Ok, plenty of trips to wade through this morning, so let’s have at it. By tripe, I mean transfer giff-gaff, media bluster, journo hyperbole and all that jazz.

Firstly to BILD, who have been interviewing our German maestro which has been translated by the English speaking press, quoting him as saying that he’d jump at the chance of returning to Madrid and that he expected a strong challenge from the two Manchester clubs this season. Here’s the thing though: I have not seen one actual quote from Özil from any of the articles I have read about this. I’ve seen the comments about the Manchester clubs, I’ve seen Mesut talking about Xhaka, but not a sniff of “I would love to go back to Real Madrid, all they need to do is pick up the phone” anywhere. Now, given that there’s somebody that’s interviewed him from BILD, I don’t doubt he might have said something, but it strikes me as probably something that was said off the record or was a bit of a throw away line. Kind of how players say that they’re fans of a team. Let’s not forget that Mesut has also said he might like to play in the Turkish league one day. But with a player of Özil’s ability, does anybody think he’d run his Arsenal contract down to play for Galatasaray or a Besiktas? Not for another six or seven years I’d guess. 
So I’m not particularly worried about a Madrid buy back this summer. Next summer, however, may be a different story. Because here’s the thing: I think Özil won’t sign a new deal. Call it a hunch, call it “glass-half-emptyism” if you like, but I think we’re going to get ourselves into another Nasri/Dutch Bloke scenario here. It just feels like it. Talks of a new deal sound positive, then as the days ebb away, as they turn in to weeks and months, it becomes clear there is an impasse. This won’t be about money either, I don’t think, because I think Arsenal and Arsène would happily break their wage structure for our marquee signing. It’d be cheaper to do that than to lose him for less than the £42million we paid for him next summer. 

I just have a feeling that we’ll see a summer of angst in 2017 with Özil. Still, there would be no change there for Arsenal, would there be? If we’re not fighting to keep hold of players, we’re struggling to recruit them. That’s what life is like as an Arsenal fan since we moved to the Emirates, isn’t it? The days of being able to keep our players, only slightly improve the squad and challenge – I mean really challenge – for a league title, seem to be in the past. Which makes me a little upset. 

But not as upset as I’m sure Lacazette is, because if he’s been told by his President Aulas that he ain’t goin’ nowhere unless it’s for £60million, so if he really does see a move to Arsenal as a dream deal then his club have just effectively put the kibosh on that. Because there’s no way in hell Arsenal would pay £60million for Lacazette. And why should they? The guy has a decent return in the French league, but the Premier League? Different kettle of fish, folks. Besides, if we’re going to stump up £60million+ on a player, he needs to be what the kids call ‘elite’ level. Not a gamble from Ligue 1.

So it looks like it’s back to the drawing board on a striker resolution for the club, but at least it seems the Mustafi stuff is still bubbling along. Practically every paper out there right now is calling it ‘closer’, which suggests to me that the club are confident they can get this over the line. If the fee is closer to £20milliom than £30million then I’d think we’ve got a decent deal in a mental market. German international, new friend for Mesut to play with after Flamini’s departure, decent age and another option for our central defenders, Shokran appears to tick all of the boxes. Let’s just hope we hear some more noises today that can back up our hopes.

The same article I linked to above about Mustafi, also talked about Mahrez too, but I have a feeling that nothing is happening there if I’m honest. I don’t have anything else other than my own feelings on the matter, but it strikes me that Leicester have been particularly vocal about the player staying and if it’s being briefed to the press that he’s accepted he’s at the club for another season, they’ll have done that knowing they have a stronger hand. If the player won’t go public with a desire to leave, if he won’t kick up a stink and the club know they have him tied down to a long-term deal, there’s no pressure from any area for the move to be forced through. Not unless it’s a stupid money deal. And we know Arsenal don’t play that way. So I think Mahrez will get his head down, try to follow up last seasons form, then see if he can get a mega deal next summer. If that happens we’d probably tap out early on any transfer I’d expect. 

Right, I’ve done enough speculating for one day, I’ve got some sort of work-based thing I have to do. 

Catch you all in the morrow.