Untold Arsenal is down once again, following another attack, so here’s the story I was going to run this morning…
The latest gossip is that PSG and Monaco are trying to sign Laurent Koscielny and Arsenal are “desperate” to keep him and want to give him a new contract at double the salary.
And of course being PSG and Monaco, they are both also looking at Chelsea’s David Luiz, and money is no object, and anything Arsenal will pay they will pay more of.
Except… all of the reports are written in the normal breathless style that the media has perfected in the last few years, a style that allows anti-Arsenal blogs to cut and paste at will. There is a supposed quote (but no source) from Koscielny, suggesting he will leave, “I want to lift trophies and to have a winning record. I hope the club will give me the means. If this weren’t the case, I’d look elsewhere. I want to win titles and I hope the club have the means.
“I feel good at Arsenal and if the club can compete with the best, I have no reason to leave. But if it fights every year for Champions League qualification it’s hard psychologically to be under such constant pressure.”
And the other worries. “With Vermaelen’s future in the balance – his contract expires in 2015”
And in the Telegraph the bit that the blogs will all ignore: “During his first season in England, Koscielny attracted a lot of criticism for a series of uncertain performances and errors.”
And the fact that this is not the only “problem” for Arsenal: “Sagna has been the subject of interest from Manchester City …” and he’s out of contract.
All good cut and paste, but it ignores the background story – that Man City, PSG and Monaco may not be able to sign anyone. Indeed the Monaco situation is further complicated by their dispute with the French League over their tax situation. But with average crowds of below 10,000 there is no way they have an income to match their salaries.
Come to that, nor do PSG and nor do Man City.
The fact is that if Uefa do hold their nerve and the CAS arbitration panel don’t kow-tow to the money men, then it is not just Man City and PSG in particular who will suffer, but with those two, and Monaco and Barcelona all out of the transfer market, the whole nature of the summer transfer situation will be quite different from anything that we have seen for a few years.
Now of course it is a fact that no one knows quite what will happen next week, but there is a possibility that Uefa will back out. If it does then there is also a possibility that clubs like Arsenal that have worked to keep their finances in order will have a back-up plan of action.
I’ve no idea what such a response might be, but it would seem extraordinary if, after so many years of doing things properly they would not react strongly to the kick in the teeth that a feeble response from Uefa would be.
Hopefully Untold will be back soon, we’re working on it.