I’ll Believe It When I See It! By Dan Smith
It’s hard being an Arsenal fan. Where other supporters can enjoy the fun of transfer rumours, we never get excited.
Be honest, how many of you when reading that our club have asked to speak to Philippe Coutinho’s agent said out loud: ‘I’ll believe it when I see it?’
That’s how we been conditioned by Stan Kroenke, and why would the American who never showed ambition before now go that extra mile in the middle of a Pandemic? When he doesn’t know if match day revenue will exist next season, or if it will be delayed by a spike in how many catch the virus.
A month ago, he’s asking the squad to take a pay cut. What for? To pay someone else’s wages? I can’t see that going down well, can you?
Arteta apparently views the Brazilian as a dream signing, but that doesn’t mean it will happen. Messi could be a target if you’re simply talking out loud, but unless you put cash on the table talk is cheap.
What we mean by meeting the players representatives is to find out if there could be a way to do a deal on the cheap? A little bit like how we afforded Pepe. Lile were so happy to get such a sum they were happy to accept a lengthy instalment plan.
It’s hard to predict what the game’s finances will be like this summer, but Barcelona won’t be able to charge 105 million anymore. They will look at a player they loaned out to Bayern Munich as a quick way to raise funds. Yet even then, how much money do we have to take advantage?
Of course, this could be yearly saga to sell merchandise. Make your customers think you are buying a world class player, haggle over the price for the whole window so you sell out all of your shirts. Then on deadline day say, ‘well we tried’, as he ends up at Chelsea who negotiated everything in two days.
Isn’t that what we do every 12 months? Crystal Palace valued Zaha at 80 million. Our opening bid? 40 million. The Eagles then told anyone who would listen they were not budging on their asking price.
Our 2nd bid? 45 million. That’s not being interested. Anyone can bid half the valuation and say they tried. We did the same with Suarez and Higuain.
So, if we are consulting the midfielder’s people, it will see if there is an outside chance of him taking a wage cut, and preferably if he could go back to Spain and push for a loan move. If we get an email from those at the Nou Camp, we cheekily have to ask for discount or try to land a payment plan.
The Catalans know they can’t ask for the sum they would have been hoping for as recently as Feb. They were likely basing their shopping list on this transaction. The player himself (like all of his peers) will have to decide whether to stay where you are unwanted knowing you won’t get that income elsewhere, or take a smaller pay slip for the sake of playing football?
That’s why he (like us) might like the sound of a loan. Barca’s hope is there will be a bidding war.
Emery has gone on record saying he didn’t get his first-choice target when he was boss, so common sense would say Arteta wouldn’t, a year later, get his way for a more expensive player in the middle of a world-wide crisis?
I want to be wrong, but I’ll believe it when I see it.