Tag Archives: PSG

Guendouzi OUT, Rabiot, Nkunku + £42m IN

Matteo Guendouzi has been a fantastic signing.

Signed for just £7million last summer, it is easy to forget that he is just 18-year-old and had just 8 Ligue 1 appearances to his name.

The original plan would probably have been to use him at 6th choice central midfielder, behind Granit Xhaka, Lucas Torreira, Aaron Ramsey, Mo Elneny and Ainsley Maitland-Niles. The World Cup and some injuries saw him got some early game time and he has not looked back.

His form has led to speculation that PSG are considering a bid this summer.

I have spoken before about how Liverpool have been able to build a title winning squad by buying low, selling high and reinvesting that in more players. Over the last 5 seasons, they have bought in over £200m more in player sales than Arsenal. This has enable them to sign Allisson, Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah.

When you compare that to Arsenal who have lost about £200m in player sales over that period due to contracts and underselling players – think Alexis Sanchez, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck, Wojech Szczesny & Serge Gnabry – it leads us to the situation which we are now in. Liverpool 2nd, Arsenal 5th.

I have blogged previously that Arsenal will need to take a risk. Perhaps sell Lucas Torreira for big money and reinvest that on 3 or 4 players.

£60million for Matteo Guendouzi is huge money for a player with half a good season, and Arsenal should seriously consider it.

PSG have previously had problems filling their “home-grown” quota for the Champions League.

With the mega rich oil-financed club recruiting the worlds best players, this has often been at the detriment over French talent.

This has led to PSG signing the likes of Lassana Diarra, Hatem Ben Arfa, Benjamin Stambouli and Yohan Cabaye in recent years.

Despite France being current World Champions, very few of the national teams top players came from PSG.

With Adrien Rabiot, Christopher Nkunku and Lassana Diarra set to leave them in the summer, they will be left with just 4 senior French players in their squad.

This means they will need to go out to the market and recruit French, which in return will see premium price tags put on French players akin to what happens in England with English players.

Guendouzi would be an ideal signing for PSG.

He is one of the best young midfielders in world football. PSG would be signing him knowing that he has the potential to become a first team regular at the highest level – and not just to make up the numbers like Diarra, Ben Arfa et al.

He would be the perfect replacement for Rabiot.

Not only is Guendouzi French, he is Parisian.

Born in Poissy, an outer suburb of France, Guendouzi joined the PSG academy at the age of 6. He left Paris to join Lorient’s academy in 2014.

PSG fans will be wondering why they let such a talent out of their door at 15-years-old.

With the premium PSG will pay on French players, Guendouzi’s potential, and him being Paris-born. a fee in the region of £60million would not be too far from the truth – remember they spent £144million signing another Paris born teenager – Kylian Mbappe.

So should Arsenal take it? My heart might say no but my head says yes.

Let us paint a kick picture.

Arsenal sell Guendouzi for £60million. We then recruit two of the French central midfielders that PSG are set to lose this summer – Rabiot and Nkunku.

Rabiot is available on a free this summer and is a better player than Guendouzi.

They are very similar in the way they play (and look), but with Rabiot being 4-years Guendouzi’s senior, he is the more polished player. Closer to the finished article.

Guendouzi has the potential to be better than Rabiot, but we would be trading a player with a handful of appearances for someone with well over 200.

In January, Arsenal were also heavily linked with Christopher Nkunku for £18 million.

Were we to secure both Rabiot and Nkunku we would be improving our first XI and signing a talented youngster for the future. We would also be £42million up on the deal.

Sou would making the deal make sense?



Cheap Arsenal tickets and Cologne still not sold out

Numerous times in the past I have blogged about my dislike for Champions League football.

A mixture between having the same old opponents, the same predictable performances from Arsenal, my dislike for UEFA and their money making machine, and my total dislike for mid week football.

Whilst I understood the annoyance of many when we made the Europa League, both due to finishing below Spurs and the financial implications, I really was not that bothered. At least we are in a competition we might win.

Making the Europa League also saw my season ticket drop dramatically.

There are 11 of us going out to Germany for the match against Cologne – trains rather than flying – and it is going to be a quality 3 day bender with a good bunch of people. But I digress.

For years many of us have complained about match ticket prices. Season tickets are too expensive. Single match day tickets are too expensive – peaking at £126.It is alienating the normal fan. A dad can no longer take his 2 sons to a game without taking out a second mortgage.

Taking into account how many people complain online about ticket prices, it came as a shock that tickets for Cologne in the Europa League were still on sale.


Tickets are now on sale via the Friends and Family service to all valid members of the Arsenal membership using the Ticketfast print at home facility. This service allows Arsenal members to buy an additional 4 tickets on their membership account.

So a member can now buy an additional 4 tickets on their membership account – on top of the one they are already allowed to buy, making it 5 in total.

The reason I am surprised tickets are on sale is due to how cheap the tickets are:

Junior Gunners can but tickets for as low as £4.25. Adult tickets start at £15.50 and the most expensive tickets are £23.50. These are dirt cheap.

Even if your lads are not  Junior Gunner’s, a dad can take his 2 kids for around £75 max, if he go’s for the most expensive tickets.

What has happened to all those people who constantly moan about ticket prices? Why have they not picked up tickets for a Thursday night game?

Last season in the Champions League we played PSG at the group stages. My ticket for that game was £64. The most expensive tickets were £126. The game sold out in no time, and I was able to shift my ticket on the ticket exchange with no problem.

What I am getting it is how so many people seem to pay lip-service to ticket prices. They use it as an excuse not to go to games, but when tickets are more than reasonable – it is cheaper to go to Cologne v Arsenal than the next Leyton Orient home fixture in the Conference – they also do not go.

It is no surprise tickets are so high when people eat up the Cat A tickets within seconds, yet the Cat C and EL4GS tickets struggle to sell out.

My theory is ticket prices are not the problem. The problem is too many fans want to pick and choose what game to go to. They do not want to go to Stoke, Doncaster or Cologne. They only care about going to see Arsenal play Man U, Chelsea or Bayern Munich.

When I go to games, home and away, over land and sea, I only care about seeing Arsenal. I go for the Gunners. Sadly it seems many of our fickle fan base only want to go to the big games.

If you are one of those who moans all day on Twitter about ticket prices, and are not taking advantage of £15.50 ticket prices for Cologne, then you have no right to moan about the £126 tickets for when you want to see Arsenal play Man U.

Go for The Arsenal, not the opponents.



How have PSG financed the Neymar deal?

So after the news over Neymar’s impending move to PSG, there are some more thoughts floating around.

The financial situation – The way release clauses in Spain work is that it is the individual player who has to pay the money. They have to go to a Spanish court house and buy themselves out of their contract. For all intents and purposes, they then become a free transfer and able to join whoever they wish.

Under normal circumstances, the club buying the players will usually transfer the money over to the player, therefore giving them the cash to buy themselves out of the contract.

Manchester United famously messed up the signing of Ander Herrera by not giving him the tax on top of the transfer fee.

Rumours in Spain are that Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), the owners of PSG, are going to be paying Neymar up to £500m (the figure varies from £300-£500m). A tax-free contract was allegedly signed in Doha for Neymar to be an ambassador to Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

A portion of this lump sum payment will then be used by Neymar to release him from his contract with Barcelona.

The key is that within Spanish law, the money to release the player does not require to have to come to the club who is interested in buying him, it merely has to come from the player. There seem to be no restrictions on who provides this cash.

Therefore, QSI are providing the cash to release Neymar, which in turn lifts any financial burden PSG have in the transfer, as under law, Neymar will be a free agent, and they will be purchasing him on a free.

Now UEFA (or FIFA) might investigate the deal, but it is seemingly legal under Spanish law, therefore they might not be able to do much. The rule is a player needs to buy himself out of his own contract. There are no rulings on where this money must come from.

It could create a new bosman ruling, where players in Spain are at risk of having big companies buying them out of their contracts on behalf of a club, meaning that under FFP, the club do not have to declare a transfer fee.

The rest of the money from QSI to Neymar is reportedly to be used to pay off the agents, fathers, and others who have a financial interest in the deal, as well as some money for Neymar’s own pocket, to supplement any basic wage paid from PSG.

Spain is up in arms over the deal, but should they be?

Barcelona / Real Madrid and their relationship with “sponsors” – Some see this deal as Karma. That Barcelona’s chickens are coming home to roost over the way they have financed transfer deals in the past.

For years, both Barcelona and Real Madrid have been running up massive losses, with those losses being guaranteed by reports of state funding.

When Real Madrid signed Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid sold their training ground back to the local authority it sat in for a vastly increased price. Real Madrid were actually found guilty by the European Commission, who declared that Spain had provided the club with illegal state funding over the deal. Barcelona have also been found guilty of similar.

Also in the past, there have been major rumours of Nike, Adidas, and other headline sponsors of Barcelona and Real Madrid pay extra in sponsorship to cover transfers of big players. Also reports that the major companies offer player lucrative sponsorship deals to top up their wages.

So are PSG doing any different to what Barcelona and Real Madrid have done for years? Possibly not.

The waters are muddied further by reports that the move of Neymar from Santos to Barcelona was part funded by a sponsorship deal with the Qatar Foundation. Quite ironic that money from the same country to buy bring Neymar to Barcelona was also used to take him away from Barcelona.

This is a transfer which could end up being challenged in the courts for years to come. It will be interesting to watch.


Note: We know this is an Arsenal blog, and tomorrow we will return to talking about Arsenal and the Community Shield. But for for today, like all football fans, Neymar is a deal of interest.