The world of football is not transparent as it is often made out to be, and certainly not when it comes to transfer dealings. The events that unfolded on transfer deadline day provide testimony to that.
On Sunday, Radamel Falcao was supposed on his way to Manchester City to sign a one-year loan deal from AS Monaco. The Colombia international did eventually put pen to paper on a contract, but it was with the Citizens’ more illustrious neighbours Manchester United in the early hours of Tuesday morning (click here to read more).
Arsenal’s search for a striker finally came to an end in a similar fashion, as the Gunners officially confirmed the signing of England international Danny Welbeck from Manchester United around 1am on Tuesday.
Many fans would be wondering how the clubs could pull off such major deals on such short notice without their managers present, but Arsenal legend Ray Parlour’s insight into how transfers are negotiated could help to explain.
‘It isn't actually Wenger who does the deals’, the former England international midfielder wrote on Sportlobster.com. ‘He highlights the targets and leaves it to Dick Law and the board to go and buy them.
‘They've probably tried to buy players for the last 3 days and clubs might be holding out for more money. Often the manager isn't even involved in the process’.
It is indeed a fascinating insight from one of Arsenal’s all-time greats – an ‘insider’ who knows how the game works, even though the North London club and United could take different approach to transfer dealings.
Much was made about David Moyes failing to sign big-name players last year and Van Gaal dragging this summer’s business until the final days of the window.
Many Arsenal fans blame Wenger for their lack of major transfer activities in recent years, but Parlour’s comments suggest that there is so much a club’s manager can do when it comes to signing players.