I’ve mentioned previously that Arsenal fans won’t know who we’ve signed (generally) until it actually happens. Who knew Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud were going to join last summer? And we knew about Lukas Podolski early but once the deal was virtually done.
So that’s one reason why the recent rumours of Rooney, Fellaini at al won’t come to fruition. If we were going to get them it would have been signed, sealed and delivered a long time ago. Arsenal are generally well know for their high level of secrecy when it comes to transfers so the first we would have heard of it would have been once they had officially joined.
Another reason is that we know newspapers, agents and other related sources simply put out these rumours to engineer a move away from their clubs. There’s no doubt Rooney, Fellaini, Higuain and Jovetic are trying to make sure that they won’t be playing at their current clubs next season, but it won’t be for us either. Linking them to Arsenal is an easy story (especially with their new found “war chest”) and this is all designed to put all of the other clubs on alert that they are available for a price. It would be predictable to see 2 or 3 of the aforementioned players to join Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea or any other big clubs with money to spend.
Then we have the issue of our wage structure.
Theo Walcott was famously made our highest paid player as recently as January, after signing a new deal worth £100,000 per week. Our two best players that have departed over the last few seasons were Cesc Fabregas (who was reported to be on £80,000 per week and then £110,000 a week) and Robin van Persie, who was apparently on £90,000 per week.
Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and even Totteham Hotspur are paying more on individual player salaries per week. Despite the claims from Ivan Gazidis that we are capable of paying wages of over £200,000 per week, it is hugely unlikely we will do that with Arsene in charge. His philosophy is to reward young players with improved deals and bringing someone in on £200,000 a week (double what Theo is on) would, to Arsene anyway, cause problems in the dressing room.
Then we have our “appeal” to players.
It would be fair to say that of the 4 clubs in the Premier League playing in the Champions League next season (if we qualify) we are the least likely to win any honours, and (as mentioned) we have our wage structure.
In a modern game where money and trophies are king, we are distinctly second best.
Chelsea under Ranieri and Manchester City under Mancini show that players are willing to join a club that aren’t favourites to win the major trophies but happy to pocket obscene amounts of money in their weekly pay packet. Last season the Manchester City players couldn’t care less about winning anything, hence why they were so far behind Manchester United in the title race and lost to Wigan in the FA Cup final.
And finally, the biggest reason why these players won’t join Arsenal.
When it comes to the transfer market, Arsenal are notoriously tight-fisted when it comes to negotiating deals and “attempting” to buy players. This, coupled with the fact that once these failed bids become public (and other teams know we’re after specific players) then we don’t just lose out on the player, they end up joining one of our rivals.
We all remember the “derisory” bid we put in for Gary Cahill only 2 summers ago. We offered £6 million, Bolton publicly turned it down (as well as call us out in the process) and he ended up joining Chelsea for wait for it… £7 million. Granted it was in the January Transfer Window but you can’t deny that one or two more million on the £6 million we refused to increase our bid on wouldn’t have secured his signature?
Then we had a bid turned down by Valencia for Juan Mata, only for Chelsea to yet again purchase a player we were interested in.
We also had a bid rejected for Phil Jagielka by cash-strapped Everton in 2011 as well.
There are reports that we are unwilling to increase a bid for Fellaini (although I don’t believe we’re actually in for him anyway) and regardless of whether it is true or not, it’s clear that another big club (that will have more money than us) will come along and sign him up.
We are far too indecisive in the transfer market to bring one of these big name players. We are given a multitude of reasons why these deals are taking their time (with Rooney, Fellaini and Higuain in particular) but the fact of the matter is it’s taking time because they’re not coming.
Arsenal aren’t stupid – they know what the players are worth and how much the selling club want. If we really wanted these players we would have paid the asking price (or negotiated and agreed a fee in private) and had the deals done and dusted. But it seems we’re haggling over a few million, playing hardball and are destined to miss out on them once again (that’s even if we are in for them in the first place).