Catalan press go big on Bellerin (again) + other transfer tittle-tattle


As sure as eggs are eggs, when a club goes through a difficult period the stories about players moving away ramp up.

This is never more true than when Barcelona are after an Arsenal player, and the Catalan press have certainly jumped on board after the North London derby defeat to Sp*rs on Sunday.

‘The chaos at Arsenal ‘congeals’ the signing of Hector Bellerin’ – say Sport.

‘Final attack for Bellerin’ – reads the headline in El Mundo Deportivo.

“Arsenal find themselves in a deep sporting crisis,” says the Sport article, and that Barcelona believe the ‘the internal chaos of Arsenal’ can benefit them regarding ‘the departure of Hector Bellerin.’

Meanwhile, El Mundo say that Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu won’t make any real push to sign the right-back until their replacement for Luis Enrique has been announced.

The one thing they might find difficult is actually talking to somebody at Arsenal.

With doubts over who is going to manage the club next season, rumours that transfer negotiator Dick Law is on his way out, and Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis nowhere to be found, they might see their calls going unanswered.

There are also stories circulating about Mesut Ozil and how his future is in doubt after kicking a door at White Hart Lane. Suggestions are that Arsenal are willing to let him go, but that suitors are in short supply.

Sounds like more back-channel guff from Highbury House, because even if he’s been underwhelming – like almost every other Arsenal player this season – you can be quite sure Ozil will have plenty of options if he’s made available.

There have also been Ligue 1 links for Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud; Alexis Sanchez tipped to join Chelsea, Man City, Man Utd, PSG and Bayern Munich; Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been talked about as a possible candidate for Liverpool; David Ospina could go to Fenerbahce; while Carl Jenkinson, Mathieu Debuchy, Jack Wilshere, Wojciech Szczesny and Kieran Gibbs are all heading into the final year of their contracts making summer decisions important.

Still, the new four year deal for Yaya Sanogo will make everything feel better.

Read today’s Arseblog: Mesut Ozil kicked a door, and so did Freddie Ljungberg

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65 Comments on "Catalan press go big on Bellerin (again) + other transfer tittle-tattle"

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Petit\'s Handbag

We’re fucked

Bloody Hair Ljungberg
Bloody Hair Ljungberg

Players come and go. And its them who is fucked when they go. If anyone goes in summer we can laugh at them when we’ll win the league next year


As far as I remember it’s explayers who win the title after they leave us. You can laugh until that happens though. Ignorance is bliss


Alexis will be so fucked if he joins bayern /Chelsea / City / Juve… It’s more a case of being fucked if he stays. Unless all the dead weight and the management of it is gone and replaced.. By quality. Which is not really going to happen. Especially now that we miss out on champs league.


Sanchez won’t get into Barcas team that’s why they sold him as good as he is they have better the same can be said for Real and Bayern, I doubt we will sell to a premier league club so that leaves Monaco (but would he be a regular there ) or the likes of PSG, Dortmund and Atletico and only PSG of those can afford him ! His best bet is to stay and hope we recruit well under a new manager!

Heavenly Chapecoense

Sanchez will be a regular for PSG, Dortmund and Atletico. Ozil will not go to Bayern (Ancelotti sold him at Real). At Barcelona, they will definetely prefer Rakitic). He won’t return to Real. Guardiola is too rigid in his system and prescribes exactly what players have to do on the pitch to want Ozil. Options for Ozil is PSG, Juventus or Milan teams.


We lost a game. That obviously means that everybody will leave.

Liam Bradys left peg

What? Only one game?


Obviously more than one, but the bullshit in the papers seems to change from week to week depending on the last result …

It will be interesting to see what actually happens.

Original Paul

Our top players are playing shit and have never been consistently great anyway! I can’t see much of a demand for them (outside of China) with the amount of money they will want.


Any player that wants to leave can fuck right off.
Let’s get a new man in, some new players and start afresh.
We survived the squillaci, Denilson era.
We’ll get through this too.


Bellerin hasn’t intimated that he wants to leave. It’s not his fault that the Spanish media make these allegations.


We “got through” that era to arrive at this one. In the broadest sense we all get through stuff till the end of time, but “in what shape” kind of matters.

If you’re saying we stay fans in good health and in bad, I agree. But the last two years seems like more than just a bad run, it feels like we’re being lied to and deceived for profit. Can we get past that?

Arsene\'s coat zipper
Arsene\'s coat zipper

Can we keep Santi, though?


The Squallaci/Denilson era looks pretty good with hindsight.


Come on. Why the harsh language its not like theyre backstabbing anyone. Like every superstar whos left us, they go looking for a team with bigger ambitions. Like winning a UCL or a league title. I’d do it if I was Sanchez/Ozil quality and instead of winning titles were being criticized. Money is not everything mate. Big players have big ambitions.

Heavenly Chapecoense

If Ozil leaves, it can be a blessing in disguise. We can play other systems and use some of our players differently. We just have to be smart when buying a player to replace him.

Original Paul

It always make me laugh when the term “Fuck RIGHT Off” is used. Thank you Amusa for a great post. 🙂


Selling world champions is something we used to do.

Ozil is going nowhere. The team needs to be structured to get the best from him.


That’s when we had “world champions”…


And he’s all Barcelona’s for £75 million. Cough up or fuck off and look somewhere else.


#Wengerin – As a Manager, Sporting director, midfielder, Goal-keeper, defender. Ofcourse, all that with Giroud starting up front.


It’s like he retired after his scorpion goal

David Hillier\'s luggage
David Hillier\'s luggage

How does kicking a door in at Sh*te Hart Lane put your future in doubt? Didn’t Freddie do that years ago cementing his hero status in the process? Is Mesut about to dye a red streak in his hair too?

Slexis Anchez

The reason he kicked it, according to the Independent who ran the story, was he was annoyed for being nominated to take yet another drug test. After being told he would be fined if he refused, he got angry and thus kicked the door…


Judge me when the season ends he said.


I seriously think that from day one on the English media and pundits have decided to kill Mesut’s reputation (still suffering from his actions against England in 2009 and 2010? Maybe. Rejecting a style of play that got him prestigious titles in each team he played with?). And they’ve succeeded. Making us believe that no great club would buy him is beyond ridiculous as to say he did nothing on sunday. I can tell you for sure that against United, he’ll be disappearing again. The articles are already written.

Slexis Anchez

The reason they hate him and AW is simply bc their approaches and styles go against the standard ‘British’ way.
– AW is a man who oo intelligent and articulate for their liking (although he’s slowly lost the plot)
– MO is too illusive and silky for their Rooney, Barkely-que liking…


Can we just sell them his hair?


That’s the only way they’re going to get any of that “Barca DNA” from Bellerin.

Original Paul

How anyone can thumb down that world class comedy line from Pooner is beyond me!

dr Strange

Not one club of the clubs that could actually afford Ozil would want him. Can anyone see Barca, Juve, City, Chelski, Manu, Madrid or Bayern go for a sulking lazy brat that shows the entire world week in and week out that he doesn’t give a fuck.

Ozil is a luxuary player and that’s one thing you can’t afford in todays game. Everyone needs to put a shift in or you won’t challenge the big clubs. No matter how good you are. Theres no surprise Ozil goes missing against good teams. He he lacks the fight to make a difference.

We would be better of selling him if we could get a decent fee and his wages of the books. I doubt we could though.

Ex-Priest Tobin

Spot on. Ozil is the biggest coward in the league. Don’t know why any club would spend that kind of money on a player who spends most of his time shuffling around trying to look busy.

Lord Bendtner

Watching the Real Madrid games in La Liga, I’ve noticed Real Madrid midfielders getting tons and tons of free space in the middle of the park. I think Ozil could make stuff happen at Real Madrid (I know it’s not the common opinion, but this is my opinion)

As for Ozil leaving, I do not want to see him leave. He’s a good player. But when your defense is so leaky and your wingers/midfielders/strikers give away the ball that often, you can’ blame Ozil for not creating chances. Yes, he’s a luxury player in the sense that you won’t expect him to run around playing box to box. But, when you have a midfield of Xhaka & Ramsey, you should not be expecting Ozil to do that. Instead, you want Ozil to get the ball and find those passes. But when he happens to pass to another player up front or on the wing, the ball gets lost and our entire attack has to start again.
We need to Keep Ozil and get a new manager/coaches who can actually control a team, organize them, and set the palyers’ goals/initiatives.

Lord Bendtner

*You CAN’T blame

Lord Bendtner

Selling Ozil is NOT the solution. If we sell him, we will be in loss. Because he is a player of immense talent that is very hard to find. Just take a look back at the season where he almost smashed that assists record. That was because the rest of our players were actually playing properly. So, THAT is what we need to fix. And it has to go back to the manager, he (whether Wenger or any other manager) needs to start from square 1 with this squad

dr Strange

The talent is without question and I would keep him if I felt an tiny bit of desire, but I don’t.

Going back to the season he almost smashed the assist record. As far as I can remember he didn’t make a difference against any of the big teams. I might be wrong but if I am I’m certain it was a one of.

Of course the rot is deeper than one player but Wenger won’t go and the rot will spread. Our only hope with Wenger in charge is that we bring in players that can motivate and let Cazorla do the tactics. He’s a future top manager.

Original Paul

Wow dr Strange! You went from “sulking lazy brat” to….”The talent is without question and I would keep him if I felt an tiny bit of desire” rapidly!
Just to be clear, are you saying that if you fancied him even a tiny bit you would keep him? 🙂

Arsene\'s coat zipper
Arsene\'s coat zipper

Problem with that is top players won’t take a gamble sticking around with uncertainty looming over the manager. I get Wenger/Arsenal want to draw a line at the end of the season and work it out, but in the meantime, given our current run and adding up the the mystery over who will be in charge next season, Ozil, Alexis, Bellerin and every other decent player should consider their future. I don’t think we should sack Wenger unless we have the best possible replacement lined up. Change for the sake of change will not help us out of this mess. So either announce a new manager or announce an extension to Wenger’s contract. ASAP.

Lord Bendtner

True dat, the uncertainty is helping no one


Had this been the ONLY season we’ve collapsed in the league and CL I’d say give Wenger another chance but since 2004 in the league and 2006 in the CL we have seen REGULAR implosions the only difference this season is it’s been WORSE ! Im not suggesting getting just anyone but who had heard of Wenger before he joined us ? George Graham wasn’t exactly a big name manager when he arrives and Bertie Mee was a physio for pity’s sake ! There ARE quality young managers out there especially of we accept a young manager would need time to build his own team in his image ! We are a team built in the image of a manager who is a pensioner and whose best days are more than a decade behind him!

Paul Davis

Do you actually watch the games at all or are your opinions formed from biased and easy to write soundbites from the likes of Alan Smith and Jamie Redknapp? This lad puts in a largely unnoticed and unrewarded shift week in week out. He is the future, not the problem! If only we had quality, intelligent movement, ball winning (and ball keeping) strength and the skill level in the team around him he might be able to silence a few more of his critics.
If we don’t win the ball, hold on to and intelligently distribute it from central midfield then he gets no service.
If he has to come deep/out of position to ‘get involved’ then it is harder for him to have an attacking influence from the wrong area of the pitch.
If he does get the ball to him in the right areas of the pitch then he also needs intelligent movement, pace, strength and desire from the other forwards to get into the correct positions, draw defenders away to create the opportunities for runners etc to allow him to produce the assists that we all know he has in his locker.
Let’s face it how good would Dennis Bergkamp have looked if no-one gave him the ball in the right areas and no-one made the runs and found the spaces for him to pick them out so spectacularly again and again over so many happy years?
Most of the current squad lacks the skill levels to play the football we all love to watch so we really shouldn’t blame the most talented lad on the park for that! Probably wiser to point fingers at the manager, coaching staff, scouting & recruitment, and then the boardroom obviously for letting this terrible slide in quality happen to our beautiful football club.


Spot on. That’s one of the great things about Ozil – his game rewards knowledge of the game. It has a funny way of showing which pundits and supporters actually have any idea how to judge a player.


Honestly there is so much wrong with this club and team at this point that keeping or selling Ozil won’t really make a big dent either way. I personally think he is a very good player playing with inadequate talent in a system that really isn’t suited to his talents. Playing a slow center forward really doesn’t make any sense to me given it reduces us to our U shape and just trying to predictably ping in crosses, and the other option (Welbeck) can’t finish. Our central midfield is a mess b/c we are trying to play without a defensive midfielder (Xhaka really is the new Santi). We are filled with players that Wenger is attached to that really aren’t good enough to compete at the top level. And thanks to the impotence of the board, we appear set for more of the same.


Phew…I was worried about that. #yayain


First time posting (sorry blogs, fixed up the yuppy text speak).
To be honest I personally would rather keep Ozil than Sanchez. Sanchez last 5-8ish games has been terrible, like really fucking bad. Welbz would have been better there. Im not saying hes a bad player, I love him but its bloody hard sometimes, he really is ‘world class’.. when hes on. When hes bad though its like 12v10, it seems like half his passes are to opposition and nearly all dribbles are straight at a player who comes away with it… In saying all that I dont think we can let either of them go on a free next year, not only will we miss out on a decent bit of cash for towards replacements (hahaha) but at least 1 would end up at a prem club I think, cant have that shit, clichy na$ri – city title won, per$i – utd title won…
Bellerin though, can’t lose him, available good full backs are hard to come by especially his age. We’ve got to stop being a feeder/longterm loan club for barca.

Yankee Gooner

/off topic

I’ve been thinking, Blogs, about how hard it must be to keep churning out content when things are so dire and have been for so long. Plus, through no fault of yours, readers must be losing interest in AFC right now because there is simply nothing new to say, and that probably impacts you directly through page views, etc. So I’m going to make extra effort to click through some ads to show I’m no luxury reader but actually have a great motor and can put in a shift. Cheers, mate.


I really appreciate it too, but hard times are good for content. There is more to discuss/debate. People come on here looking for a crumb of comfort (I do for sure). I have made my peace with the fact this will be a shit season, and it was one which was always on the horizon. They happen. Chelsea had a worse one last year and look at them now. We are not being relegated. Uncertainty is making things look a little bleak at the moment but we all know things can turn very quickly in football. Let’s just get to summer and see what happens. I am sure we are not nearly as fucked as the doomsayers think.

Arsene\'s coat zipper
Arsene\'s coat zipper

Last man out, please turn off the lights.


the club is in such a termoil on the pitch and off the pitch we have become the laughing stock of the prem and soon the world it all started when kronke took over the rot set in and seeped through out the club till that changes we are set for gloomy years if we had cream its all turned sour it hurts to see such a decline in a short space of time, there is a long tunnel but no light at the end

Arsene\'s coat zipper
Arsene\'s coat zipper

Or is it? We were contenders last season until we decided to call it a short day. This season we started off remarkably well and decided to call it a short day. If we can somehow keep the motivation high for a whole season, *this* Arsenal team can produce. Whether or not with Wenger in charge I’m not so sure anymore and I’m typically inclined to lean WKB.

Coq au Vin

Bazza – I see you found a comma. Are you still looking for the full stop?

Original Paul

I assumed the comma was a bit of dirt on my screen…:-)


Pinch of salt taken.

The Spanish press are so notorious for this I’d be more surprised if they weren’t linking him. I think it was the old Arseonline (RIP) that used to list every player we were linked with each summer, I recall one year when it was about 120 different players and of those we signed maybe two.

Believe it when it happens, I say. Probably will eventually though!

Faisal Narrage

” you can be quite sure Ozil will have plenty of options if he’s made available.”

Are you sure about that?
Because I’m sure many clubs would want him, but only a small handful can afford him. And of those who can, who would want him/need him?

Barca? We know the answer to that. Plus they don’t play with a dedicated no.10.
Madrid? They sold him.
PSG? By far the most likely prospect
Bayern? Possibly. But they don’t play with a dedicated no.10 either and are based on working hard without the ball.
City? Nah. See above
United? Nah. See above.
Chelsea? Nah. See above.
Atletico? Nah. See above. And probably can’t afford his wages. Deffo not Simeone player.
Dortmund? Nah. See above.
Juve? Maybe. Though I doubt they can afford his £300k expected wages. Also, Allegri requires a lot of off-the-ball work. But is possible.

Basically, I don’t see many clubs requiring him.

Liam Bergkamp

But Blogs, are you sure eggs are eggs? maybe they’re not, they might just be a figment of your imagination? or possibly eggs are really just chicken periods!
nevertheless keep up the eggselent articles!


We still have an FA Cup Final to play but my overwhelming feeling is “can’t this season just be over already”. That’s such a sad thing to admit. Where the hell was the team that turned up for City but not against Tottenham? If we lost but at least turned up for the game, played well and made it an exciting contest, it would’ve been a bit easier to process. Instead, we were completely outplayed and it really was a routine victory for Tottenham. Blogs and Gunnerblog never advocate boycotting games, and rightly so, but I genuinely think it is an inevitability that the amount of fans turning up at home will dramatically decrease if nothing changes. It’s like the board, who are supposed to make decisions and run the club, by doing fuck all about our current predicament are organically killing the support for the club. While the love for the club will always be there, many life long fans are losing the very passion and interest which makes supporting a team so special. The importance of Arsenal to millions of people across the whole world is truly incredible, and it’s being destroyed by a board that really couldn’t care one bit about it.

Also, please don’t go anywhere Hector. We love you, gracias!


I like bellerin. But i do recall being particularly pissed off with George Graham when he decided to sell viv Anderson. Then lee dixon came along. Let them all off. Lets start anew.


The manufacture of crisis.

Abated by some segments of our fan base always ready to sow discontent.

As I mentioned before, it is not surprising the Board and Wenger are not saying anything about his future at the moment until they cross the line.

As is, there is enough rumour travelling.

If Wenger said he was leaving, this would ratchet up ten fold and certain players will already be looking toward the summer with their agents in their ears (And this excluding Ozil and Alexis)

If Wenger said he is staying, some segments of the fan base will be up in open revolt poisoning the already tepid atmosphere further.

Are you really that surprise we should be concentrating on the footy first and foremost?


Any conjecture as to the manager’s future has also to weigh on

1) the reconstruction effort needed in the summer

2) who is available as replacement in the summer.

IF the 2018 timeline post Wcup offers a better selection of candidates following the inevitable managerial shake up, it may pay to be patient and wait out one more season.

IF reconstruction is complicated this summer, it may ALSO pay to afford Wenger one summer to restore a bit of order. The last thing we need is a new manager unfamiliar with surroundings having to also deal with a complicated reconstruction.

As mentioned before Wenger flatters to deceive because he is good in the market (ONE of the best). It covers his flaws tactically over the years. Whether he buys sufficient quality to make weight for his tactical hands off approach is another issue.

This summer we stand risk of losing either or both of Ozil and Alexis.

We need to retain one even at risk of amortising his cost over remaining season. It is highly un-Arsene/Arsenal but we can break the mold and make one exception.

If I had to choose, I’m sure most will agree Alexis should be the player retained because he brings dynamism and energy which will be hard to replicate.

Whether Ozil gets an offer to tantalise him away is of course debatable.

BUT if we should lose Ozil and keep Alexis, we will still need at least 4 to 5 additions.

1) Striker. I think we are still incomplete up top. None of the current candidates are Plan A in my opinion. All should start to suit circumstance.

Giroud is best kept IMO for another season or so because he is good against entrenched defenses packed deep when you need to break the door down. It will be foolish and short sighted to keep him.

Welbeck IMO has been poor in front of goal. He has had several sitters presented over recent games when he started which he has conspired to miss. He may yet improve but clearly this should not be the case at this level.

Walcott can come up with the goal here and there but goes missing and is too easily readable for the opponents since he lacks nuance. IMO, at 27/28yrs, his pace will wane (which is his main asset). We should sell him now. At 20-24m offer from any club, I’d sell him in a heart beat.

The sort of striker we need may be someone like Draxler. I’m not sure how strong PSG’s conviction is to continue to hold him (since its only been a season) but if they should be attracted to say either Alexis or Ozil, I’d work out some sort of make weight deal. The likes of Mbappe will be IMO too hot price-wise. Ditto Greizzman.

We need technical players at the moment. Wenger’s British core project is frankly silly. We have enough potentially good players who are local lads and we may need to shed some others (Gibbs, Jenko, Jack, Walcott) who have either not been good enough or injury proned.

2) PLaymaker – If Ozil should be sold, I would definetely look for someone of the likes of Konoplyanka who is on loan I believe at Sevilla. Mobile and again technical, he can play both centrally but also swap with Alexis out left.

3) Wide Right – Ox will continue to push but I still think we need a player to balance out Alexis on the left, carry the threat on opposite flank without dependency on Bellerin. I know Barca are keen but someone like Mahrez (again technical) would be ideal.

4) Deep midfield. We have missed Santi this season again. Neither of Granit-Coquelin nor Granit- Ramsey have been ideal. The latter pair lack tackling prowess the former is a bit too cautious going forward. Elneny is frankly a mediocre player.

I would add someone like Fabinho (or Saul Niguel). Aggressive tacklers but also good pushing forward.

5) Finally at Lback, Monreal has been excellent and has improved under Wenger.

Gibbs I feel has plateaued and adds nothing going forward. If we need to get a Kolasinic or someone of that ilk to compete (provide potential left wing back) whilst Bramall continues to be assess or develop on loan, so be it.

I think regardless of CL qualification, we can attract some of these players over. The key will be again if they feel they are taking a step up the learning curve under Wenger and I think Wenger also has to provide the platform for them in some ways as guaranteeing they will be close to first selection.

I’m not suggesting any of these players (like Draxler) are in any ways easy to get or should be our targets I’m sure Wenger knows better but IMO the qualities that these players have are what we need to be shopping around for and frankly we cannot afford any more projects. We need to add the real deal now.


Is that all ?


Draxler was basically calling out for us to buy him and he’s a good mate of Mesut so he would have come. But we did fuck all about it as usual. Wenger doesn’t know better, he just makes lists of players who we looked at, who we were interested in, who we thought about, who we scouted, who we could have bought,who we did fuck all about and somebody else bought.


You keep repeating over and over how great Wenger is in the transfer market but that really is based primarily on his successes almost 15 years ago at this point. Almost everyone would agree that one of Arsenal’s major issues since Dein left has been their dithering the transfer market. You can give Wenger a pass for the years when he had to sell his best players, but his record since then has been relatively spotty – with as many misses as hits and a clear failure to address problem areas year after year. Arsenal is no longer a team that interests top young talent – look at how many of the top young French players have turned Wenger down the past few years, and really is no longer a destination for top stars either – Czech wanted to live in London, Sanchez and Ozil were both cast aside. I really don’t see any basis for allowing Wenger to oversee the rebuild – it’s time to bring in a sporting director to build the team if the only argument for keeping Wenger around is that a better manager will be available post the WC. Arsenal still would be an extremely attractive job for any sporting director or manager given the almost unparalleled ability to run the club without interference from above.