Arsenal are expected to spend, spend, spend this summer and I have good reason to believe manager Arsene Wenger already has some deals worked out.
The Gunners have been linked with a number of additions after what has been another disappointing season and undoubtedly the Frenchman’s most turbulent since his arrival in North London back in 1996.
His sale of Robin van Persie last summer, along with Alex Song, and Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri the summer before has made Arsenal’s transfer policy a major issue of contention amongst the fans.
Their profits in the transfer market have, whether directly related or not, equated to an inability to compete as a top team for on the pitch for trophies, which, as is well documented, they haven’t won for 8 years.
However, the imminent arrival of Fiorentina hitman Stevan Jovetic may go some way to repair the damage incurred on the squad by recent departures. Not only has a FIFA agent claimed the deal has already been agreed, but the player himself has been saying all the right soundbites.
“Jovetic was among the possible options for Juventus, but my information is that the boy has already given the go ahead to move to Arsenal,” claimed Guido Di Comenico.
“He seems fascinated by their project.”
Whilst this man may be speculating, the player’s response to the rumours linking him with a switch to the Emirates completely corroborate Di Comenico’s claims.
“I’ve heard about Arsenal’s interest,” Jovetic told The Sun.
“It’s a big pleasure for me to be on the radar of such a big club. I am happy about that. I’ve always had an affinity with Arsenal. It’s a major club with a big tradition, one of the biggest in Europe.”
If that isn’t a new-signing ‘soundbite’ then I don’t know what is. It is remarkably similar to the quotes from Arsenal ‘target’ Hamburg goalkeeper Rene Adler.
“For any player it is an honour [to be linked with Arsenal],” said Adler, as quoted in The Metro.
“It is something that inspires me even more, and it is not distracting me.”
Whilst players often comment on their links with clubs despite their being no substance to the rumours, it’s usually when they are in the process of negotiating new contracts with their current clubs.
In most cases, when players come out publicly and officially on a transfer rumour it is to deny the link and pledge allegiance to their current club – even if they are in fact poised for a move.
Seldom do important first-team players express their admiration for another club unless they are a) unhappy and trying to engineer a move or b) getting the ball rolling on the transfer talks.
However Hamburg have today denied such talk, with Frank Arnesen saying: "It's obviously a fact Arsenal FC is on the search for a goalkeeper. But thus far no-one from Arsenal FC has been in touch with our club." Nothing there to comment they would stand in his way if an offer came in.
I give the Jovetic deal a 95 per cent chance, and Adler is better than 50/50 – it’s early days and the transfer window doesn’t open for another two months but based on these two Arsenal ‘targets’ behavior and responses it looks highly likely that the rumours are in the process of being substantiated.
Wenger has in previous windows been slow to start and cautious once he does but, after such a turbulent ride this term, it looks as though he’s getting his skates on early this summer.
image: © carca