Weekend news is that we have pulled out of the deal for Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez.
This is being promoted as a “huge snub” for Arsenal, compounded by the Raphinha “rejection”.
Like Raphinha, the truth is very different to the narrative taken by the media.
Arsenal have not been rejected by Martinez. We have decided he is not worth spending £45million on him.
To those that demand we “pay the asking price”, let’s break it down for you.
Leeds United we’re demanding £65m for Raphinha. Martinez looks to be off to Manchester United for £45m. That is £110m combined.
Should we really be spending £110m on players that are not guaranteed a start?
Martinez was always going to come in as dual competition and cover for Kieran Tierney and Gabriel. Raphinha would have to compete with Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli on the wings.
Arsenal were looking to get the deals done for a combined £70m (£40m for Raphinha, £30m for Martinez).
£70m for the pair feels good – especially after the investment in Gabriel Jesus and Fabio Vieira. £100m+ feels steep.
Stepping away from the deal does not mean we need to go “back to the drawing board”.
We will be interested in many players at the same time. Martinez would not be the only left back we were keeping an eye on, talking to representatives.
Remember Aaron Hickey?
We were linked heavily with him at the beginning of the transfer window before seemingly switching to Martinez as our priority.
He looks set to join Brentford but it might not be too late to sweep in.
Likewise Olexsandr Zinchenko was linked to us prior to the Martinez “interest”.
This was of course press speculation and they never know everything.
We were getting linked with Zinchenko at around £25m. That is £20m less than Martinez’s impending move to Man U.
He might not cover centre back but he does cover central midfield. Arteta loves versatility.
Another forgotten man is Youri Tielemans.
The Belgium midfielder seemed to be our number one target back in June. Then we signed Vieira and began to target Raphinha.
The fee for Tielemans was rumoured to be around £30m.
Could Arsenal go back in for him and then utilise Vieira’s versatility as another option on the wing?
Edu and Mikel Arteta would likely have preferred Martinez and Raphinha for £70m ahead of Hickey and Tielemans for £55.
But Hickey and Tielemans for £55m feels much better business than Martinez and Raphinha for £110m.
So we move on to our next targets. Potentially going back to the two lads we were heavily linked with earlier in the summer.
And at £55m for them, it could leave us with some money left on the pot to improve elsewhere. Has we spent £110m that would have been our transfer budget blown.
I would not be surprised if we see links to Zinchenko and Tielemans intensify this week.
Final thought: We could potentially sign Zinchenko, Tielemans and Cody Gakpo for the price of Raphinha and Martinez. That is sort of business we should be doing.