Dixon and I talked this morning about Franc Ribery (that Gary Neville lookalike) going to Arsenal – in fact while the media has been hyping Lyon’s and Manchester United’s interest in the winger Dixon told me that Arsenal had been after the young French international for quite some while.
This morning the media reported Arsenal’s interest as well – a few days after Lyon had been told impolitely to F— off by Olympique Marseille and Manchester United’s bid of 9 million was rejected. OM are asking for 25 mil, knowing fully well that Ribery wants to leave for a bigger club. It’s a play to get the maximum cash out of the suitors, although where Ribery decides to go will eventually decide what OM get paid. The newsies have Lyon at the front of the pack, but that is only because of the Lyon president telling everyone that Ribery wants to come to Lyon. I think that Henry could be a big factor, but the asking price could prove to be a problem. If Arsenal cannot pay up or if Ribery decides against them then he is probably deciding against United as well, in which case Lyon get the talented winger.
Manchester United’s interest in the player looks strange – they need two central midfielders but they are going after a winger (alebit a hugely talented one). Unless they plan to sell off Park or Ronaldo (Giggs and Richardson aren’t going anywhere), they already have 4 very good wingers in the team. Then again United’s move have been strange all season, so I won’t be surprised if we splashed 15 million for this kid and then brought in someone like Carrick or Nolan for another 10 million (something we should have done by now).
Uefa.com’s article dated 2nd June talks a bit more about Ribery and his path to France’s World Cup squad.
When push comes to shove, where would Ribery go? With Lyon, a French club? Manchester United, possibly the most illustrious club of the trio (while Arsenal’s recent romp to the Champions League final will blind some, the fact is that their record remains appalling in it and despite United’s recent slump, they can be counted on to bounce back much stronger next year – the same cannot be said for Arsenal, at least in the Champions League)?
Or will he go to Arsenal, where his new best mate Henry is?
I talked earlier about Henry being the reason Theo Walcott came to Arsenal – will Ribery do a Walcott?
Source: Arsenal join rush for Ribery