Despite the lack of club football, there’s still a little bit going on around the Arsenal Football Club at the moment.
Kicking things off with a little bit of transfer news and Dynamo Zagreb and Croatian international midfielder Luca Modric, who was previously thought to be a target of Arsenal, has stated his intent to play in the English Premiership.
“I’d love to play in the Premiership. I’d like things to happen soon and it’s possible maybe even this winter. I don’t have a preference for a club. There are a few big clubs in England where I would love to play.”
There were huge rumours circulating just after Arsene Wenger signed Eduardo da Silva that he would be following up by bringing Modric to Arsenal as well. However, these never eventuated and although Modric is unquestionably a fine player, I can’t see them eventuating now either. There a couple of reasons for this; the first being that he is too similar to both Tomas Rosicky and Alexander Hleb in terms of his favoured position and style of play, and the second being that he is reportedly valued at £30million. When you consider that Chelsea paid £24million for Didier Drogba it really is a ludicrous amount of money to spend on a player who only has experience in the Croatian First Division.
A player who may be more within Wenger’s usual price-range is on-loan Villareal defender Martin Caceres. The 19-year-old Uruguayan defender, who is currently on-loan with Recreativo and has been likened to former Uruguayan legend Paolo Montero by the ex-Juventus man himself, surprisingly claimed that Arsenal as well as Real Madrid and Juventus are after his services.
“At the moment I’m only thinking about Recreativo, but Arsenal, Real Madrid and Juventus are interested in me.”
These is a pretty massive claim for a player at such a small club to make and it seems like nothing more than a load of bollocks to me. If Arsene Wenger really was looking into the player then it wouldn’t be made public knowledge. Arsenal’s manager is a man who likes to work using stealth and in a competitive and overpriced marketplace the worse thing you can do as a prospective Wenger signing is start alerting other clubs that interest is being shown in you. We’ll probably hear soon that he’s worth £28 million and Manchester United and Chelsea are after him as well. You have to love football news sometime.
Wenger’s Ivory Coast frustrations are wrong
Although Wenger has not said a word about either Modric or Caceres, he was quite vocal today about the Ivory Coast’s football management’s inflexibility over when international players from that country can be released for African Cup of Nations (ACN) duty. Wenger, who will lose defender Kolo Toure and right-midfielder Emmanuel Eboue to international duty, commented that he would not be approaching the Ivory Coast football management in an attempt to extend the two players stay with their club before the tournament.
“Before the last tournament we tried to negotiate a later release date with the Ivory Coast, but we had no success so we won’t try this time. I count them out from about 5th January until approximately the middle of February.”
Now I love Wenger but, as a couple of other Arsenal blogs have pointed out, this is simply a case of the French manager wanting his cake and eating it too (whatever that really means). He knew about this long before the season started – that is why Johan Djourou was sent on loan to Birmingham and part of the reason why Bacary Sagna was bought to the club – and his comment is nothing but a cheap and unnecessary dig at the Ivory Coast management. They have every right to have their players for the maximum amount of time in an attempt to get the best possible result they can achieve at the tournament and Arsenal and Wenger will just have to do without.
As I just mentioned, Djourou will be returning from his loan spell and should slot in for Toure while Eboue’s spot in the team can be filled by Theo Walcott, Alexander Hleb or even Lassana Diarra. Arsenal will be hit nowhere near as hard as Chelsea will be (imagine losing Didier Drogba, Jon Obi Mikel, Michael Essien and Solomon Kalou – ouch) and with Emmanuel Adeabayor surprisingly being made available should cope reasonably well.
That’s about it for the today. There was a little bit of news from yesterday that Mathieu Flamini may have been injured on international duty with France but as nothing has been confirmed it’s not really worth writing about at this stage. If more news pops up on this issue in the near future you’ll be the first to know. Have a good one.
What do you think?
Have your say on the unlikely signings or the ACN by leaving a comment.