Perhaps you'll recall the Guardian story from yesterday which we shared, alleging that Spanish midfielder Santi Cazorla had agreed terms with Arsenal and that the club was in negotiations with Malaga over his transfer. That was nice, but there was a big section in the middle that went unmentioned because it deserves more attention.
According to the reporting of Sid Lowe and David Hytner, there have been some new developments in the Robin van Persie Tour of International Disgrace. As we already know, three clubs have officially bid on the Dutchman: Manchester City, Manchester United, and Juventus. As we also know, those bids were awful, as one would expect after the stunt van Persie pulled. Arsenal rejected all three, and evidently new bids have come in. The club plans to hold out for at least £20m, and Juventus have indicated their willingness to pay something much closer to that than their initial bid, alleged to have been around £7m.
If true, this would likely mean a relatively early end to van Persie's transfer saga, and a fair amount of cash to be added on to Arsenal's kitty for further moves - meaning, among other things, that the club might be able to increase any Cazorla bid that may exist to entice Malaga to sell. Additionally, should Juve raise their bid to an acceptable level, that would allow arsenal to move the player out of England, and resist strengthening either of the two clubs that finished atop Arsenal in last year's Premier League.
More after the jump.
So far Arsenal's other almost-out-of-contract striker, Theo Walcott, has handled his situation with vastly more grace and skill than his Dutch teammate. According to Sky Sports (via the always-good Arseblog News), Theo says that he hasn't heard speculation on his future and is letting his agent handle ongoing contract negotiations with Arsenal. Said Walcott:
It was always going to be (a case of) hold back until the end of the Euros. We continue to talk and we’ll just see where it goes...I’m an honest guy. I like to get on with my job. I’ve got to work on pre-season, I don’t want any distractions. Like I say, my agent and the club will continue to talk and when there’s something to know I’ll get involved.
Certainly this is a cliche response to questions about a player's future, but after van Persie's website fiasco, "cliche" is something I welcome. It's good to know that the negotiations are ongoing, rather than dead in the water. Hopefully that will be finished sooner rather than later.
ITEM: Remember Nicklas Bendtner? The Greatest Striker That Ever Lived is at the center of his own transfer drama, though if van Persie's is Hamlet and Walcott's is Inception, then Bendtner's has to be Waterworld or The Postman (not a massive Costner fan, really). His agent says that TGSTEL is more than willing to just stay at Arsenal, as he's probably seen the writing on the wall in re: van Persie and recognizes that he'll have a shorter route to the pitch than last year. On the other hand, Jamie Sanderson reports that AC Milan have opened talks over Bendtner with Arsenal, after talks failed with Benfica and the aforementioned Malaga. If Milan offer the stated £7.5m, I have to think Wenger would accept, and with Zlatan Ibrahimovic out of Italy, one would think Bendtner would see an opportunity there. Lowe and Hytner say that the Dane is in talks with Galatasaray, so one way or the other, departure looks more likely than the alternative at the moment.