Tuesday 12 June 2012

Eriksen's Arsenal 'no go', Giroud green light, Benzema on amber & Arshavin's checkmate!

Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham transfer target Christian Eriksen is staying at Ajax for one more year, according to London 24.com.

The website took their quotes from the Dutch newspaper de Telegraaf. Eriksen told them: "I think it's worth spending another year at Ajax because what really interests me now is to play and grow as a player. I do not need to risk anything and take a wrong step in my career. We'll see what can happen in the summer of 2013."

I'm quite glad to hear this as the 20-year-old Denmark international was not that impressive in his country's opening game in Euro 2012. Although Denmark won, I don't think Eriksen was instrumental in victory. But at the age of 20, he should improve, so by next year he will be a hot property than he is now.

Meanwhile, one player who could be joining Arsenal this summer is Olivier Giroud of Montpellier. His club manager Rene Girard told the French radio station RMC: "Arsenal are very interested and Giroud wants to play in England. If Arsene [Wenger] agrees with the president, he [Giroud] will sign them."

Another player we could sign, although it is a bit of a long shot is Karim Benzema. Apparently the Real Madrid ace is being offered to Manchester City, that's according to the Manchester Evening News.

Benzema is under contract until 2015, but his representative Jonathan Hope is quoted as saying: "I have put Benzema forward after a talk with a very reliable and highly-placed source at Manchester City as a possible summer signing.

"We are working closely to secure the exclusive mandate to obtain the paperwork firstly after  serious interest from the champions.

"We spoke with Manchester United two years ago and it went nowhere, which I can see is perhaps is a regret on their part.

"The player has stated himself he will not go to Manchester United, however, he has not ruled out a switch to join the champions. I will have a clearer picture soon after the Euros when I have time to sit with his representatives.

"But, personally, I can see the business being done and to be fair it will rock English football. I must stress this is at the discussion stage.

All seems in good order but this is football and things change fast."

The player himself has recently said this: "I would never say never about coming to England and, to be honest, I have no real preference in terms of teams. But that is a long way in the future, not something I would even consider at the moment."

It all sounds very much like agent talk at this stage, but it is interesting that Manchester City see Benzema as an alternative to Robin van Persie, whom they fear they may miss out on. I wonder if Arsenal could conclude a swap deal with Real Madrid. That would make a lot of sense, but it is pure speculation. However don't be surprised if you read in the newspaper tomorrow.

Also in the realm of speculation is the report in the Daily Mail that Arsenal will not sell Arshavin on the cheap. Recently I read we were prepared to sell the Russian for £3 million, but now it appears we want £8 million. That's a lot of money for a 31-year-old. Of course I think he's worth it, but I'm not sure Zenit St Petersburg will pay it.

On that very subject, the fictional website Meerkat Manor Meerkovo.com interviewed our Russian maestro:

Congratulations on beating the Czech Republic 4-1. The opposition started the game well don't you think? Did it surprise you how they started?

Yes. Playing for poor-pup-side like Arsenal I do not see many cheques, so I feel very surprised to see so many cheques in one night. They make it confusing because goalkeeper is also Cech. He is a double Czech, but we are good at chess so we get him checkmate! Ha ha!

At the beginning of the first half the manager Dick Advocaat said something to you. What did he say?

Dick asked me to mark Czech right back. Not easy for creative player. So I laughed "ha ha, did you make joke?" I heard of clever Dick that he is funny Dick.

In the second half, the Czechs scored. Did that make the Russian team nervous?

No, I told the team not to be nervous because Rosicky is playing. If he is their playmaker then the Czechs won't play much. We let them score to make a match of it. It was getting too embarrassing for Mr Wenger. How can he leave me on the bench for Rosicky? I did not want to rub Arsenal manager's face in it, so I told teammates let Czechs score one goal.

You have always been on good terms with Rosicky?

Yes because he knows his place. His place in the Arsenal sickbay is not under threat from me. I take him flowers every day and bottle of Lucozade. It is my little joke. The Lucozade is specially made by Lukasz Fabianski. He drinks the real Lucozade then he fills it up again if you know what I mean! Rosicky sometimes says this Lucozade takes funny, but I just say: "I am Gooner, get it down you son". Rosicky is Czech, but cannot check so it's checkmate again! Ha ha!

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