31st August 2015: Gabriel Barbosa allegedly linked as Griezmann teases on Twitter

So, the eagerly anticipated final stages of this summer’s transfer window haven’t quite created the crescendo of noise many were waiting for, as markets ring the closing bell all around Europe.

After 11pm tonight, most clubs in the major leagues across the continent won’t be able to sign any new players, but crucially, can still sell to English teams with our deadline for registering new recruits not until 6pm tomorrow.

So far, the biggest deals of the day both involve Manchester United, with David de Gea reportedly set to swap places with Real Madrid ‘keeper Keylor Navas, and Antony Martial poised to sign for United from Monaco for a fee as scandalously high as Diego Maradona at USA 94.

Meanwhile, Arsenal stories this rain-soaked Bank Holiday have been limited to a potential outgoing, with Joel Campbell rumoured to be on the way to France with Rennes. I can’t say I’m surprised or disappointed or anything really, because the window hasn’t shut yet. But if we haven’t brought anyone in by this time tomorrow, I’m guessing my overwhelming feeling would be one of confusion.

Anyway, we’ll deal with that if and when it comes to it but for a glimpse into the Twitter-powered torpedo of Arsenal-related transfer rumours out there today, here’s some of the names to have cropped up on my timeline:

  1. Alexandre Pato – because somebody noticed the former AC Milan forward follows Arsenal on Twitter.
  2. Antoine Griezmann – he cryptically tweeted that he’ll find his ‘match’ tomorrow and advised followers to ‘stay tuned’, which did make me wonder if he was referring to a new club, or a new wag. Both are equally possible at this stage.
  3. Gabriel Barbosa – apparently reports from Turkey, a country he allegedly declined to move to recently, suggest Arsenal are in for the latest teenage Santos striker to be dubbed ‘the new Neymar’.
  4. Edinson Cavani – Arsene Wenger’s been snapped on a flight to Paris which must mean he’s negotiating for a PSG player. Plus Match of the Day and the BBC seem to think it’s a possibility. I don’t see it.
  5. Adrien Rabiot – see above.
  6. Nacho Monreal – he started following Athletic Bilbao on Twitter today and has been repeatedly linked to the Basque club in recent times. It’d be a strange one, although Napoli’s left back Faouzi Ghoulam was strongly linked with a move to Arsenal earlier this summer. Could 2 plus 2 make 4 for once? Probably not now, as Spain’s deadline passes in about half an hour as I type.

And I’ll stop there because it’s rather pointless and also a little depressing. On the one hand I’m always confident in our players, particularly our current collection and also implicitly trust Arsene’s ability to improve them on the training pitch. Yet on the other I can’t get my head around the possibility of Petr Cech being our only addition this summer, particularly when we’re so awash with disposable income for player investment.

Moving away from transfer talk and the boss has been talking to the official site about David Ospina’s reaction to being demoted to reserve keeper and how he expects the Columbian to challenge Cech for a starting place. He said:

He’s responded very well. David Ospina is a very strong man and a fantastic goalkeeper. He’s ready for the fight and will give Petr Cech a hard time. There will be enough room for him to play games as well, maybe sometimes to come in during the season. Why shouldn’t he be able to win his No 1 shirt back? That’s the target for him and I’m convinced he will fight for that.

I think it’s safe to suspect that barring any injury or suspension for Cech, Ospina’s best-case scenario would see him start all our domestic cup games this season but personally I’m glad we have genuine quality in reserve should he be needed in the two main competitions. Now if we could just add the same depth to the defensive midfield and central striker positions …

Back tomorrow when, with a little luck, I’ll have a new signing or two to talk about.

See you next month.

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