Arsenal football club news, Arsenal transfers
Arsenal mascot Gunnersaurus (or rather the guy who wears the suit, aka Jerry Quy) has been ‘let go’. Arsenal, owned by multi-billionaire absentee landlord Stan Kroenke, thinks hiring a man to play the role of the club’s oldest fan is too expensive. But thanks to his £350,000 weekly wage, Arsenal outcast Mesut Ozil can afford to pay Gunnersaurus’s wages.
That Ozil chose to showcase his generosity on social media is grandstanding – and it runs the risk of antagonising his bosses. Arsenal have been trying to get shot of Ozil for ages. Will they now seek to end his tenure at the club in a get one get two out deal? Look out for Ozil and Gunnersaurus heading into the sunset for a new life together in Major League Soccer.
Stop Press: Arsenal say Gunnersaurus will now stay at the club. But Jerry Quy may not. Will Jerry shorn of his green furry suit hold the same attraction for Ozil? Is Jerry’s future brighter than Ozil’s? Will Mrs Ozil look as good in the massive green suit? Many questions. And as yet, not many answers.
Farewell, Gunnersaurus, we fear we shall never see your like again – well, not until Arsenal move stadium once more, downsizing to something more in keeping with the Covid-19 era, a large suburban garden, perhaps, or Prince Harry’s second lounge, and discover another ancient dinosaur egg buried under the patio. Arsenal have sacked Gunnersaurus, the giant green lunk. The man inside the suit has been told to get thee hence. His role will not be reprised by benched player Mesut Ozil nor Josh Kroenke, the club’s chairman and all round ‘You da man! Soccerball!! WOOP!’ sort of guy. Why Josh and his fellow beancounters did it, is impossible to fathom for many Gooners.
Has Lucas Torreira left Arsenal for a new dawn in Spain with Atletico Madrid? The Mirror says he has:
After the Google bots have picked up the Mirror’s story, the paper writes:
Arsenal have reportedly agreed a loan deal with Atletico Madrid for Lucas Torreira.
Says the Mirror:
La Liga giants Atletico moved to the front of the queue to sign the midfielder for the season, and according to Spanish publication AS, have now agreed a deal with Arsenal.
We click the Mirror’s link and head over to AS. We read:
Lucas Torreira, a punto
El centrocampista uruguayo está muy cerca de convertirse en nuevo jugador del Atleti. Sin embargo, la operación está sujeta a salida de Herrera.
Which translates as:
The Uruguayan midfielder is very close to becoming a new Atleti player. However, the operation is subject to Herrera’s departure…for the signing to take place, Hector Herrera’s exit must first be closed.
So AS has not reported the deal is done. The Mirror is talking rubbish. But the Googl bots like it so lots of easy traffic for the self-styled “intelligent tabloid”.
Dani Ceballos is all set to rejoin Arsenal for a second season-long loan from Real Madrid. The Guardian says Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta called the player to convince him to play for the Gunners once more. So much for The Metro’s news that Ceballos “snubbed a potential return to Arsenal and has told Real Madrid that he wants to join Real Betis”. He hasn’t. He didn’t. The Mail said he “asked Real Madrid to return to his boyhood club”. That too is balls. Mundo Deportivo, the Spanish site, told us that Ceballos has “made his decision clear” – it is Betis or nothing. As ever, we can read the Spanish news through the Google Translate mangle:
…his participation in the next European Championship could be a chimera, so he wants go to a team in which he can play regularly and Real Betis is his favorite, as he has made known in the offices of Concha Espina in the event of being on loan again.
In other news: Gabriel Magalhães is soon to arrive at Arsenal from Lille.
Arsenal are “closer than ever” to agreeing a deal with Lille’s Brazilian defender Gabriel Magalhaes, 22, says the BBC. The source for this story is L’Equipe. The website offers no source for its information, stating only that the “southpaw and the Gunners have never been so close to an agreement, which is due in the coming hours.’ How may hours is unspecified. and that’s just as well for the Sun which is playing both sides of the story.
On the blue bit of North London, Spurs are looking to re-sign Gareth Bale from Real Madrid, says the BBC.
Or as the Manchester Evening News put it on March 8 2019:
Gareth Bale has reportedly bought a house in Manchester and agreed personal terms with Manchester United ahead of a potential transfer this summer.
And in May 2018 the Daily Express told us of a bold “claim” – presented as an SEO-friendly fact:
And as the sun out it in January 2020:
Bale has not agree to rejoin Spurs. He also hasn’t agreed to join Manchester United, Liverpool or Yeovil. Yet.
It’s enjoyably odd that the better bits of the video launched to herald the arrival of a new Arsenal kit features a former player with no kit on – a naked David Seaman – and a current player Kieran Tierney with a plastic shopping bag.
Arsenal have sacked Raul Sanllehi from his job as – get his – “head of football”. The new head of football is managing director Vinai Venkatesham, who used to work as an oil trader. “Working with Vinai, we have built a top team for the future,” says Sanllehi, who arrived from Barcelona three years ago. “I’m proud and pleased with my contribution over the past three years.”
He joined Arsenal in November 2017, a replacement for the terrible Ivan Gazidis, the American whose talk of leading a “catalyst of change” under the god-awful Kroenkes saw the post-Wenger Arsenal tumble down the Premier League table.
Sanllehi’s departure coincides with the club’s internal investigation into how and why they signed Nicolas Pepe, 25, from Lille for £72m. Sanllehi was part of the key team that recruited the hapless but likeable Unai Emery. Arsenal have demolished their scouting network and turned for help in recruitment matters to agents. What could possibly go wrong?
You know the routine by now, of course. The newspapers report that a A-list player (Reus / Benzema / Zaha) is on his way to Arsenal for a huge fee. We reached peak balls with the Sun’s story that Arsenal had actually signed Gonzalo Higuain from Real Madrid. It was utter tosh. The story is still live on the Sun’s website. The papers are shameless in their pursuit of clicks. Bad reporting – fake news – is part of the process. Shout out enough rumours as fact and eventually you should be right once. You can then advertise yourself as the paper with the inside track on transfers. You read it here first. So to the news that Philippe Coutinho to Arsenal is done! He has agreed.
The papers say Coutinho has “agreed” terms to join Arsenal from Barcelona. The Mirror, Sun and talkSport agree on news of his agreement.
And having said Coutinho has agreed to be a Gunner, the Mirror invites Matin Keown to tells readers his “three reasons why Arsenal are making correct Philippe Coutinho decision”. That decision is explained: “Mirror Sport understands Arsenal have opted to sign only the latter as soon as his contract at Chelsea expires at the end of the month.” What readers can “understands” from reading the Mirror is that you can say pretty much anything and pass it off as fact.
The nonsense is so ripe that if you can play Google, you can pass off a fake photo of Coutinho in the Gunners kit as fact and shout, “Philippe Coutinho – Welcome to Arsenal 2020”. Such an image is one of the key search results for ‘Coutinho Arsenal’ on Google:
And in place of no news, other news sources can say because Coutinho has not signed, any deal has been cancelled. Get this in the Mail:
On August 8, the Mail said Arsenal have ended their interest in Coutinho. The same day as the Sun was reporting: “The £145m former Liverpool star will arrive at The Emirates in a season-long loan deal – after a whistle-stop tour of their training ground.”
Such are the facts.
Thursday nights remain good telly night for Arsenal fans thanks to the club winning the FA Cup and qualifying for the Europa League. When you’re holding the Cup all the suffering doesn’t quite go away because Arsenal finished 8th in the Premier League. And they’re looking to bolster their strange squad – how many average centre backs can one team have? – by recruiting Chelsea’s brilliant winger Willian, 31, Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho, 28, and Atletico Madrid’s midfielder Thomas Partey, 27.
As Arsenal fans dream of replacing the irritating Matteo Guendouzi, expensive Mesut Ozil, limited Sead Kolasinac, likeable Sokratis Papastathopoulos and plodding Shkodran Mustafi, team captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tells Le10 Sport he’d like to play alongside Barcelona’s French forward Ousmane Dembele, 23. So you can add Alexandre Lacazette to the fire sale.
The obvious need for a towering, fast centre back means the Gunners are looking to recruit Sevilla’s Diego Carlos. Here’s Carlos, then with Nantes, keeping his cool as the referee loses the plot:
Media Bias: A look at biased football reporting. Arsenal won their 14th FA Cup with a 2-1 win over Chelsea. The game featured a penalty (VAR approved) and a red card, both given in Arsenal’s favour. What say the clubs’ websites.
Chelsea: “a good Arsenal pass from the back sent Aubameyang away behind the Chelsea defence and onside this time. Azpilicueta gave chase but was judged to have fouled the Arsenal skipper as he entered the box and a penalty was awarded.”
Arsenal: “Kieran Tierney put Aubameyang away with a fine ball up the left. The Gabon international was hauled down by Cesar Azpilicueta in the box – penalty.”
The Red Card:
Chelsea: “Our Cup final prospects took another blow soon after when Kovacic was booked for a second time and was therefore sent-off. It was hugely debatable whether his contact with Xhaka’s foot warranted a yellow.”
Arsenal: “Matteo Kovacic was sent off for a second bookable offence”
The Hot Debate
Chelsea: “Another question was whether the Arsenal keeper later handled the ball outside of his penalty area when claiming a ball during the second half. He went unpenalised.”
Arsenal goalkeeper Martinez did not handle outside the area – which is why it wasn’t penalised.
Such are the facts.
Let’s kick off this morning look at football transfer news in the media with the BBC’s ‘Gossip’ page. The State broadcaster’s headline is clear: “Transfer rumours: Sancho, Costa, Jimenez, Ceballos, Harrison, Aubameyang.” Before the rumours the fact: the name of Arsenal’s stellar striker, Aubameyang, appears in the headline only.
The striker is nearing the final year of his current Arsenal deal. Will be stay on? He’s 31 and looking for a three-year deal. He’ll get it. But the stories of any departure and interest from Juventus, Barcelona, Manchester City and more will keep the clicks coming. Why does the BBC need to do this? The BBC website hurts local news sites and now seems to want to take the traffic from football blogs and clickbait farms. The BBC is funded by a tax. Is this value for money? An attempt to be all things to all people?
The newspapers need clicks. Traffic is up but ad revenues are down. The Mirror says Borussia Dortmund’s England winger Jadon Sancho, 20, “may” have to instigate a move to Manchester United. Or he may not. The Star syas because Arsenal’s Brazilian defender David Luiz, 33, was terrific against Manchester City in the Gunners’ 2-0 FA Cup semi-final win, manager Mikel Arteta “could” decide not to try to sign a brilliant, young, fast, reliable and strong centre half. Or he coild wait a few moments, look on as Luiz makes a hash of a routine clearance and realise he should buy urgently.
Oh, and Dani Ceballos wants to stay at the club. The Spaniard is playing lovely football in the sun. But British football is mostly played under rain and cloud, conditions in which Ceballos has shone less brightly. Buyer beware.
According to the BBC Arsenal are in a fight with AC Milan, Valencia and Real Betis in their attempts to sign midfielder Dani Ceballos, 23, on a permanent deal. The Spanish player signed to Real Madrid has been on loan at Arsenal this season. The BBC’s source is the Daily Express, the newspaper built on clickbait and SEO tricks. So we click.
The Express has been watching the telly. It repeats the words Mikel Arteta, the Arsenal manager, told everyone with a TV before Arsenal’s match with Leicester last Wednesday. “I’m really happy with him, the way he’s [Ceballos] evolving, and I love how much he likes to play football – the passion he puts into every training session and every game, you just have to see his celebrations,” says Arteta. “I think he’s evolving in the right way and he’s becoming a really important player for us.”
And then Express readers get a load of ifs and buts and coulds. If Arsenal quality for the Champions League – which they won’t do – they “could” sign Ceballos. So much for the scoop.
But hold on a moment. Just over a week ago, a few days before Arteta was hailing Ceballos as a “big talent” he wanted to keep at the club, the Express’s sister title, the Daily Mirror told readers:
Arsenal reportedly won’t sign Dani Ceballos when his loan spell from Real Madrid ends – as the midfielder has not done enough to impress manager Mikel Arteta.
The source was The Sun:
The Sun‘s source? There isn’t one. It’s almost as if the tabloids don’t have a clue what they’re talking about and design content for clicks. As it is, Arsenal are looking to sign Ceballos. And given his recent efforts, he’d be well worth the investment.
Dash those reports that Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka as ready to lave the club. The 18-year-old star in the making with 33 appearances to his name has just signed a new “long-term” contract with the Gunners.
It was never in doubt. Well, not unless you’ve heeded some of the tosh written about Saka in the past few months. Get a load of this in the Express. The ‘stumbling block’ was ‘stumbling blocks’ – he didn’t want to leave and wasn’t for sale:
Such are the facts.
How do you reward the player who scored the goal that took you into the FA Cup semi-finals? If you’re Arsenal, you assure Dani Ceballos, 23, for it is he, that you will not try to buy him when his loan deal from Real Madrid ends. So bad are Arsenal at player recruitment, so scattergun their transfer policy, that Ceballos should write a thank you letter to whoever it is who runs the club for not trying to sign him.
Incidentally, who does oversea transfers at Arsenal? Who actually identifies and picks players? Does anyone know who thought Lichsteiner, Xhaka, Mustafi and Denis Suarez were good investments?
Raul Sanllehi says Arsenal must “outsmart the market”. What doe that mean? Is Thomas Partey at £45m too expensive or smart?
Sanllehi is the club’s ‘head of football’ and should not be confused with the Arsenal ‘technical director’, Edu. And there’s the head coach, who might also be termed ‘head of football’ or technical director, Mikel Arteta. Says Edu: “Mikel has to be involved in recruitment, he must. We talk about what we need, the characteristics of the players, the system we’re going to play and then I start the process internally.” With whom? Who does Edu talk with internally to hire players? Is it Josh Kroenke, the absentee owner’s son, a marketing man possessed with less football acumen than a kitten with a beach ball?
There are four people on the Arsenal board and two of them are called Mr Kroenke. Here’s what the Arsenal website says about the owners:
Mr. Kroenke is a well-regarded real-estate developer with a diverse international portfolio that includes commercial and residential real estate, ranches, vineyards, shopping centres, warehouse facilities and hotels.
Josh works closely with Kroenke Sports & Entertainment executives on multiple business operation issues, ranging from finance to marketing.
Arsenal: the London office of a marketing and real estate empire.
Good news, Gooners. And even better news for strikers playing against your club. Arsenal have beaten FC Desperado to secure the signature of David Luiz. The Brazilian will play for Arsenal for another season.
Joining him in the Premier League’s most over-priced defensive bunfight are Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares, who have also agreed to stay at the club.
Dani Ceballos has extended his loan deal from Real Madrid until the end of this season. And – who knows – the Spanish midfielder might prove to be a better defender than the lot of them.
As Arsenal fans wonder if the club’s recruitment policy is based on an attempt to make Xhaka and Mustafi look as good as their teammates, the club’s technical director Edu explains how it’s all part of the big plan.
“I am really happy that we will have these players in our squad for the future,” says Edu. “They have been part of the long-term technical plan [manager] Mikel [Arteta] and I have developed. They bring the right balance to our squad.” Luiz is 33. What long term plan is he part of?
“David is a really important player for us. He has played most of our matches this season and has been important for the team,” says Edu. “His passing, his communication with the team on and off the pitch – he helps everyone.” Just last week Luiz helped Manchester City to three points in a 25-minute spell that featured two bursts of hapless defending that led directly to two City goals and a red card.
Remember when Bernd Leno, the Arsenal goalkeeper, suffered a “horror injury (Mail) in a match with Brighton? So horrible was the injury that the Sun told us that BT Sport refused to show it in a replay.
As I pointed out, Arsenal fans are made of sterner stuff than those BT softies and could watch the gore fest on their club’s family friendly official website.
As the world prayed for Leno, the Sun looked at five goalies Arsenal could sign to cover for Leno should be be out for year with what could be cruciate knee ligament damage.
And then prayers were answered. It turns out that Leno had merely sprained his knee. He will walk again! There will medical journals telling of Leno’s knee. Religionist will will point to Bernd ‘Lazarus’ Leno as evidence of god’s love.
Another days and with it another injury to an Arsenal player. This time it’s Bernd Leno, the talented Arsenal goalkeeper who jarred his knee in a match against Brighton. So bad was the “horror injury” that according to the Sun, broadcaster BT Sport “refused” to show it on the telly. Dead bodies, war, famine and George Floyd having his neck sat on by a policeman for nearly nine minutes in America (he was pronounced dead not long after) are all suitable items for tea-time watching. But the German goalie jarring his knee is unacceptable to Arsenal fans who have seen in recent years two players (Euduardo and Ramsay) carried from the pitch with badly broken legs and another (Diaby) badly hurt.
For anyone keen to see the incident help is at hand because you can watch Leno jarring his leg on the official Arsenal website. Elsewhere you can see Leno cussing at the Brighton player who clattered him, contributing to the injury and leaving the ground on crutches. We can assure viewers that Leno will walk again. In other news: 60,000 people are dead from Covid-19. As you were…
When Arsenal’s Pablo Marí was injured just a few minutes into the restarted Premier League season, the obituaries were ready to be written. The defender’s injury sustained in a 3-0 hammering at Manchester City is as bad as you want it to be. The Sun says the player’s season is over and he will need surgery. The Mail says the player’s loss is a “huge blow”. It is a “serious injury”. The prognosis is better in the Mirror, which reports that Mari “could sideline him for several weeks”. Or to rephrase it, he might not be sidelined for several weeks.
The narrative is that Arsenal are in a state of “crisis” because of the injury. But that’s bunkum. The truth is that Arsenal have lots of centre backs: Shkodran Mustafi and Rob Holding are fit, Sokratis Papastathopoulos is back next week and Calum Chambers – arguably the club’s best centre-half – is nearing full fitness after a lengthy injury-induced layoff. Oh, and in two games time the Gunners can call on the services of David Luiz. There’s also Mavropranos, who can be recalled from loan. And William Saliba, who could arrive at a push.
The official word on Mari is that it is a “significant injury which is currently undergoing further specialist assessment”.
The unofficial observation is that Arsenal have lots and lots of players – and most of them are not fit to tie Tony Adams’ laces.
No football, but no end of transfer balls as the BBC tells us that Arsenal “will sell Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 30, for £30m”. The team captain who scores around half of all Arsenal goals will be sold because next September he enters the final year of his current deal. The Sun agrees that £30m will get your club one of the world’s best strikers. Says the paper:
ARSENAL are looking to sell Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for just £30million. Mikel Arteta is desperate not to lose his 20-goal top scorer for nothing next year.
Logic be damned. Arsenal manager Arteta wants Aubameyang to stay so will sell him. We’re also told Arsenal will swap Aubameyang for Chelsea’s Willian. “Arteta is facing a major issue to overhaul his squad — and with a severely restricted transfer budget,” says the paper. But the Sun told us Arsenal are lining up a £45m bid for Thomas Partey.
Maybe the Daily Express can shed some light on the facts? The paper’s headline screams: “Aubameyang ready to sign new Arsenal contract despite Man Utd, Chelsea transfer proposals.”
Such are the facts.
The BBC says Arsenal are no longer discussing a new contract with their captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Beeb’s source is the Daily Mirror, which says Arsenal have “pulled out” of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang contract talks before name-checking for SEO purposes a list of top clubs: “Aubameyang has been linked with a move away from the Emirates this summer, with Manchester United, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Chelsea all believed to be interested in signing him.” Believed by who, the Mirror (prop. Reach plc) does not say. But it does revels the source for its story: the Daily Express (prop. Reach plc).
Over to the Express, then, a paper known for churning out clickbait. Get a load of the scoop’s URL: “Arsenal-news-Aubameyang-contract-talks-Inter-Chelsea-Man-Utd-transfer-EXCLUSIVE.” Four clubs named in one burst of SEO. And now for the facts: “The Gunners are ready to listen to offers for the £56million star after pulling out of contract talks with him late last week.” And? And nothing. That’s it.
The Dutch have cancelled their domestic football season. And it’s bad news for Liverpool and very good news for Norwich and other teams facing relegation from the Premier League. There will no champion of the Eredivisie, the Netherlands’ top league. There will be no relegations. One option was to take an average of points scored so far and add them to games still to play. But that would have made no difference to the teams qualifying for the Champions League and Europa league, respectively. In the Premier League, it would – and it means Arsenal (currently in 9th spot) qualifying for the Europa League ahead of Spurs (8th).
Manchester City’s (2nd) ban from the European competition means Manchester United (5th) take their place in the Champions League, where they will be in the mix with Leicester City (3rd) and Chelsea (4th).
It is the most likely scenario. Already all football in England below the three divisions that make up the National League has ended and all results expunged.
It’s time for the upper tiers to follow suit and present a clear path ahead. The Dutch have set the agenda – and it’s the right one.
How is your football club responding to the coronavirus crisis? Liverpool and Spurs got greedy. Their plan to milk the State for staff wages upset fans, whose vociferous reaction caused both clubs to change direction and pay their staff in full. Manchester United expressed their view that a pandemic presented the chance for them to hammer smaller clubs. And Arsenal? Their players are the first in the Premier League to agree to a pay cut. The board has already agreed a more than 33% wage cut for the next 12 months.
The Gunners players will take a 12.5% wage cut but be reimbursed if they qualify for next season’s Champions League or the 2021-22 competition. They will get a £100,000 bonus for reaching next year’s Champions League. They will each reportedly earn £500,000 for winning the 2021 Champions League or £100,000 for the Europa League.
The Gunners are eight points off of a Champions League place with 10 games remaining. Their chances of reaching the Champions League are slim. Those wages will never be made up.
A bit of Arsenal transfer news in the BBC. The Gunners are “on course” to recruit Dayot Upamecano from RB Leipzig”. The 21-year-old French defender is “keen to move on this summer”. Well, if the BBC says he is, he must be. The source for the Beeb’s news is the Daily Star. “Arsenal target Dayot Upamecano informs RB Leipzig of transfer decision,” says the Star. And the decision will “delight” Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta.
The Star’s story is very short on facts. But it does cite its source, which is German newspaper Bild. “So Upamecano is planning his summer change,” says Bild, guessing that the Frenchman could head to Bayern Munich, Barcelona or Arsenal. And what did he say? “I will now focus first on RB Leipzig and then on what I want to do afterwards. But there are some clubs that like me. I will talk to my advisor and my parents about it at the end of the season. We will make the right choice.”
Bild’s source is Spanish site Mundo Deportivo. Its story was published on February 18. It took over a month to reach the Star. And MD’s story was based on something Upamecano told French radio station RMC on February 17. Mentions of Arsenal that will “delight” Arteta: nil. In fact Upamecano was invited by the journalist to talk about his future and merely said he was flattered to be linked to other clubs as happy at Leipzig. Listen to it here.
No football. No problem. The BBC will continue to bring you football news. Today’s news is for all Arsenal fans because the Gunners are “resigned to losing striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 30, this summer”. They are? The striker is of contract at the end of next season. Some reports say he wants £300,000-a-week to stay the club. The BBC’s news is that Arsenal want £50.7m for the Gabon international. Oh, and apparently only Barcelona are interested. Odd because just five days ago, the BBC reported: “Barcelona are preparing to end their interest in Arsenal’s Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 30.”
Might be an idea to check the sources of the BBC’s news. ‘Aubameyang stays’ is linked to the Express. In a story billed as an “EXCLUSIVE”, readers were told: “Barcelona are ready to end Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s dreams of swapping London for Catalonia this summer.” Is it his dream? Says who? Not the player. The paper adds: “Barca have told Aubameyang that he isn’t their priority with Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez and a return of Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain higher on their shopping list.”
Now the BBC’s source for ‘he’s leaving’. It’s Spanish website Sport. And like the Express its news is low on facts:
Barcelona met with Auba’s people in January to speak about his signing after they found out how long Luis Suarez would be out for.
Arsenal did not want to negotiate a figure and said the striker was not transferrable. His closest people were open to forcing a way out but Barca didn’t have the money for it at the time.
Now the message from Auba is the same. If they want him, they will have to push Arsenal to drive the price down. The English club do want to sell if he won’t stay, to stop him leaving for free in 2021.
They are unlikely to get in the Champions League so selling Aubameyang would be a lucrative business.
Arsenal spent 63 million euros on him in 2018, the most expensive player in their history. He has excelled there.
He’s isn’t. Arsenal bought Pepe for £72m. And here’s Auba last month: “I would also like to react to some of the rumours that are going around about me in the media. People like making up stories and they should focus on what’s happening on the pitch. They talk too much and it does my head in! I am the Arsenal captain. I love this club. I am committed to it and desperate to bring it back to the top, where it belongs.”
Such are the facts.
Good news for Arsenal fans. Firstly, the Premier League looks like being cancelled. Having grossly underachieved this season under the likeable but hapless Unai Emery. Secondly, new manager Mikel Arteta says he’s “feeling better already” after contracting Coronavirus. And lastly, Arsenal are preparing to invest £45m for Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey, 26. The Gunners will also try to nab Chelsea forward Willian. Spurs also want him. In 2013, the Brazilian looked set for Spurs until Chslea hijacked the deal. This is hiw the Guarfdian repor6ted gthe move:
José Mourinho made little attempt to hide his delight at hijacking Tottenham Hotspur’s move for Willian as the north London club raged behind the scenes about Chelsea’s £32m capture of the Anzhi Makhachkala forward representing a vendetta against them…
Mourinho’s gloating will have done little to soothe Tottenham’s anger. Rather than apologise for disrupting their plans, he revelled in snatching Willian from under their noses. He was initially vague, simply saying that he believed that the player had made his decision but when he was asked if that meant that Willian had chosen Chelsea, he made no effort to keep up the pretence. Instead he laughed and nodded…
“The best thing you can do is do the medical in secret” [said Mourinho].
The former Real Madrid manager was unable to resist one last dig at Tottenham. Asked whether he expected the deal to be completed without any complications, a mischievous grin spread across his face. “We have to do a medical,” he said.
Jose Mourinho is now manager at Spurs.