Still quiet. Still not a lot happening in the Arsenalverse. Still waiting.
Well, I say it’s ‘still quiet’, but that is to say it’s quiet for everyone else except the Lyon president Aulas. That man likes a soundbite doesn’t he? Over the weekend he was declaring that Arsenal would have to pay close to what Atletico were going to pay – around the £55million mark – to get Lacazette and it would need to be that sort of cash that would get Lyon talking to them about the player.
Of course it’s also the money and putting it where the mouth is that would probably get him to shut up a bit whilst negotiations are taking place and I bet Arsenal absolutely hate dealing with Lyon. The powers that be at the club love a bit of radio silence if a deal is being worked on, so to have the figurehead at the club essentially telling all and sundry the intimate details of discussions that have taken place, well that must cause a few twitches at Highbury House I’m sure.
For me though it’s great, because at least we get a little bit of insight in to this murky world of football, agents and transfers. Aulas mentioned that he’d personally spoken to Giroud who had told him he secretly hopes to be number one at Arsenal next season and so doesn’t want to be angling for a move just yet. I think the reality is that he knows any signing that gets made up top immediately displaces him and probably would be a catalyst for him to angle for a move, but fair play to the big handsome Frenchman, because he’s at least saying the right things.
We also know categorically that Lacazette would have been an Atletico player had the transfer ban not been in place, so we know that the player we’re supposedly after was on the verge of joining a team who have got a pretty good record of snaffling up centre forwards and making them pretty good. As far as debating whether or not Lacazette could succeed outside of France, that’s a pretty decent ‘tick’ in the box, if Atleti were in for him.
So whilst I’m sure Arsenal roll their eyes at having to deal with a motormouth of a President in Lyon, at least we know there are things happening, although whether Arsenal have had a sniff at Laca and are now put off after suggestions that we’re talking around the £60mil mark I’m not sure.
Again I’d like to put my two penneth in and say “what about Auba?”. He’s a more polished striker who I think would be awesome at Arsenal. He might be a year or two older but I still think you get a solid four years out of him and it feels to me like a signing that would really be an obvious step up from Giroud.
There was talk over the weekend about Martial but there’s no way Mourinho sells to Arsenal. At United he doesn’t have an owner that makes promises to players like Abramovich did to Cech and so I think Mourinho would get the backing of the board if he said he didn’t want to strengthen a rival. Had he been in charge at United when Welbeck joined us, I wonder if he’d have even sanctioned that move if I’m honest, probably instead preferring to ship him abroad on loan or something similiar. So there’s no way Martial has a chance of signing for us.
It does seem like there is more availability on a few strikers though this summer. Last summer it seemed there was nobody available, but this summer it feels like we have some options at least; the only hope is that we don’t mess around too much to see other clubs jumping in ahead of us for targets as we work our way through our list based on who’s available. Lord knows we’ve seen that before with the Suarez/Higuain stuff, so we could do without that kind of circus again, that’s for sure.
This is the last week before everything becomes official and open and I’m expecting there to be a bit more movement as players return from holiday and begin prep for the pre season tours. Arsène will surely be wanting to get somebody in before he buggers off with his squad so you’d think there should be at least one incoming before then, which could also spark the outgoings too.
Right, that’s me for today, so I’ll catch you tomorrow.