According to the Daily Fascist, Arsene Wenger appears to be ready to finally pull his finger out and drop some real cash on players, with respective bids of £15m and £20m+ lodged for Rennes DM Yann M'Vila and Lille AM Eden Hazard. He is also reported to have renewed his bidding for Everton CB Phil Jagielka, all in an attempt to revive his clearly flagging squad.
M'Vila is an absolute beast in the tackle, and in many ways is one of the standout examples today of the "complete" modern midfielder, who can both defend and attack with equal aplomb. For comparison, think of players like fellow Frenchman Blaise Matuidi, Argentina's Ever Banega, and Liverpool's own Lucas Leiva (as long as you're seeing him through the heavily tinted glasses of a Reds fan). Not to make any hubristic predictions or anything, but expect this kid to become something of the new Michael Essien -- an exceptionally strong and acute-passing workhorse in the centre of the pitch. Would be an excellent buy for Arsenal, as he holds equal parts of the brute Wenger needs, and the technician he demands.
I think very little needs to be said about Hazard, who is widely lauded as one of the best young attacking prospects in world football, and has received many comparisons from coaches and journalists to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. He is extremely fast, and incredibly technically gifted in both feet, with the ability to operate through the middle or on both flanks with the same incision and flair, and difficult to dispossess due to his stocky frame and low center of gravity. He has great composure under pressure, and possesses a laundry-list of clutch goals in league play, including this wonderstrike against Marseille.
He is also remarkably cool-headed and fair-minded for a flashy young talent, accumulating only 9 yellow cards (and no red) in 130 appearances, and being widely acknowledged for his tendency to stay on his feet. Perhaps his only drawback is his allegedly lacking work ethic, which has been commented on by both Dick Advocaat and Belgian national team manager George Leekens. Though a £20m+ bid would smash Arsenal's current transfer record, Hazard could hardly be thought of anything but a sterling buy, and considering the type of money spent on duds like Fernando Torres and Andy Carroll these days, £20m for a generational talent like Hazard would seem like a no-brainer. One stumbling block, however, could be his preference for England, Hazard being quoted as saying "I appreciate England a lot, and Germany as well, but my characteristics correspond more to Spanish football," going on to cite climate as another issue.
No word on how much Jagielka could cost, but considering that bids ~£10m have been thoroughly rejected by Everton, the total cost could be somewhere in the region of £12-£15m, certainly no small chunk of change for an Arsenal defender. Though he is somewhat injury prone, Jagielka is a very tough player, and certainly not afraid to get stuck in or challenge a contested header with a bigger player. I could see him slotting in very well with Thomas Vermaelen, whose excellent positioning and precise technique could use some English graft during the sometimes rough-and-tumble play of the EPL.
In another Daily Fascist headline, Steve Kean is rumored to be going for a Balkan double, gunning for Bosnian Hoffenheim ST Vedad Ibisevic and Montenegrin Sporting CM Simon Vukcevic (who, according to always-reliable Wikipedia, is already a Blackburn player).
Liverpool are, according to multiple media sources (including BBC) are reporting that Liverpool is currently in "advanced" negotiations with Uruguayan club Nactional over signing their young star CB Sebastian Coates (pronounced: "koh-ah-tays" -- also Uruguayan). Coates shone in the 2011 Copa America tournament, helping his Urugayan team win the trophy, while picking up the tournament's Best Young Player award. He is 20 years old, listed at 6'5'', and considered one of the most promising defensive prospects in the world. His obvious size is complimented by surprisingly deft technique, and his talent has earned him wide plaudits throughout South America. Could be the franchise centre back that Liverpool thought they had in Daniel Agger, before his injury problems became a regular concern.
In addition, Liverpool is allegedly sizing up a move for Manchester City ST Craig Bellamy, who was last seen in Merseyside attacking John Arne Riise with a golf club. As far as ability goes, Bellamy is akin to a less-talented combination of Dirk Kuyt and Luis Suarez, pacey breathless workhorse with a tenacious playing style and temper to boot. As far as like-for-like replacements, Bellamy is about as good as one could find for Luis Suarez on the island, without shipping a considerably larger sum to City for Carlos Tevez and all of his "family issues."
In outgoing transfers, The Fascist reports that Milan has confirmed reports that they are close to signing CM Alberto Aquilani in a loan-to-buy deal, and that QPR are interested in a deal for prematurely aged AM Joe Cole, provided Liverpool can 'absorb' some of the massive salary outlay he carries.
The altogether reliable Guardian is reporting that City and Arsenal have agreed to terms of £22m for AM Samir Nasri, which represents an obvious coup for the blue half of Manchester. Do I really need to break anything down here? Nasri was one of the best performers from the 2010 EPL season, and possesses pretty much everything one could want in , except for the ability and desire to track back and defend. So yeah, there's a little more you could want. But looking at City's potential offensive lineup this season should
scare anyone: Silva, Nasri, Dzeko, Tevez, Aguero, Adam Johnson? Shit man.