Tag Archives: james rodriguez

Real News: The FA Cup draw; Fake News: Arsenal transfers

Morning. Everyone else flued up?

The only real Arsenal news over the last 24 hours was the FA Cup draw.

It sums it up when the draw was more interesting than the Round 3 games. Although watching Liverpool get knocked out was enjoyable.

As the balls were pulled out, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United remained in the perspex bowl. 10 teams left. 8 teams left. 6 teams left. 4 teams left. The aforementioned plus Crystal Palace.

All that was important at this stage is we were drawn at home, regardless of who it was against.

A home tie against Manchester United is easier than an away game in South London.

Due to playing Cardiff City in the league on the Tuesday, Arsenal will play Man U on either Friday night or Saturday. It will be picked for TV.

It will be interesting to see what sort of side both teams put out, as they both play Premier League games on the following Tuesday. I imagine they will be very changed to the sides put out in the 3rd round.

Whilst the FA Cup is real news, there has been plenty of fake news in the last couple of days. Mainly to do with transfers.

It is that time of year when journalists earn their coin, fabricating (or exaggerating) transfer stories. Articles for clicks. Clicks for revenue.

In the last couple of days, Arsenal have had a £63m bid accepted by Real Madrid for James Rodriguez, agreed a £200,000 a week contract with Yannick Carrasco, approached Juventus for Medhi Benatia, been turned down by Pepe, and are set to lose out on Denis Suarez to West Ham as we can not afford the £20m fee.

What a load of rubbish.

So on one hand they are saying we are offering a club record transfer fee for a player who Bayern Munich have first option on (at half the price – they would just trigger the clause, then sell him to us. Easy profit), that we are offering a contract to a player far in access to what was on the table for Aaron Ramsey, but then there are reports we have no money. Want to loan a player from Barcelona, not sign him.

No one really knows what is going on. Not journalists, not fake ITKs who pretend to be journalists, not your mate Dave down the Dog and Duck.

Ultimately all these people are doing is trying to get attention (a bit like the idiot who moaned about Joe Willock after the teenager scored 2 goals for the club he loves in the FA Cup).

The last thing to talk about this morning is that lot up the road.

In an interesting interview, Mauricio Pochettino discusses parallels between his situation and Arsene Wenger’s.

Now ignore Pochettino’s complete lack of success compared to Wenger (or any manager to have won a trophy in English football), some interesting points were made.

Pochettino talks about an “unfair” expectation. That it is unrealistic to be expected to compete with the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool when you have huge financial constraints due a new stadium.

The most interesting part of the interview was when he talks about his future. He says he wants to be at Tottenham for 20 years, but then the doubt creeps in.

‘My only hope if I have the opportunity to talk with him is to ask if it was worth it. I don’t know what he would say. I would like to ask.”

He is wondering if it is worthwhile forgoing personal success for offers elsewhere where trophies are guaranteed (Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, PSG). Whether it is worthwhile trying to build something over a long period, only to be continually criticised for fans for perceived failure.

Pochettino is clearly talking about his own future.

Wenger turned down the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and PSG whilst at Arsenal.

At all of these clubs he would have made more money, and had a better chance of winning trophies then he did at Arsenal. But he remained loyal. Kept faith in what he was doing. Backed himself to return the club to glory.

Would he say it was worth it? I do not know. But if Pochettino is already wondering if it is worthwhile staying, then he is also thinking about leaving…

A nice week with no football. A chance to recover after the hectic Christmas period. No boozing and get rid of this cold.

Keenos

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8 possible Sanchez / Ozil replacements

Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are gone. They are not going to sign a new deal. I think we have to all come to terms with them leaving the club on a free.

And when I talk about all of us having to come to terms, I include the Arsenal management.

It often feels that Arsenal transfer windows are managed without a plan. It is disorganised. But with the clubs two best players set to leave for nothing, it will be a disaster if Arsenal are not already prepared.

The plans of action need to start in January. Even if Sanchez and Ozil are to not leave until the summer, Arsenal need to not only target, but secure at least one replacement for the pair now.

Replacing two in the summer will be hard. Getting one replacement in January will take the pressure off and also ensure that come the 2018/19 season, we already have a replacement who is settled in England having had 7 months to adjust to the weather.

So who should Arsenal be targeting in January?

Thomas Lemar

Our number one target from the summer will surely be re-targeted in January.

He wanted to join Arsenal, Arsenal wanted him, but we messed up and did not meet Monaco’s valuation until too late.

Hopefully since the summer transfer window closed, we have kept talking to both Monaco, Lemar, and his representatives, and that a deal in January could happen quickly.

Robert Pires recently claimed that he felt that a deal for Thomas Lemar to Arsenal will not happen now. A lot of people have jumped on this as to assume the deal is dead. But reading the full quotes from Pires, he is saying this due to the price tag of £90m. That he (and probably Wenger) does not think he is worth that much.

At the end of the day, if we have the money, we need to spend it. Every million that go’s unspent becomes less valuable every year as transfer fees continue to climb.

Julian Draxler

Another long term favourite of some, German international Julian Draxler could be available for a cut price fee as PSG attempt to balance the books.

Draxler is one of 4 attacking talents that are being linked with moves away from the club. Angel Di Maria, Javier Pastore and Lucas Moura are the other 4.

Draxler has struggled to nail down a place since joining PSG, but if Arsenal could get him cheaply, a transfer could be on the cards.

Antoine Griezmann

With Diego Costa set to rejoin Atletico Madrid, Antoine Griezmann may well be on his way out – if not in January, certainly in the summer.

It feels he has been itching for a move away for a couple of years.

Whilst Atletico have performed brilliantly in recent years, the trophies have dried up since Griezmann joined the club. He has only won the Spanish version of the Community Shield.

It is all well and good being competitive and making Champions League Finals, but if you are not winning trophies, players will become frustrated.

If he does want to move, there will be a scramble for him, with the likes of Manchester United and Barcelona also interested. Arsenal moved to the Emirates Stadium to compete with these sides for the likes of Griezmann.

Griezmann would be a stellar signing and the perfect replacement for Alexis Sanchez.

Thomas Muller

Things have gone a little sour for Thomas Muller at Bayern Munich in recent months. After a slow start, the 28-year-old finished with 12 assists in 25 Bundesliga starts last season. However, he found the net just five times. This season he has scored just twice in 17 appearances for club and country.

An established world star, he would fit straight in and provide goals and assists from midfield. Signing him might also see Mesut Ozil sign a new contract.

Raheem Sterling

With the development and form of Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling has found himself on the fringes of the Manchester City first team in recent weeks.

Add in David Silva, Kevin de Bruyne and big money summer signing Bernardo Silva, Sterling is finding the competition for places tough to get game time. He has made just 5 Premier League starts this season.

Add in Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus, Manchester City are the envy of world football with their attacking talent. 7 into 3 (or occasionally 4) does not go, and whilst they might win the trophies and get the money whilst sitting on the Manchester City bench, many players want to play.

Sterling is a London lad (via Jamaica) and spends a lot of time in the capital visiting family and friends.

Despite his lack of game time, he has still managed 7 goals in the league this season – just two shy of his career high 9 at Liverpool back in 2014.

There has always been a world class player in Sterling, but he just needs an arm round him and get consistent playing time.

He would get both at Arsenal, and at just 23, still has plenty of time to develop.

Dries Mertens

It has recently been linked that Napoli’s Belgian born forward has a release clause of just £25m. This is a snip in the current market.

At 30, he would not be a long term replacement for Ozil or Sanchez, but he is having an Indian summer to what had been an average career since Napoli move him down the middle last season – no player has scored more goals in Serie A since the beginning of 2016/17.

Lorenzo Insigne

The diminutive team mate of Dries Mertens, he has also been in excellent form.

Reminds me of a young Santi Cazorla, he is great with both feet, and can play anywhere behind a front man. The only question for both Napoli men is whether they would want to leave a table topping side for Arsenal in January, and lose the chance to become legends.

Possibly not.

James Rodriguez

The Columbian has only recently joined Bayern Munich on a 2 year long long deal, but things have quickly turned sour.

Signed by the since departed Carlo Ancelotti, Rodriguez found himself on the bench in the game after the Italians dismissal and there are reports that both he and Munich are looking for ways to end the loan deal.

With Real Madrid unlikely to want him back, the only option will be for Munich to find a club to take Rodriguez for the remainder of the loan deal. Arsenal could well step in and Rodriquez could show the creative abilities to fill the void left by Mesut Ozil.

Keenos

Cristiano Ronaldo’s future set to change Arsenal’s transfer plans

It might just be posturing. Cristiano Ronaldo might just be flexing his muscles. Trying to get one big last contract out of Real Madrid.

Or it might be completely true. Ronaldo is fed up having been part of the Spanish version of HMRC’s witch hunt against footballers. Finds the £13m fine for unpaid tax to be excessive, and wants to pack up his bags and leave.

My personal bet is it is just posturing. Ronaldo wants Real Madrid to foot his tax bill. They pay, he stays. They don’t, he then has a decision to make. But if he does leave, what ramifications will it have for world football? The great players in the world leaving for a world record fee will have a ripple affect throughout the global game.

Chelsea, for example, will be quaking in their boots. Real Madrid were already targeting Eden Hazard this summer. Losing Ronaldo will just make them chase the Belgium international even more aggressively. Already set to lose Diego Costa, to lose Hazard as well will spell disaster for the English champions.

But what could Ronaldo’s move, probably to Manchester United, mean for Arsenal?

Closing doors

With Ronaldo leaving, Real Madrid will not want to lose any other of their Galácticos. Potential Arsenal targets like of Gareth Bale, Isco or James Rodriguez will be stopped from exiting the club.

Young start Marco Asensio, who has recently voiced his concern of a big name player coming in and taking his place, would also be told in no uncertain terms you aint going anywhere mate.

If Ronaldo leaves, there will be o further departures at Madrid.

Missed Targets

Kylian Mbappe.

Just a few weeks ago, Arsenal looked to have taken pole position in the race for the talented Frenchman. Since then, things have gone a little quiet, with Arsenal instead being linked with Alexandre Lacazette.

If Ronaldo joins Manchester United for anything above £100m, Real Madrid will then have the cash to immediately make a down payment to Monaco for Mbappe.

They have followed him since he was 14, and whilst the £100m price tag for an 18 year old with such little experience is high, selling Ronaldo and signing Mbappe balances the books.

I would not be surprised if a deal for Mbappe is done within days of Ronaldo leaving.

And what for Alexis Sanchez?

If Ronaldo does go, Arsenal might have a ready made Real Madrid replacement for him in Alexis Sanchez. Could losing Ronaldo force Madrid into entering the race for the former Barcelona man? It would not surprise me.

 

Ronaldo leaving Real Madrid could change the transfer plans of every top side in Europe.

Keenos