Archive for August 27th, 2011

Bolton want to sell Cahill

425 comments August 27th, 2011

Although the clash with Manchester United is tomorrow, the talk around the club is still dominated by transfer speculation.  It’s understandable: with just five days to go, Arsene has indicated he’d like to add three players to his squad.

“It is important [to strengthen] because we will lose players in January with players going to the African Nations Cup.

We lose Gervinho and Chamakh together so, first of all, it is important to strengthen up front. It is important that we find one midfielder and one defender as well. So we are still short of three bodies.”

Arsenal, it seems, need something of everything.  Obviously, working to such tight deadlines is not ideal, but sometimes the end of the window can prove a fertile ground in which to ensnare a bargain.  For some clubs, this five days represent a final chance to cash in on saleable assets.  Take, for example, the case of Gary Cahill and Bolton.

It is widely known that Arsenal have a long-standing interest in Cahill as part of their search for a centre-half with Premier League experience.  After having had a bid for Phil Jagielka rejected earlier in the summer, Arsenal have set their sights on Cahill, holding formal discussions over a possible transfer this week.

Yesterday, Bolton manager Owen Coyle and chairman Phil Gartside chose to speak publicly about the negotiations, with Coyle labelling Arsenal’s offer (which, at this stage, remains verbal) “derisory”.  Gartside, meanwhile, chose to retweet the following eloquent message expressed by a Bolton fan:

Image courtesy of 'Metro'

What a classless, clueless idiot.

Arsene responded with his usual dignity, and refuted the suggestion that the offer was as low a £6m:

“That number is completely wrong. If Gartside can say I am lying I am ready to confront him.

I believe every negotiation is between two parties and you only have to sell the player if you are all right with the price. In this case the information is below what has been spoken about.

You can believe Gartside or you can believe me. It’s not right. It’s not the truth.”

Bolton’s behaviour is entirely transparent.  All summer long Coyle has talked about what a great player Cahill is, how he deserves Champions League football, and how he’s surprised no offers have been forthcoming.  Now an offer arrives, and he’s up in arms about it.

If Bolton didn’t want to sell Cahill, they would quietly reject the offer and speak no more about it.  Their decision to publicise the bid can only have one desired outcome: to create an auction.  Cahill’s contract expires in twelve months, and with Champions League clubs looming, he’s unlikely to sign another.  Bolton stand to lose their most valuable asset for nothing.  If they can sell for a decent price in this window, they will.  In the current circumstances, the timing of the loan signing of Dedrcyk Boyata was particularly interesting.

With Liverpool about to sign the Uruguayan Coates, and City having bought Savic, Arsenal are Cahill’s only obvious suitors.  It remains to be seen if Gartside and Coyle have shot themselves in the foot and driven us from the negotiation table.  I think Cahill’s a good footballer and a solid defender and would fit in well.  If Arsene shares my conviction, then a deal could definitely be done.

As for the midfielder and the striker Arsene is looking at, your guess is as good as mine.  There’s been a lot of talk about Rennes’ Yann M’Villa, but I think we need a more creative presence in midfield.  The arrival of a striker is contingent on the departure of Nicklas Bendtner, of whom Arsene Wenger said “we know he will leave”.

It’s hard to envisage anything but these deals going right to the wire, which promises to be exciting/traumatic.  As ever, you’ll be able to follow it all as it goes down on Gunnerblog.

There’s some early team news for United here.  With Wilshere, Diaby, Song and Frimpong all unavailable, Johan Djourou could be asked to play in midfield alongside Aaron Ramsey.  I’ll have a full preview for you tomorrow.  Today, I’m off to Stamford Bridge to check out the competition…


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