Quick links


'I am ambitious' - €20 million deal sees Arsenal miss out

Arsenal target Geoffrey Kondogbia has sealed his switch to Monaco.

The name Geoffrey Kondogbia can officially be crossed off Arsene Wenger's deadline day shopping list after the Frenchman sealed his transfer to Monaco.

Wenger admitted earlier this summer he was a big fan of the defensive midfielder, but thought his chances of signing the international were slim because 'everybody is interested.'

Sevilla were happy to sell at the right price, but Wenger's point that there was a huge queue for his signature is with hindsight misguided, given that it has taken until August 30 for Kondogbia to be bought. If Arsenal were bold enough, by this point surely they could have got him.

Arsenal have been searching for a defensive midfielder ever since Alex Song left, but rather than shell out money for one they have been determined to do it on the cheap.

First they brought over 20-year-old trialist Sebastian Perez, who played in a pre-season match, only for him to be refused a work permit. Then they invited former player and free agent Mathieu Flamini to the club, and this week offered him a contract.

Yes he is €20 million cheaper than Geoffrey Kondogbia, but also comes with an chequered injury history and is nine years older.

Kondogbia cost Sevilla just £3 million a year ago, so the La Liga side have made a tidy profit on him too.

He was officially announced on the Monaco website, with the banner, 'Je suis Kondogbia, Je suis ambitieux, Je suis Monaco.'

Now some may scoff at that 'ambition', joining a cash-rich side who have no Champions League football on offer, but the project in the principality in football terms is an exciting one, getting the chance to play alongside Joao Moutinho in midfield supplying Falcao up front.

Kondogbia will gain a chance to impress his national team coach Didier Deschamps first hand by playing in Ligue One for the club he used to manage, and it could work out to be a very good move for him in the short-term.

Over at Arsenal, questions over why the club did not pursue their interest in him will likely remain unanswered, but one poignant question comes out of Kondogbia's transfer announcement:

Are Arsenal ambitious? 

image: © Julien Haler

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch