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Standing on the gone side of leaving

It`s unwise to make too many presumptions about what the final outcome of the Cesc transfer story might be as almost anything still seems possible but it does seem a situation that doesn`t suit either club at present. In some ways Cesc`s 'come-and-get-me` invitation seems to have caught Barcelona wrong footed. Despite the Presidential election chest thumping about bringing him home I wonder if they really imagined that a transfer this summer was on the cards? They don`t seem at all prepared for it.

Hill-Wood revealed after the Barcelona game at the Emirates that the Barca directors had indicated that they wouldn`t be bidding for Cesc this summer. This was subsequently denied by their Sporting Director, Cheeky Buggerystain (as Niko has now indelibly anointed him) perhaps realising that it might be going 'off message` in the presidential stakes but it is quite likely that those were indeed the indications given over a few glasses of boardroom Rioja. Barcelona were very familiar with the strength of the Arsenal contract and Cheeky referred to the difficulties that presents yesterday. It seems hard to imagine, given the recent contact between the clubs, that Barcelona wouldn`t have contacted Arsenal directly long before now if it were their intention to get him this summer.

Picking up some of the feedback in Spain there is a strong sentiment that questions whether they need Cesc just now while presidential candidate, Sandro Rosell, has suggested very strongly that Barca can`t really afford him. It would appear that at this point Cesc would just be a trophy signing for Laporta. If that`s true then the deal might need to be done before the elections which I believe take place on June 13th if it`s to be done at all. It`s all just conjecture but Cesc`s demand that his future be settled before the world cup, as though he wasn`t already under a secure contract with Arsenal, seems to have been designed just to stir Barca into action. It wouldn`t surprise me to find it came as a shock to them as much as it did to us. Hard though it is to admit it if anything this looks more like a case of Cesc tapping up Barcelona this time rather than the other way around.

Having effectively told the club he wants away there seems little point in Arsenal trying to hang onto him. The shorter his contract becomes and the closer he is to an unprotected contract period the harder it will be to get top dollar. To extract the maximum benefit we can now from this position has to be the best course of action for Arsenal but Barca may not be in the shape to make that possible. If there is no team building imperative right now that would justify Barcelona paying a transfer fee that set against the €40m they have paid for Villa, who can have little residual value at the end of his contract, should probably be double that then justifying it on top of the £5m or so a year Cesc is reportedly being paid is going to be hard. Yet having made all those previous noises that Cesc`s DNA made him their player whenever they wanted to bring him home, stepping back now is also pretty difficult for them.

In many ways if a transfer doesn`t go through now it`s going to feel pretty awkward for us too. We can`t be seen to let him go on the cheap but maybe holding onto him isn`t so healthy for us either. If Barca were unwilling or unable to match the market rate then that could leave us with a humiliated player who has effectively told us he wants to be somewhere else. What problems might it give us now if he didn`t leave? Could he captain the side with everyone knowing that the player supposedly leading by example doesn`t want to be here? What sort of example would that be? How could we reconcile taking the captaincy away from him given his previous status and what message does that give? It`s true many were able to forgive Vieira his flirtations because he was able to find the right noises whereas we were unable to forgive Adebayor because he could only make the wrong ones. Perhaps, if Cesc doesn`t go, he and the club could spin things to make it a little more comfortable for him to stay but everyone would know that he had wanted out sooner rather than later. Things wouldn`t be quite the same again. Unless, in the unlikely event he was willing to extend the unprotected part of his contract as a sign of commitment, his staying would present its own problems.

In the meantime Cesc will begin to find out just how determined Barca really are and how much they really do value him. Much of Vieira`s disenchantment with Real was that they didn`t ultimately value him at the level he felt his status warranted. There are also shades of Reyes infatuation with Real who also couldn`t find the money having made similarly encouraging noises towards him before deciding they didn`t really need him after all.

It would seem best for us to let go of Cesc now so that we can get on with the job of restructuring our midfield as quickly as we can. A task which has as many attractions as it does challenges. If we can conclude a deal early enough the possibility of us doing so successfully are greatly increased but if Barcelona weren`t fully prepared for this situation cropping up at this time a quick deal seems unlikely. We could find ourselves with similar regrets that Vieira`s failure to join Real did as the extra revenue would have given us greater team strengthening opportunities then as Cesc`s should now. It isn`t a great situation for either club but having been put in this position the greater regret would be if an uncommitted Cesc were still to be with us next season.

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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday May 21 2010

Time: 9:01AM

Your Comments

Forgive me but I'm still missing the supposed quote from Cesc in which he asked for this transfer? I know he's stated before that one day... bla bla bla, but where is the actual evidence of this statement that this whole circus has been based on? It seems like we are starting to actually believe the spanish 'press'.
As speculative assessments go I think you're bang on the money Amos, I waded through the swamp that is the media jizzfest and came to exactly the same conclusion. Still no offer from Joanie loves cheeky says it all, they've spunked their transfer budget on Villa, despite wanting to leave nothing in the sock drawer for the next incumbent, piling more debt upon huge debt on their club seems to be staying their hand thus far, the timing from Cesc not that he has publically put much of a foot wrong has suited neither club and if it doesn't transpire this summer I'm not worried about having a disgruntled brat on our hands as I just don't think it's in his nature to act in any other way other than professional and dedicated to the season at hand. Still early days in the scheme of things, too early to say either way.
I'm getting tired of life..
shady gunna
How much of Cesc' alleged conversation was tactical? Cesc sees another summer of experienced players departing, and youngsters replacing them (not that Toure and Adebe leaving last year wasn't masterful and necessary) and he says enough is enough. Either bring in some true quality or let me win trophies with my friends from the Barca academy. The thing is, would Wenger be swayed by such tactic?
Point taken about contracts running down. Not sure selling next summer rather than this, affects his value much though. Of more significance is whether Barca are successful next season, if yes, less reason for a marquee signing like Cesc, if no, repeat Ronaldo situation where they'll pay 30% premium because they need Cesc.
I repeat, i'm getting tired of life..
shady gunna
I'm beginning to shift to the position that a transfer now does not suit either club and that there was no expectation of it this summer. Because I sure as hell didn't think we were in any danger this time. That leaves, and it pains me to say it, Senor Fabregas looking like the guilty party in the piece, going back on assurances given as recently as April to team-mates and club alike and "tapping up Barca" as Amos puts it so eloquently. It looks as if, between Arsenal' justifiable intransigence and Barca's head-scratching over the pennies, he is being hung out to dry. Barca are demanding apparently that he come out publicly and explicitly express his desire to leave now. That at least is ONE thing I can agree with that lot on. If this is so, then he deserves to be found out.
I think it's ridiculous to expect Cesc to publicy declare his hand. This isn't a public matter. It's between two clubs and a player. Cesc gains nothing by declaring his hand. Barca gains everything and Arsenal lose standing. If Cesc has got sensible people around him, I have no reason to think he doesn't. He'll come out and say he's "concentrating on winning the world Cup with Spain. This is a matter for the clubs. I would be happy playing with either club. I love Arsenal. They gave me my chance. I have to repay that faith shown in me. I also love Barca. They were my childhood club. But for the moment, I am happy and proud to be an Arsenal player."
Any rational person could have no objections to such a statement.
I disagree Julie, it's a cowardly and disrespectful tactic by Barca to put the emphasis on the player to come out and do what they haven't got the stones to do which is get the ball rolling and put what's left of their money where their not insubstantial gob is. Players have public images to protect, why should Cesc as our captain be shoved unneccessarily into the firing line and face the ire of fans when he's done the right thing in keeping his business relatively private and in the proper manner, the deformative Barca gene may be in his DNA but it's obvious he's been schooled well in class, dignity and how things should be done in his time with us.
I'm sure that the player and the club could find a form of words that would seem to save face if that has to be but we would all know that he doesn't really want to be here. Maybe it's enough for us to be his 2nd choice for the time being but he isn't any longer a player to build the team around. Having reached this point him staying isn't the best possible outcome for us.
Anyone who didn't support Cesc as an Arsenal player next year should be given a stout clip around the ears in my opinion.
I think the Ronaldo/utd saga seemed way more beyond salvagable Amos but stay for one further season he did and it didn't overly seem to affect performance. I think it looks good for us if we get one more season, to save huge face under a pressure very few clubs could withstand, it'd show we're one of the games big playas and gives us time to plan for restructuring. So he doesn't ideally wanna be here, tough titties, you signed the contract Cesc, now show the 70/71 spirit worthy of McLintock by not taking an easy route out and sticking here as he did 'til you win something. you can't always get what you want, But if you try sometimes you might find, You get what you need.
Niko, if Cesc started this whole disgraceful saga, taking everyone by surprise, we should know it. Unless he comes out by Monday saying the whole thing is a pack of lies, I'm afraid I don't have any sympathy for him if he gets stranded because Barca can't afford him and Arsenal aren't a charity.
Again wholeheartedly disagree, why is it anyones business at present apart from the 3 parties concerned? It's obviously not a pack of lies so that won't emerge and his future is undecided as yet through circumstances beyond his control so why burn bridges prematurely? He's not a stupid lad, he knows he's our star and that he aint going cheap, basically what this all looks like to me is a laying of foundations for a move next year. Re McLintock again, the fact that his and cescs face appeared on the banner at the Barca game is hopefully prescient: After two gutting seasons as our captain Frank put in a transfer request in '69. Mee said no and he became our double winning captain. Things are never cut and dry and it is possible to turn around what often looks like hopeless situations.
Thought provoking article Amos. As Niko has pointed out, Barca seems to expect that Cesc will not only make his intentions to leave clear but also hand in a written transfer request which will effectively shave 20% of his transfer fee. Cant see Cesc handing in a transfer request, which would mean that Barca have to shell out 45 million quid atleast - something they dont seem to have. It does seem that we have a 60-70% chance of hanging on to Cesc this summer and if we do manage that, I hope we offer to improve his contract from 80k/week to 100k or over and add another two years to the length of the contract. That would alteast put the ball back in Cesc's court. The only chance of the Cesc deal happening was before the world cup. Dont think we'll accept a good offer for Cesc after the WC - what with the inflated prices and low amount to time to negotiate the transfer of a replacement.
Excellent blog, Amos, esp. this: "Cesc`s demand that his future be settled before the world cup, as though he wasn`t already under a secure contract with Arsenal, seems to have been designed just to stir Barca into action. It wouldn`t surprise me to find it came as a shock to them as much as it did to us. Hard though it is to admit it if anything this looks more like a case of Cesc tapping up Barcelona this time rather than the other way around." According to Graham Hunter, in that press conference in Spain last week in which Cesc spoke about Barca being the only club he'd go to and how he wants to sort out his future before the wc, those comments were in response to a deliberately planted question from Cesc's camp.
Whatever the truths or untruths are of who engineered this or why, it is a story that is becoming real old, real quick. I just wish an offer could hurry up and be made for us to either reject or consider and be done with it. The thought that this will he/won't he could last the entire summer, fills my stomach with lead.
MeetTheGunners, this whole thing started last week. Cesc was at a press event in Spain. It was at that press conference that he alerted and surprised the press, and Barca with his comments. He said (per usual) Barca is the only club he'd leave Arsenal for and then he said he wanted to sort out his future before the world cup - a strange comment to make since until then there was no hint that his future was in any doubt. Both Cesc and the club have yet to deny this story and they've had 3 days to do it. Usually Cesc comes out very quickly denying these stories. His silence and the club's is deafening.
Any chance that this Cesc story is related to his existing contract renegotiation? We know for a fact that Darren Dein was looking to secure a landmark contract for Cesc similar to that he negotiated for TH 14 in 2006. There was a story planted in the daily mail about Cesc being offered 110,000 a week contract + a one time fee of 5 million pounds. What are the chances that a part of the noises emerging from the Cesc camp is contract related?
Niko-"circumstances beyond his control????" Are you kidding? One word from Fabregas would halt this uncertainty, especially if it were "no." "No one else's business?" I beg to differ. If our club captain has been tarting himself off with another club by holding clandestine meetings with Guardiola, "agreeing basic terms, having medicals at the Nou Camp (ALL of which has been asserted in the press) behind the back of AFC and his manager, that IS the fans' business.
Amos: "Maybe it's enough for us to be his 2nd choice for the time being but he isn't any longer a player to build the team around. Having reached this point him staying isn't the best possible outcome for us." -- agreed, tho I really hate to say that. We all knew this day would come but it's still depressing. Re Cesc handing in a transfer request -- it never ceases to amaze me how players making the kind of salary Cesc makes for years demand to be let out of their contract which they supposedly signed in good faith, but are then too damned cheap and spoiled to pay the 10% or 20% penalty for breaking it. I thought for Cesc it wasn't about money but about going back home to the club and people he loved. Well if he really loves them that much, and he can see they're in financial difficulty, then help them out. But apparently he doesn't love them enuf to pay the penalty for breaking his contract.
delta, that's not a bad bit of speculation there.
Deltaforce, I think you'll find that deal was done sometime in the 2008/2009 season. The AST came to that conclusion in their review of the clubs financial statements. If we were relying on the contract that he signed in 2006 he would be outside his protected period and we wouldn't be in anything like as strong a position as we seem to be asserting and Barca seem to be accepting. It seems pretty certain that some form of contract renewal took place before last season got underway.
Totally OT, but anyone doubting the power of twitter on politics, check this out:
Of course it's beyond his control, he wants out but can't, unless the two clubs concerned get past this rutting stag mexican stand off. If he'd known Barca would drag their heels and leave him out to dry like this he'dve never considered issuing his veiled plea. The press asserts a lot of things - don't make em true, it's not hard to read between and sort the wheat from the chuff (yes I know it's supposed to be chaff but I prefer chuff) We as supporters feel entitlement to know everything in this age of instant information but it's unrealistic when deals of this magnitude are on the table, to let your cards and intentions be seen by all is madness. One thing we should learn from given the headless idiocy of the media seen is that hysteria is not an endearing trait.
To elucidate One word from Cesc could severely balls up our position in this and cost us 10s of millions, he obviously has enough respect for us not for this to be the case (at time of writing anyhow!) He cares enough about both clubs to let them do the business which is as it should be. Your desperate need to know so you can release the emotional Kraken is way down the list of Arsenal concerns when multi mill deals are in the balance.
Yes Amos, I guess Cesc's contract renewal in the 2008-2009 season pegged his salary to the then highest wage earner at the club which was William Gallas - in and around 80k/ week. Any chance that 12-15 months after he sighned that, his agent is now angling for a mega contract which pegs his salary not to anyone at our club but to the other super stars in the Premier League - i.e. Torres, Rooney, Drogba? The agent would argue that a contract renewal would reflect the value of a stellar season for Cesc and benchmark his salary with his true counterparts in the country.
It's always possible that he's angling for another contract but he must know that Arsenal would always be prepared to give him another deal in exchange for extending his protected period. If reports last month are to be believed (the AST seemed to think the accounts supported it but it is still if) though he is already the clubs top earner.
I still maintain that Cesc will be our club captain come August :)
Its like being stuck in transfer purgatory. What the ***** is going on??
We're never going to really know what this is all about. Did Cesc tearfully demand a transfer because his uncle bob is ill and he wants to be home in spain? Did he ask for a transfer because he deems Wenger's project a failure and knows Wenger isn't ready to throw in the towel? Did he ask for a transfer to jolt Arsenal into getting him the supporting cast he really needs to make the next 10 years of his Arsenal career worthwhile? Did he even really ask for a transfer? We don't really know and we won't know. It doesn't really matter. If he is wearing an Arsenal shirt in the fall he's our boy and we cheer him on. If Cesc stands up in a press conference and says, "I grew tired of barca always talking about me coming home without ever talking to the Arsenal board first, so I decided to force their hand this summer. I spoke with Arsene first letting him know I had no intention of leaving unless the offer was so high that Arsenal felt they couldn't afford not to show me the door. Now that barca have shown they are all windbags, have made only insulting offers and shuffled their feet, I have rejected their offers even after the Arsenal board said I could go... now can we please put this subject to rest so that I, my existing teammates and our 3 new signing can make this year the first of 10 unbeaten seasons in a row?" the boy would have secured his instant legend status and you'd all be crying tears of joy. I know that scenario is about as likely as Mourinho developing humility, but let's not pretend there is no possible way forward. The sky is not falling.
Ahhhh! how do you get paragraphs to show up?
It's complex smith, we get told from time to time, then promptly forget :)
Good read smithdj74.
I don't call sneaking off to secret assignations with another club to discuss a potential move while still contacted elsewhere, as being very "respectful." Sounds like a justification for "I kept it from you because I didn't want to hurt you" to me. He should have spoken to Arsenal first. And as for this line that "he doesn't want to speak up to prejudice private negotiations"; WHAT NEGOTIATIONS? According to PHW, Arsenal hasn't even been APPROACHED, nevermind talking to Barcelona. As far as I can gather, AW isn't even in the country and nor is Cesc!
I just can't get used to the idea of Cesc not being at Arsenal, of going to the stadium and him not being there. Unless we sign a truly world class player, such as a Ribery or someone, I think it will take us a very long time to recover. RvP had said earlier this season that him and Cesc are on the same wavelength, that he already knows where to place the ball when RvP makes a slight movement. There's no other player apart from Cesc that can do that.
Cesc clearly want away as various have stated above, because in the past he has always come out with a denial. But without having the faintest idea of Barca's financial situation, having just paid 38m euro for Villa they may well be stretched to find the 50m euro needed and AW is not going to take a couple of their cast offs so that they do not have to come up with the cash . This deal has some way to run yet and if it ends up with Cesc back even for one more season then personally I would love it and he is the sort of character that would still play the same way as previously. If he does go who was his last game and goal against?!
Amos, I don't believe Cesc's position becomes untenable if he remains at the club. He long term desire to play for Barcelona isn't news to anyone. His frustrations with Wenger's lack of A-list signings is also well known. The boy is ambitious for the club, and that has never been a problem with the Arsenal fans. If he turned around and said I'll give Arsene and the board another season and if it's not working hand in a transfer request, I'm sure the fans will still sing his name. The problem I have is with how the club are dealing with this issue. Letting Cesc leave for Barcelona for a fraction of his worth, with no replacement plan in place, knowing his contract is cast iron, knowing that intrinsically he is happy living in London, knowing that we are swiftly building up a reputation as a selling or feeder club, knowing the effect this will have on players like RVP and Arshavin (who must be wondering have our management got any b@lls whatsoever), knowing the sort of reaction they will get from fans paying the highest entrance fees in the league...all of this would be tantamount to corporate suicide. You do not sell one of your prized assets for a cut-price sum weeks before football's world showcase when prices will artificially inflate. Why on earth would any sane chairman sanction such a deal? To sooth one player's bruised feelings? If it happens I will be amazed and confused, not to mention disgusted. If Arsenal are bigger than any one player then the way to show it is to insist that Cesc honours his contract, or at least leaves when its the right time for the club, not the player.
Wyn Mills
I'm not advocating that we sell Cesc for anything other than top dollar. If we can't get full value we shouldn't sell him (accepting that his value will be lower the less time his contract has until the protected period expires) but if he has handed in a transfer request then we should offer him to anyone who wants to pay the top price as long as it matches our valuation. Barcelona will have to match that or miss out on him. If he doesn't want to go to any of those prepared to pay our valuation if Barcelona doesn't then he stays with us. But, given the circumstances, the best outcome for the club in this position is to get loads of money for him quickly and spend that on reinforcing the team. Spend it wisely and it'll more than compensate for his loss. If Cesc wants to go because he doesn't approve of the players Wenger wants to sign then he should go anyway. There is little point in having the players manage the club. Vieira was singing much the same song during his various flirtations with Real. Even after we had managed an unbeaten title he was still prepared to find some justification to join them if they had offered him enough money. Cesc just doesn't want to be here, or at least he really wants to go home now. We shouldn't kid ourselves that whatever trophies we had won or whatever other players we brought in that it would have any influence whatsoever on that desire. It's only a matter of when he goes and for how much not if he goes.
I will believe it when its posted on Arsenals website that he left, until then the sun,star,mirror, the thousands of ***** sites linked by newsnow, the bbc, skysports and all spanish media can go ***** themselves with their spam and bull*****. Last week he had an an emotional meeting with the boss? how would they know, were they in the room, silly season is in full swing. We all need to go on vacation till August
On what i saw of Milner monday night, if he's going for 30million you must be mad if you sell Fabregas for the same. If Milner is 30m then surely Barcelona will have to pay 50m...

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