Being an Arsenal fan during transfer windows is a lot like having a girlfriend that will only give you handjobs, isn’t it? You love her to bits, but it’s endlessly frustrating that she won’t just take the extra step and get it done. Only, at least with a girlfriend, she probably wouldn’t let the fate of the relationship be decided by your arch-enemy like Arsenal have.
Right now, with just days remaining until the end of the transfer window and it seems as though the only players we’re being linked with play for Real Madrid (because that went so well last time, didn’t it Gonzalo?) and all three players (Ozil, Benzema and Di Maria) are seemingly quite happy to stay put in sunny Spain. What works to Arsenal’s advantage though, is that while Spain might be sunny, it’s also broke as fuck and Madrid aren’t exempt from that.
We’ve seen for a while now that Madrid (and Barca, while we’re at it) pay some huge fees for players, but these fees are almost never up front, instead being spread across a number of years (which is why Barca still owe us money from Alex Song!). Usually, these installments are a manageable €10m a season or so, but with the eternally impending transfer of Gareth Bale, Madrid will be pushed to make payments in far bigger chunks, to make up the eventual (and batshit insane) fee of around €100m. This presents something of a dilemma for them, because they just don’t have the money right now – and that’s where Arsenal come in.
We’re the most cash-rich club in Europe right now and Madrid will absolutely have to let one or two go in order to balance the books. Di Maria is one of those that have been most heavily linked with a move away from the Bernabeu (and the only one of the three Wenger would realistically target, though I’d be fine with him proving me wrong) and Arsenal, with Gervinho gone and Podolski injured, are reportedly very interested in bringing him in to make the left wing his own.
Simple move then, right?
Sadly not, because Spurs will know exactly what the situation is here and it’s perfectly feasible that they could drag the Bale move out even longer (sigh) to stop their rivals from strengthening. We can always hope that Madrid will be confident enough in the transfer to let him go before Bale signs on the dotted line, but considering their financial state, it’d be surprising if they were prepared to take that chance.
So here we are, stuck in a position where our most bitter enemy are in a position to dictate whether we’d be able to sign a target or not (though, let’s face it, even if it does go through soon, we still might not have a shot at him). Dark times indeed.
Still though, we’ve signed Flamini which, in relation to that earlier analogy, is like being allowed to put the tip in for a bit, so that’s a start… I guess. It’ll be depressingly unfulfilling if that’s it, though.