Van Persie running out of options as FFP bites + Yossi decision will show us how ambitious we plan to be
May 22, 2012
It seems like Robin Van Persie might be running out of options.
Most news outlets are reporting that Juventus have gone cold on the idea of signing the Dutchman, apparently baulking at the size of the transfer fee and RVP’s wage demands and switching targets instead to the likes of Edin Dzeko or Luis Suarez.
I can’t say I’m entirely surprised. They were supposedly offering £25 million as a fee plus £180,000 a week wages. And yeah, I’m gonna do the maths for you. That’s 62 and a half million pounds over four years for a player that will have no sell on value at the end of his contract.
‘But this is Juventus!’ I hear you cry. ‘They’re foreign and huge and famous and all that and can probably afford to pay whatever they want for a player!’ Yeah? Well Juventus aren’t exactly raking in the cash these days. In fact last year they lost 95 million Euros. And they’re set to make more losses this year. And the Financial Fair Play accounting periods have begun. So I think they’re having to reign it in a little bit.
And with Barcelona and Real Madrid failing to show any particular interest up to this point, that leaves only one player in town. Our old friends from the Etihad. With their clear admiration for the player, their bottomless pockets and their apparent refusal to take FFP seriously in any way, Man City now seem the most likely destination should Robin decide to jump ship in the summer.
So what are they offering for his services? It better be good right? If we’re going to lose yet another of our players to the oil barons I imagine we’d be looking at the pay day of our lives. What are we talking? £50 million? £80 million?
Erm…no. According to this morning’s Mirror City are preparing to ‘play hardball’ and only want to offer us £15 million.
Fifteen million quid? Fifteen. Million. Quid. Here’s what I think we should do with their ‘hardball offer’. I think Arsene Wenger should sit down on a photocopier, pull down his pants, take an enlarged copy of his actual balls and fax it through to City’s head office post haste. I think Patrick Vieira’s job there now is to collect faxes, distribute post, that sort of thing so he should hopefully know what it is and what to do with it.
My irrational anger aside, it’s just possible that what we’re seeing here could be the start of a huge shift in the way the football world does its business. Fans and commentators have been questioning whether the FFP rules would have any effect. RVP could well be the test case. Here we have the big transfer story of the summer. A player that every club admires and would want in their team. He may not quite be at the Messi or Ronaldo level but he’s not far behind and in recent years you would have expected the huge offers to come flooding in. That doesn’t seem to be happening. If Robin is only worth £15 million to a club like Manchester City then the entire transfer market is in need of a readjustment. Who would pay £20 million for a Stewart Downing when the best striker in the league is £5 million less than that (And yes, I realise you could have asked that question last summer but you get my point)?
If this is what’s happening then the implications for the game and the near term future of Arsenal Football Club would be huge. And extremely positive. But let’s wait and see how this develops before I get ahead of myself.
In other news today, Chelsea are supposedly giving us until the end of the week to make a decision on whether we want to sign Yossi Benayoun on a permanent deal. Good. We need deadlines. We need to make decisions as early as possible this summer and this one will be a tester for what lies ahead.
No Arsenal fan would be sad to see us lay out the million quid it would take to bring Yossi in permanently. He offered us a rare combination of experience, winning mentality and good old fashioned hard work in his spell last season. That shouldn’t have stood out quite that much maybe but it did and he was valuable to us in the end. The question though is whether we’ll be looking for some even brighter quality in the market this summer and whether that will leave any space for Yossi in the squad.
Personally I’d love for him to stay but I’d be even happier to see us show a little more ambition maybe. The decision we make should give us an indication of what else the board plans for this summer.
Finally Jack Wilshere goes under the knife in Sweden today for that ‘routine’ operation on his knee. Keep everything crossed today. Even if you get mistaken for being prematurely arthritic. It’s worth it. A good deal of our success next season could be laying in the hands of one man with a scalpel.
Good luck, Jack!