by Ifreke Inyang
The summer transfer window is one of the most boring periods for a football crazy person. Or how do you explain the weekends without the excitement that the matches generate? The controversial goals, results, celebrations and refereeing decisions? The fired up arguments about the teams we support?
Most times though, it can be about the endless speculations that take up far too many inches in newspaper columns. It always seems to me that since there is nothing really to fill up their columns with, the sports journalists fulfill their daily obligation by cooking up stories. They have in the past created trouble with their imaginary transfer gossips, readily linking one player with a move to another club and sometimes, even completing the transfer on the pages of their soft sells.
After the European leagues ended in May or thereabout, the rumour mills have gone into overdrive. The following, in my opinion, are the top five that I am already bored of reading about:
For the umpteenth season, the gifted Spanish midfield conductor is being linked with Barcelona. Initially, he always affirmed his desire to keep playing at Arsenal and that always ensured that the sports writer didn’t have anything to cook up about him. But last season, the Catalonian actually met with Arsene Wenger and declared his intentions to move back home. Although the French coach managed to keep hold of him, he didn’t exactly hit the dizzying heights he is usually known to and his body language became evidently poor.
As soon as the summer swung by, the stories started making rounds, peppered with quotes from everybody at Barcelona, from Xavi to the mail man.
No matter how much they’ll keep tapping up Fabregas at every given opportunity, this is clearly a simple matter: Barcelona need to come up with an amount close to the £40 million price tag Arsenal have put on their captain. Until then, the reporters can stop telling us that Cesc is refusing to train and has been swamping Wenger’s phone with pleading text messages!
No one saw this coming. Nasri started the season like a train on fire and by December, he had cemented his status as a very important constituent of how Wenger’s brand of football works. He came into his own and was nominated left, right and centre for major awards. Impressed by Nasri’s huge improvements, Arsenal offered him a new contract, as his current contract runs out next year. As the season wound down, fans had no cause to worry as the midfielder reiterated his desire to stay. After the season however, the story became different and the dithering started.
Trust the press men to link him with every big club they could think about – from Real Madrid to Manchester United to Inter Milan. Wenger came out to refute all these allegations, stating emphatically that his compatriot was going to stay, even if he will not sign an extension and leave for free next season. Few weeks after, he declared that Nasri’s future isn’t sorted yet. And so the press men have had a field day.
Manchester City are thought to be the only suitors left in the race though. They have reportedly offered close to £25 million and agreed terms with Samir. As long as Wenger doesn’t make up his mind whether to sell or let him go for free next year, this story will become omnipresent in sports columns.
Luka Modric’s case is simple: He wants to leave the Champions League one-season wonders to Chelsea. He made this abundantly clear to the chairman of the club, Daniel Levy in a meeting although the firm response was that he was going nowhere. Chelsea have made two separate bids of £22 million and about £27 million. This has encouraged the diminutive Croatian to hand in a transfer request, which was not accepted. Chelsea, according to the media are set to up the offer and they also claim Tottenham are bracing for the exit of Modric by looking at possible replacements like Valencia’s Mata. The issue is still lingering as he is currently doing pre-season with Spurs and Harry Redknapp is not very keen to let him go. Cue the daily dose of stories on Modric.
After the mercurial Paul Scholes retired, a lot of names have been linked with filling his void at Manchester United. Wesley Sneijder is one of those. But apparently, the stumbling block to a deal being done is the fact that he earns £250,000 a week and he would cost £35 million. Although United is one the richest clubs in the world, Ferguson is reluctant to seal as deal, as it might lead to a dressing room discontent, especially with star player, Wayne Rooney. This hasn’t stopped reporters from alleging everything from a meeting between the executives of both clubs to Sneijder accepting to join for a pay cut. Yawn.