With the international break upon us and Arsenal not set to return to our screens for another two weeks, it gives us a chance to catch up on some of the news and rumours that are focused away from our busy club schedule.
One topic of interest is the transfer speculation that continues to surround the club in the papers and whilst there isn’t often anything worth noting down, I think a story that has arose these last few days may be of particular interest to many Gooners.
One of the problems Arsenal fans have with Arsene Wenger and Arsenal is the fact that despite having plenty of funds available to improve the team, we are consistently on the backfoot when it comes to transfers. It’s largely because Wenger and co do not wish to be drawn into this new era of ‘money rules all’ in football, and personally I do have respect for that. However unfortunately if we want to keep with the times and continue to challenge, it’s important we stay at the very least level with our league rivals. Wenger gave the fans late bliss this summer with the signings of Lucas and Mustafi in the final few days of the summer transfer window, as well as the earlier purchase of Xhaka, but could there have been one other name that had a chance of joining the Gunners?
All throughout the summer there was a strong interest in a number of strikers, with Wenger supposedly making offers for Vardy, Morata and Lacazette just to name a few. However perhaps our biggest bid, that was scarcely reported, was a record breaking bid for Borussia Dortmund front man, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang.
According to Italian agent Vincenzo Morabito, Arsenal did make a bid for the Gabon superstar, but Dortmund were not interested in talking for any price offered.
Morabito told Italian station, Radio CRC: “Sometime ago, I called Michael Zorc, Dortmund’s director of football, to talk about Aubameyang [on behalf of Napoli]. But the ‘no’ was absolutely categorical. I know that this summer, Arsenal offered €90m (£80m) for Aubameyang, but Borussia didn’t want to hear anything about it.”
Now personally given the fact there was little reported about this at the time, I struggle to believe such a record breaking bid was made. However, the reported interest was in the papers at the time and it was previously mentioned after the window closed that Arsenal did indeed hold an interest in Aubameyang. I also don’t see any reason for why it would be worth making such news up, given that the agent was working on behalf of Napoli, rather than the Gunners.
Whether Wenger would be willing to spend such a high amount of money remains to be seen, however it wouldn’t be completely unheard of given that he has said in the past that he is happy to spend whatever it takes if he feels it’s the right price for the right player needed at Arsenal. Now Aubameyang would definitely be a player much needed and appreciated at Arsenal, but I don’t think there’s anything justifiable about spending in the excess of €90 million. It’s not a price that isn’t completely unheard of in today’s market, but it’s not a price that Arsenal are ever going to willingly pay. Or would they?
Anyway in hindsight, Alexis and Giroud seem to be coping without a need for Aubameyang, for the time being at least anyway. But I can’t help thinking how much better we would be if that deal actually happened…