According to several sources, Javier Mascherano‘s agent and two reps from his club Corinthians were at Ashburton Grove for the Arsenal v Zagreb game on Wednesday and are reported to have held talks with Arsenal management.
My first reaction?
Several times on this site I’ve talked about Arsenal not having the strength in numbers to compete in the Premiership. They need a defender and a midfielder to have a realistic chance of catching Chelsea in the Premiership. While the Gallas deal looks stalled, in Mascherano they might just have the perfect answer to their lack of backup in central midfield (Flamini does not count, and Song – well, better not to mention him) and will give genuine bite to a squad that has looked threadbare since last season.
Mascherano was excellent for Argentina in the World Cup, although I’m not sure how he’ll adapt to the pace of the Premiership. The reported price tag is 16 mil, and at that price you have to wonder why it is only Arsenal and not other clubs like Manchester United that are talking to the Corinthians. Then again, Arsenal (along with Manchester United) have been tracking Mascherano for a while, so there could be something there.
Will he come? It’s tempting to say yes, but you never know – the Hargreaves deal was a certainty before that got messed up for United, while Reyes looked set to go but now that one is on the rocks as well.
Things should become much clearer on Monday.