the pitch and notched up a very impressive 18 assists at Lile this eason. He can however have his immature moments too highlighted by his altercation with former teammate Blaise Matuidi and failing to turn up to training. It will be interesting to see how this on pans out.

Finally it seems that Arsenal’s interest in Barcelona’s David Villa has dwindled away to nothing. According to a report in El Mundo Deportivo on Monday morning Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas has instructed new director of football Franco Baldini to close a deal for Villa.

The disappointment for Villa is that Spurs can’t offer the player Champions League football, this season anyhow. Arsenal can give the player that platform but seem to have lost interest in signing the prolific Barca striker.



Football

Arsenal update: Marouane Fellaini deal in the balance

By Stefano on June 21st, 2013

So is the Higuain deal in the bag? In spite of the rumours about a late bid from Juve the London Evening Standard seems to think so. It says

All parties are confident Higuain will soon be joining the Gunners from Real Madrid.

Interestingly it also suggests that Arsene Wenger might be about to make a move for Arsenal’s other key summer target Marouane Fellaini.

According to the Standard

Arsene Wenger is prepared to break Arsenal’s club record transfer fee for the second time in a matter of days to sign Marouane Fellaini.

The Arsenal manager is considering activating Fellaini’s £23m release clause at Everton.

Once again the paper reiterates the sticking point is the price with Everton clinging on to their £23 million valuations and Wenger not sure if he wants to meet that fee.

The issue for Arsenal is that if the club wants Marouane Fellaini to be settled and ready for the new season they need to do the deal very soon. Admittedly Mikkel Arteta fitted in very quickly after his move from Everton two years ago in the central midfield berth. However this time round Wenger has some tricky Premiership games and the Champions League qualifier to factor in. So a fast move would make a lot of sense.



Football

Higuain to Arsenal? Juventus are still in the hunt says their general director

By Stefano on June 21st, 2013

Just when it seemed that it was done deal and that Arsenal fans would be getting the marquee striker signing they crave comes the news that Juventus haven’t given up hope of signing Real Madrid’s Gonzalo Higuain.

In spite of rumours that the player has signed a £130,000-a-week contract to join the north London club and that Arsenal and Real were finalising the fee, Juve’s general director has said that he thinks the striker could still be bound for Italy.

Giuseppe Marotta told Italian television station Sky Sport Italia, which has been reported by The Star.

“Higuain? I do not want to say anything because there is still so much time left for things to happen.”

If the rumours are to be believed then time is the last thing that Morotta and Juve have.

So Arsenal fans is this going to be yet another player that slips through Arsene Wenger’s grasp?



Football

Arsenal update: Higuain deal gets closer, Rooney keen, Carroll miss

By Stefano on June 20th, 2013

Some very good news for Arsenal fans. The Telegraph is reporting that Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain has agreed person terms with the London club. He will apparently earn £130,00 a week making him the highest paid player at the club.

Arsenal are expected to pay around £22 million for the player too which will also make him the club’s record signing.

So Arsenal fans? How exited are you about this one? Is Higuain the marque signing you were hoping for?

Or maybe you are more excited about Wayne Rooney? The Star is reporting that the Gunners are now favourites to land the England striker.

It says

A month ago bookmakers were offering a price of 50-1 on Rooney – who told Sir Alex Ferguson he wanted to leave United – signing for the Gunners.

But it’s been backed in ever since and it’s now just 6-4 with BetVictor for the England ace to link up with Arsene Wenger.

The paper also says that Rooney would favour a move to Arsenal over possible suitors PSG and Chelsea.

So does the Higuain signing make the Rooney move less or more likely? Well the jury is out on that one. Rooney is alleged to have been monitoring the players coming in to measure Arsenal’s ambition. But would Wenger then spend on two strikers especially after Rooney has made it clear that he wants to start up front and not behind a striker as he did this season at United?

On the slightly more bizarre note the Star is claiming that Arsenal attempted to make a last minute grab for Liverpool striker Andy Carroll. The paper reports that the Gunners were eventually put off by the cost of landing the player which it says would have been in excess of £60 million.



Football

Arsenal update: Ruben Garcia, Gonzalo Higuain and Asier Illarramendi rumours

By Stefano on June 18th, 2013

Well it is all going on in Spain. After plundering the country for Fabregas, Cazorla, Monreal, and in a roundabout way Arteta, Arsene Wenger is rumoured to be injecting some more La Liga blood into his Arsenal team.

The latest in the Higuain saga has been documented elsewhere with one Italian paper even picturing him wearing an Arsenal shirt. Might he be the first big Arsenal transfer announcement of the summer?

Or maybe that might be Levante’s Ruben Garcia? According to the Spanish daily Marca, Arsenal have made an enquiry regarding the player who has already admitted that he wouldn’t be averse to a move to North London.

The 19 year old is coming off the back of a great season in La Liga, but with Yaya Sanogo seemingly a cert to arrive at the Emirates might two young strikers be pushing it? He could cost up to 10m million Euros too. And besides there’s also Joel Campbell too.

The Daily Mail is suggesting that Arsene Wenger is also mulling over a move for Real Sociedad’s defensive midfielder Asier Illarramendi. The paper does say though that Arsenal might find themselves facing some serious comeptiion to secure the services of the 23 year-old with Barcelona and Real Madrid also set to pounce.

Illarramendi is currently on duty at the Under-21 European Championships, where a good performance could hike his price up a few more million.



Football

Is Fellaini the new Zaha? The next player Arsenal are going to miss out on?

By Stefano on June 13th, 2013

So Marouane Fellaini is apparently keen to move to Arsenal, but it hasn’t happened yet because Arsene Wenger is reportedly reluctant to trigger his £23million release clause.

So says the Metro this morning, which also adds

The Gunners have been strongly tipped to make a move for the Belgian international, but Goodison Park sources claim no inquiry has yet been lodged.

So Arsenal’s inability to actually sign a player looks like spilling over into the summer window with Wenger once again cautious with the cash and moving so slowly that he runs the risk of leaving the door open for other clubs.

Of course it could be that he doesn’t rate Fellaini that highly or he has another player in mind, but this saga is certainly starting to irritate Arsenal fans.

The manager’s indecision has also been highlighted by The Express which today revealed

Arsenal opted against signing Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha before he went on to join Manchester United in January.

Ron Noades told the paper, When Steve Parish sold Zaha I was mildly involved in it as I tried to get Arsenal to buy him, but they were not interested.

“I spoke to David Dein as I did not want Zaha to go to Manchester United, I wanted him to stay in London.

“I just thought he was an exciting talent.”

So is Arsene Wenger’s reluctance to spend his war chest starting to annoy you?



Football

Cesc Fabregas – the approach from Arsenal and an update from Spain

By Stefano on June 11th, 2013

Catalan paper Mundo Deportivo has a lengthy story on the future of Cesc Fabregas today and fortunately for us non-Catalan speakers much of it has been paraphrased here on Sportwitness.

Several key things emerge. Firstly that it does seem that both Man United and Arsenal have made an approach for the player, but they were just tentative inquiries. Given Cecs’s relationship with both Arsene Wenger and the club I can imagine that both sides would have been pretty candid.

The second and most important thing is that Barca will only sell Fabregas if he wants to leave and it seems unlikely that he does want to go.

Apparently…

A meeting was held on Sunday at Arenys de Munt and friends and family of the player grilled Barcelona’s vice-president of sport, Josep Maria Bartomeu, about reports Fabregas could be playing in the Premier League next season. Bartomeu put their mind at rest and said that Fabregas would only leave if he wanted to.

However Mundo does say that Fabregas has recently become a father for the first time and would rather his family were based in Barcelona than anywhere else. Which is odd as I thought his girlfriend was based in London.

Fabregas himself remains tight lipped about his future.

He is quoted by La Informacion as saying

“I have not opened my mouth ever. It took me a lot to get where I am and I won’t throw it away for nothing. I will say if I want it to be something else, what I really want is to succeed at Barca, it has been my childhood dream.”

Hopefully from Arsenal’s perspective this will resolve the issue for now. I think one of the reasons why Arsene Wenger hasn’t been that proactive in the transfer market so far and especially in seconding a creative striker, was because he was waiting to see if Cesc was to become available. If he is not then the chase for Rooney, Jovetic and others can continue.



Football

Arsenal go head to head with Spurs for David Villa. Could Wilfried Bony be the back up plan?

By Stefano on June 5th, 2013

This afternoon has seen a bit of news on a couple of players who Arsenal have apparently been tracking for ages.

The first is an update from Talksport about the possible future of Vitesse Arnhem striker Wilfried Bony. In case you missed the chat from a few weeks ago Bony has impressed Wenger, and indeed half of Europe with his phenomenal goal scoring exploits last season.

The Ivorian banged in astonishing 31 goals in 30 league matches in the Eredivisie, which has brought him to the attention of not just The Gunners but also Liverpool, and West Ham.

It seems now that the Bony issue could come to a head with Benfica manager Jorge Jesus about to bid for the player. If he does it might then trigger moves from other Premiership clubs.

Bony is likely to be relatively cheap – well compared with the likes of say Higuain, Jovetic and even Benteke. However the Dutch league isn’t really one of Europe’s strongest so the jury is out on whether he can perform something similar in the Premiership.

At the other end of the scale, veteran Spanish striker David Villa has been talking about his future. In news reported by Catalan publication El9 Villa is being chased by Spurs, Liverpool and Arsenal.

Interestingly El9 states that the Spurs are offering the most money with a 15 million Euro bid on the cards, but Arsenal could yet gazump Spurs as they can offer Champions League football.

Villa said…

“I have another year of contract and today I am a Barca player,”

“After the Confederations Cup I will sit down and analyze everything.

“For now, I’m happy to be in the best club in the world.

“I have a contract with them and after my holiday I will see see what happens.”



Football

Arsenal update: Michu a new target? Higuain making positive noises

By Stefano on June 4th, 2013

If I had a quid for every time I heard a Gunners fan suggesting that lanky Spanish goal merchant Michu would look good leading the Arsenal line I’d be a rich man.

But does Arsene agree? Well The Mail seems to think he might. The paper is running with a story this morning that Wenger might not just be hoping to raid Swansea for centre back Ashley Williams but Michu too.

The paper says

But Sportsmail can reveal a shock move for Swansea’s prolific striker has been discussed by Wenger and his scouting team.

Well Michu scored 22 goals last season, which coincidentally is around the same number that Theo Walcott bagged, but you get the feeling that with his clinical finishing he would have scored a lot more had he been given stronger service.

Michu isn’t of course the only option. The Mail also reports that the club are mulling over moves for Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema and Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko too.

Meanwhile some interesting new quotes have emerged from Spain that are attributed to Madrid’s want away striker Gonzalo Higuain,

The player confirmed this weekend that he wants to leave Madrid, but we only got half the quote in the UK media and interestingly some of the rest of what he says refers to Arsenal.

Higuain said

“I am leaving Real Madrid, the decision has been made, I feel the time is right and I want a change of scenery. I have not decided where I will go, but the club already know that I want to go. It was my decision. I feel that this is the end of my cycle here.

“I shall choose the next team on the basis of sports projects. Arsenal? They might suit me. I’m still young, I have goals and I will do everything to achieve them. Juve? They are many possibilities. I want to go where I can seriously be put to the test. There are offers and I hope that I hope that they [Madrid] do the best for me and for themselves. Besides I was bought for 15 million and now I will be sold for a figure considerably higher.”

Wenger has been a fan of Higuain for several years, the striker boasts some very impressive stats – 122 goals in 266 games for Real Madrid – he seems a better fit than say Jovetic, especially if Arsenal re-sign Fabregas. I guess much depends on how keen the player is to try his luck in Italy.




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