After one of the most horrific (you could also insert heinous, unsightly, abject, horrid, terrible, and so on and so on) defensive displays ever seen in the history of Arsenal Football Club, it would seem almost unfathomable that the
Arsenal After Brazilian Duo?
Sunday’s debacle at Old Trafford was, among other things, an example of what can happen when you don’t have adequate depth and experience to deal with injuries and suspensions, but it appears Arsene Wenger is taking steps to be much more prepared next time he’s dealing with such adversity.
Reports this evening say that Arsenal have agreed a fee of £6.2m (€7m) with Fenerbahce for left back Andre Santos, who could be set for a medical tomorrow. The 28-year-old Santos, who’s been capped by Brazil 22 times, has spent the last two seasons at Fenerbahce after moving from Corinthians in a €9m deal.
He may not be the only Brazilian addition to Arsenal’s defense, as reports are also linking them with a move for Chelsea defender Alex, though their valuation is reportedly £3m short of Chelsea’s £10m asking price.
The Gunners might well have a trio of names to add to their list of transfers, as they are also being linked with another Chelsea man in Yossi Benayoun, who’s almost certainly on his way out of Stamford Bridge.
It’s not all ins at the Emirates though, as Armand Traore is near a move to QPR after having, well, a horrible time of it at Old Trafford. So horrible, in fact, that it led retired goal machine Tony Cascarino to running afoul of the PC police. Oops…
Newcastle Near Santon Swoop?
The Gunners aren’t the only Premier League side looking to bolster the back line, as the agent of Inter Milan defender Davide Santon reported that his client was in talks over a move to Newcastle.
It looked like Santon was on the fast track to stardom after making his senior debut for the club in January 2009 and starting for much of the remainder of that season, then making his senior debut for Italy that June. However, he hasn’t built off of that success, playing only sparingly over the last couple of seasons.
Considering where he was just a couple of years ago and that he’s still only 20, this could prove to be a great deal for Newcastle if he’s able to settle well and nail down a regular place. It might seem like a mighty drop from where he was not all that long ago, but Newcastle’s been a good spot for rebuilding careers, and it could be the same for Santon, who’s still got time well on his side.
Forlan Swaps Madrid For Milan
After a highly successful seven seasons in La Liga, Diego Forlan will now be plying his trade in Serie A. The former Manchester United man is leaving Atletico Madrid to replace the recently-departed Samuel Eto’o in Inter Milan’s front line.
Reports indicate that the deal is worth €5m, with the 32-year-old penning a two-year contract with his new club. Forlan spent the last four seasons at Atletico, averaging nearly a goal every other game, and in the 2010 World Cup, he won the Golden Ball and was joint-top scorer, with his five goals helping lead Uruguay to a surprising third-place finish.
He wasn’t able to build off of his great World Cup performance, however, as he’s coming off of a sub-par final season with Atletico in which he scored only 10 goals in more than 40 appearances. But he should be revitalized by the fresh start, and even though he’s on the back end of his career, he still has plenty of goals left in him, so this should prove to be a relatively small investment that pays big dividends for Inter. One of the bargain Serie A transfers of the summer? If he rediscovers his pre-2010/11 form, it will be.
And In Other News…
– Tottenham are still trying to iron out a deal for West Ham’s Scott Parker, but they’re also supposedly after free agent midfielder Owen Hargreaves. Surprising? Sure, but if he’s fit and can stay that way, he could provide a lot for Spurs.
– After selling Joel Campbell to Arsenal earlier this month, Costa Rican side Deportivo Saprissa could sell another highly-rated youngster to a top European side, as Barcelona have made an offer for young striker John Jairo Ruiz, according to his agent.
– Blackburn are now in the driver’s seat for Birmingham defender Scott Dann, who’s been linked with Arsenal and Liverpool this summer.
– Also in Blackburn news, they’ve decided against a move for Hoffenheim striker Vedad Ibisevic, which could see them step up their attempts to beat Celtic to AIK’s Mohamed Bangura.
– Aston Villa have loaned midfielder Jean Makoun to Olympiakos.
– And last but not least, it would appear that two people we won’t see going anywhere over the next couple of days are Kaka and Eden Hazard, as both have made statements that they’re staying where they are.