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5 Arsenal Targets For The January Transfer Window

With in form striker Theo Walcott still in talks over his new Arsenal deal, and players such as Bacary Sagna uncertain of his Emirates future, Arsenal may be looking to bolster their defensive an attacking presence in England and in Europe. While Gunners manager Arsene Wenger telling press 'Yes, I will be busy,' in the January transfer window.

Arsenal have a reported £35 million to spend on new talent in January, but it could undoubtedly be more if the Gunners are forced to sell Theo Walcott. Here are some of the targets Arsene Wenger may look at to bring to the Emirates.

5: David Villa

The Barcelona hit man has interested a host of European clubs including AC Milan, Liverpool and Arsenal after the Spaniard admitted he was becoming frustrated at the lack of first team opportunities he was receiving at Barcelona. Since he broke his leg and has struggled to get back into the squad with an aggravating ankle injury.

With new strikers Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski not being able to replace Robin van Persie's goals, Wenger may look to bring the striker to the Emirates on a short term loan.

Villa has scored 40 goals since joining Barcelona 3 years ago, and has contributed to 11 goals in 96 appearances, also replicating his prolific goalscoring for his country scoring 53 goals in 85 games.
Wenger could take a gamble on the 31 year old, but Barcelona have stated that if anyone wants Villa permanently, it would cost them a hefty £16 million, which Wenger may find too pricey for a player of his age.

Likelihood: 6/10.

4: Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa

23 year old Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has been at the heart of French Ligue 1 champions Montpellier for five years, helping Montpellier to win the French League title last year and automatically qualify for this seasons Champions League, despite strong opposition such as PSG, Lyon and Marseille.

The 6ft centre back has been likened to former Arsenal defender Kolo Toure and Sol Campbell and has become the rock that has so far held Montpellier together, despite the fact they have not been able to replicate last seasons glory. But has featured in all of Montpellier's games this season, helping them from 16th place to a sturdy 11th place. In Ligue 1.

Mbiwa has been also linked with Manchester United, Liverpool, and Arsenal and it will cost around £6 million to sell the Montepellier number 3.

Mbiwa can be deployed as a right back and this may become appealing to Arsene Wenger, over the uncertainty of Bacary Sagna's future at Arsenal, he may be also competition for defenders Laurent Koscielny and Carl Jenkinson.

Likelihood: 6.5/10.

3: Adrian Lopez

Arsenal currently have a lack of wingers, with young talent Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain being the only out and out winger Arsenal possess. Arsene Wenger may look at bringing the Athletico Madrid hit man to the Emirates.

The winger adds attacking option, Lopez scored 19 goals in all competitions for Atheltico Madrid last season. But he has not been able to reach that feat this season, notching just 3 goals in 25 appearances. There has been criticism of Lopez's consistency in La Liga, a get away to the Premier League maybe just what he needs.
The winger has a reported £14.4 million get out clause, which means the Gunners boss will have to spend big to get him.

Likelihood: 7.5/10.

2: Fernando Llorente

Arsenal fans have been linked with the Bilbao hit man since late September, the centre forward is renowned for his goalscoring ability in the air, helping Bilbao knock out European heavyweights Manchester United in the Europa League last year. Llorente also blesses 21 caps from the Spanish national team, scoring 7 goals.

Llorente has transformed into the complete centre forward as he finished the La Liga campaign with 17 goals in 32 appearances, and 29 goals in all competitions last season, helping Athletic Bilbao to the Europa League Final, a game they eventually lost to Spanish rivals Athletico Madrid.

Llorente is available for a cut price fee since his contract runs out next summer, and interested clubs such as Juventus, Liverpool and Arsenal. But reportedly, Arsenal is his preferred destination.

Arsenal could wait until next summer to get the striker on a free transfer, but it is likely Arsenal will want to get him quickly if Theo Walcott leaves. Llorente has a buy out clause of £30 million, which expires when his Athletic Bilbao contract ends on June 30th 2013.

Likelihood: 8/10.

1: Wilfried Zaha

Dubbed as the latest England prodigy, Zaha has expressed his desire to play in the Premier League, although at the moment with Championship side Crystal Palace.

The 20 year old already has an England cap under his belt, and as well as being the best player in the Championship, according to David Wetherall, head of youth development at the Football League. Zaha has already played 119 games with Crystal Palace, scoring 15 himself, which makes him certainly 'one for the future'.

Zaha got himself media attention when he assisted in Crystal Palace's unlikely defeating of Manchester United last season in the League Cup, winning the free kick and dazzling Manchester United's stars with his speed and skill with the ball.

Zaha has found himself top of Premier League clubs 2013 wish-list, expressed interest from Tottenham, Manchester United and rivals Manchester City, while Chelsea and Liverpool are interested.

Arsene Wenger would consider Zaha a long term replacement for a striker at the Emirates, and Arsenal fan Zaha fits in with Arsenal's style of play. Crystal Palace have admitted it would be impossible for him to stay at the club, but it will cost Premier League clubs £8 million. Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is set to open the bidding for Zaha at £8-9 million pounds. It is thought that Arsenal's relationship with young English talent such as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott and Carl Jenkinson, will persuade Zaha to come to the Emirates stadium in January.

Likelihood: 9/10.

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The Journalist

Writer: Ben Winter Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday January 2 2013

Time: 1:04PM

Your Comments

We don't usually indulge in too much transfer speculation on VA, but we've had this article submitted and as Arsene said he's going to be busy in the transfer window it might give us something more positive to talk about today after that abysmal performance yesterday.
I'll have all 5 and will guarantee a Top 3 finish, if done. Plus 2 trophies, at the least,next season ;-)
My opinions and likeleyhoods for the above are as follows: VILLA... too much money (0/10). MBIWA... Mun U will offer more than us (0/10). LOPEZ... too much money (0/10). LORENTE... too much to get now and anyone else will offer more wages than us in the summer (0/10). ZAHA... this is a possibility if Wenger can part with the money. Then he could load him out abroad until its time to sell him (9/10). Outside of the players above there is the chance of Wenger paying peanuts for someone we have never heard of (10/10). I might sound a bit pessimistic but all i have to go on is previous transfer windows where the club have made ridiculous statements about having money to spend and looking to "strengthen" the squad.
What about transfer outs? I'll go first - all the names we've been trying to shift on since we gave them 50k a week contracts for 15 years each. FFS.
I think Arshavin gets more than 50k a week.
Just out of interest, what is the area of your team that needs attention most? From the outside, I can see a real need for a feft back. I rate Gibbs, but He is always injured. technically Arteta, Corzola and Wilshere are technically superb, but as a three lack bite. at this time none of your strikers truly convince me and as well as he has done Walcott remains better coming in from wide than he does through the middle, but also if you bring in a new striker, will he see this as a reason to leave. None of that is to say you are a bad side, but there remains so many areas that are lacking and that havent seemed to be rectified by Wenger for some time
It isn't that Wenger hasn't rectified them as much as that he has been forced to try to rectify them much too often, particularly over the last two or three seasons. For much the same reason that Gibbs would be a better left back now had he been able to make more than 41 PL starts at the age of 23 our midfield would be stronger had players like Diaby and Rosicky been more robust and Wilshere not been laid off for sometime. The good thing is that the club is in remarkably good shape to put things right, but it'll take a little more time unfortunately.
I think it’s something of an antiquated criticism to say we lack bite. No midfielder in the Premiership tackles more successfully and more often than Arteta (he fouls a lot too, if that counts for anything?) Personally I think we, in equal parts, need another striker and another creative option- possibly from one of the wings.
Little Dutch
Amos, I totally agree that in certain players you have been unlucky with injuries, but of those three you named (Rosiky, Diaby and Gibbs) it has hardly been anything different. are they simply players that are doomed to always struggle and in a 25 man squad, you cant carry too many like that. Obviously Wilshere is an excellent player and you missed him badly last year, but over-all I do feel that for whatever reason, Wenger lacks the courage to go for the elite player and instead prefer the younger/cheaper/more malleable option, which hasnt really worked over the last few years. I quite agree with LD in regards to Arteta being a very good player who has adapted to a deeper role superbly, but my point is that as a three they lack an ability to bully an opposition for all their technical excellence
You could've made the same injury observation about RvP until recently. In any competition for an 'elite' player by which I guess you mean those usually described as 'big name' signings we've had to stand behind Chelsea, City, Barca and Real. In fact though we've been pretty successful at creating those elite players ourselves which has been part of our problem in the present environment. That environment should now change though. I don't think it has anything at all to do courage. At times Wenger has a bit too much of that for his own good which is why he has produced his fair share of elite players I guess.
What you probably mean oxfordspur is a lack of presence or 'intimidation', and I would agree with you. I saw all three players being 'bounced off the ball yesterday and none truly boss the midfield. Jack can handle it better than the other two but its still not totally convincing.
Wyn Mills
even for a Spurs fan, it is hard to knock what Wenger has done for you. he is truly a supreme manager and one that would have made spurs all the better if we had managed to appoint him. I have often accused him of being to close and wanting to develop his players over buying the ready made one. I agree 100% that for you it is often impossible to get into an auction against the likes of Real, City and chelsea etc and it is doubly hard for Spurs and others who are or have been a level below you in the Prem era. what I feel with wenger is that he brings through some superb young players either from within or elsewhere, but perhaps he needs to be more decisive in getting in the top players, as so often he seems to dither allowing others to jump in.
@ Wyn Mills, you phrased it better than I did :-) I have asked several arsenal fans where they ultimately see wilshere playing as I have always felt he will eventually end up in a deeper playmaking role, perhaps where Arteta is working now. What are your thoughts?
As I see it there are some serious problems of balancing the squad at Arsenal. I dont think we have a single striker who can lead the line. And that is the biggest issue. All our strikers [Theo, Lukas and Giroud] seem to work best in a 2 striker combo. Lukas is absolutely wasted on the left wing. But if we want to play 2 strikers, we dont have any body to play on the wings. The best options I can think of is Ox and Gerv. [shudders]/ And more importantly if we want to play two strikers we need two DMs or one monster of a DM. We dont have that. Squad looks totally unbalanced. Something I said, way back in August. Problem htat we have is that its not like we are missing just 1 or 2 pieces of the puzzle. We need to change at lot of places. And that is a big issue midseason.
do you feel there is an over reliance of having technically excellent players over the water carrier or player that simply is there to break things when you are under pressure. though I dont see anything like the arsenal games as you guys, I thought that Diaby was going to be that sort of player, but even he seems to try to over play at times when row Z is the sensible option. the same applies to your CBs
At present we have too many technically excellent water carriers. Our problem is in setting the tempo, creating chances and scoring enough goals from open play in tight games. Nothing to do with players who can break things up - almost the polar opposite in fact.
Ba to Chelsea? FFS! Arsenal!
But Amos, to create chances from open play, we need someone who hounds hte ball when we dont have possession and quickly change defence to attack. We dont have such a player at Arsenal. We mostly just ball watch when we dont have possession and our tempo is so ******** slow// someone to break up play and set it back in motion for us is soo needed.
I would love us to sign Llorente as I think having that Spanish combination with him, Cazorla and Arteta would be great. David Villa is too old to adapt now I reckon; unless we can pinch him on a loan, I wouldn't bother. We shouldn't have let Song go without an adequate replacement - or at least until we knew that Diaby was genuinely over his injury issues. Losing Song and RvP, two of our most influential players, in the same window was an awful decision. Can't get too excited about Zaha as he is unproved at the top level and we need people that can deliver quickly. For me, we definitely need: striker, creative attacker, a defensive midfielder and a backup GK.
Sajit - If once of our supposed transfer target ever ends up at Chelsea or Man City it's ridiculous to blame Arsenal for the player not joining us. You want someone to blame, blame Abramovich or Mansour.
....for crying out loud!
I agree with LD/Amos. I think a lockpicker is by far the most urgent need, as we have plenty of players who can score. Another striker would be nice, but of a different type to the ones we already have. @ Sajit, we do have such players - Rosicky and Diaby. @shewore so if Theo does sign for £100,000 a week and goes back to his streaky form, I take it we will not hear a peep of complaint out of you? :)
i think the probability of signing shaw & zaha is quite high in the relative to other names bandied around. shaw may be encouraged to follow the footsteps of walcott & ox while zaha is a gooner. nevertheless, the duo are for the future. for now, we desperately need another creative outlet from the wing and a midfield destroyer to alternate with wilshere / carzola / arteta. just like barca, they play most of the time with aniesta / messi / xavi / fabregas but not enough credit was given to players like mascherano / busquets / song who give them more grit & bite when need arise. we only have coquelin & frimpong which is obviously inadequate. also, we should play podolski as centre forward to alternate with giroud & walcott. podolski is more technically gifted to play the rvp role. giroud has the physical presence and of course walcott the quickest. with the trio, we have enough options and thus do not need another forward if we can get a creative winger
On paper the team we have now is good enough for a fourth place trophy. If they try harder. Or not. I don't normally agree with 'say the same thing over and over and over again until is sounds true' Amos but I agree with him on this - we aren't a very good team and is going to take a year or two (at least) before we are again. We might squeak into the CL again this year and do nothing once we get there again, but we are a couple of years and a manager away from being a top team again. I would love to see David Moyes in charge next season, especially if he brought Fellaini with him. I think Wenger has bought well but sold extremely poorly. Yeah, sell RvP now or risk losing him for nothing can be interpreted as let's give ManU the title and bank a bit of cash rather than make him honour his contract and improve our chances of competing. Here's the thing about support - people complain that it's weak or ephemeral because all these people shouting 'Wenger out' are newbies. I've been supporting Arsenal since I went to the season opener at Highbury vs Luton in 1983. A friend (convert) of mine only started watching football later in life and watched the CL final against Barca with me and became an Arsenal fan that day. She wants Wenger out. Why? Because in the 7+ years she's been a supporter, the loss to Barca was the highlight. She does not have the sentimental attachment to Wenger that I do, she just sees a team that has won nothing with a manager that times his substitutions and sticks with his idealistic 4-3-3 even though the team he has built is not suited to it. A good manager sets up his team to play to their strenghts- Wenger forces good players out of position to play to his ideals. It has to end.
Once a player is outside the protected period of contract there is absolutely nothing the club can do to make him honour any unprotected contract period. I know I've said that before but some still won't understand it no matter how many times it's said. ;)
It will end elbondo. Dictatorships usually do after a while.
Wyn Mills
Everything ends sometime. Many of the leading football managers in the world are strong willed and dictatorial. Alex Ferguson - the ultimate tyrant who no one can question because he is still winning, Mourinho - runs his teams the way he wants or else engineers a sacking and a nice payoff if he is questioned, Mancini - very dictatorial, treats players like toilet tissue and got rid of Brian Marwood for differing in the players to be recruited, Guardiola - one year rolling contracts, complete control of first team squad and tactics. Marcelo Bielsa - so strict and tyranical that his players think he is nuts. The reason why the above are tolerated because they have been sucessful in the last 5 years nd by his own high standards,Wenger has not. Being "dictatorial" has nothing to do with the above sentiment.
Fellaini, now there's a player, unplayable, would be able to drive the team. Obviously no chance of signing him though. I don't understand how Cazorla, Wilshere for example can't be seen as 'lock pickers'? They both possess fantastic vision and passing ability. Someone like Fellaini would compliment them perfectly, it's just a shame that Wenger's persisted with Diaby for so effiin long.
Amos how many times has that contract rule actually been put into practice in a top league? The answer's none, right?
It's been in place in its current form since its introduction in 2008. It's constantly been put in practice ever since and influences transfer decisions, both incoming and outgoing, whenever a player's contract is in an unprotected period for all clubs. It enabled Hleb, Nasri, Fabregas and others to leave and obliged us to give Adebayor a new contract a year before we sold him in order to secure a decent fee for him.
So it hasn't been exercised? Just threatened. Interesting really, as Utd would've saved a fair few millions getting Van Persie to buy himself out and go to them, if they renumerated him in his wage i'm sure.
If it hadn't been exercised RvP and some other players would still be with us. Provided he tells the club within 15 days of the end of the season in which his protected period ends that he wants out then effectively the club can't prevent it and it becomes only about compensation. There are no sanctions for a player leaving without 'just cause' then. However the Fifa rules state that the level of compensation is subject to national contract laws though its own rule indicates that as the value of the contract plus a sum for 'training' costs. It is theoretically possible that a club could take the player (and any recruiting club) to court on the basis that the contract and replacement costs are higher than provided under Fifa rules but they can't prevent the move. No club would willingly take that risk and for good reason. The law in this country hasn't looked favourably on player contracts from Eastham through Bosman to Webster and it would probably weaken even the present rule if any litigation proved unsuccessful. That would blow apart even the limited protection that the present protected contract period gives. It's in all clubs interests not to allow that to happen so it's unlikely to be tested in court at the instigation of any club but could conceivably be by some player in the future. So all the club has is the threat that they can take the player to court. The recruiting club has to avoid any risk of a claim of inducement hence the public pronouncements by both Cesc and RvP. Once that's done all that is left is for the club to agree what that transfer/compensation fee would be with all sides wanting to avoid any protracted court battle. For that reason it's as much in ManU's broader interests that an agreement is reached rather than encouraging a player to buy himself out. But it is exercised all the time and now governs player acquisition and retention policies of all clubs other than those who don't rely on their own revenue streams. In fact it has made it that much easier for such clubs.
That's all fair enough, but it wasn't officially exercised was it? The main point was that there was just one year left on his contract, not that it's out of its protected period. And did Cesc actually exercise it? Was it mentioned anywhere? Happy to be shown something that tells me it was.
I'm not sure what you mean by 'officially' exercised? RvP didn't buy himself out of his contract because he didn't have to and would have wished to avoid any protracted challenge under breech of contract laws no matter how favourably he might view the eventual outcome. At the same time neither the selling nor the buying club would allow it to get to that position for the reasons I've given. The fact that the one year remaining on his contract was unprotected was all important. Currently significant sanctions exist against both the player and any recruiting club should he seek to end his contract without just cause in a protected period none exist outside that period. You won't find it mentioned anywhere other than obliquely but you just need to read the things that Cesc was saying in the build up to his move (as well as the things he didn't say) along with an appreciation of the contract periods concerned to understand what was going on.
Cesc signed the summer before he left didn't he? So he was defo in the protected period. I don't see what happened with Van Persie as anything that couldn't have happened before the protected periods came in a few years back, we could've kept him for this season in my opinion, our hands weren't as tied as some would make out. We just would've lost a lot on transfer fee. He's a consummate professional so who's to say he wouldn't have fired us up the table like he has Utd this season? We just wanted to cash in.
Of course Cesc didn't sign the summer before he left! That was when he began agitating for a move to Barca. Cesc signed a five year deal with an option to extend it for a further 3 years in 2006. Depending on whether taking up that option could be seen as a new contract or not and when it was taken up he would almost certainly have been outside the protected period when he finally left hence the club were able to hang onto him for another year. I'm not sure what it is that you don't understand or don't want to understand about RvP's contract position and player contract law but if we could have kept him we would have done. The reality is that the way player contracts are constructed Arsenal had no choice but to get the best deal we could once it became clear he wanted out. You're entitled to think otherwise of course but it isn't based on any practical understanding.
Surely of more interest is why Van Persie had to leave, not the mechanics of contract termination. Only one party wanted to cash in, and that was the club.
Wyn Mills
RvP wanted to cash in on one last contract at an age that offered him the best chance of a trophy and a big final pay-day. With some justification he felt that his chances of winning something over the next season or two lie elsewhere and wasn't young enough to stay around any longer. I can't blame him for that. It's perfectly understandable but it's clear the club would have been happy to hang onto him especially given that they then had to spend a big chunk of what they received for him on Giroud. The only party that really wanted to cash in was RvP. But really there's no one to blame any more than there was when Ronaldo wanted out of ManU. It's just the reality of the modern game and player contract law.
You're using the Ronaldo anomaly again.... Van Persie left cos he wanted to win trophies, the cash i'm sure is a nice biproduct, if he'd won stuff at Arsenal and was in a competitive team i'm sure he would've stayed
RVP could have picked up a much bigger final pay-day at city so its unlikely money was his primary motive. Club ambition then. Yes, once it became clear the club were never going to spend more than crisis club Everton in buying a top player he was off. But alas, Utd were prepared to cough up 24m for the league's top marksman in order to win honours and the club really had no option but to take the money.
Wyn Mills
Why is Ronaldo any more of an anomaly than any other transfer? ManU were unable to prevent Ronaldo going any more than we were able to prevent RvP going. I agree that RvP's primary motivation was to increase his chances of winning trophies in what is left of his career and the cash was a secondary but not inconsequential consideration but my point that we didn't have any choice, because of his contract position, other than to let him go isn't altered by that.
We could have sold him to a club that wasn't a direct rival I suppose. Ok, maybe not for 24m, but easily still at a profit. What sticks in the craw more than anything is the realization that the club put cash above everything else, including improving the lot of a direct rival. There's absolutely no way you would see any other top club doing anything as blatently commercial. That's why I accuse the club of simply cashing in.
Wyn Mills
We could only have sold him to ManU or City so the idea that we had other, or indeed any, alternative options acceptable to him is an unrealistic one. He probably wouldn't have joined City because he couldn't be certain to get the same playing time he would at ManU. Wenger has said he would have much preferred to see him go abroad but there weren't any takers that made sense for either player or club. The club didn't have any option other than to derive the maximum benefit from a contract situation they couldn't force the player to honour.
He said he wasn't going to sign a new deal, didn't he? He didn't say he wanted to leave in the summer? We could've kept him, and his goals, for a year. Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard are currently seeing out their final years of a contract, why was it so easy for Chelsea to do it? All we had to do was dig our toes in the ground, but the easy option was to cash in and strengthen someone who used to be our rivals.
It's easier for Chelsea to do it in those circumstances because nobody would pay much of a transfer fee for players of Cole and Lampards age let alone meet the wages that they're on now. You'd only want them on a free. When RvP said he wasn't staying he was effectively exercising his right to leave without just cause in an unprotected period of contract. The club said they expected him to honour his contract and he then followed it up by formally announcing that he disagreed with the club and wouldn't stay to avoid any risk of inducement claims against a recruiting club while putting himself on the market. The club could not dig their toes in for the reasons I've given. There are no effective sanctions to prevent a player leaving once he's outside the protected period of contract. There is absolutely nothing the club could have done except get the best deal they could out of it. It wasn't so much an easy option as the only practical one other than to have the fee set by Fifa's dispute resolution committee. You really are determined not to understand this aren't you.
Juventus was an option I believe.They wanted to buy but RVP wanted Utd. However only managers like Ferguson seem to be able to put their foot down and state categorically they will not sell their best players to rivals. Perhaps that's why his team has been so successful.
Wyn Mills
I would've thought at ManU's level Real could have been seen as a rival albeit not a domestic one. Then again they weren't able to prevent Tevez going to City either.
Tevez was regularly dropped by Fergie, his trouble making nature was a massive factor in him not getting offered a deal for a large chunk of him being there. His is not a relevant example.
I think you'll find they tried very hard indeed to get Tevez to stay with them instead of going to City. Inconvenient as it is for whatever point you're trying to make it's relevant in that his contractual position didn't allow ManU to control where he went. The control a club has over player contracts is limited if they aren't in a protected period.
I'm not disputing agents play a massive part. But Ferguson has said before that e was very hesitant to sign him, some of it was to do with Tevez saying he's go back to Argentina soonish, the rest (speculation) probably had to do with him being a trouble making berk.
Ferguson still agreed to pay the transfer fee to his agents and offered him a 5 year deal apparently making him one of their highest earners but couldn't persuade him to stay. All of which rather undermines the idea that whether one of your best players joins a domestic rival is solely the club's choice. Not really a stick to beat Arsenal with is it.
I think the fact that Tevez had reached the conclusion of his loan period distinguishes this example from RVP. Ferguson had absolutely no control over Tevez. Also if you believe some reports RVP may have been open to changing his mind when Carzorla was brought on board, but by that time his fee had already been added to the profit sheet. It was reported that Wenger even pulled him to one side and said he was no longer part of his plans. I can totally see this happening. When it comes right down to it our club didn't have to sell to Utd, but they chose to for simple commercial reasons. I'll never forgive the current board for this single reason. It reveals their priorities and shows they don't really care about winning as much as they claim. And it will backfire on us spectacularly if we fail to qualify for the Champions League this year.
Wyn Mills
Thanks for explaining the RvP situation so clearly, Amos. Very illuminating. @ Wyn Mills, for a start, they had no choice. But even if they had had a choice and just wanted loads of money, why not sell RvP to City, who would have paid more? RvP's representatives told City and Juventus that he was only interested in ManUre, so ManUre were the only show in town. Arsenal couldn't stop him leaving and they couldn't choose which club he went to, because (I would think) they can't sell a player to a club he's not prepared to sign a contract with. A lot of fans seem to have convinced themselves that the Board are just in it for the money and don't care about the club, in order to give themselves an excuse to support Usmanov, because they mistakenly believe he wants to be a sugar daddy.
Once RvP was in an unprotected period of contract Arsenal had little more control over where he went than ManU did over Tevez. It all comes down to the force of the contract. His fee wouldn't be added to the profit sheet until it was handed over any more than Vieira's was when he turned down Real at the last minute. RvP himself said he didn't even consider the details of any contract Arsenal could put forward. He was determined to go and of the choices available ManU made sense for him. All that we could do is make the best of a bad job. What you see happening is what you want to see but it isn't the consequence of any rational analysis.
And Wyn Mills - That open letter to Barca telling them we were not selling Cesc was a strong statement, wasn't it?
So, you believe he was determined to go? Why on earth did Wenger take him on pre-season to Germany then? How is that rational? And Van Persie talks about waiting for Gazidis to return from holiday before having more meetings and updating the situation. Doesn't sound like a man desperate to cut his ties with the club to me. Rooney makes a few noises, Ferguson rescues the situation. RVP complains about the direction and the next thing we know he's being shipped off to Manchester. We seem obsessed with getting rid of many of our most experienced players. I agree however, that once the club had decided to cut their losses the choices were limited, but in many ways this was a mess of their own making. FG, having already sold half the team to City I imagine the board were beginning to find it hard to justify to themselves why we had become a feeder club.
Wyn Mills
Rooney was still in a protected period of contract. For reasons I've already given that's an important distinction. Why not take RvP to Germany? He's more or less local and we hadn't had any offers at the time. How is your conclusion that doing so meant he wanted to stay in any way rational? Why would RvP have had to say anything at all if he wanted to stay? It was clearly part of the process of putting himself out there for any interested clubs after the club had said they expected him to honour his contract. The fact that he said anything at all and had done so formally confirms that he was intent on going. It's all part of the dance. Just the 'complexities and nuances' of the transfer game in fact. Of course you may just prefer to think ill of the board and management.

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4. Galway Gooner 23
5. shewore 15
6. luckys_10 14
7. Little Dutch 12
8. Wyn Mills 12
9. Nwankwo25 11
10. alwaysgunner 10

League Results (view all)

Latest Results
Liverpool 2 - 2 Arsenal
Arsenal 4 - 1 Newcastle
Stoke 3 - 2 Arsenal
Arsenal 1 - 0 Southampton
WBA 0 - 1 Arsenal
Arsenal 1 - 2 Man Utd

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
3. Man Utd 17 9 5 3 12 32
4. West Ham 17 9 4 4 10 31
5. Southampton 17 9 2 6 15 29
6. Arsenal 17 7 6 4 9 27
7. Spurs 17 8 3 6 -1 27
8. Swansea 17 7 4 6 3 25
9. Newcastle 17 6 5 6 -5 23

Breaking League News

Totally Deserved, says Gus Poyet
» Sunderland : 22/12/2014 01:34:00
Pardew Will Have To Live With 4 In A Row Tab.
» Sunderland : 22/12/2014 01:12:00
4 In A Row @NUFC
» Newcastle : 22/12/2014 00:52:00
Sunderland Beat Newcastle Yet Again
» Sunderland : 21/12/2014 22:31:00
Anfield Points Lost, Saved, Won And Dropped
» Arsenal : 21/12/2014 21:25:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Arsenal MotM
Suggested By:  Site Staff
Szczesny 20%
Chambers 0%
Debuchy 20%
Mertesacker 0%
Gibbs 0%
Oxlade-Chamberlain 0%
Flamini 0%
Cazorla 60%
Sánchez 0%
Giroud 0%
Welbeck 0%
Sub:-Coquelin 0%
Sub:-Campbell 0%
Sub:-Monreal 0%