I’m sorry to say Untold Arsenal is down at the moment – we are working on it. But in the meantime here is a story that we would have published on that site had we been able to get onto it.
The story is that Arsenal are looking to buy James Milner from FFP-challenged Man City.
Now Man City might not want to keep Milner normally, given the way they bring in and let go players. But Milner brings a very special benefit to Man City.
If you are a regular reader of Untold (which is on www.untold-arsenal.com when it is running) you will know that next season Man City can only list 21 players for their Champions League matches.
That’s no problem, said Man City, we only listed 23 last time. Except that eight of these players have to be home-grown. Milner and Joe Hart are home grown. So is Gael Clichy because Arsenal brought him to England early, if you recall.
Lots of other players are home-grown, but they are players that have intimated that they would like to leave, because they don’t get games. “Ah” say Man City, “you will next season because of FFP.”
But the players know that might be just six games, maybe eight, with their reduced squad, and they really fancy a bit more.
So with others threatening to leave and English players being at a premium Man City will be offering ££££££ to Milner – but other parts of the FFP restrictions on Man City mean they have to keep their salaries down too. It is all a bit of a problem – even though they keep saying it isn’t.
The word down the pub (ie from journalists) is that “the lad” (all players are “the lad” down the pub) wants to go. Liverpool or Arsenal, he doesn’t seem to mind. Besides which if they won’t let him go, he will be on a free in 12 months time when his contract ends.
No problem normally because Man City are owned by a country that can spend anything, and they can afford to buy anyone, but under that pesky FFP business, well…
Arsenal will try a low offer first, (50p maybe) just to annoy Man C, but will up it, and will probably suggest to Milner that he can replace Arteta and play a sort of central midfield role behind the three attacking midfielders.
As for Liverpool, they have no FFP this year, but they must make a profit not just in the current financial year, but the next as well, to ensure they don’t get FFP’d as well, and that means keeping salaries and transfers down. The cost of Milner might not worry them, but the high salary would, unless they sell Suarez. Whatever they do, we can expect more lies, following the way the owner handled the bid from Arsenal for Suarez.
Meanwhile Man City act like nothing is wrong – which is what all their publicity says. So they look to bring in Fernando, Sagna, Eliaquim Mangala… without even thinking about passports, FFP, money… that’s just the way they do it.
Time will tell, but at least when we want a player we can bid for him, irrespective of what they say in Europe.
PS: Please do keep checking Untold – we really are trying to overcome the latest problem.