Transfers – Gossip Shop: Adebayor on his way
Arsenal fans are no strangers to seeing their team emerge for a new season missing a star or two and containing new, unknown faces.
And come this August, the situation at the Emirates Stadium promises to be no different as Arsene Wenger gets ready to shuffle his pack once again.
First up, and the most plausible of today’s stories concerning various Gunners, present and future, is Emmanuel Adebayor.
Despite his apparent admiration for himself (see last year’s contract/transfer saga), the African player of the year has failed to hit the heights of last season so far this campaign, and word has it that Wenger is about to lose patience.
And with Barcelona still interested in the striker – regardless of Arsenal’s £20 million valuation – a bid to take the Togo international to the Camp Nou could yet be resurrected this summer.
The good news for Arsenal fans is that with Adebayor gone, and with that kind of cash in the bank, Wenger would be able to strengthen his squad to the tune of one Klaas Jan Huntelaar and one Mamadou Sakho.
The former we already know all about: Dutch, classy, a natural born goalscorer and very possibly available after having become disillusioned with life at Real Madrid – the former Ajax man has struggled to settle since his January move to the Bernabeu and was left out of Real’s revised Champions League squad.
Wenger would have to stump up £15m for the 25-year-old, but that would still leave enough to make a swoop for £4m-rated Sakho, who has all the hallmarks of a typically astute Wenger buy.
The youngster is only 18 years old yet incredibly he has already captained Paris St Gemain – at the tender age of 17. Of Senegalese descent, the central defender, who can also play on the left, would provide the Gunners with plenty of options, having started his career as a striker.
Walcott’s people want £50,000-a-week but the club’s initial offer has fallen below that mark. According to the Daily Telegraph the player wants to stay at the Emirates, but with his current deal expiring at the end of next season – and with Champions League football far from guaranteed – Arsenal will need to up the ante soon if they are not to have another Mathieu Flamini situation on their hands.
Elsewhere, Newcastle are set to end the dispute over their acquisition of Jonas Gutierrez, which has rumbled on ever since the Argentine quit Mallorca for Tyneside last summer.
Gutierrez bought himself out of his contract with the Spanish club but Newcastle were hit with a £13.2m compensation bill. Whether he is worth that is another story, but nevertheless the Magpies may end up paying a lot less, after FIFA helped out with negotiations to settle on a far more palatable fee in the region of £3m or £4m.
Over to Eastlands – well, it wouldn’t be Gossip Shop with a taste of Manchester City, would it? – where a Brazilian-themed dressing room rift is in danger of ruining Mark Hughes‘s first season in charge.
According to the Daily Mail, Sparky is still struggling to integrate Elano and Robinho into his squad, with one unnamed player – one of Hughes’s four January signings – believed to have said the disruptive pair need ‘sorting out’.
And finally, with Blackburn languishing in the relegation zone, it would be understandable if boss Sam Allardyce were to seek out divine inspiration in a bid to escape the dreaded drop.
So it comes as no surprise to hear Jesus has appeared on Big Sam’s radar. Malaga’s Jesus Gamez, that is, although Real Madrid and Tottenham are also thought to be interested in the £4m-rated full-back.