Arsenal Pass on Vertonghen; Hesitate on M’Vila

Posted: May 10, 2012 in Arsenal FC
Tags: , , , , , ,

See what I did there? I took the circumstances of these stories and instead of being anti Arsenal, as most of the “professional” media tend to be(in my estimation anyway), I decided to see how the headline would look from a pro Arsenal view. Funny how easily perception shifts and you feel better about the stories with only a few changes in the wordage.

Now to the stories themselves.


The Ajax captain did not want for suitors, he had several clubs chasing him. One of those clubs was Arsenal. He dropped many hints that first, the EPL would be his likely landing spot, eliminating various Italian clubs and Barcelona. Then he was quoted touting his admiration for the Gunners. Everything looked good and there was a clear possibility that he might land at the Emirates. Somewhere along the line, the deal took a turn and it seems Arsenal pulled out of the race, not Vertonghen deciding he was not going to play for the Gunners. The sticking point, finally came out the other day when the man player spoke and it was understood that his main concern would be playing time. Something we all know Arsene does not guarantee. So in essence, there was an interested team, an interested player, and a club resigned to losing that player. The transfer fee was manageable and the player of high enough quality. Good all around, until the issue of playing time arose and there is where everything broke down. Now you have the player singing his admiration for Spurs and their history, that’s a laugh. Hazard part deux anyone? For me that is a pass by the club, not a rejection by the player.

It’s all in how you spin it isn’t it?


There are many news agency that came out over the last few days stating that Arsenal were set to sign the talented midfielder. The French press in particular seemed to think the deal was all but done. The news made the rounds and all Gooners, including this one, rejoiced. Then came a single report, from one lone voice saying the deal was a rouse by the player’s agent to facilitate a bid from Italian giants Inter and that Arsenal were indeed not interested in the player, recently put off by his arrest. Now, I have a huge problem with all of this and I will tell you why.

Quick Background

Arsenal have scouted M’Vila for the better part of 18 months. There was a bid rejected last summer as Rennes tried to keep the player on a long-term basis, a plan that failed to materialize. Now realizing that they have a player with eyes elsewhere and will lose him in the future on a free if they don’t sell, they are open to a deal, but there are limited parties willing to pay what he is worth and have a need at that position. Add to this that M’Vila himself has said he considers it a priority to play for a French coach and has on numerous occasions touted Arsenal as one of his desired destinations, although he did also mention Madrid and Inter as two other clubs that interest him. But in essence, the club likes and wants the player, and the player in turn is open to a move.

Recent Issues

M’Vila was arrested last week after slapping a teenager. Some say it was his sister’s boyfriend that had somehow disrespected her, some say it was a trusted friend of M’Vila that had violated his trust. Whatever the story, it certainly is not the greatest of situations for a player on the move. This arrest is also just the latest off the field issue with the player, as he had previously been involved in a sordid story having been robbed by a prostitute. Now I am not going to judge him on either, but these are clearly issues that could well lead to hesitation by ANY club to proceed with this signing. As we all know how Arsene does not like that type of controversy, I could see a situation where this could be a case of slight hesitation by Arsenal.

Reported Deal – Reported Disinterest

The reports out of France came from Julien Laurens, a reporter with ties with many French clubs, agents and players. He stated that the deal was all but done, the exact quote being; “Very busy yesterday working on M’Vila story. 22 million euros [£17.7m], 4 years. Great signing for Arsenal and player is delighted.” The other catch seemed to be that the deal may have been dependant on the Gunners securing a CL spot, but that the player may sign anyway without it. Gunners everywhere toasted as Arsenal apparently had captured a much-needed piece of the puzzle to get back into contention, but then came another story.

A day later, a reporter from the London Evening Standard, James Olley stated that the deal had fallen through on both ends. He claimed that Arsenal were no longer interested in the player due to his recent arrest and that the news of the impending deal came from the players camp to get Inter to pony up an offer. This coming from a reporter that just last year proceeded with a story claiming the Gunners had signed G. Cahill from Bolton when the Gunners where looking to shore up their defense.


We all understand that journalists sometimes get it wrong, they are privy to what their contacts tell them and not to the actual goings on inside the club. We must all read between the lines and see the reality of the situation based on prior situations and the modus operandi of that particular club. So what do I think happened or IS happening?

I believe the club want the player, and in turn that the player wants the move to the Emirates. I also know that Madrid, based on people I have talked to, have little interest in signing M’Vila based on their needs for a right back and trying to shore up their leaky defense, so that leaves Arsenal and Inter. Inter have had a lackluster season and have little to play with financially unless they move some pieces themselves; so that in essence puts Arsenal in the driver’s seat for this deal. You then have to look at M’Vila’s recent arrest and the obvious NEED Rennes have to move the player or otherwise risk keeping him as he is openly seeking a move elsewhere and then possibly losing him on a free later; a situation that is neither good for club or player alike, ie Cesc/Nasri. All of this taken into account I believe that a deal is all but done, that Arsenal are using the arrest and the power they have due to all of the factors mentioned to spend less money to secure the deal. It is Arsene transfer policy 101. I believe the club is trying to complete the deal with lower transfer fee and that eventually the sides will agree. I also believe that the club could well be denying interest and saying they’ll look elsewhere, to help reinforce their already powerful position. Their could also be a situation where the info was leaked by M’Vila’s camp to draw up some attention from Inter, or another suitor, to force Arsenal’s hand. Whatever the case may be, we will never actually know the truth. To me that truth, lies somewhere in the middle of the many reports, the two reports mentioned in particular.

After all the years of reading rumours, seeing how Arsenal deal with transfers and how the eventual transfers happen, I do see M’Vila signing, sometime in August, after another prolonged series of events. Or he could well not sign and we find out that Arsene overplayed his hand and Inter(or another club) come in and pip the deal, and make out like bandits on player and transfer fee alike, one can never discount that outcome.

In the end with both situations, Vertonghen and M’Vila, we will never know what really happened, and we are all at the mercy of the media to tell us THEIR version of events. If we read between the lines though, it is easy to see that the truth is not always as simple as black and white, bias plays a big role when it comes to these journalists reporting “the truth” or as I like to say, their version of reality.

Let’s hope Arsenal land one of these two yeah, (M’Vila, please for the love of God!!!)? Come on you Gunners!


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