“So far the transfer market has been very quiet, much more so than expected.”
Not my words, no, but those of ArsÃ¨ne Wenger himself. It has been a quiet summer indeed, a veritable blogging drought.
The boss was speaking at Silverstone, where he made the admission that makes most of the papers this morning – and it’s not that he wants to be a formula one driver.
“We are in the transfer market where you have to let Chelsea make decisions first.”
It’s an outcome we have long suspected, and one which we can do nothing about. When a club is interested in a player, you have to hope that Chelski are not, otherwise that player (and his club) will bide their time and try to get the inevitable inflated salary/transfer fee.
Chelski are ripped off on every transfer they make, but they don’t give a monkey’s ringer as money, to them, is simply not a factor. When their owner recently â€“ a week or so ago â€“ received a dividend of Â£750m, you can see the scale of the problem. That could buy you Arsenal and still give you change for a couple of other Premier League clubs.
Wenger half admitted he’d like to sign Shaun Wright-Phillips, a rumour that has been in the papers for a while. What he’s suggesting is that he can’t do that until Chelski make their intentions clear.
It’s not as gloomy as all that though. One single club cannot simply hoover up all the best players in the world, as players will start to realise that they might not actually play that much if they move there. The optimist in me would like to think that for every player motivated by the biggest pay cheque (you know who you are), there are others for whom other factors â€“ team spirit, being happy, style of football â€“ are at least as important.
Talk of transfer is still happening in whispers; Baptiste is now reported to have decided to stay in Spain, while this summer’s Vieira PantomimeÂ© has yielded no further hard fact. Will he? Won’t he? Oh yes he will! Oh no he won’t! HE’S BEHIND YOU.
And apparently, Ashley Cole begins training today. Crash bang wallop!