A quick update on yesterday’s news:
Newcastle United have agreed a 10 mil fee (reported by Sky Sports) for Obafemi Martins with Inter Milan, and now only personal terms are left to settle. Newcastle will be hoping that Martins can be brought in as early as possible, although the player will definitely miss Newcastle’s UEFA Cup qualifying game on Thursday. Assuming he’s brought in by the weekend though, Martins could start for Newcastle against Villa on Monday.
Also, Newcastle have sold off Boumsong to Juventus for 4.8 mil.
Newcastle still need another striker even if they sign Martins although they have just 9 days left to wrap up the Martins deal and look for other players.
Mahamdou Diarra has finally completed his move from Lyon to Real Madrid in a deal worth 17.6 mil. That sum is LESS than the maximum Manchester United are expected to pay for Michael Carrick and also less than the price Lyon had quoted before the World Cup (20 mil). It was Diarra’s desire to move to Real Madrid that clinched the deal for them, and this transfer brings the Madrid signings to 4 (Ruud, Diarra, Emerson, Cannavaro) and allows Capello to create a strong central midfield partnership between Diarra and Emerson.
Madrid are also expected to talk to AC Milan over Ronaldo’s status, with Milan reportedly interested in the Brazilian striker. Calderon has said that:
“We don’t want to get rid of him, but we are prepared to negotiate. If Ronaldo wants to leave then we’ll have to look for a solution. We don’t want money, we want something else (Kaka).”
It is doubtful that Milan will let Kaka go, but it should be an interesting last week for transfers.
After confirming that he had made a 5 mil offer to Chelsea for Gallas (how he kept a straight face while doing so is beyond me), Wenger has now said that he won’t be able to offer Gallas the sort of wages he expects, or has even been offered, at Chelsea.
Wenger on Gallas:
“We have not spoken to the player yet. You need to agree personal terms. We have a salary cap here and he comes from a club where there is no salary cap. So I don’t know if it’s possible to agree personal terms, and if it’s possible to agree with Chelsea. If he comes here, frankly, he will have to come for less money.”
Gallas has been offered a 70K per week contract although he is now holding out for a contract similar to the ones offered to the top earners at Chelsea, with the reasoning that he is one of the best players and also one of the longest-standing Chelsea players in the squad. At Arsenal, Gallas would probably have to be content with a similar contract to what he has now.
Apart from pissing Chelsea off, Arsenal’s transfer bid will also prove whether Gallas is in it only for the money or for a chance to play football and be respected. Chelsea’s decision to banish him to the reserves is spiteful and serves no purpose, although Chelsea would rather sell Gallas abroad than help their London rivals shore up their defence.
On Reyes, Wenger has said that if Madrid don’t come back with a better deal (which they seem unlikely to do) Arsenal will not be negotiating with them.
For all my dislike of Arsenal, I must say that the club has played the Cole and Reyes transfer sagas quite intelligently. They are in an extremely difficult position with two quality players wanting to leave. And in Reyes’ case at least Arsenal can just sit back and block the transfer knowing that the player’s value will not fall as he still has several years on his contract. With Cole though, Arsenal have less leverage (although Chelsea’s internal spat with Gallas has increased their need to bring in Cole).
Arsenal know that eventually both players will leave. It will do them no good to force Reyes to stay – his constant connections with Madrid and repeated revelations to the media of his desire to return to Spain do not help the club. Arsenal can only hope to wring the most money out of the deals, which they are doing now. Not that the money will help them win the Premiership though 🙂