Laporta Gets Desperate In Cesc Chase & More
As the clock ticks down on his reign at the Camp Nou, more can be expected to be heard from Joan Laporta. Never knowingly quiet, never knowingly understated, never deprived of his desires, the soon-to-be former President of Barcelona is increasingly trying to ensure that he occupies a role similar to Johan Cruyff, a puppetmaster in the background.
The death throes are evident, the desperation in his words laid bare. In the latest attempt to influence the outcome of the upcoming Presidential elections, he beseeched Arsenal to release Cesc – preferrably for less than €35m – as the player is no longer committed to Arsenal, he wants to play for Barcelona. Laporta used words such as ‘privilege’ when describing the Arsenal captaincy, a false humility that does sit comfortably, barely disguising his contempt but recognising his defeat.
That Cesc may leave Arsenal this summer is not in doubt, that he may stay is not in doubt, this farrago of events leaves all outcomes open. That Laporta’s reign will be over when the soap opera resolves is also not in doubt, evidenced by his view that Cesc ought to be allowed to leave because he is no longer ‘committed’ to the Arsenal cause. He barely avoids coming across as a whining teenager who cannot get his own way.
Not that he is giving up. He is waiting for a ‘gesture’ from Arsenal. I am sure Peter Whimsey will oblige, Arsene is probably too much of a gentle man to do so. The window of opportunity for one last piece of glory beckons for Laporta and Catalan public opinion is not with him, the media calling the demands in their English counterparts yesterday as ‘crazy’. He remains in power until June 30th when he finally shuffles through the revolving door one more time, the World Cup his foe as much as time.
He refuses to accept that, any deal can be concluded with the player immediately in his opinion which suggests it is already in place. The Catalans guilty of tapping up, admitting it but nothing will be done by Arsenal unless Cesc leaves, the player will be punished by Fifa as well as Barcelona, a situation Wenger will want to avoid in case it inflames any lingering sense of injustice.
And so their attention turns to Gael Clichy, a position where Barcelona possibly needs more options is left back. Apparently. And Arsenal has options with Kieran Gibbs being touted by the press in Catalunya as being ready to take over so Arsenal will be more amenable to selling. We have been here before this summer. And in times gone by. A double-deal? Will they make an offer for Clichy and sneak in a clause about ‘Buy One Get One Free‘, hoping that Arsenal would not notice? Such an offer were it to materialise should be scrutinised very closely.
Elsewhere Lorient will apparently be welcoming Arsene’s offer of used €20s so long as it does total €8m and they plan on keeping the bag boy, Coquellin, for a season as well. They have been told that Thursday is the deadline, curiously enough in keeping with Arsene’s desire to have a couple of signings in place before the World Cup starts.
According to Wenger, the money will not dent his transfer budget:
Our financial situation has greatly improved. We are finally able to buy the players we think we need.
Enforced parsimony in previous summers has drawn out transfer activity until the last minute, this time around could be different. Criticism of the manager for not signing should be tempered by the knowledge that there is a more public desire to sign, the usual provisos missing this time around, value for money an objective but there is more flexibility with greater funds at his disposal. And that is the key. For the first time in many years, the sums bandied around for his transfer chest are believable rather than being entirely based on fag packet maths.
Ivan Gazidis backed up the quest for experience:
We have a team with an average age of 23 or 24. Does it need to be supplemented? Quite possibly
How old the quotes are would be interesting to know. Whatever the case, this summer has seen more activity already than those in recent memory with the promise of more to come.
Posted on June 8, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Rumours. Bookmark the permalink. 231 Comments.