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April the Deadline for Flamini

April the Deadline for Flamini

Arsene Wenger has given Mathieu Flamini untilthe end of April to give a decision on his contract one way or t'other. 'We are getting close to yes or no,' Le Boss told assembled journalists.

'He says he wants to stay and I believe him. But as long as he has not signed, for me, he is free to sign where he wants. We have set ourselves a target until the end of the month of April to finalise the situation, one way or the other.'

I fail to see what Wenger can do about this really. The power is with Flamini here, and any transfer or contract renewal will be signed on his terms. Unless Wenger is saying he will withdraw the contract offer altogether. It is a remarkable turnaround, last summer Wenger was willing to let the bit part midfielder go, only for the Corsican to decide to stay and fight for his place. With Gilberto arriving back late from Copa America duty, Flamini found himself in the team and has argubly Arsenal's player of the season, conquering Gattuso along the way. I would be very surprised if Flamini stayed, if he was going to sign I think he would have by now. I hope I am wrong.

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Writer:Tim Stillman
Date:Sunday April 20 2008
Time: 12:26PM


20/04/2008 12:48:00
He'll stay. He fought to get into the squad, he wouldn't just leave after finally making it in.
20/04/2008 13:47:00
I wonder if he feels he's proved a point now though. Plus, given Wenger's recent comments, it seems money is a sticking point. The only time I can remember us bowing to wage demands under AW was Kanu and that ended up being a bad call because Kanu rather lost his way after that.
Little Dutch
20/04/2008 14:32:00
If this gamble fails, then Arsene is to blame.
20/04/2008 15:30:00
Thierry's last year was a gamble with money that failed too - reports about that have resurfaced from the Supporters' Trust these few days. If Flam loves to stay as much as he claims and lets money get in the way, while the money offered shouldn't be bad already I believe, it'd be hard to keep him should he become a bigger star later anyway. As much as I love to see Flam stay, I'd still trust Arsene on making this call. This wages budget is coming out of the bigger bucket which also includes the transfer budget after all. If Arsene gives a huge rise to him means he has to also give it to outstanding performers this year, say Ade/Clichy/Cesc. Even if they're not necessarily "greedy," their agents would push for rises anyway. Arsene said recently that the wages have gone so out of control that he has to look at players' contracts literally every year, bcos of this new rule that allows those who're under 28 to leave the club even though they're under a long-term contract. He didn't have to face it before, a player under contract was a player under contract. I can see why he doesn't want to bend the rules for one player and crash the floodgate open. That's kind of what's happening at ManU right now. Rio Ferdinand deservedly gets a pay rise, and Carrick and Brown got their contracts extended with improved terms too. You guys have watched football longer than I have. Don't you think these contract extensions way before its expiry are happening more frequent than before, than say the pre-PL era definitely? If Arsene thinks Flam's requests have crossed his bottomline, and that he could secure a replacement within that bucket of money, I just trust him.
Lou the Gunneress
20/04/2008 16:16:00
I wonder if its Flamini simply trying to prove a point, like LD says. I hope it is. He has always said he wants to stay but his actions dont say that. If he moves, he might more money at another club, but he will spend more time in establishing himself in the starting 11, get used to a different club, set of players, surroundings etc and I hope he weighs that up. The longer this takes, the less likely it is that Flamini will sign. I trust Wenger to sign a replacement, although the new man will take time to forge a partnership with Cesc, and that could cost us a bit.
20/04/2008 16:36:00
will he stay then or will he go?
20/04/2008 16:40:00
Prits, I also feel if Flam takes longer to think it over, he might consider those things and decide to stay. But the longer this stalls, the more clubs might come and get him, and the better offers they might be able to put in (after concluding their season, some of them might confirm their status back in Europe - in the case of Juventus, etc.) too. I'm growing pessimistic, I dearly hope Flam will turn around and stay but he's no Wes Brown (all talk, no guts/opportunities to leave).
Lou the Gunneress
20/04/2008 16:56:00
After his performance this season, you should certainly keep him!
Fan of Blues
20/04/2008 17:05:00
FOB, Arsenal is doing everything in their power to keep him. He just wont sign. I still believe he is not going anywhere though.
20/04/2008 17:09:00
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