PHW: Flamini Signs Not Promising
Peter Hill-Wood thinks that the prospects of Mathieu Flamini signing the new contract waiting for his signature are not good.
He's quoted on skysports.com as saying,
We have made what we think is a pretty generous offer and we are waiting to hear whether he will accept or not.
You just don't know nowadays. You think players have a pretty good life, but, somehow, someone persuades them the grass might be greener somewhere else.
So I don't know the answer, all I know is we think we have pushed the boat out.
On top of everything else, Juve (who I seem to recall saying that Flamini was not in their transfer plans, and declaring so out of their 'great respect' for Arsenal - or was that another italian team?) seem to think they're in the driving seat to sign the driving-force in the Arsenal midfield. In the same article, Juve's director, Lean-Claude Blanc is quoted as saying how they are at the head of the queue, in front of Milan:
We have the advantage (over Milan). As a child Flamini was a supporter of Juve.
We also have a sporting project in place and we will be in the Champions League. Milan will not.
It's hard to know what to think - I really want the guy to stay, but if he were to leave - and on a free at that - i would be an arch hypocrite were I to take issue with him and with Juve.
After all, isn't that how he joined us? I know the circumstances were slightly different as whilst with Marseilles he had yet to sign a senior professional contract, but in essence it's the same. We would be losing a player for nothing that we got for nothing (well, save for the compensation fee we were instructed to pay l'OM for developing the player. And I didn't take issue when he joined for free from the French Ligue 1 outfit.
Apparently Juve are willing to offer him 10K per week more than we are. And he was a Juve fan as a child - it's kinda hard to compete against that. If Flamini is to depart, you have to wonder how much it would cost us to replace him. Let's hope Arsene's got a rabbit he's ready to pull out of a hat...