Posts Tagged ‘Barcelona’

Football

Rumours of Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona? The Arsenal captain’s curse again!?

By Stefano on February 18th, 2013

Here’s an interesting question for Arsenal fans. Would you cash in Thomas Vermaelen for a Barca player or two?

Well that’s the rumour that has been picked up the Daily Mirror which suggests that the Catalans are lining up the Arsenal defender as a replacement for Eric Abidal who is unlikely to return to to-level footballer after his illnesses.

In return The Mirror suggest that Arsenal will be offered several Barca players including David Villa.

The paper says

Wenger has gone cold on the idea of signing Barcelona striker David Villa. However, the Spanish giants will try to reignite his interest if it will help get a deal for Vermaelen done.

Barcelona have already put around £40million aside for new signings in the summer and that pot will grow if they can offload Villa, versatile defender and midfielder Adriano and young forward Cristian Tello.

Vermaelen, 27, is under contract at Arsenal until October 2015.

So Arsenal fans what do you think? Might this be a sensible move for Arsene Wenger? It is clear that Thomas Vermaelen isn’t the commanding figure he was a couple of seasons back. There are even those who think that the Arsenal captain isn’t part of the best defensive pairing which they believe to be Mertesacker and Koscielny.

Then again it would be tough to replace a player with his skill and experience.

It is interesting too that this could end up being another example of the curse of being captain, for several players that Wenger has given that role to has left the club not too long after.



Football

Arsenal update: Barcelona want €20m for David Villa. Is he too expensive now?

By Stefano on February 14th, 2013

Is this the end of the David Vila to Arsenal story? It certainly feels as if it might be that way.

Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo, which has been reported in the UK here, has stated that Barca have put a €20m price tag of their star striker – way more than the £10m (€11.5m) that Arsenal were reported to have bid in the transfer window.

So if Arsenal want to land the striker they will have to smash their transfer record to secure a player who will be 32 in December.

There’s still plenty of the season left and Villa may yet platy an important tole for the Catalan club’s bid for La Liga and The Champions League, but if that is not the case the striker, who has struggled with injuries, is very likely to push for a transfer.

The player was apparently very keen to move to London, but the chances of him becoming a Gunner now see remote. It could be a last desperate attempt by Barca to get as much money for the player as possible, so it will be fascinating to see how clubs respond.

Wenger has recently reiterated that he is looking at many strikers across Europe and that Stevan Jovetic, who is also interesting Man City is likely to be his number on target.



Football

Arsenal update: Henry wants to come back, Fabregas not so sure

By Stefano on February 14th, 2013

Arsenal’s talismanic French man is apparently keen on a third stint at the club. At a press conference this week he reiterated his desire to be involved with Arsenal in any role

Henry said

‘All I know is that I will be involved in the game for sure and hopefully be involved with Arsenal because that is the heart talking there, that’s the team that I support. Forget about me as a player, that’s the team I support.

‘In any type or shape, if I can go back to the club I would love to do it, but it’s not up to me. That would be a desire, more a desire than something that can be officialised, I still have two years playing here and then I will see.

‘But I would definitely love to be back with Arsenal.

Henry was also dismissive of Arsenal fans who have been critical of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger this season.

‘For me, it is difficult to hear, difficult to see, but for me the boss will always be Arsene – always great for me and I know what he has done for the club,” he said.

From this point it is hard to see exactly where in the Emirates management structure he would fit. But many Arsenal fans would love the idea of their favourite son returning possinbly as a manager in waiting under Arsene Wenger’s tutelage.

One player who won’t be returning any time soon is Barcelona’s midfielder Cesc Fabregas. The Spaniard has been to several of Arsenal’s home games this season and watches each game on television. There were rumours that he might even be considering a loan move back to his old club.

Wenger also said last year

“I’m not convinced Fabregas won’t come back here one day. He’s an Arsenal man. He loves Arsenal. He watches every Arsenal game. Barcelona was his home town where he grew up and you have to accept this, especially as Barcelona are the best team in the world.

“He won’t return in the next two or three years but, after that, maybe.”

However Fabregas has underlined his desire to stay at Barcelona.

He told Spanish paper El Mundo Deportivo:

“I went back to Barcelona to stay forever, if possible. I fight with all my might to stay here as long as possible. I’ve already lived experiences abroad and I have done well.”

One person



Football

Bit late – David Villa wants Arsenal move in the Summer

By Stefano on February 3rd, 2013

If you thought you had heard the last of the David Vila to Arsenal stories now the window has closed – think again. The Sun  is running with a story today that suggests that Barcelona’s want-away striker will push the deal through in the summer.

The Sun says

After a long-term injury last season, Villa has failed to command a first-team place at Barca this term.

He has made just 15 competitive starts — yet still scored 10 goals.

Now the Spain striker wants to be with a team where he will once again be the main man. Villa earns around £110,000 a week at the Nou Camp, so his wages will not cripple the Londoners financially.

The key issue now though for Wenger is whether he thinks Villa has a long term future as a top-level striker.

Villa would have been an ideal signing in the winter – maybe even on loan – to add firepower to the Gunners and help secure a Champions league slot. But a longer term agreement would represent more of a gamble for the London club.

Of course a great deal could happen before the summer. Villa could re-establish himself in the Barca team and Arsenal may become a less desirable destination if they fail to qualify for the Champions League.

Also, until recently Arsenal were not in the habit of offering long term contracts to players over 29. They amended this slightly when signing Mikkel Arteta in 2011 and also making it clear that they would offer an extended deal to Robin Van Persie.

So has Arsene Wenger changed his mind? Not according to The People who have a story that Arsenal have given up their pursuit of Villa and will concentrate on young players in the summer.

The winner is all this is Olivier Giroud. The French striker has been in excellent form of late in scoring nine goals in 24 games. However some Arsenal supporters think that with a sharper more clinical finisher leading the line Arsenal would be scoring twice as many goals given the large number of chances that Cazorla, Walcott and Wilshere are creating.

So do Arsenal need Villa anyway?



Football

Arsenal update: one last try to sign David Villa, but now Man City want him too

By Stefano on January 30th, 2013

In what is perhaps the most predictable news of the day The Daily Mail is running with the story that after crisis talks with Ivan Gazidis Arsene Wenger is going to have one last try to sign David Villa in the window.

The Mail says

Arsenal remain in pursuit of Barcelona striker Villa, despite Wenger insisting yesterday that a potential deal for the Spaniard was dead in the water.

The Gunners will make a final offer to Barca chiefs in the next 24 hours in a bid to bring him to the Emirates, with Villa understood to be keen to join the Gunners.

The trouble for Wenger is that he might have to think about upping his bid a little to stave off a possible challenge for the player from the newly minted Man City. With the best part of £20 million jingling in his pocket Roberto Mancini needs another striker to replace Mario Balotelli and according to the Mirror David Villa more than fits the bill.

The Mirror says

The Mirror has learned that City have already made an inquiry about Villa, with a view to rushing through a deal before Thursday night’s transfer deadline.

City boss Roberto Mancini wants to bring his quota of senior strikers back to four after finally getting rid of Balotelli and sees Villa as the ideal recruit.

Ex-Barca officials Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain, now City’s chief executive and sporting director respectively, could use their contacts at their former club to help seal a deal.

Although Barca do not want to sell Villa, Eastlands bosses are hoping an offer of £15m could tempt them to part with the 31-year-old, who has a poor injury record.

If City are serious their deep financial reserves and their relationships with Barcelona would seem to put them in pole position. In Arsenal’s favour Villa is alleged to favour a move to London and they are also owed a significant amount of cash by Barca for the Song and Fabregas deals.

How galling would that be for Arsenal fans? Lose a load of players to City and then they grab your top transfer target.

I have said it before, and I’ll say it again – this one is going to to the wire.



Football

Wenger says Barcelona don’t want to sell Villa to Arsenal

By Stefano on January 29th, 2013

Bad news for Arsenal fans. Arsene Wenger has revealed during his press conference this morning that David Villa is unlikely to join Arsenal during the transfer window as the Catalans aren’t prepared to sell their star striker.

In spite of Villa being keen to join Arsenal and Wenger being keen on the player, the Gunners boss said

‘Barcelona do not want to sell David Villa, they have made that very, very clear.’

David Villa’s wife gave birth to their third child last night, a boy named Luca, which may complicate any possible move.

Given the way that Arsenal have undertaken negotiations in the past though I wouldn’t completely rule it out until midnight on Thursday.

At the same conference Wenger also ruled out signing David Beckham who has been training with the Arsenal team.



Football

The truth about Arsenal transfer denials – and why I think Villa is on his way

By Stefano on January 29th, 2013

So Arsenal fans – in 48 hours or so time the squad you cherish so much might still be exactly the same with no new additions. And this in spite of the fact that Arsene Wenger stressed that he wanted buy two players.

But then again one of Europe’s top strikers might just be about to sign.

It is eerily quite this morning concerning the possible move of Barcelona’s David Villa to Arsenal. The story broke once again yesterday with Goal.com claiming that Arsenal had dispatched Dicky Law to Spain to push the deal through.

A few hours later Sky Sports said that Arsenal hadn’t begin talks with the player.

But who is right? I can’t comment on the Goal story, someone must have seen Law jumping off the EasyJet flight from Luton… But the Sky Sports story is completely uncredited. It may be the words of an Arsenal employee, but it is more likely to be the TV network’s Spanish expert Guillem Balague, who Gunners fans may remember was a rather annoying sideshow during the Fabregas sale.

The point is that we really don’t know and even if Arsene Wenger denies that talks have begun today I wouldn’t write the transfer off. Arsene has consistently denied that Arsenal about to sign players before going on and signing them. Arteta, Cazorla, Arshavin – there’s a long list here. He even denied that Podolski was a done deal when it patently was. And as for Carzorla there was plenty of noise from Malaga about him not going, just as there is now from Barcelona.

It is not that Arsene is a liar, it is just that club is in the midst of complex negotiations – the Villa one could be very tricky given the money that Barca already owes Arsenal – and they are not going to admit to the press that the deal might be about to go through.

You might also remember this story about a Liverpool blogger and the supposed impact he had on deals.

Of course this all might be wishful thinking (as it seemed to be with Arshavin a few years ago), but I don’t think we can forget the Villa to Arsenal story to one minute past twelve on Friday morning.

 



Football

Arsenal begin ‘formal talks’ with Barcelona to sign David Villa

By Stefano on January 28th, 2013

Ok Arsenal fans. So you have endured a pretty rotten transfer window, but there are signs that it is about to get a whole lot better. If I were a betting man I’d put money on Mohamed Diame being an Arsenal player in the next 48 hours.

But even more exciting is the news, which has been reported by Goal, that Arsenal have opened formal talks with Barcelona to sign David Villa.

Goal says

The Gunners’ contract negotiator Dicky Law has been in Spain to negotiate the transfer of the country’s all-time leading goalscorer and Arsenal are increasingly hopeful they can push through what would be a sensational deal in the last days of the window.

The club are reluctant to let the player go, but it appears that Villa has set his heart on leaving Catalonia and that Arsenal are his preferred destination.

The rumour is that Arsenal will fork out £13.8 million to sign him on a permanent deal and match his current £110,000-a-week wages.

The interesting part is that Arsenal may hold a lot of the ace cards as Barcelona owe them money for both Cesc Fabregas and Alex Song.

So Arsenal fans would the arrival of Villa be some recompense for all the players (Petit, Overmars, Henry, Hleb, Fabregas and Song) who have moved to Spain over the years?

And is Villa finally a replacement for Robin Van Persie?

Or is Wenger about to cough up a lot of cash for a player who is past his best, will be dogged by injuries and might not suit the way the Gunners play?

What do you think?

UPDATE – Sky are saying that Arsenal have denied that the talks are taking place. This one is going to the wire…

Great post here on how Arsenal denied interest in both Arteta and Cazorla

 



Football

Arsenal update: Does Giroud’s form mean the chase for David Villa is over?

By Stefano on January 27th, 2013

Given the circumstances a 3-2 FA Cup win away at Brighton isn’t too bad a result for Arsenal. Well it would have seemed that way to the fans until they saw Man United blast their way past Fulham.

The most notable thing about the Brighton game though was the excellent form of one Olivier Giroud.

The French striker has now scored six times in eight games and is starting to win over the Arsenal faithful who were concerned by the length of time he took to acclimatise to the Premiership.

Arsene Wenger has been singing his praises too likening him to Arsenal legend Alan Smith. Yesterday’s goals were top drawer too. The first a bending shot from outside the area that gave the keeper no chance. The second, possibly even a better, a beautiful piece of skill to control a long pass from Diaby and then a lethal shot. Dare I say it it was almost Van Persie-esque in its execution.

In spite of his form though most Arsenal fans are still desperate for an A list striker to be added to the squad. Barcelona’s David Villa tops many fans wants lists, but others like Adrian Lopez would be welcome additions.

The only problem for Gunners fans is that Giroud’s run of form has coincided with Wenger’s back tracking on buying players in the window. In spite of rumours about team on their way to the Catalan Capital to secure Villa’s services, Wenger has said that there has been no contact between the two clubs about the player.

It isn’t just Villa. There is the ongoing link with Lopez. The dream move for Cavani – though that has gone predictably quiet – and the mooted move for Aston Villa’s in form Christian Benteke.

As well as Giroud (and Walcott) are playing at the moment if Arsenal are to qualify for the Champions League they do need to replace Van Persie with a world class striker. Giroud is arguably a tanned version, not of Alan Smith, but another Arsenal forward with ball holding attributes Nick Bendnter. The French man will achieve more at The Emirates in long run, but he is not the player who will ensure that Wenger end the season with the fans on his side.

Wenger said at his conference yesterday

Asked if he needs to sign a new striker before the transfer window closes on Thursday night, Wenger said: “Quality-wise, no. But number-wise we are maybe a bit short.

“It will not be easy, though, because you do not find strikers who are good enough to play for us on the street.”

That doesn’t sound like a man ready to break the bank to re-ignite Arsenal’s season.



Football

Arsenal update: Arsene Wenger to move for Davild Villa next week

By Stefano on January 23rd, 2013

Arsene Wenger has said before that he likes to leave things late in the transfer window in order to get the best deals. Well it seems he is going to go to the wire on the man who could be Arsenal’s number one winter target – David Villa.

Although Barcelona have stated that he is not for sale the player has re-ignited Arsenal’s interest after apparently pushing his club for an exit and favouring a move to London.

In typical Wenger style it appears that the club will wait until the last 48 hours of the window before making their move.

The Sun reports that

The Gunners will not pay £15m for a player of Villa’s age but they are desperate to land a striker and would pay £10m.

I think most Arsenal fans would agree that Villa’s deadly accuracy in front of goal and his ability to turn a half chance into a goal scoring opportunity are exactly what the North Londoners need at the moment.

This one is going to go to the wire.

 



Football

Arsenal update: Wenger considers Celtic’s Victor Wanyama. Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa in the balance

By Stefano on January 22nd, 2013

In the last couple of days an old rumour has re-surfaced – the one that sees Celtic’s Victor Wanyama joining the club as a holding midfielder. Wanyama has been impressive for Celtic in both the Scottish Premiership and The Champions League and would be a straight replacement for Alex Song who left for Barcelona in the summer.

The Indie says

Having closely monitored the progress of Wanyama in Celtic’s successful progress through the Champions League group stages, Arsenal have made the Kenya international aware that he is a strong option for the position. Though Wanyama’s performances have seen his asking price rise above £10m, the 21-year-old’s wages are comparatively low and he has refused to extend a contract with Celtic that expires in 2015.

Wanyama has another string to his bow in that he can also play in central defence and Arsenal could add depth in this area to cover for Johann Djorou who left on loan earlier in the window.

Wanyama has also scored seven times in 32 appearances this season.

Meanwhile the ongoing saga of Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has taken an interesting turn with the player apparently not making it to Newcastle to complete a medical which would seal the move of the defender from Montpelier to the north east.

According to The Telegraph Newcastle still expect Yanga-Mbiwa to arrive on Tyneside, with the club blaming the weather for the delay.

It says

Arsenal have been in contact with Montpellier after news of Newcastle’s bid was leaked in France to ask about the size of their offer, but they have not made a formal bid.

Whether Yanga-Mbiwa has decided to wait to see if an offer comes from the north London club remains to be seen, although that might explain the delay in his travel to the north east.

Finally a quick reminder of the story that broke yesterday afternoon that David Villa has told the Spanish paper Sport that he wants out of the club during the window.

Villa is of course a major Arsenal target with the player rumoured to be keen on a move to North London and Arsenal had apparently readied a team to jet to Barcelona to secure his signature.



Football

Arsenal update – David Villa wants to leave Barca now says Spanish paper

By Stefano on January 21st, 2013

The David Villa to Arsenal saga was thought to be over last week after Barcelona president Sandro Rosell said “I completely rule out the transfer of Villa during the winter market.”

However, in what could be great news for Arsenal fans, the 31 year old striker apparently doesn’t see things that way.

The Independent has reports from Spanish paper Sport that Villa is frustrated about not playing and wants to leave the club in the window. The player was rumoured to be keen on a move to North London and Arsenal had apparently readied a team to jet to Barcelona to secure his signature.

The arrival of Pep Guardiola at Bayern also means that a move to Munich shouldn’t be ruled out either.

There are still 11 days left in the transfer window and this one could go to the wire.



Football

Arsenal update – Barca say no to Villa, so Wenger to chase Adrian Lopez?

By Stefano on January 14th, 2013

Well Arsenal fans, it was nice to dream, but it seems pretty definite now that Barca’s David Villa will not be joining the club in the transfer window. According to Goal Wenger had a team ready to jet off to Spain this weekend, but they have put their passports away for now.

The player is understood to be quite keen on a move to The Emirates, so maybe Wenger will be back for the striker in the summer. Shame as he would have been a brilliant loan signing.

Assuming that Arsenal do still buy a striker in the window – and it is by no means certain given recent pronouncements from the manager – the favourite would now appear to be Atletico Madrid’s Adrian Lopez. One of the reasons why Lopez is so attractive is that he is a versatile player who can start anywhere in the front three. His striking skills would provide serious competition to Walcott and Giroud at The Emirates as well as putting pressure on Gervinho. Hopefully it would mean the end of Ramsey’s days as a winger too. Last season Lopez scored 19 goals in every competition.

He is not the marquee signing that Arsenal fans are calling for, but he might prove to be an excellent addition to the squad.

Lopez has a £14.7m release clause in his contract, but Wenger hopes that the striker, who has appeared only a small number of times for the Madrid side this season, will put pressure on his club to see the move through.

Goal.com reckons that the club will start off with a bid of £10 million, but £12 million would be enough to prise the player from Atletico.

Interestingly Lopez secured his place in the Atletico team at the expense of another player who is very familiar to Arsenal fans – José Antonio Reyes.

So is this a smart move for Arsenal? Or will it end in tears like the Reyes signing? Tell us in the comments.

Pic Wikipedia



Football

Ashley Cole in Real Madrid talks with PSG waiting in the wings

By Stefano on January 11th, 2013

There’s a huge amount of speculation this morning about the next move of Chelsea’s England left back Ashley Cole. According to the Mail he has his heart set on a Spanish swansong.

The paper is reporting that the 32 year old who will not be offered a new contract at Chelsea could be on his way to Real Madrid with his agent already in Spain having talks with the Spanish club. Madrid’s rivals Barcelona are also tracking the player as are big-spending Paris St Germain, which are managed by Cole’s old Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti.

The Express says that there is still a lot of ground to cover before Real get their man.

The uncertain future of Real boss Jose Mourinho is a possible complication while PSG, managed by another former Chelsea boss, Carlo Ancelotti, are ready to match any offer.

Several other papers including The Guardian, suggest that Cole, along with his fellow England international Frank Lampard, could be making the journey north to Manchester United. Fergie is also a huge fan of the player and United already has a growing, but influential groups of 30 something players.

I wonder if PSG are actually the perfect club for the player. They would have no problem with his wage, his relationship with Ancelotti was apparently very good and Paris is just a short train ride away from his London base. Also Cole moved from Arsenal to Chelsea at a time when the balance was shifting in favour of the West London club. PSG are in the same situation that Chelsea were half a decade or so ago and with their existing staff, and the resources to add more quality players you wouldn’t bet against them having a very serious crack at The Champions League within the next couple of year.



Football

Is this the best team goal of the season? Nope, not Barca or Arsenal, but some Greek kids

By Stefano on January 10th, 2013

Yep it is a contender for the best team goal of the season, but there’s no Iniesta pulling strings, Walcott speeding through the middle or Van Persie finishing in style. It is actually a bunch of Greek kids from the AO Giannina club, who kick off and then Tikki-taka the ball all the way though to the opposition’s goal. They take 20 passes and the opposition, Atromitos, don’t get anywhere near the ball

It is utterly sublime, and augurs well for the future of Greek football. Now what are the odds on a repeat of the 2004 Euros win?




©2012 Shiny Digital Privacy Policy
-->