RvP & the Striker Merry-Go-Round

Posted: May 22, 2012 in Arsenal FC
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

It’s only been a little over a week since the season has ended and already we have wild speculations where RvP will end up; City, Madrid, Juventus, Milan, Barcelona, Anzhi? Who knows, the possibilities are endless. One thing is for sure though, once one striker moves, the rest will fall into place rather quickly. Why? Because most clubs, unlike Arsenal, like to have their business done BEFORE pre-season starts not AFTER.

Let’s take a look at where each of these strikers could land.

Higuain

For me, this is the one that starts them all. Higuain is second fiddle to Benzema at Real Madrid. Benzema helps on defense, helps with distribution, moves all over the pitch and most of all, does not have the ego Higuain does and lets CR7 be the center of attack, often passing up on a shot to feed Ronaldo. Perez, Madrid’s president, considers Benza his personal project, Mou loves him as well, as do all the players. He is going nowhere and he is first choice as it stands today. This does not sit well with Higuain, who was the most consistent player for Real before any of the current crop of stars arrived with the return of Perez to the presidency. He wants to be the main man up front, and he doesn’t see it coming to fruition while Perez is president and Mou is the manager. The problem is Madrid want him to stay and he does get enough playing time that he is part of a team on the cusp of being great, so the places where he could go to make the same impact, at the same level are limited. The clubs he has been linked to thus far are Man City and PSG. I have been told there has been contact from 6 clubs, none bar those two have been confirmed to me. Real’s stance on Higuain is that they want to keep him, and will only look at alternatives when they see that is no longer a viable option. There is a popular scenario involving Man City, and I’ll cover that below.

Edit #1: This morning a report surfaced that Higuain could be put up for sale along with Kaka and that Real are looking for 80 million euros for the pair. This was reported locally but I have made an enquiry to my one and only source to see if this is real or fabricated, as of the publish of this entry, there has been no confirmation nor denial. Also in a separate report, Juventus move their interest from RvP to Higuain.

Edit #2: This afternoon I received confirmation that Higuain has been a hot topic of debate and that approaches have been made by several clubs, but that the team is indeed trying to convince the player to stay. Apart from that confirmation, a report was published that Higuain’s father met with the Real brass and that he left confident that the best course of action for his son was to stay at Real Madrid, waiting on confirmation of this being legit.

Ibrahimovic

The temperamental Swede is a real enigma. He can be a devastating striker on his day or a spoiled rotten kid at his worst. His talent has never been in question, so there is never a lack of suitors. It is true Mourinho said he admires the striker’s ability, Mancini also praised him, but that is where it stops. There have been no substantiated reports linking Ibra away from the San Siro. I say substantiated reports, because while Real and City have been linked with making offers for the Swede, both clubs through their managers have denied those approaches. Milan’s Massimiliano Allegri has come out and in no uncertain terms stated that he expects the striker to be at the San Siro next year. So it looks as if any and all rumors about the Swede making a move are unfounded, for now. But in modern football as we all know, money talks and Real and City have no problem splashing the cash if necessary and a forced move by Higuain could trigger one for Ibra as well, depending on Higuain’s destination.

Aguero

It is no secret that Aguero was a target of Real Madrid last summer, and that Aguero WANTED to go to Real. Alas, he landed at the Etihad and all seemed to die down. There is only one problem, Aguero still wants a move to the Bernabeu and Real have never lost interest in the striker. With Benzema fulfilling the promise for which he was acquired, the situation was thought to be laid to rest, but Higuain’s frustration has brought the Aguero to Real scenario back to the forefront. Several different outlets have talked about an Aguero for Higuain swap. Aguero’s step dad, Maradona has come out publicly and said Sergio MUST play for Los Blancos. Of course publicly the striker denies this but it is well-known that it is highly possible that Aguero ends up playing for Real Madrid sometime in the future, according to some reporters it is inevitable. Like Ibra’s situation, all of this hinges on whether Higuain forces a move away from Real.

Torres

You would think that a player that was bought only 18 months ago for 50 million pounds would not be involved in ANY sort of transfer talks, especially after his team winning the Champion’s League. This is simply not the case. Torres, despite his horrible form and lackluster numbers (TV5 had more goals than him last season) thinks he should be a shoo-in for the first XI. He has no qualms about telling anyone that will listen that he is being underused and mistreated. (See what he did there Nasri? I don’t know what sort of brainwashing they did to you up at Citeh, but being played is a good thing, sitting on the bench is a bad thing.) Anyway, Torres made it clear that he was unhappy with his situation and open to a move away from the club. All of this is a rather a moot point, as CFC have since confirmed that Drogba will be leaving the club, opening the way for Torres to be hapless at his own peril. The other thing that the Drogba departure does is open the speculation of who they will bring in to replace the Ivorian, and should add to the intrigue of the summer, as we all know Abramovich has no spending limit.

RvP

Finally to Arsenal’s captain. Well, we all know what Arsene’s intention is. he wants to keep the leader of the club, and a player that Arsenal have stuck by through thick or thin. The number of suitors, once thought to be long has since dwindled. First Barcelona was looking to be his likely destination in the winter months, with Cesc being the recruiter. As the months wore on and the interest faded and the reality that they had bigger issues to attend to, FCB looks to be all but out of the equation. Juventus, long rumored, have also stated they have no intention of attempting to sign the Dutchman. Real Madrid’s interest will only be piqued if Higuain forces a move and if that move does not include a swap for Aguero. Milan, also thought to be a possible destination, has pulled out seemingly content to hang on to Ibrahimovic and Pato. So who does that leave? You guessed it City and newcomers to the race Anzhi. I find it very hard to believe that RvP as the captain of Arsenal and as someone who had a first hand view of the reaction fans had to Nasri, would put himself in that same situation. I also have my doubts that Wenger and the board would sell RvP to City, knowing the wrath that they would incur from the supporters. That leaves Russian outfit Anzhi. As familiar as we all are of Robin’s family life, I don’t see any possibility of him going to Russia with wife and kids in tow to play out his years there. That leads to only one conclusion for me, he stays at Arsenal.

Conclusion

My believe at the moment is that RvP will stay at Arsenal, that is of today, what happens tomorrow and beyond can change the game drastically. I base that conclusion on the suitors that are lined up for his signature, as of now. The key factor to all of these strikers making a possible move is the Higuain situation. If that domino falls, the rest will go in short order. That is my view. Madrid won’t stay still and if Robin is offered a huge contract to go to the Spanish capital and Arsenal a huge fee, I can see that as the likeliest of moves. In no way do I see him joining City under ANY circumstance, but if he moves the likely destination is to fill the void left by a departing Higuain, if Aguero isn’t on the other end of deal. Now, do I believe Arsenal will have to pay more than 130k per week? Absolutely. To keep RvP happy I think the Gunners will end up at around 150-160k per week and will have to show a clear sign of intent to hold on to their captain.

So, let’s see how this merry-go-round plays out, or if indeed it gets started at all. One week into the off-season and I am already without any nails. Thanks Arsenal!

Catch you lot soon. Come on you Gunners! Oh yeah, Wenger; Sing M’Vila!!!!

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