Will it ever be possible to bypass the vitriol and bias between Arsenal and Chelsea, and actually get something honest out of the two clubs about where they stand on Ashley Cole?
The Ashley Cole saga is closer to its end than anyone realises – both Arsenal and Chelsea are eager to make the move happen, and reason suggests that if Chelsea are offering the 19 mil as it has been mentioned in the press, Arsenal would accept that.
The hang-up then, is not over the transfer fee – after several weeks of putting on a show, I’m certain that Arsenal nd Chelsea have thrashed out a deal, especially after the way Ashley Cole has behaved since coming back from the World Cup.
No club wants to keep an unhappy player – the spat is bad for morale, bad for team spirit and ultimately, bad business.
The rumoured obstacle in the deal is Ashley Cole, and his demands. To be precise, the problem is two-fold – Ashley Cole wants to be paid a loyalty bonus (something he reportedly gave up when he signed his contract extension last year in exchange for the agreement that he would be allowed to leave this season) and he wants the clubs (Arsenal or Chelsea) to pay his agent’s commission.
More fodder for Cole-haters? It fits in with what we’ve seen unfold over the summer, and from before as well. But this is just a rumour.
And if it is to be believed, then Arsene Wenger IS blowing smoke when he says that he hasn’t rejected any offers – to the contrary, the two clubs are near an agreement and it should be sorted out by the end of this week.
The advantage of dealing with a club with so much money is that if you can frustrate them long enough, the owner is bound to come out sooner or later and pay the extra couple of millions to push the deal through. The fact that Roman did not do it this time suggests that he’s become aware of the problems caused by such actions – although from where I stand it shouldn’t matter squat: if you have to money and you can afford to pay 5 mil extra, do it and get on with it.
Business sense suggests that Chelsea can afford to wait and keep pushing Arsenal to lower their demands. However if it is Ashley Cole and his outrageous demands that is the problem, Roman may be tempted to intervene, just one last time, to make sure he has the players to help Chelsea win the Champions League.