All Fall Down! – The Transfer Domino Effect

What’s the score?!

Welcome to another week of “What’s the score?!”After a week off, albeit in the capable hands of @invinciblog
who wrote a fabulous piece on the Suarez
Dilemma
, I wanted to continue on from my article a couple of weeks ago, when
I wrote about the complex matter of transfers
and contracts
and the now current inter-woven spiders web that seems to
have ensued following Edinson Cavani’s move to Paris Saint-Germain. Cavani moved
from Napoli for an obscene amount of
money
, namely in the region of £55M on a five year deal.      

So, how does this affect any major
signings at Arsenal?

It’s
all a game of Chess…

 Despite the
blatant denial upon denial from David Moyes, Arsène Wenger, Barcelona and many
other top names in the football world, the transfer market is dealt with
behind closed doors.

To prove
the case in point, the classic example must surely be last year when Arsène
Wenger was asked about his interest in a certain Spanish player named Santi
Cazorla. He said something along the lines of “Never heard of him.” Within a short time thereafter, Santiago
“Santi” Cazorla González (to give him his full name) was signed by
Arsenal… and no, before any one mentions it, Santi Cazorla is not for sale now!

Every
transfer window, and perhaps this current one more than most, there are numerous
attempts by Sky Sports Sources,
various other media outlets, agents and the hundreds of supporters and apparent
ITK’s that tweet, re-tweet and continually collect information on twitter and
Facebook and then post it to stir the pot just a little bit more, which really
doesn’t help matters to be brutally honest. But, we all listen and watch, as we
all crave information hour by hour, day by day. It’s called being passionate
about our club!

It is all
cloak and dagger stuff, and Arsenal Football Club, by their own admission have
continually maintained a policy of making absolutely no announcement upon any
player coming in, until the deal is fully complete – Period. Sure, you will get
the occasional sound bite stating “we
like him”
or “he is a great player”,
but nothing normally more than that, which in turn winds us all up! Supporters
get frustrated beyond frustrated with this approach, but that is how it is, so
we need to get used to it, as it is unlikely to change in the short term. As my
old man always says to me when
anything is out of your control… Deal with it! (Thanks Dad that really doesn’t
help).

My good
pal, the
not so fat London Taxi Driver
,
is convinced we are not going to sign
anyone. So much so, he has come close I’m sure this week to committing Hari Kari, and even threatened to give
his season ticket back if nothing has happened by 16th August… “Chill
‘H’, all will be fine!”

Every major
club do like to play their cards close to their chest to a certain extent,
whereas others are more vocal and open, but this is done to either create a
demand and/or a reaction, or to set off a snowball effect. As an example:-

Arsenal has
been heavily linked for a number of weeks with Gonzalo Higuaín of Real Madrid.
Apparently bids were made and then rejected. Cloak and dagger stuff of waiting for
the new manager to come in were given as excuses. Move forward a couple of
weeks… Edinson Cavani moves to Napoli, and all of a sudden Gonzalo Higuaín is
linked with a move to Italy for a reported €37M, some €10Mhigher than the
reported fee Arsenal were to pay for him. My point? – Real Madrid (as did
everyone else) knew how much Napoli received from Paris Saint-Germain and
thought… Yup, we will have some of that. After all, football is business – BIG
BUSINESS. It always has been and will continue to be about supply and demand!

The
Domino Effect…

So with
Edinson Cavani being the first seriously large transfer to take place this
window, the flood gates have now started to open.

Real Madrid
has reportedly made a bid for Luis Suárez in the measly sum of £25M. Reports
suggested they would try and highjack any attempt by Arsenal’s interest in him.
Apart from Batmandela’s superb article mentioned at the beginning of this blog,
@mj_afc penned a blunt NO THANK YOU article
yesterday here on Gunners Town, which
is certainly worth a read.

So with a
reported £30M/£35M plus bid rejected (depending on which report you wish to
believe), it now seems common knowledge that Arsenal will go back to Liverpool
with an improved offer on Monday, to coincide with Luis Suárez’s return from
holiday in the region of £40M. If true, then that surely must show that Arsenal
are not ‘pretenders’ and do actually mean business. Will we get him? Only time
will tell.

The
Cesc Effect…

The Cesc Fàbregas
scenario is continuing to go on and on. Will he, won’t he, can he, should he? I
don’t intend to go over old ground, or indeed explore this subject too deeply,
but the turnaround that he will not leave, then he would, if not wanted, now
turning into ‘Cesc is untransferable’
according to comments from the Vice President of Barcelona on Friday morning,
simply shows that transfers are carried out in ways many if not all, cannot
accept.

‘Untransferable’, what does that actually mean? Does
it mean he is not for sale? Does it mean he is for sale, but he can’t be sold
because of the ‘first refusal’ clause that Arsenal have upon his services, or
does it mean he is untransferable simply because a deal has actually been done?
Again, the next few days will be interesting… of that I am sure! – What I am
also sure of is this: – Despite every effort of Manchester United, media talk
and the like, Cesc Fàbregas has made it very clear to those nearest and dearest
to him that he only wants to return to Arsenal if he leaves Barcelona, and is
to return to the Premiership.

The
Rooney, Bale & Higuaín Effect…

So, to
continue with the spider’s web of inter-woven coincidences, Wayne Rooney has
again this week thrown his toys out of his pram. Why? Well, many have suggested
he is being a spoilt brat looking for a contract extension, but it was some
glib comment made by David Moyes about how Wayne Rooney is great cover for
Robin Van Persie. Yup, I see why he is pissed off.

Personally,
although I do not find David Moyes offensive in any way, and clearly not a
fool, I do feel he is either being very naïve, or at best hugely optimistic if
he believes Wayne Rooney will remain at the club. That may ultimately be David
Moyes downfall before he has even begun. Sir Alex Ferguson could get away with
portraying such a persona, but I am not sure David Moyes can.

Chelsea put
in a bid reported to be at £10M with the choice of Juan Mata or David Luiz as
an additional sweetener, something that Chelsea denies in terms of the players,
but none the less, a bid was made. This was rejected, and David Moyes is insistent
that Wayne Rooney is not for sale. Nope, there is no doubt he is for sale…
everyone is for sale. Where will he go? Many believe it is either Arsenal or
Chelsea, with his favoured destination indeed the Emirates. He would certainly
fit into our system better than Chelsea’s. Arsène Wenger has publically stated
on a number of occasions that he is an admirer of Wayne Rooney, so despite
conjecture otherwise, don’t discount a move to Arsenal. Will it happen? Who
knows, but I wouldn’t rule it out completely.

Returning
to Gonzalo Higuaín. If a move to Napoli does not happen, then it is suggested
that Chelsea could become his new home. I personally believe a move to Arsenal
is now off the cards. José Mourinho knows him very well, so I would not
discount a Chelsea move at all, and if Wayne Rooney does not go to Chelsea,
then despite José Mourinho stating they are not interested in any one else, Gonzalo
Higuaín would fit the bill. Should that happen, and although not out and out
strikers, then one, if not both Juan Mata or Eden Hazard would become surplus
to requirements. Where would they go?

Manchester
United want a midfielder (apparently). Enter from the left Juan Mata or Eden
Hazard! – Do you see the domino effect? They also want a superstar, and with
Cristiano Ronaldo not returning to Old Trafford any time soon (certainly not
this season) who does Man Utd go for… Enter from the right Gareth Bale. No I
hear you say? I think it is a quite likely despite Daniel Levy’s resistance to
sell their main (and I say only decent) player, Gareth Bale could quite easily
become a Man Utd player during this transfer window. Why? He wants the money
(Spurs are not actually laden with cash, not to the tune of £200k per week), he
will not get European Championship or World Cup Finals with Wales, nor this
season will he get Champions League football either (Did Tottenham not qualify
for the Champions League…. Silly me, of course they didn’t!) so the little boy inside of him may just want
to become a Manx.

The
Fellaini & Džeko Effect…

Marouane
Fellaini has been the subject of much speculation. Where will he go? At this
point I personally believe Man Utd is the likely destination. David Moyes knows
him all too well, and any interest from Arsenal or others now seems to have waned.
Again, it fills the gap they say they need to fill, then it is the perfect move
for him, although I still feel he could be the steel we need in the middle of
the park. However, although different players, the departure of Wayne Rooney is
probably the key to unlock that door, hence the continual domino effect,
particularly when any capture of Gareth Bale would be in excess of £60M. Man
Utd although not poor, also do have budgets to adhere to and I don’t see David
Moyes being given a £100M plus war chest… not this season.

The blue part
of Manchester has been particularly busy over recent days. With the departure
thus far of Carlos Tévez to Juventus, and Manuel Pellegrini having missed out
on his prodigal son, Isco, Man City have been active and brought in Brazilian Fernandinho,
and Spaniard Jesus Navas. In the last 24 hours they have added Alvaro Negredo
and former Arsenal target Stevan Jovetic, showing they certainly intend to ‘go
for it’ in 2013/14. However, continuing with the domino effect, that leaves
Edin Džeko somewhat about fourth choice striker and surely out in the cold.
Where will he go? I do not believe he will want to stay at Man City and I would
certainly take him at Arsenal all day long.

Where is
the Money?

With all
this money being spent, and Arsenal alone rumoured to have conservatively
upwards of almost £100M to spend, where does it all come from?

Firstly, as
I have written about previously, apart from TV rights, large
chunks of money
does come from sponsorship. However, contrary to popular
belief, a lot of the bigger deals are not normally paid in one hit. An
exception to that recently was the Edinson Cavani deal where not only did Paris
Saint Germain pay the whole £55M upfront, they also agreed to pay the ‘tax’ due
on the transfer on behalf of Napoli. Shrewd business no doubt by Napoli.

Deals of
recent time, particularly with Barcelona, are paid over a period of time. Although
I do not know the exact figure, it is rumoured that Arsenal are still owed
around £15M from Barcelona on the sales of both Cesc Fàbregas and Alex Song.
The Robin Van Persie deal I do not believe was paid in one hit either. So
despite large transfer fee’s being paid for players in the current climate, the
full amount is never usually paid in one go. Real Madrid did not pay the full
80M transfer fee for Cristiano Ronaldo back in 2009 in one hit.

Release
Clause(s)

The larger
transfer deals normally refer to a set ‘release clause’. This is something that
most modern contracts in recent years have had in-built into them following on
from the Bosman ruling. Why? Simply to protect the club from a player joining,
and then walking out of the door as the fancy takes him. However, most contracts
although similar, are not identical when it comes to the various release clause
scenario.

Marouane
Fellaini for example has a release clause of £23M that has to be met before he
is free to discuss terms with another club, whereas it is reported that Luis
Suárez has a release clause of some £40M. Actually, the clause in Luis Suárez
contract (as reported) is not actually a release clause, but merely a clause
that provides if an offer of, or in excess of £40M is made to Liverpool, then
he has to be immediately notified of the offer. That is not the same thing!

As has now
become common knowledge, the clause within Cesc Fàbregas’s contract with
Barcelona states that Arsenal have first refusal upon his services. So, the
term release clause is used very glibly now days, when it may not actually be a
true release clause requiring a set figure to be bid by the proposed purchasing
club.

As always,
I would be interested to know your views or thoughts on the whole transfer scenario.
Please feel free to leave a comment below, or send me a tweet @jeremylebor. I always reply!

If
it’s not worth knowing… Jeremy knows it!

So,
here is yet more useless trivia about our beloved club!

Did you
know?

– Arsenal was the first British team to beat Real Madrid at the Bernabau, and both
AC Milan and Inter Milan at the San Siro.

Did you
know? –
Arsenal is believed to be the only team in Champions League
history to have fielded 11 players from different nationalities in their
victory over Hamburger SV in 2006.

Thanks once
more to my good mate, the
not so fat London Taxi Driver
,
for the above stats.

If you have any ‘trivia’ about either the team or the club, then please let me know
and I will gladly post them in this section… The wackier the better! – Tweet me
@jeremylebor.

Arsenal Programmes For Sale…

Although this is not something that
we here at Gunners Town would usually
do, we have been contacted by @WestHoward
and asked if anyone is interested in purchasing a specific collection of Arsenal
Match day Programmes.

On offer is: – Approximately
1250 Arsenal Home Programmes for sale. They are in season sets, in very good
condition and sorted from 1970/71 to 2010/11 The seller is looking for genuine
offers in the region of £600-£700. The collection is currently being offered
for sale at £750 on eBay. The seller would like to keep the collection
together, as it belonged to a very staunch Arsenal fan, so, If interested, then
please tweet @WestHoward directly, or drop a line
to admin@gunnerstown.com and we will
put you in touch.

Last
Word…

The current
transfer window has now been open for some 21 days, and does not close until 2nd
September, simply as the 31st August falls this year on a Saturday.
Many an Arsenal supporter is getting more agitated by the day at the lack of
‘movement’ from Arsenal. However, there is still plenty of time to ‘do our
business’ and with respect to the doubters, the players who have already chosen
to ply their trade elsewhere I do not believe have been on Arsène Wenger’s wish
list.

To those
who believe it will be ‘same old, same old’ Arsenal, with inactivity in the
market for world class or major signings, there is plenty of time for the club
to do what is necessary to obtain their targets, who Arsène Wenger has no doubt
identified to the board. Clearly negotiations are taking place on a number of
fronts, and despite the pessimism that is floating around twitter every time
one of the so called big boys sign a player, there is plenty of time for
Arsenal to complete some marquee signings… 43 days to be precise!

So, now you
know the score… until next week – Jeremy!

Jeremy
Lebor


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