Sometimes football can be as predictable as TV soap operas can’t it? Particularly football’s equivalent of the gutter trash storylines, which are usually the most sleazy in January and the summer months.
So in what is this winters latest plot we saw the development late last night that most of us must have expected following Dortmund’s public statement about Aubameyang on Saturday: an agreement on price finally being met, communicated through the clubs’ unofficial sources. For Dortmund it was Kicker but for us it’s the BBC’s very own David Ornstein, who said that a deal is there to be done if Dortmund can source a replacement.
So actually there is clearly no deal that is close to being done. There won’t be any Giroud-shaped loan deal offered to Dortmund and by the sounds of it he doesn’t want to leave London. So that means Dortmund have until Wednesday to find somebody suitable and if they don’t then they’ll hang on to their prize asset.
So now we wait. Having made Dortmund wait all this time for Arsenal to put in what they consider an appropriate bid for their best player, we now have to wait, hoping that they don’t dither over who they want to bring in. But frankly if they did could Arsenal real blame them? After all it has been clear for some time that we’ve been in for him and it’s clear Dortmund and Arsenal have been talking for longer than the week and a bit since Ivan was spotted in Germany. So if for whatever reason this deal doesn’t get done due to time restraints, once again we will all need to seriously question whether Ivan can run a football club effectively from a player acquisition perspective.
The CEO has put a lot of eggs in this elite player signing, so if we come out of this window empty handed then it’ll be him that bares the brunt of the ire from fans, media, etc.
There’s plenty of people out there who have said that the £60million figure is too high and that we shouldn’t be going that high to get him but I actually think it’s not that bad. Let’s not forget how much Barca paid for Dembele, or Coutinho, or how Liverpool shelled out for a central defender. The prices are inflated everywhere except Arsenal, where we offload players for a song because we just want to get any old rope in for them, so we suddenly think £60million seems expensive. But we’d be getting an elite striker in here folks. In January, which is always a window that everybody knows usually has no value, so I think we should all be happy with that. Six months ago we probably would have had to go to £70million or £80million for him. So to me £60million seems like a fair price.
It does sound like there’s a deal to be done. Dortmund would probably not want a player who has one foot out the door and come the summer they’re also less likely to get as much cash for the player I’d suspect. So I think they’ll probably work just as hard to get this transfer sorted and get the squad unity back too. Having spent so long telling us that the Alexis situation doesn’t affect the players Arsène is now admitting that it did in fact have an impact, which is what Dortmund are going through at the moment, so it’s in their interests to find themselves another striking option as much as it’s in Arsenal’s.
What I don’t want to countenance is a move to strengthen Chelski’s Champions League attempts by sanctioning any move by them to bring Giroud in. Lest we forget how they dangled Demba Ba in front of us on deadline day one year before suddenly whipping him away and leaving us with nobody up front as an option. I for one would be more than satisfied for Arsenal to return the favour this window. Especially if it pisses Chelski off even more.
I’ve already stated my case on how we would use Giroud as a ‘Plan B’ anyway so I won’t reiterate that now, but the important thing for me is that we have different options, not that we give other rivals different options.
Quite what else is happening today I’m not sure. Arsène’s already done his press conference and so there’s nothing new to add there. I suspect the team will be travelling tomorrow to Swansea so it’s probably another training session on the cards and another opportunity to bed in Mkhitaryan with his new teammates. Then the only question will be whether he starts in Wales tomorrow evening.
So we play the waiting game. We wait for any updates on a shiny new signing. We wait for tomorrow’s game. We wait to hear from Kicker and The Ornacle. Waiting, waiting and a little more waiting. But soon, thankfully, this is all going to be over – transfer window wise I mean – and we can get back to cursing our atrocious away form.
Catch you all tomorrow.