Lemar, Seri, Agents of Doom, and More

I haven’t seen the headline but it must be out there somewhere. “Arsenal handed Alexis boost” is surely on the cards following Pep Guardiola declaration of Manchester City’s interest in Kylian Mbappe. The world and his wife expect Mbappe to sign for Real Madrid; in no way are Pep’s comments conveniently related to the pre-season friendly the two sides are play today.

£161m. I’m having a Steve McQueen moment; “You’re crazy. You oughta be locked up.” £161m. On a 18-year-old whose record is 27 goals in 58 appearances. £161m. It was madness at £85m when Arsenal chased the player but almost double that is sheer lunacy. From memory, his father is his agent; fair play if he screws more than £40m in fees out of Real as Raiola did out of Manchester United.

Apparently, Real like to balance the books; I shook my head in disbelief at that claim as well. There’s novelty value in the assertion; it happened once when they signed Hamez Rodriguez but not previously nor since. To make it happen this year, the logic goes, Gareth Bale’s man bun will shuffle off to Manchester United for £100m. Circle squared, etc.

Arsenal are joining in the madness but in our own understated way. A £50m bid for Thomas Lemar is on its way to Monaco, presumably using the same horse to deliver as Fergie used for his apology all those years ago. Arsène, it’s claimed in The Heil, still believes Alexis can be persuaded to stay.

The Telegraph claims the bid is £45m and at current exchange rates, it would be easy to see how the Heil misread the currency as being sterling instead of €50m. Not that the paper acknowledges the existence of the Euro. Well, aside from editor Paul Dacre whose shooting estate in Scotland is subsidised by the EU. Their support for Brexit presumably stems from the knowledge that the EU money will be replaced by some from the British government in two years time. If it isn’t, be prepared for a storm to emanate from Kensington over how the poor British regions are being screwed over by Westminster.

Missed You

However, the Heil story declares that there’s been a breakdown in communications with his “advisors”. We don’t have a lot of luck with agents really. There’s Jorge Mendes, with whom the club refuses to deal while we know Pere Guardiola’s contract skills are, shall we say, limited.

Mino Raiola’s client list reads like the Manchester United squad – in fact, a lot of it is the Manchester United squad – although he’s nipped in with Donyell Malen at the very end so it will be interesting to see how his contract talks go. Alexis’ agent, Fernando Felicevich, represents most of the Chilean squad, including Arturo Vidal, hence a lot of noise from the Bayern player about his chum’s future.

Sanchez returns to training on Monday so the club’s snappers will no doubt capture the manager and striker chatting, sharing a joke and being best buds. Meanwhile, the media will wonder if there’s been a cold shoulder or two barging onto the scene. There will probably be some fury – righteous rage – when Alexis doesn’t turn up to watch this weekend’s Emirates shindig.

Arsène sounded ‘dead chuffed’ to have the tournament back. “It is a great two days, I missed it last year – I am very happy to have it back again as I was very sad we couldn’t organise it last year.” It’s not the most convincing of sales pitches, is it? The marketing men are having enough trouble selling tickets as it is; not that the online ticketing system helps much.

A laptop is just too ‘old skool’, it seems. Oh well, we won’t be able to go; sorry, kids.

That’s Jolly Nice

I can’t recall us unveiling a new player at previous editions of the Emirates Cup – does Yaya Sanogo count? – so Alexandre Lacazette’s appearance will be something ground-breaking in that sense. Who knows, maybe even Thomas Lemar…

Or Jean-Michael Seri? Sports Witness claims we’re about to be really nice – or is that Nice? (chortle) – and make a €40m bid for the midfielder. Not a bad price for one who ranked as one of the best in France last year.

So which one of Seri or Lemar is this summer’s Yann M’vila? Seems we’re about to find out.

’til Tomorrow.

65 thoughts on “Lemar, Seri, Agents of Doom, and More

  1. If Monaco sells both Mbappe and Lemar that will surely complete the most comprehensive (and profitable) squad evisceration in the history of football.
    Even as it stands, I have never seen anything like it.

  2. Well, I was just ahead of the transfer hounds yesterday and here it is this morning: Jean Michael Seri for €40 million. Indeed,the month of August shall lay every fib to rest.

  3. Real Madrid balancing the books? Fanciful at best. If things go tits up there the local government will step in and buy a sweet shop for £200 million.

    Daniel Levy is talking sense on the subject saying the spending is unsustainable, but he’s up against wealth that has bankrolled wars across the middle east, so frankly they don’t give a toot.

  4. Daniel Levy talking sense? There’s a first time for everything. Did he mention the local government support Spurs are getting for their new stadium when he spoke of the ways in which the they are up against ill-gotten gains?

    Got a link to that Pete?

  5. Jonny,

    Totally agree, either have I. I just can’t understand why they would sell both players. If I was a Monaco fan I’d be seeing a lack of ambition for the up coming season.

    C’mon Yogi, that nice joke is getting old. You’re better than that.

  6. Morning YW excellent post.
    We know Football operates in a world of its own making. There will at some point in the not to distant future have some kind of financial curb etc. Those of us of a certain age can remember the 1st million pound player. The “ball de niege” has continued to gather steady pace.

    The current prices banded around for Footballers are indicative of the Financial shitstem and Fiat Currency that we live under. Money is created out of nothing.

  7. I have no idea if the links with Seri and Caravalho have any “truth” in them at all. I am of the firm opinion that we NEED at least 2 new players for Midfield. Will we get one? Qui sais? There are reports re Seri and Caravalho. I have not seen much of either so I cannot give my 2 euros worth.

    I will repeat again that Renato Sanches is one “Serious” option we should be looking at. He has everything that players like Kanty Keita etc have in midfield and more. He has asked to leave Bayern. A price of £30 million would obtain his services. A possible stumbling block could be that he shares the same Agent as Pogba and Mourinho I think.

    I stated earlier before YW posted today’s post that we are not going to be able to compete this season in the midfield. Just LOOK at what we have.

    Santi at 33 is unlikely to be ever get back to where he was. AW wishing ( guessing) he can get back to where he previously was is the same Game we played out with Diaby.

    Ramsey is not your” Classical” midfield type. He gets injured far to much and thus missing lengthy spells of the season. Le Coq is a mere squad player. Useful for shoring up the last 20 mins or so. Let us be honest and frank he is NOT a regular starter week in and week out. We Have to find better. The same with El Neny. The fact that Leicester put in a bid and the Club accepted indicates AW has doubts.

    Wilshire is no longer needed. The Ox is not a genuine midfielder. So we wait and see.

  8. A nice pithy Post, YW, and I do like a bit of vim and vigour. 😀

    The problem with all these media links of Arsenal to this scrumptious player or that, is the inevitable casting down of soul and spirit into the pits of high dudgeon and the ensuing rage that engenders.

    If someone at the club is leaking these tasty titbits they should know better — if it’s just the stuff I am doing my best to spread like ripe manure – I deserve a medal and a free seat at the Ems to shut me up. 😀

  9. HenryB,

    Hello Henry how are you? I returned from visiting UK yesterday. I can say I’m glad to have returned to more temperate shores. Its grey skies and low mid 20 temperatures.

  10. Any truth to the story that Wenger, when asked if he was going to buy any more players, said “Ask Siri” and hence a transfer rumour was born?

    ras,

    I think there was a story a couple of weeks ago saying that Cazorla might not be able to play at all in the coming season given a recent set back in his recovery. If that’s the case I think we’ve seen the last of him at Arsenal, as I can’t imagine the Board would sanction another contract extension.

    HenryB,

    Vim and vinegar? Is that a cocktail?

  11. Jonny,

    It’s staggering, and if Mbappe is sold (let alone Lemar) there obviously was a very deliberate choice made to break the whole team apart.

    Pete the Thirst,

    Levy is making sense (in an obvious way).

    However the ‘future’ Spurs policy is something I mentioned the other day. They have a crop of academy players they are determined to bring through (those mentioned on tour for example) and they anticipate those players can supplement the first team over the next few years.

    Lofty goals, maybe, but will it pan out?

  12. Hi ya, Wavey, 🙂

    Bit late to get up this morning and did not get the chance to answer your comment re Lucas.

    Like most right minded people (let’s ignore the left minded peoples) I was puzzled by the non-appearances of Perez especially as he was bough for not far short of £20m.

    But rather like the conundrum about why flies like walking upside down on the ceiling – (bunch of weirdos if you ask me) I eventually just accept both cases as being what they are – and stroll on.

    By the way, I would not recommend vim and vinegar as a drink – altho it would probably cause you to try and get to a doctor with a great deal of vigour. 🙂

  13. Ras,

    The temperatures in the UK are frequently affected by being the piggy in the middle of the continent of Europe and the Atlantic Ocean, as you know, and if I knew you were over here I might have been tempted to go back to the Sud with you, and say sod to my work schedule. 😀

  14. Wavey,

    The stories about Cazorla are very confusing. He has recently said that he is working double time in the gym, but doesn’t expect to be fit for 5 months (back in May). Which takes us to October before he is available. At the moment it smells a lot like another situation where Wenger is happy to sit on his hands and wait for the player. I really would not be surprised if he tries to ride it out and then has to make a quick supermarket dash at the end of the window when we start the season really weak through the middle. He did exactly the same thing when he resigned Flamini.

  15. Wavey,

    There is a conflation of names with a technical slant these days, and with Apple promoting the Rock and Siri who knows what could have rung AW’s bell.

    These things often confuse the likes of me – the Rock and Siri – between a rock and a hard place – To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them?

    Just stop fannying around Arsene – have a word with C, and get the transfers sorted. 😀

  16. Wavey @ 2:14,

    I am really worried about you talking to yourself – and ‘a supermarket dash for Flamini’ — that’s why Flambo was so ordinary – poor bloke stacking shelfs only to be kidnapped and stuck in the Arsenal midfield. 🙂

  17. Good stuff Yogi and I thank you for a summer of good reads.

    The Emirates Cup, well it should be fun and Lacazette grabbing a brace or two would certainly be a way to start things off right, scoring and then continuing to score.

    Seri would most certainly be a welcomed addition and Carvalho would paired with Xhaka would give us the big physical midfield that so many seem to want. Personally, I would prefer one of Seri, Aiser, Sergi Samper, Kovacic of Madrid (might help them balance their books with a 30m bid). Guess we will wait and see what happens, problem I currently see is that Jack is still here, Ramsey is still viewed by Arsene as first choice and Le Coq seems to do just enough to keep Arsene playing him regularly.

  18. HenryB,

    I think the choices for Flamini that summer were likely to be between Tesco’s and Arsenal. He was “training with us” that summer and was then given a contract when Wenger suddenly decided that we needed midfield cover. I think Villa turned us over at home in the first game of the season that summer.

  19. ras,

    Sanches would certainly be an interesting option. The lad does have it all in his locker and is still developing. The strange thing about him is that and as is often the case with young players, he struggles to do the simple things but is really good at doing the difficult things. I would gladly take him and since Bayern are known to do loan deals, possibly a 1 or 2 year loan with the option to make it permanent seems the logical thing should we go after Sanches.

    The other thing I found most interesting about what Bayern management including Ancelotti has said is that he struggled mentally to deal with the competition and expectations. Coming to Arsenal might be a good or bad thing if that is well and truly the case (Bayern are many things but rarely do they just throw a player under the bus), he could either flourish under less pressure at Arsenal or he could continue to struggle due to the current environment at Arsenal.

  20. HenryB,

    I think AW also gets confused about Sanchez. When the press ask about Alexis he thinks they are talking about his new Amazon Echo.

  21. YW,

    & @DFS

    Here’s the link: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/jul/25/tottenham-chairman-daniel-levy-mocks-unsustainable-spending

    I’m not saying that I like the guy, but he’s starting to remind me a lot of how David Dein operated when he was pulling the strings at Arsenal:

    – Players tied down to long contracts
    – Costs under control
    – Youth set up producing good prospects
    – A manager under his control

    I think they will struggle this year at Wembley, but Levy seems to have a long term plan. Compare that to the shenanigans at Arsenal over the past year.

  22. Wavey,

    Hello Wavey who ‘ TRULY’ knows what is happening with Santi.

    I think you are possibly correct in your observation that AW well may well wait until the last moment before acting in the transfer market.

    A quick glance at Man U and you can see the number of different options Mourinho has assembled that will comprise the UTD Midfield. City have acted in the same way. Everton have acted. The Spuds have 2 enforcers- CDM players. We don’t currently have one.

    Anybody that thinks or believes the Ramsey Xhakia pairing is going to be the fulcrum week in and week out for Arsenal this coming season in midfield understands and knows very little about football.

    The Ox is an utility player.He can do a ‘job’ in a number of positions. He should be sold for 30 million and a player whom has a definitive role be brought in.

    It’s been well documented that AW finds the signing of players etc very difficult. Mourinho in contrast has no hesitation when he has decided he is interested in a particular player.
    I am not saying all Mourinho’s buys have fantastic.

    AW has to get it right. The Team should ready and prepared from day one of the new season not like last season.

  23. C,

    Hello C hope you are well.
    As you noted Sanches has it all. Clearly his time at Bayern has not seen him progress. I think in the n bustle of the PL would suit him and us( wishful thinking) down to T. I see him as a modern day updated version of Gilberto.

  24. C

    We’ll lose to Benfica, draw with Sevilla and howls of protest will follow. Thank fuck I’m off on holiday soon.

  25. Cazorla just posted a reminder on Instagram, as reported by the Mirror. He say’s he will be back soon, he’s trying to maintain the balance. Viva Cazorla, not so good for the transfer speculations.

  26. Ras,

    Maybe the hustle and bustle of the PL would suit his style more than the tactical leagues of Germany, Italy and Spain. I think if there was ever a player that reminded me of Gilberto in the modern era it would Busquets (minus the crying and diving), Sanches to me is more of a dribbler who has that explosiveness about him. Actually the more I think about it, he is what Ox wants to be in midfield but with better close control, passing and tackling.

  27. YW,

    That’s not a welcoming thing, but might make Arsene not want the Emirates Cup back haha. Could you imagine Arsene’s face if Willock grabbed the winner for Benfica

  28. YW,

    Where are you going for your vacation? How long are you going for, and which of writing elves will be taking over?

    I guess the first question is a bit personal and you will probably skip it – but the rest is important as if it is a shut down, or a rubbish elf in charge, I might bugger off somewhere warm myself! 😀

  29. Monaco have stated that they are working on an extension with Mbappe and that along with Mbappy, Lemar and Fabinho are all set to stay. If they can keep those 3 then they will be fine because of their recruiting / purchasing this summer along with the returning players.

  30. Ras,

    Anybody that thinks or believes the Ramsey Xhakia pairing is going to be the fulcrum week in and week out for Arsenal this coming season in midfield understands and knows very little about football.”

    Are you referring to Wenger? 🙂

  31. Pete the Thirst,

    I think its going to be very interesting to see how spurs faire at Wembley.

    I don’t think its neccessarily a given that they’ll struggle.

    They might, but if they don’t, what would that say about our nightmare there?

  32. Before this summer I did not see AW spending big on a CM option as ultimately I think he picks Ramsey and Xhaka every time when fit. Irrespective of how we individually view or rate them as players I think Ramsey is his number one go to midfield player around whom he wants to build and the other is his big money signing who he can’t really leave out, he just so happens to be the best midfield option at the club in the eyes of most.

    What I don’t follow is the media suggesting we are willing to listen to offers for Elneny and perhaps Wilshere, and it would seem we are not making any promises to Chamberlain about his playing in this position. Chamberlain I don’t really think is a legitimate option anyway.

    So what does that leave, one option for cover in the form of a very average Coquelin.

    Cazorla I am afraid cannot be viewed as an option, if he even plays once this side of 2018 it will be a huge bonus.

    Perhaps the early summer stories of Goretzka were true and if so we should really be learning from how others do their business and offer Schalke an amount which would really force their hand. No back and forth will silly offers as we appear to have done with Lemar and Monaco, offers which I suspect we knew would be declined.

    I don’t really know this player Seri being linked today but again if he is the one then just do the deal.

  33. H

    Spain, a fortnight, and they aren’t, business as usual here! Well, one elf is helping out on a Friday but more on that nearer the time.

    Posts will be up earlier as well what with the time difference!

  34. If Madrid are really chasing Mbappe, then Arsene should be on the phone right now telling President Perez that he will give him 30m for Kovacic, put him in our midfield and he would be brilliant.

  35. Good to see Chmabers, Holding and Bellerin back in training after the U21’s .

    Also saw Jack in training photos.

  36. Speaking ofJack, its quite interesting that both he and Barkley were viewed as thr future midfield of England and now neither are wanted by their clubs but nobody really wants them in the PL unless its on the cheap.

  37. MikeSA,

    Hello Mike I was as per usual giving my 2 euros worth. My ‘rant’ was at no particular person in mind.My Frustration j m suppose is from the persoective that very little action- developments appears to be happening with regard to midfield. I of course am not privvy to the inner machinations of AW and whom he may or may not sign.

  38. Pete the Thirst,

    Thanks for the link – I’d read the BBC article.

    Note his common sense compared to Mourinho’s disingenuous crap about only paying top dollar for world class as if he has not driven the market at several key points.

    Trust me I was not knocking Levy or Spurs, I think what they have done over the last several years is fantastic -I was recently waxing lyrical on how the players and fans have faith in Levy and Pochettino (mentioned the long term contracts etc).

    I first realized there was something really special about Pochettino because Levy’s profile dropped after he arrived. Levy was almost constantly in the press until Pochettino, then seemed finally content enough with the managerial situation to drop into the background and concentrate on the stadium build.

    All that said things have aligned at this point. Pochettino and Levy in synch as manager and GM with a fanstastic crop of players who are flying the Spurs flag (and at least for now not making wage demands).

    But, you have identified the first hurdle – Wembley. They need to settle in from the off in the PL games which will be tough.

    Second hurdle will be maintaining the current wage structure after this next season. They know it has to increase but there will be a disparity between the amount Levy will pay and the amount other clubs will pay – it’s inevitable they will lose some players 18/19.

    The third hurdle, bringng through the academy players. All clubs want to do this but few young players make the grade. This means they will also rely on intensive scouting, trying to find the unidentified talent – but the absurdity of the Mbappe situation will just elevate the profile and price of any young ‘talent’.

    But, I agree with you, for this span of recent years Spurs have been fantastically well run and I for one really hope they settle into Wembley and continue last years success.

  39. C,

    Funny you mention Barkley – I’ve noted the same thing.

    He (certainly) or his representatives appear clueless about how to present him in the best light.

    He’s a mercurial talent at best. If he can be impressive he can also be a donkey (very much cast in the John Stones mold) except Barkley seems to have an attiude on top.

    He so completely missed the point of Spurs for this next season – a group of talented players willing to forego short term gain for longer term credibility – that I was simply left thinking dickhead.

    More money than Kane?

  40. DFS-,

    Barkley seems to be a player that has read one too many headlines about his good performances and forgotten that he needs to continue to work but his attitude (has been benched by several managers) seems such that he has ‘made it’ yet he really hasn’t.

    Koeman has worked with many a talent but he also has not only played but managed at the top of world futbol and because of that he knows and understands but also isn’t afraid to drop a player that doesn’t buy into the team or want to work for the good of the team.

    Now, unless its on the cheap, can’t see too many teams wanting him and for Koeman to say its 100% Barkley won’t play for him, well his options are as fleeting as Jack’s.

  41. DFS-,

    I think when he is focused he is a box-to-box type but he HAS to play with a disciplined player playing next to him. He does have that nasty tough streak about him and he is a big strong athlete who is a good enough dribbler. He isn’t a #10 or I don’t think works in a front 2 because his passing is eradict and he doesn’t have that quick thinking in tight spaces you need.

  42. I wonder why I double swap wouldn’t work with Monico? Mpappe and Lemar for Sanchez and maybe Giroud or even OX and some cash….+80mil should do it. Might be good to change the whole dynamic of our midfield and are attacking tactics. French paced football in the English Premiership… Got to love it!!

  43. C,

    “but he HAS to play with a disciplined player ”

    Right. The athleticism is all there and when on form he is exciting – though personally I am not enamored of the ‘box to box’ philosphy, I think you’re correct in his case.

    The other thing I have noticed though is when he drops out of a game, he can really disappear. Lokaku doing that is one thing but with a midfielder?

    Of course the other problem for Barkley is his demand to go to a bigger club. Thats fine but which top six club actually needs him?

    It’s a joke because of course with al the changes at Everton, thats precisely what they are targeting yet he has burnt his bridges.

  44. City romping past Real Madrid – I wished I’d watched it all.

    Caught the end and the recapped goals. 4-1 with a screamer from RM on the death.

    Lovely goal by Sterling, lovely goal by Stones (?) and a stunner from Brahim Diaz….the 17 year old Spaniard that has come through the ranks …holy toledo.

    City look very buoyant in an exciting and ominous way.

  45. Got to say the Wellington Silva situation is hilarious, you really couldn’t make it up. How not to work a buyback clause. So we buy him back from Fluminense for £1.5m with the aim of selling to Bordeaux for £3.0m. Bordeaux spot something in the medical that gives them some concern and they pull out of the deal. He is now going to re-sign with Fluminense. If I were them I’d play hard ball over the cash.
    Personally I’d love to make £1.5m for a quick turn, but was it really worth the effort for Arsenal? Wellington has only really shown flashes of promise in the past and hasn’t exactly set the world alight when he has been out on loan. We all know there were better youngsters at Arsenal where a buyback clause would have made more sense.

  46. Good for you Yogi. You keep going tirelessly when it is easier just to be tired. Tired of Brexit bollocks and tired of different, different, but the same.

    If we are not disheartened by the lack of transfers then we are sickened by transfer fees and salary demands. Where too is the strategy to dig us out of the on the pitch slump that we know Novemeber will sweep through – sapping all hope?

    The real crush for me is that we could have spent 200 million a season or two ago. Pushing that particular boat out then would have really bought something special when we knew the extra tv fees were coming and the effect that would have, they would have underpinned our spending. In the end who did we buy last transfer window when the stash in the bank meant something? Maddening, we could so easily have been in front of that curve.

    If I am getting any joy at the moment it is our decision not to sell Sanchez. He is our only top quality attacking player, which the whole Mbappe saga shows we are still not in the market for. Leaving us well adrift from the top.

    But there are two ways to do better. City are the exponents of one; spend, spend, spend and Tottenham are doing the other…..achieving on the pitch much more than they deserve from the money are spending and I will get some life back when I see us addressing this issue one way or another.

  47. Thanks for your time…….just too much sinisism. Preferably, more intellectual discussion than negative inneudos. I learned very little.however, I agree on the crazy amout of money involved.

  48. Well, mister, don’t you come round here with your hi-falutin’ expectations. Intellectual discussion? Pffft; that ship sailed long ago.

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