Two days until the World Cup starts, and given that the tournament usually spells the end of any transfer action for a month, we have just enough time to assess the status of each of the current sagas.
blah blah…Xavi …blah blah… Barca DNA …blah blah… not for sale …blah blah… certain to sign …blah blah… tappy tappy …blah blah… desperate president making final plea …blah blah… sound of a door being slammed shut.
Nothing new here – Barcelona are still confident of signing our captain, we say he isn’t for sale, they claim we’re still in negotiations while blatantly tapping him up in public. This will not go away, but equally nothing will happen while the World Cup is on.
Chelsea have finally confirmed that Cole will leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the month. The player is rightly refusing to comment. The press are convinced we’re signing him, or that he’s off to Spurs, but every source I have is convinced he will join United, and I have no reason to doubt them.
One of those players who will be copy-pasted into every article I ever write about him has apparently been subject to an £8m bid from us. The Lorient defender is highly rated, but none of the stories surrounding him come with quotes from us, him, or his current club, which either means the rumour is garbage, or that we’ve finally found another club that likes to do business as quietly as we do. At least it beats seeing Hangeland tipped to join us every day.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see this one come off – he’s 24, which is about the right age for a centre back needing to step straight into the first team squad, we hadn’t heard of him before this summer, and we are in dire need of centre halves. There may be too much smoke for this one to be completely false.
At last, something concrete – Senderos’ long and sometimes painful career at Arsenal has come to an end, as the 25 year old has joined Fulham on a free transfer. I know I’m not alone in feeling a bit sad about this – Senderos was such a bright prospect in his early years, but some high profile mistakes and Wenger’s sometimes rough treatment of him (axing him for Gallas, ruthlessly ousting him for mistakes) made his departure inevitable.
I can’t help but feel Fulham have gotten a fantastic bargain here – Senderos was always at his best when playing regularly, and he’ll get that under the watchful eye of Roy Hodgson, a master at lifting the spirits of any player under his tutelage. Just 25, the Swiss’ best years are ahead of him, and it is a shame he will be spending them elsewhere. Much as I hope we don’t look back at what might have been, I genuinely wish him all the best – he deserves a bright few years, and it is hard to resentsuch a likeable club benefitting from the re-ignition of his career.
And that is about it. Look out for some World Cup features over the coming days – I make no apologies for loving the showpiece tournament as much as I passionately dislike international friendlies during the season. And besides, if I relied on Arsenal news over the next month, you might get a post once a week at best.