Kit Abomination, Careless Whispers In Cesc War & More Gossip
Samir Nasri not smiling? Little wonder with this design for next season. An away kit which neatly encapsulates all of the past 125 years. It is not going to help in the French midfielders contract talks: “I want £110k per week and there is no way I am wearing that blue kit“.
Yesterday afternoon provided an object lesson in how quickly an unsubstantiated story can gain legs. Within an hour of this phrase appearing on the BBC, every news outlet in the world appeared to have run with it as gospel truth,
A senior Arsenal official said: “The offer was made formally in writing to our chief executive (Ivan Gazidis), and we said no straight away.”
When asked if the club expected an improved offer this week, the source said: “Possibly yes, and if it’s enough then I expect we’ll have to sell.”
The unattributed source, key for investigative journalists, beloved of all others as it is the ultimate in plausible deniability. Nobody will name the individual which means his or her existence cannot be proven and their veracity tested. That is not important any more though. A good story is exactly that: a tall tale. An unattributed source is the basis of many fairy tales told by journalists to keep small children in order, a bogeyman.
Dismissing the words lightly in this instance could be the wrong choice. Whilst any unattributed quotes immediately bring an element of cynicism to the table, it would suit Arsenal’s purposes for them to be true in this instance. In the first place, it raises the prospect of Cesc being sold. Leaked quietly, it seems that the board are resigned to him leaving but only if the price is right, emphasising that it is a decision in the club’s hand. Arsenal remain in control of the situation, for the moment.
There is a marked difference between this season and last. The intensity of denials from Arsenal is missing this summer. Perhaps the interview given by Cesc in Madrid recently were deemed to close the matter by the board until Barcelona made a bid. Until now, media speculation had been undone by Barcelona’s woeful finances.
In the context of recent stories – this morning included – Cesc is on the back foot. Media pressure is intensifying to the levels of last season, determined to make the transfer happen as Arsène alluded to recently. The current scenario of the player striking is a fanciful notion, fostered firstly in the Catalan media, now pointed in Barcelona’s direction. To an unattributed source, of course.
What would the right price be? Some believe £35m will be enough to secure his release despite Arsenal’s valuation being anywhere between 1p and £50m. We do not know what the right price is. There have been many calculations done to show how the £5m foregone by Cesc will automatically make any fee higher than it is. Whatever it is, matters appear to be coming to a head in the media this week, almost as if they are bored with it.
With exquisite timing, Sport decided to try to move the deal along, focus Barcelona minds if you like, by claiming that Real Madrid were prepared to offer €50m for the player. All on the basis of unsubstantiated reports, you understand.
And so to other matters. Well, unsubstantiated transfer gossip. First to re-appear were claims that Gary Cahill is very much Arsenal’s first choice centre back signing this summer. He apparently does not rate the current incumbents in central defence, believing he will walk into the starting XI rather than fighting for a place at Manchester City. I thought £17m was too high but Arsenal are thought to be thinking that it is not. For thoughtless gossip, there is a hell of a lot of thinking going on.
Next up is the small Mata of Juan – ho, ho, ho indeed – who is going to cost £23m not the £18m that Arsenal were thought to be ready to offer. A lot of understanding is going on in this instance. Still, if that is a problem Arturo Vidal will keep the stories coming, £15m the price tag in Leverkusen’s shop. Ivan and Arsène are scouring the discount code websites as we speak to see if they can come up with a 10% reduction…
Posted on June 28, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 308 Comments.