Crank, crank, crank – the rumours are creaking into action.
And the award for the first denial of the close season goes to Arsene Wenger, who has come out today to quash speculation that Cesc will be off to Espana. The boss says he’s not for sale, basically: “Fabregas is not for sale,” he said, “future of Arsenal, major part of plans, etc etc”.
That’s the end of that then – hmmm.
Look – on the one hand it’s nice to have players that other big sides covet, but that doesn’t make it any less tiresome when these rumours kick off, clockwork-style the same time each year. Vieira, Henry, Cole, Fabregas – it’s a circus. And being the player that he is, coupled with his frank admission that one day in his career he would like to go back to Spain [a fair comment if you ask me], then it looks like we’ll get ‘Fabregas to XYZ FC’ every summer until the summer that he finally goes. We’ll just have to tough it out.
Elsewhere, the Saviola rumours have not gone away, and nor have those surrounding the Baggies’ Davies. Saviola is priced at a reasonable Â£4m, while Davies’s price seems to be going up disturbingly fast. Whoever signs him – if he goes anywhere that is – will be paying approximately double or triple what WBA paid for him a year ago, which is a bit galling. If there’s one thing Wenger rarely seems to do, it’s take a punt on English lower-league players (Walcott being an exception). Perhaps it’s something we should actively pursue – promising players can be plucked from the Championship for around Â£1-Â£5m, which isn’t an awful lot of cash, and if it doesn’t work out, then what have you lost? Not a bank-breaking amount of cash. And by doing that, you’re less likely to need to come in for these players a year or so after they have come good for two or three times the price.
And of course, there’s the boring Ashley Cole story. He may drop his legal case to smooth his move to the Russians. On and on this story goes, and I don’t mind telling you it’s boring me witless.
There’s a Reuters report here
about Arsenals’ refinancing of the loan – most of which may as well be written in Mandarin, so little do I understand of it – but there is one interesting snippet that might answer a question I once posed.
It says “Arsenal’s fan base significantly exceeds its new stadium capacity of 60,095”.
Now – I always wondered whether, in order to hit the magical 60,000 capacity, Arsenal wouldn’t add a few hundred seats in to make it easier. Could this be what they’ve done, if the above capacity is correct?