L:et’s start of this morning with a little chuckle at this story that’ve seen this morning, suggesting that Barcelona are plotting an ‘ambitious’ bid for William Saliba.

I’m sure Barca love the look of Big Bill – who wouldn’t given he’s just come off of another season in which he’s proven himself to be one of the best defenders in world football – and they think they can snaffle him from us for £86million.

£86million? Do me a favour. That’ll get you his left peg and maybe left arm, at best, because Arsenal aren’t going to be shipping off their best players for below market value. So even if Arsenal did feel like they had to offload Saliba, Barca would have to come up with a few more Euro’s than that paltry sum for a defender who has just shown Deschamps what he’s been missing. The French national team boss has finally relented and realised that he’s got to include our guy at the back and already he’s proving what an important player he is. Deschamps doesn’t come to watch him in England, he’s had a few weird words to say our Big Bill, but ultimately even he isn’t going to cut his nose off to spite his face and Saliba is starting to show that he can be the main man at the back.

Barca also have no cash whatsoever. This article here sums it up. So if Barca are going to try to take Saliba from us, they’ll basically have to spunk a whole load of that new Nike deal on it and then have nothing left for any other signings, so I can’t see it happening. And it’s not as if we have any massively positive relationship with them, is it? I hope the Arsenal administrative team don’t even pick up the phone if Barca come knocking. Remember Cesc? Remember how they spent the best part of a decade snaffling our players and trying to unsettle them? Well, tables have turned now, bitches. If you want a player like Saliba you better be dropping Coutijnho numbers and if you do that, hopefully it’ll plunge them in to even more of a financial crisis.

It wouldn’t surprise me to hear that Barca have tried to offload some of their players like Villa and Chelsea are doing with their dodgy player trading deals. It’s gaming the system, you just hope that it  all falls apart, but you’ve got two ‘Murican owners trying to apply US approaches to the Premier League and in the context of our competition, in my opinion, it stinks. You probably are already aware, but just in case you aren’t, they’re basically using the ‘book value’ and ‘amortisation’ rules to game the system:

  • Home grown player A goes to Club C from Club A for £10million
  • Club C split that cost over five years so on their books they’ve only payed £2million this summer
  • Home grown player B goes from Club C to Club A for £10million
  • Same as above but Club A account for £2million
  • Club A and Club C both ‘bank’ the £10million they’ve just received
  • Both Club A and Club C account for an £8million profit on their books.

Even though basically no money has exchanged.

It’s dodgy as hell and a way for clubs to get around PSR rules. My only hope is that these players who are being moved around and having their careers chucked around like ragdolls, don’t end up on the scrap heap in a few year’s time. But if they do it’ll be yet more money spunked by these clubs who, if you recall, had their fans talking about how the system is rigged and how they were hard done by. No, guys, you and your owners have been careless with the money that has been accumulated and the spending you’ve undertaken and now they’re trying another dodgy approach. Chelsea aren’t allowed to sell hotels to themselves any more, so they’re in cahoots with another club who have decided to outspend their means and hopefully it all ends badly for both.

So back to my original point, which is that it wouldn’t surprise me to see Barca trying that sort of sh*t; they did it a previously  with Juve, moving players around so they could find ways around not being punished for their reckless spending, so to see them linked with some of our players just makes me hope that should a bid or an offer come in, we just laugh them out of town.

We’ve got a good thing going on right now with Arteta and with the current set up, so my hope is that our journey with these players continues its upwards trajectory, because if it does, then we could be about to see good things happen for us as fans and hopefully we can ward off from the likes of Madrid and Barca.

Right, I’m going to leave it there for today. Got a day of sitting in the sun ahead but I think i’ll start it off with a walk.

Catch you wonderful people tomorrow.