There are reports in the Spanish media today that Arsenal have raised the stakes in their attempt to sign the Spanish international striker, David Villa, from Barcelona before the deadline on Thursday night. The idea seems to be to get the 31-year old to up the pressure on his bosses at the Nou Camp, but Barcelona have countered by starting Villa and giving him the full 90 minutes against Osasuna yesterday.
Arsenal are having a tough season, there is no doubt about it, but the Spanish champions Real Madrid seem to be in meltdown, with rumours of cliques and warring factions in the dressing room, indiscipline on the pitch and injuries decimating the team. They are 15 points behind their great rivals Barcelona, who they also face in the semi-final of the Spanish cup.
Jose Mourinho is the man responsible for this state of affairs and the fans are letting him know it. The special one hardly ventures out of his dugout at home games now because of the whistles and jeers of the home fans when he does. Spanish newspaper Marca, usually the Madrid supporting newspaper, has waded in this week with a story the Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos, the two captains of the side, had a meeting with the president Perez and let him know that the players wanted Mourinho out.
The list of possible signings for Arsenal in the next 10 days is one name shorter today. There were rumours from Spain that Arsenal had expressed interest in taking Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid, and the club and player might have been open to the transfer. That seems to be off today, however, after he got a rare start for the Spanish champions and scored two goals.
The 24-year old winger had been off form this season, and it came to a head with Jose Mourinho last week. The manager laid into his player about his poor performances and the two had a fierce row, apparently. Yesterday Mourinho gave Di Maria a final chance to prove himself and he grabbed it with both hands, setting up one goal and scoring two more as Madrid cruised to victory over Valencia.
Now that Arsenal have sealed the deal with Theo Walcott, we can expect Arsene Wenger to do some business in the transfer market. There are a number of positions that need strengthening and extra cover, and one of those is between the goalposts, as Wenger wants some competition and cover for Wojciech Szczesny. One of the most successful keepers in Europe has just become available, coincidentally, after the 31-year old Spanish international Victor Valdes told Barcelona that he will not be renewing his contract at the club.
Arsenal rumoured to have bid big for a player by Twig
According to rumours on Twitter, Arsenal have reportedly bid 30 million pounds for a player today. The story originated from the trusty GeofArsenal who has got some insider information on Arsenal correct in the past. Wenger has consistently said he would bid that much if he found the right player. His comments after the Swansea game show that Arsenal is indeed looking but that he would not mention names.
So which player could it be? Wenger notoriously bids a bit less than the parent club think the player is worth. In that light, if the rumour is true, it is quite possible that the player in question could be Falcao or Cavani who could easily cost more than the 30 million pounds reportedly offered.
Arsene Wenger wants to add some players to his Arsenal squad, and Ivan Gazidis has indicated that there is money to spend. Nothing has happened so far in this transfer window, however, and Wenger is known to dislike the January window. He seems to be very fussy about who he brings in, and if the players he wants are not available, he does not want second choices.
There could be a way round these issues, though. By taking a player or two on loan, Wenger would not risk being stuck with somebody who didn’t cut it in the Premier league, and we may end up finding a player who fits well into the Gunners team without spending big bucks.
Arsenal are looking for competition for Wojciech Szczesny and have been linked with a move for the five time winner of the best goalkeeper in the world, Iker Casillas. The captain of Real Madrid and the Spanish national team seems to have fallen out with the Special One, Jose Mourinho, who is the current manager at the Spanish champions. So, could Arsenal take advantage and swoop for the 31-year old in this transfer window? In a word, NO. In three words, NO WAY JOSE.
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.”
Arsene Wenger’s stock has never been lower with Arsenal fans, but the Frenchman seems to have plenty of admirers elsewhere. The Gunners boss has said he will evaluate things at the end of the season, and it is very unlikely that the board will sack him before then, but if things are not looking much better then, he mat decide to call time on his 16 years in charge of the club.
It appears he may have a job to walk straight into if he does leave Arsenal. The super rich French club Paris Saint-Germain are known to be keen on Wenger, but they are looking at lots of possible options. The Spanish champions, Real Madrid, have a much smaller list of targets, and it seems as if Wenger is right at the top, according to the Express.
After Arsene Wenger revealed that one of his main objectives every season was to ensure that Arsenal qualify for the group stages of the Champions league, you might have thought he would be pleased with the idea of merging it with the Europa league to have one big competition with 64 teams in. That would mean it would be much easier for Arsenal to qualify as there would be about seven teams from the Premier league in it.
Wenger, however, does not like the idea, and thinks it would not help the competition or the domestic leagues, as it would be, essentially, a full European league rather than a cup competition. It would also diminish the prestige and have an adverse effect on audiences in the group stages, according to the Frenchman.
Arsene Wenger suggested that Arsenal were jaded against Aston Villa on Saturday, after the North London derby against Tottenham and a crucial Champions league game against Montpellier. Many Arsenal fans may have seen that as just an excuse and there have been angry reactions to the draw, with lots of blame levelled at the French manager, but if you look around Europe, there is some evidence to back up Wenger’s claim.
Juventus had a vital game against Chelsea in midweek, and were lacklustre in defeat to AC Milan yesterday. Milan had a game in midweek but it was not crucial and so they did not put so much into it. Chelsea also looked tired yesterday as they drew with Manchester City. Mancini claimed that his team had not taken the opportunity presented to them, but they also had a crucial game against Real Madrid in midweek.
Arsene Wenger wants his Arsenal players to be confident and ambitious, but the Polish keeper Wozciech Szczesny has outstripped even the ambitions of the most ardent Gooner by proclaiming his belief that Arsenal can lift the most prestigious trophy in club football this season. Arsenal have already qualified for the next stage of the Champions league, by beating Montpellier on Wednesday, and have stated their ambition to give their all in Athens to try to top the group above the German side Schalke.