Good afternoon to you. It’s overcast and gloomy in my part of London today and the weather perfectly reflects the mood in the Chelsea camp at the moment, as the Blues contemplate a world in which Petr Cech is an Arsenal player.
Reports by Sky Sports sources were last night claiming a move was close, with personal terms having been agreed ‘in principle’ but with the two clubs still negotiating a transfer fee and talks set to continue this week. But what they then said I found very interesting indeed:
The transfer fee is unknown but it will be a cash only deal, with Chelsea’s request to receive a home-grown player as part of the proposed transfer no longer being considered.
Which suggests a swap was considered at some stage. Whether such a deal was ever seriously countenanced by Arsenal or was simply wishful thinking and a desperation to save face on Jose Mourinho’s part, is anyone’s guess.
When the shoe was on the other foot nine years ago, and Ashley Cole was courted by Chelsea, Arsenal of course, managed to negotiate William Gallas’ arrival in part exchange. It softened the blow from our point of view and the Portuguese is clearly trying to do likewise this time.
The difference being no Arsenal player wants out. In a press conference close to the end of last season, Arsene Wenger stated as much, adding that the vast majority of our squad would remain intact. I’m guessing that includes messrs Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain – the two players reportedly requested by Chelsea in any deal for Cech.
I think it’s safe to assume Wenger is quite enjoying Mourinho’s predicament. He obviously doesn’t want Cech to go, less so to a rival. In fact, given his history with the boss, the last club he would place Petr at, is Arsenal. Yet as he freely admits, it’s completely out of his hands and a supposedly sentimental gesture by Chelsea’s owner. That however ignores the fact that if a player in today’s game truly wants out, he’ll find a way. And at 33, Cech is understandably in no mind to sit on the bench. But making it sound like they’re ‘letting’ him leave is better PR.
“Arsenal want me you say?”
So to sum up: Cech wants to be a Gunner, Arsenal want to sign Cech, Mourinho wants to keep Cech, nobody cares what Mourinho wants, Wenger’s loving it and Mourinho’s a massive c*nt.
Speaking of which, Chelsea captain John Terry took to the airwaves today, in a blatant, last-ditch, no-doubt Mourinho-instructed charm offensive, to state Cech’s worth, praise his professionalism and lament his impending departure.
An audibly tearful Terry told TalkSport:
If they do get him, he will strengthen them for sure. He will save them 12 or 15 points a season. Petr was an unbelievable professional last year. When you get left out of the team it can be hard to accept but when he came in he was exceptional.
He deserves a lot of credit for that. We understand he wants to play first-team football but nobody wants to see him leave the club. He’s going to be sorely missed and will improve any side he goes to.
Some might also interpret those words as a memo to Chelsea’s owner from Mourinho – an early exercise in excuse-making, should Arsenal outperform his side next term.
The fall-guy from an Arsenal perspective in this transfer, looks increasingly like being David Ospina. Following earlier reports of strong interest from Turkey in his services, the ‘keeper, who is currently competing in the Copa America for Columbia, told the press talks with suitors Fernerbahce are in progress via his agent, although he is currently fully focused on his national team.
It will be a shame to see him go so soon but in truth, despite barely putting a glove out of place in his time at the club, many – myself included – remain far from convinced he is the man to finally solve our long-standing goalkeeping conundrum.
In other news, Thierry Henry has followed up his recent praise of AleXis Sanchez by bigging up Mesut Ozil and calling for consistency in the league.
He told Arsenal Player:
Mesut is a very good player, we all know about his quality, we all know about what he has done in the game. He is a world champion, you have to respect that and his vision on the pitch is tremendous.
He is an amazing player. When he is on song like he was in the FA Cup final, he is difficult to stop. When you have the likes of Giroud in the box, Alexis Sanchez running at people and Theo too, Mesut can see a pass and control the game in the same way that Santi does.
I keep on mentioning players, all that we are waiting on is the consistency in the league. I saw some of the players talking about that consistency, and I know they have the quality to do it.
Finally for today, ESPN sources report perma-loaned Brazilian youngster Wellington Silva is in talks with the club over a new deal, with just a year remaining on his current contract. They suggest the boss will evaluate his place in the first-team squad during pre-season and then consider loaning him to an English club to aid his adaptation to the domestic game.
I have to admit, Wellington is a player I have been excited about for many years and one I have followed since we were first linked with his signature. The only footage of him in action back then was a YouTube video of his performance for Fluminense in a youth competition held at Old Trafford. It was his scintillating showing (skip to 3:20) at that tournament which caught the eye of Arsenal scouts and led to his move to London.
With work-permit issues (now finally resolved) having prevented him from playing in England for years, Wellington finally has the chance to stake his claim for a slot in the first-team squad . I’m stopping myself from singing his praises too loudly but from what I’ve seen, I like him a lot. It goes without saying that he has it all to prove and as a pacy, skilful winger, he faces more competition than perhaps any other position in the squad. But I think he could really flourish in the English game, a little like Philippe Coutinho has done at Liverpool.
And I think I’ll leave it there. See you tomorrow.