Players Linked With Arsenal Move This Summer

6 Jun

By: Kieran Dunne

With Arsenal, and significantly, Aresne Wenger, keen on improving his squad at the Emirates this summer, here are a look at some of the players they are reportedly interested in:

Radamel Falcao – Striker, FC Porto

The Colombian striker would command a bid of £26 million with an offer apparently on the horizon according to British newspaper, The Guardian. Can play out wide or up top alone. Proved to be a decent player in this year’s Europa League, which Porto ran out eventual winners. Arsenal face competition for his signature from Tottenham.

Eden Hazard – Attacking midfielder/Winger, Lille

The twenty year-old Belgian sensation has attracted a host of admirers following a season in which he helped Lille to their first Ligue 1 title in 57 years. Also voted player of the year in France and has been compared to French legend Zidane. Would command a fee of around £20 million following 12 goals in all comps last year. Fresh off the back of title success at Lille, Hazard would prove a decent signing for the Gunners.

Marko Marin – Winger, Werder Bremen

The “German Messi,” as he’s known, would only come in if the likes of Nasri or Arshavin were to exit the Gunners this summer. The German international is highly regarded in his homeland and would cost around £15 million.

Moussa Sow – Striker, Lille

The relatively unheard of 25-year-old led Lille to success last term with a top scorer performance of 25 league goals. Rarely lauded for his attributes due to the star of players such as Hazard and Gervinho. Would provide a much needed physical presence up front for the Gunners. Inflated cost of £20 million due to club success last term.

Michel Bastos – Left-back, Lyon

Would be available at the cut price of £15 million following Lyon’s abysmal season in the French League. A highly rated attacking player, although with defensive frailties, Bastos (27) would prove a hit in Arsenal’s attacking environment of football.

Karim Benzema – Striker, Real Madrid

In-out of favour French international has been monitored by Wenger since his Lyon days. Arsenal and Manchester United are reported to have made inquiries. The response? A £22 million price tag which may be seen as a risk for the moody 23 year-old.

Christopher Samba – Defender, Blackburn

Expected to be Arsenal’s first signing of the season, Samba would provide a much needed reliability at the back with Thomas Vermaelen. Would cost only between £8-12 million. Came close to signing for Gunners in January.

Vicky Alvarez – Attacking midfielder, Vélez Sársfield

The Argentinian play-maker has attracted lots of attention from Europe playing in Argentina’s national league. Other team said to be considering an offer for the 23 year-old is Roma. He would cost £12 million.

Kevin Gameiro – Striker, Lorient

The electric forward man is, according to the Guardian, said to want a move to La Liga but may yet opt for the Premier League. Could be a huge asset scoring 19 league goals last term with a mid-table side.

 

Romelu Lukaku – Striker, Anderlecht

Has become one of Europe’s most wanted at just 18 since breaking through Anderlecht’s youth-side, scoring 31 times in 61 appearances. A towering presence, he would surely be a success in the Premier League. Unlikely signing given the huge interest vested throughout the rest of Europe. Cost: £20 million

Gary Cahill – Defender, Bolton

A more than capable back up target if Samba deal falls through. Cahill has been a constant rock at the heart of Bolton’s defence last season. However, Bolton have a high price tag on his head at a cool £20+ million.

So there you have it. Some interesting connections for Arsenal fans to ponder over. Some more realistic than others however.

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France Ban the Use of Words Facebook and Twitter on TV and Radio

6 Jun

By: Kieran Dunne

French officials have taken the unusual step of banning the use of words such as “Facebook” and “Twitter” on T.V and Radio stations across the country citing that they provide indirect advertisement opportunities for the social network sites. 

The ban is to take place immediately with exceptions being provided in the case of news reports and stories. The move was made off the back of an old law, a 1992 decree, that states mentioning services by name is an act of advertising and therefore saying constitutes preferential treatment.

The Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel has insisted that the French Government is simply upholding a French law already in place:

“Why give preference to Facebook, which is worth billions of dollars, when there are many other social networks that are struggling for recognition?

This would be a distortion of competition.

If we allow Facebook and Twitter to be cited on air, it’s opening a Pandora’s Box — other social networks will complain to us saying, ‘why not us?’”

The move is sure to cause widespread confusion among France’s media outlets and the blogosphere with such words being used on a regular basis.

However, it has already been hinted at that the Government’s latest ban is an attempt to stop English words from creeping in to the French language.

In 2003, a story, Wired Reporting, highlighted the case in which the government banned the use of the word “email” in all correspondence in state ministries, instead opting for the French term “courriel”.

Experts criticised that decision stating that it was “artificial and doesn’t reflect reality”.

Nasri United Talk Nothing More Than Agent Tatctics

5 Jun

By: Kieran Dunne

Comments made by Samir Nasri on a French football channel over whether the midfielder would commit his future to Arsenal has sent the world of football journalism in to overdrive. 

Furthermore, the suggestion, or lack thereof, that the French talisman wouldn’t rule out a move to bitter rivals Manchester United is simply farcical. He hasn’t even admitted this, instead, saying that he would prefer to concentrate on France’s up-and-coming international with Poland.

Nasri’s approaching the final year of his contract with the Gunners currently in the process of negotiating with their star man.

When asked on his future at the Emirates, Nasri said:

“I don’t know if I will sign a new contract. Anyway, the discussions are ongoing.

“For the moment, I don’t think about this. We will speak about it after the match with Poland.

“Do I want to go to Man United? First, we should see if it’s real and if it is concrete.”

This is often a tactic deployed by footballers locked in tense contract negotiations, with the benefactor usually being the overly paid footballer’s agent. Put simply, the more they negotiate for their client the more they earn.

Also, Nasri, for the most part, has been Arsenal’s best player last season. He will, and should, expect a pay rise following a campaign which seen him nominated for the PFA Player of the Year award and a coveted spot in the Premier League Best XI.

However, were contract negotiations to stall, the Gunners might be forced in to cashing in on the talented play maker rather than losing him for nothing next season.

Talk of a United move, however, is premature. For a start, United are reportedly supposed to be closing in on Wesley Sneijder,  a move that would rule out any swoop for Nasri. Secondly, Wenger would never sell to a title rival, especially not Manchester Unite who would, more than likely, be aware of this.

Yet, the issue must be resolved quickly. With the imminent departure of team captain, Cesc Fabregas, Arsenal need to build a team around their most valuable players, expanding and improving where necessary.

Don’t be surprised to see Nasri sign a new, improved, contract later this week on returning from international duty. Nasri has his hand held closely to his chest. The recent rumours are nothing more than agent talk and clever tactics.

Something Hairy About Wayne’s Title Celebrations

16 May

Hmm.. I wonder how Sir Bobby would have celebrated?

Arrest Warrant Request for Gaddafi and Son

16 May

By: Kieran Dunne

Muammar Gaddafi, his son –  Saif al-Islam, and his brother-in-law and intelligence chief, Abdullah Senussi have all been declared as war criminal suspects following an investigation by the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

Chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, presented the evidence to the ICC in the hope of gaining international arrest warrants. He claimed that the three mentioned operated as an “inner circle”  with Saif al-Islam operating as a “de facto prime minister”. The legal eagle also claimed that they were the chief orchestrates in the killing of peaceful protestors.

It was also claimed that Gaddafi led the resistance with the aim of “preserving his absolute authority,” with the prosecutor also claiming to have direct evidence of orders made by Gaddafi himself.

The request for an arrest warrant against Gaddafi’s brother, Saif, will come as a surprise given his ties with the West and his apparent willingness to negotiate with NATO and the allies.

According to British newspaper, the Guardian, If the ICC issues the arrest warrants, it will deepen the embarrassment of the London School of Economics, where Saif studied and which accepted a £1.5m donation from a foundation Saif controlled to fund a north African research programme. Of that total, £300,000 was actually spent before the programme was suspended.

In a statement made by the prosecutor, those with highest rank would be targeted.”It is indeed a characteristic of the situation in Libya that massive crimes are reportedly committed upon instruction of a few persons who control the organisations that execute the orders,” he said.

Some of the evidence gathered by  Moreno-Ocampo’s said to have come from within the regime in Tripoli and in an apparent attempt to stir inner trouble, the prosecutor released a statement saying:

“During the last week, the office of the prosecutor received several calls from high-level officials in Gaddafi’s regime willing to provide information.”

If the arrest warrants are issued from the ICC, it will then be up to international governments to act upon the policing duty. The ICC has no police force of its own.

Gaddafi has been leader of Libya since 1 September 1969 when he overthrew King Idris and established the Libyan Arab Republic. In these 42 years as dictator of an oppressive regime, Gaddafi has come under numerous attacks from humanitarian organisations.

Since February 17 2011, Gaddafi’s regime has been under constant pressure from protestors, both peaceful and rebellious, with a full-blown civil war now taking place between supporters and protestors.

Since then a number of regime officials have departed with Gaddafi’s former justice minister, Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, telling the Swedish newspaper Expressen that he has evidence that Gaddafi had personally ordered the Lockerbie bombing of 1988.

The uprising is in to its 88 day with no sign of abating.

Video: Protestors shot at by police:

Bendtner on way out of Arsenal

10 May

By: Kieran Dunne

Nicklas Bendtner has revealed of his plan to sit down with Arsene Wenger and discuss his future at Arsenal over the next couple of weeks.

It is believed that the Danish forward who fancies himself as a world-class striker is on his way out. He has regularly voiced his frustration at his lack of first-team opportunities this year often complaining of his wide role in the team.

Bendtner recently revealed his disappointment of being little more than a squad player.

“I need to have a talk with him [Wenger] because I’m not satisfied with playing on the right-wing, which I’ve done more or less all season long,” Bendtner told TV2.

“I’m concentrating on getting our Champions League place and then we’ll do the evaluation at the end of the season. It’s certainly not the best thing for me but it’s not up to me and sometimes you have to adapt to what the manager says.”

Wenger has become reportedly dismayed with Bendntner and his attitude and he’s now rumoured to be one of the many players on the way out at Arsenal.

Bayern Munich have been keeping close tabs on the egotistical frontman with reports suggesting he would favour a move to Barcelona.

He added: “If it’s a free choice, I choose Barcelona. I’ve never had any idols in the football world but if I had a dream player to play with then it would be Xavi and [Andres] Iniesta.”

And yet he complains of a lack of first team opportunities at Arsenal.

Arsenal Hit List for 11/12

9 May

By: Kieran Dunne

Arsenal fell short of landing a trophy for the sixth season in a row on Sunday following a 3-1 defeat to Stoke at the Brittania Stadium.

In his post-match interview Arsene Wenger admitted that his side “had lost something” of late. The comments will be music to the ears of most Arsenal fanatics who finally believe that Wenger is changing his tune in transfer policy.

He also mentioned in a recent interview that Arsenal would strengthen this summer.

Here are some of the players the Gunners have been linked with:

Defenders:

Chris Samba (Blackburn Rovers) – £5 million

Gary Cahill (Bolton Wanderers) – £6 million

Per Mertesacker (Werder Bremen) – £8 million

Leighton Baines (Everton) – £9 million 

Midfielders:

Felipe Melo (Juventus) – £19 million

Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich) – £23 million

Marouane Fellaini (Everton) – £12 million
 
Mikel Arteta (Everton) – £15 million
 
Forwards:
 
Eden Hazard (Lille) – £20 million
 
Carlton Cole (West Ham) – £9 million
 
 
 
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