If you believe what you read in the papers, Arsenal could be about to sign as many as four players from the Spanish league leaders Barcelona in the summer. There is the 32-year old striker David Villa, who is said to be ready and available to move on, the 31-year old keeper Victor Valdes, the possible return of Alex Song and now the 24-year old Chilean international striker Alexis Sanchez.
Maybe Barcelona thought that Arsenal were just spinning them a line in order to get David Villa to transfer to the Emirates in January, but they will find that Arsene Wenger meant what he said when he told them it was a now or never deal. Even though the Spanish international wanted the move, Barca stubbornly refused to accept Arsenal’s bid, and they will not be getting another.
The Barcelona vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu, who has been involved with the negotiations with Arsenal for Cesc Fabregas, was very happy to announce the arrival of Alexis Sanchez at the Nou Camp yesterday and bullishly proclaimed that he would be joined by Fabregas very shortly.
Bartomeu said: “It is a sure thing that we will make one more signing.
“Sanchez was always our number one target. Fabregas was always number two.
“We are discreet and prefer not to talk about signings, but we have time until August 30 to make sure some things happen and I can tell you they will.”
Arsenal’s injury hoodoo hasn’t gone away, and Arsene Wenger has now lost Manuel Almunia, Denilson and Van Persie for tomorrows Champions League Group match against Standard Liege in Belgium.
Almunia has been struck down by a chest infection and is hopeful to be recovered in time to face Wigan at the weekend. As second-choice keeper Lukas Fabianksi is already out due to an operation on his knee, it seems that Vito Mannone (pictured) will be making his second start for Arsenal between the sticks, after making his debut on the last day of last season against Stoke City. 19 year-old Wojciech Szczesny has also been named in the squad but is likely to start on the bench.