precisely no one. Nowt. Zilch. Nada. Sweet FA. There is nothing happening. The joke used to go that our trophy cabinet was duty due to lack of trophies, well now it is the interview room that needs a good clean, as it seems unlikely that we are about to sign anyone any time soon.
But is this a problem? There is, after all, a World Cup going on, and we all know no big business happens before – or during – a World Cup. I jest of course. You only have to look at what our rivals have already done:
Cesc Fabregas – Barcelona to Chelsea – £30m
Rickie Lambert – Southampton to Liverpool – £4m
Emre Can – Bayer Leverkuson to Liverpool – £10m
Fernando – Porto to Manchester City – £12m
Ander Herrera – Athletic Bilbao to Manchester United – £29m
Luke Shaw – Southampton to Manchester United – £27m
Our rivals have strengthened, meanwhile, Arsene Wenger has been frolicking on the beach with scantly clad babes.
On the other hand, Arsene Wenger has been in Brazil, commentating on the World Cup. Those who say this shows he is disconnected are misguided. By being in Brazil, albeit in a working capacity, it means he is able to watch a lot of targets himself in the stadium, under the guise of commentating, without a fuss being made of him scouting.
He is also able to speak to scouts and families of potential targets. It has already been rumoured that he has had breakfast / lunch / dinner with James Rodriguez, Mario Balotelli and Alexis Sanchez, or their families, or their representatives, or someone who vaguely knows them and wanted free food.
Also, it is a bit hard buying a player who is still playing in the World Cup. Let’s look at that list of players our rivals have signed again…
Cesc Fabregas – Spain knocked out after 2 games
Rickie Lambert – England knocked out after 2 games, Lambert played 3 minutes
Emre Can – Not in German squad
Fernando – Not in Brazil squad
Ander Herrera – Not in Spain squad
Luke Shaw – £27m…lol? Is that what you have to pay to wrap a deal up early
The fact is, when Arsene Wenger said big deals do not happen before the World Cup, he was correct. Bar Cesc Fabregas, no other transfer has been for big cash and involved two big clubs. And the fact Cesc wanted to leave, and Barca to sell, meant it was a fairly easy deal to complete.
None of the above deals would have taken much work. All players wanted to leave, all players took a step from the club they played for, and in many cases, the buying club has over paid to secure their man early.
Call me what you want, but I would rather we wanted for the right player, than went and secured average, overpriced players just so that we could have got a deal done early.
Looking at the players on that list, the only one I would have considered were I Arsene Wenger would have been Cesc Fabregas. And you feel that with Ozil, Cazorla, Ramsey, Wilshere and Rosicky, Wenger made the correct decision. He let his head rule his heart, something fans struggle to do.
Yes, reported targets Serge Aurier and Mario Balotelli are now out of the World Cup, and they could be deals we could get done, but it is clear that Arsene Wenger is unsure on either. It is also clear in the fact that the media have linked us to 50 players since the season was over that their might not be any truth in our interest in these.
A final point to consider is the players who are still at the World Cup. Or a single player. Alexis Sanchez. Barcelona want rid. Arsenal want him. He wants Arsenal. According to reports. With Chile only just being knocked out, a deal could take a while to bash out. If interest is real, we may well see a similar scenario to the Ozil deal from Madrid, where Arsenal have a promise, on the basis that they get their target.
In Madrid’s case, it was clear that, having signed Isco, once Bale would join, either Ozil or Di Maria would be available. Barcelona are the same. Once they have secured Luis Suarez, Sanchez will almost certainly be off. So this deal might run.
Some good news on July 1st is that it is the day contracts run out. It is the day Nicklas Bendtner leaves us. If that is not something to celebrate, I do not know what is.
Keep calm. Carry on. The transfers will happen.