Not only do Arsenal need to get over the recent disappointments and produce a rousing end to the Premier League season, we need either Tottenham or Chelsea to drop points. Obviously it would be better if it was the Spuds, and their fixture list and lack of real depth in their squad suggests that they will not be able to continue the recent run of results.
Arsene Wenger has been looking for an experienced keeper to provide competition and cover for the current Arsenal number one, Wojciech Szczesny. The feeling is that the Polish international is too comfortable in his position and Wenger thinks he needs pressure to keep his performances high and encourage him to work and improve his game.
The other problem is the worry about what will happen if he is injured or suspended. Vito Mannone had a chance to impress earlier in the season, but was in need of improvement, although reasonably solid. The Gunners have been linked with a number of keepers recently. including Pepe Reina from Liverpool, Victor Valdes from Barcelona and Maarten Stekelenburg from Roma.
There are rumours and reports that Arsenal are interested in raiding Italy for a solution to the striker problem. Arsene Wenger has already had his number one target, David Villa, ruled out by Barcelona as they want him available to them for the rest of the season. Inter Milan are probably not that keen on selling their Argentinean striker Diego Milito either, but financial constraints may force them to, and Arsenal want to bring him to the Emirates, according to the Daily Express.
Arsenal have been looking for a dynamic midfielder, and they have been alerted to the availability of Wesley Sneijder from Inter Milan. The 28-year old captain of Holland has fallen out with his bosses at the Serie A club, who want him to take a pay cut on his current contract which lasts until 2015. The Dutchman has refused, so has been dropped from the side, having made just three league appearances all season.
“Clearly it’s best for everyone concerned that in January I am transferred. If that doesn’t happen then I’ll stay. I have a contract until 2015.”
What is the difference between Arsenal and Real Madrid? No it is not the first line of a joke, but something I have been considering recently, because there are a great many similarities in our situations this season. I have come up with a theory that it might be better for both clubs if we just swapped managers at the end of the season, Arsene Wenger for Jose Mourinho.
No matter what Arsenal fans think of Wenger at the minute, we must agree that he has a great record and is very respected in the football world, just like Mourinho. Just like Wenger, Mourinho is becoming more and more of an isolated figure at Madrid, and many think that he will not be at the Spanish champions after the season ends, whether he wins the Champions league or not.
It is being reported today that Arsenal are no longer favourites to land the Dutch international striker, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, from Schalke when the transfer window opens in January. The 29-year old has apparently heard about interest from the Serie A club Inter Milan, and would love another chance to prove himself in Italy, according to his agent Arnold Oosterveer.
There is also the possibility that Schalke may decide to keep Huntelaar for the remainder of the season and try to ensure qualification for the champions league this season, while going as far as they can in it this season. One striker who is available and would love to come to the Premier league is Fernando Llorente of Athletic Bilbao.
The worldwide trade union for professional footballers, Fifpro, has highlighted an alarming trend in the way clubs deal with players who are nearing the end of their contract, one example is the Arsenal transfer target Fernando Llorente who plays, or rather doesn’t, for Athletic Bilbao.
Fifpro have also highlighted the case of the Dutch international midfielder, Wesley Sneijder, who is under contract with the Italian Serie A outfit Inter Milan. The 28-year old has a contract with Inter until 2015, so no problem there you would think. In an incredible move, the club want Sneijder to extend that deal for another year, but pay him no extra money. They want him, basically, to play for them for a year for nothing.
Carl Jenkinson is an Arsenal fan, you could see the genuine despair on his face yesterday when Mikel Arteta’s penalty was saved by Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer, denying Arsenal all three points in a topsy turvy game. He comes from a family of Gooners, so they will be delighted when he signs a new deal with Arsenal in the next week or two.
It will be the latest high in a season which is going well for the young right back, if not for the club. The injury to Bacary Sagna gave Jenkinson an extended run in the first team, and he has now proved to Wenger and the fans that he is up to the task. So much so, that he has earned his first call up to the England national squad. There is a good chance that he will make his first appearance on Wednesday in the friendly against Sweden.
Arsenal have two of the top three keepers in the squad out of action due to injury, so reports last week that Vito Mannone was looking for a return to Italy were about as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit. The 24-year old Italian keeper has reassured Gooners that he has no intention of leaving the Emirates anytime in the foreseeable future.
“I want to make it clear, because there have been unfounded rumours, that my contract is not ending in 12 months.
“I’ve got a few more years and I’m happy to be at Arsenal right now. I’m looking at the present and the future is not in doubt.
Inter Milan are hoping thatthe rumours of discontent concerning Bacary Sagna and Arsenal are true, as they are keen to bolster their squad in order to stop Juventus defending the Italian title this season. They have apparently targeted the French international right back as one of the men they want to sign in January.
Bosses at Arsenal have grown sick of their players getting in to the last year of their contracts, and getting 29-year old Sagna to extend his current deal is high on the list of priorities at the moment. Sagna, however, recently went public with his concerns over the summer sale of Robin van Persie and Alex Song and that has led staff at the Italian club to believe that Sagna may be persuaded to move, according to the Daily Mirror.
The Hunt For A Back-Up Goalkeeper: Julio Cesar
I understand that Julio Cesar is a very experienced goalkeeper, but is he the right choice for Arsenal?
Apparently Inter Milan signed Handanovic from Udinese and the word is that they don’t include Julio Cesar in their plans for the team.
The other part of the rumour is that (as usual) Spurs are interested in acquiring his shot-stopping abilities as well and that Arsenal are in a bidding war with them.
“Sky Sport Italia reported that the Gunners are prepared to rival Spurs for the 32 year old Brazilian international goalkeeper.” [arsenal.com]
Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey has become a target for Italian giants Inter Milan according to reports in Italy today.
The Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sport report that Inter Milan are prepared to offer Arsenal in the region of €20million for the Welsh international.
Inter Milan have endured a wretched start in Serie A, winning just one of their opening six games. They currently lie 17th in the table with just four points from a possible 18, though in the Champions League they are top of Group B with six points from their three games so far.