Morning Gooners, how are we all doing?

I went for a super early run this morning – before 6am – on account of trying to adjust my body clock before I head off to the Indian Ocean for a week to celebrate the Management’s impending ‘Big Four Zero’. Early morning runs are always good because they give me time to think. And of course I’m sure like you, I spend most of my time thinking about The Arsenal, particularly when I listen to podcasts as I run. I saw bits of the Chelsea versus Man City game and I have to say, Chelsea look like a mad ol’ box of frogs in terms of the way their squad is. City weren’t great in the first half and you could potentially argue that they have been handed a bit of fortune with all of the injuries that Chelsea have, but you could see just how ailing they are and the fact that the Shaktar owner/CEO/whatever that guy is who was so obviously there to be pictured with Todd Boehly last night, will be great for the Ukranian sides attempt at starting a bidding war for their prized asset Mudryk. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Chelsea tried to now wade in on getting a deal quickly so we can be gazumped by the, but as I was running earlier I felt like this who situation reminded me of something. It took me about five minutes to figure it out, but then it hit me like a lightning bolt.

This is just like last January and also the summer with the Vlahovic and Raphinha deals.

In January last year we offered the asking price/release clause of Vlahovic. We’d heard that we were in, we triggered the deal I think halfway through January, but we’d also heard all along that Juventus wanted him too. The trouble was that Jue supposedly had no money whatsoever. EVEN REMEMBER READING ABOUT AT THE TIME> As we all nn remember reading ed to ‘find’ a me. As we all now know, they managed to ‘find’ a way to structure the deal so that Fiorentina got their £59million and he eventually went to Juve, who ironically enough now we know were dodgy as can be and have since had their whole board resign because of the problems they have been suffering financially.

Of course that part of this situation we have with Mudryk doesn’t remind me of our situation, but the will of the player does. The difference this time, however, is that WE are in the position of Juve (minus the financial irregularities) because we are the team with whom the player wants to join. We have seen Mudryk twerking for Arsenal for the last week or two. He’s posted stuff on Instagram, there are noises about how the Shaktar team have been joking with him about joining Arsenal, etc, etc. Last January it was clear Vlahovic wanted Juve and perhaps the Arsenal interest and agent probably telling us that the player is interested is what made us bid, only to smoke out Juve to get the deal done as was the players wish. This instance is slightly different, because a) we have the money, and b) we have already made a couple of bids as we all know. But I wonder if Chelsea are being used very publicly by Shaktar to chivvy Arsenal along to get the deal done. The proof of the pudding in terms of this being a similar situation with Vlahovic last January but in our favour this time, however, will be if Chelsea do in fact bid and then the player decides to stop taking their phone calls because he wants to come to The Arsenal. I suspect given the amount of money involved the player will not want to look a gift horse in the mouth though. Arsenal may be his first choice, he may try to push as many people to get the deal done there as possible, but if you’re not sure if that final bid is going to come in you are not going to turn down a monster wage increase and chance to join the Premier League elite by just hanging around an extra week or two. In the Vlahovic situation our move forced Juve to act and pay the £59million – albeit through a load of instalments I believe – and the eventually got their man. As I said yesterday my trust in the club has really increased in the last 18 months or so and I trust whatever they want to do; I don’t think Arsenal will be bullied over a deal though and they’d be prepared to walk away I reckon. We shouldn’t get held to ransom by any club. If Chelsea want to be the drunk pervy uncle at a wedding then let them. It never works out in the end.

The other deal it reminded me of was for Raphonha. The player always wanted Barcelona, that was pretty common knowledge, but again they couldn’t afford it. So we moved and moved quickly with the hope of getting it done and dusted before anybody else could get in there. Leeds rejected the first bid and as soon as that got out in the air Chelsea – it turned out – were sniffing around our doors and listening tin to what we were doing and went hard for him. Ultimately though, the player wanted Barca and again, like Vlahovic, kind of just held out and held out as long as he could to try to get the Barcelona deal over the line. Of course we also know how dodgy Barcelona are and they couldn’t really afford that deal but did it anyway. Hopefully it is another nail in the coffin for that despicable club, but my point again is that the player held out for what he wanted. If Todd Boehly schmoozed the Shaktar bosses yesterday evening and talked them in to a potential deal for Mudryk there and then last night, then maybe regardless of what Shaktar say or want, the player will try to stall a deal for as long as possible for Arsenal to crunch the numbers on a third and final bid?

Who knows. Lot of speculation and conjecture and I get annoyed with myself for being sucked in to it every transfer window, but I can’t help myself; we are just a littles light in a couple of areas. “If we just get that couple of areas sorted” – we’ve all heard that before. If we can for once get that sort of deal over the line where we’ve been saying “just one or two short” for a change this January, it will be a massive boost for Arsenal and our attempts at competing for the title going in to the back end of the season.

I think I’ll leave it there for now. Lots of work to do and little time to do it in, so off to the day job. Catch you all tomorrow.