For Arsene Wenger, the extra revenues our stadium will bring cannot come soon enough, I suspect. The Times this morning reports that Chelski are ready to offer £18m to sign Shaun Wright-Phillips, a sum City may find hard to turn down, despite Ian Wright’s son being integral to their plans, not surprisingly. It reports that the Russian side would offer him something in the region of £50k a week. Neither the fee (just about) nor the salary (no problem) would be insurmountable hurdles for Arsenal, but you do suspect that if it came down to a straight fight, A) City would take the highest bid and B) That highest bid would be unlikely to come from us.
The same piece also ends with the news that the Chelski boss “will also step up his attempts to lure Ashley Cole, the Arsenal full back, to Stamford Bridge in the summer. The infamous “tapping-up” scandal has done little to quell Mourinho’s desire to sign Cole, although Wenger will fight tooth and nail to keep the player”.
We do have a good record of retaining players we really want to keep, who are still under contract, so you can be sure that if Cole does want to leave, but Arsenal want to keep him, Wenger would not make it an easy move. I also wonder whether we’d be prepared to sell him to the Russians at all, as it would serve a double whammy of strengthening them and simultaneously weakening us. Who was the last top-notch player we sold to a direct rival? Michael Thomas? Viv Anderson?
And for what feels like the first time this season, we have got almost our full squad available for Saturday, Edu and Clichy excepted. I’m for playing Campbell with Senderos at the back, Toure at right-back, and a midfield axis of Gilberto and Vieira.
Up at 5.45am on Saturday. Remind me whose idea this Cardiff business was?