It’s the last day of the transfer season (thank the gods) and both Arsenal and Manchester United fans are waiting for that magical signing that will lift their spirits and give them hope for the rest of the season.
Arsenal are on the brink of a swap deal with Real Madrid, with Reyes and Baptista switching on season-long loans. Marca says that their might even be money involved in the deal with Madrid paying Arsenal 3 mil euros or something.
In any case, the move will be positive for both sides – Real Madrid get a left-sided attacking player and Arsenal get the versatile Baptista who will almost certainly play as an attacking midfielder and add some much needed steel to Arsenal’s squad.
He would need a work permit because he does not have a Spanish passport, though he has applied for one after living there since 2003. He has not been a regular for Brazil over the past year but can expect to be granted a permit.
Baptista has not been willing to leave Real Madrid but reportedly he has been told that Capello was not looking to play him (especially with Diarra in the team) and in Arsenal he will presumably be allowed an extended first-team run (the better to convince him to stay). Whether Arsenal can actually manage to get a player who prefers staying in Spain to sign for them is a different question altogether.
Baptista, like Reyes, is an excellent player, but will he be a misfit as well?
Arsenal have other irons in the fire (although the reported Mascherano move to West Ham scuppers that one) and they will be hoping that a Cole-Gallas exchange can take place today.
With Baptista, will Arsenal go for Reo-Coker as well? And if Mascherano is really coming to West Ham, will Reo-Coker still stay?
Everyone is expecting Wenger to pull out a rabbit from his hat of transfer coups, but unless Wenger gets Hargreaves or some other big name I doubt that Arsenal fans will be appeased (Hargreaves wont make them happy either, but he’s better than nothing).
Manchester United have just loaned out Rossi to Newcastle, and if you combine that with Ferguson’s statement that Solskjaer will be reverted to a right-wing position and reports from redcafe.net that a MUTV announcer has promised a big surprise for Thursday evening, there is every chance that Manchester United will be signing a striker today.
Now that the shock of West Ham pipping Manchester United (and Arsenal and Chelsea) for Tevez and Mascherano has subsided, there are a couple of players still left that we could possibly move for:
Hargreaves – Manchester United are still trying for the player, and Bayern’s bluster could have been just a ploy to get more money out of the club. This is more wishful thinking than reality, so you never know.
Haestad – Manchester United have been following the player’s progress for over a year, and revived their interest after the Hargreaves deal hit a snag. Could be a nice prospect for the future and would at least spare us more ‘Fletcher’ moments.
Senna – Rekindling that deal looks unlikely and his move would now reek of desperation but at least it would be better to have Senna than to go into September with Manchester United having no new players.
Reo-Coker – Arsenal are in this as well, although to be honest Manchester United need him more.
Defoe – I’m reaching here – I doubt Tottenham would sell at this point, so maybe a loan deal? Unlikely.
Manchester United need fresh blood, fast. But having said that, I don’t think that we’ll be in a very bad state if we don’t sign anyone and I’m still hoping that we do sign at least 1-2 players (a striker and holding midfielder) today.