Barcelona value Sanchez at £35m. It has been reported that Arsenal have bid £22m but are prepared to go much higher.
That nugget is from the Independent’s story on the transfer negotiations for Suarez. Arsenal always show a lot of interest in players but never seem to actually sign (m)any of them. The club’s approach to transfers can perhaps best be summed up by the sandwich shop story I read on twitter a while ago (apologies for no attribution, I can’t find it again):
Arsene Wenger walks into a sandwich shop ten minutes before it closes. He peruses the boards and decides he wants a salt beef and dill sandwich. The price is £3.50. Wenger patiently waits his turn and offers £2 for the sandwich. The shop owner laughs and tells him the price is well known to everyone and it is £3.50- there are plenty of other people who are willing to pay £3.50 because that is a fair price for the salt beef and dill sandwich. Wenger then stands to the side until the shop is almost closing, and then jumps forward, offering £1.50 for the salt beef and dill sandwich. Mr Wenger leaves the shop without a sandwich and then later voices his surprise that the lack of a sandwich at lunchtime has seen him under perform later in the day.
That in a nutshell is the Arsenal way. Despite having more cash on immediate access in their Scrooge McDuck style money pile than some failing banks, Wenger seems to think that offering below the market rate for players that will add to the squad is the only cogent approach to dealing with the lack of value in the transfer market. The transfer market is much like the housing market really. If you think the local market is overheating, offering what you firmly believe is a fair price but one that is at odds with what everyone else is prepared to pay, will see you fail to buy a house. It’s not exactly rocket science is it?
The next bid for Sanchez will no doubt be £22,000,001, they joke, and it’s a shame but Arsenal are becoming a laughing stock for their hopeless transfer dealings.
Here’s an idea, why not phone up Barca and say: “Hello this is Arsenal. We have a cheque book here and will write a cheque for £35m, all payable upfront, to ensure we get the player we want. We won’t dick you about, won’t gradually up the offer until you get bored and sell him elsewhere, won’t offer performance related amounts, staged payments or anything because we have £100m to spend and we actually want to buy some sodding players this window.”
Won’t happen of course, because it’s this sort of attitude that would stop the club having to rely on the likes of Yaya Sanogo when Giroud goes through a dry spell or any one of half a dozen midfielders are injured. How can the club have it’s traditional throw-it-all-away slump if there is genuine strength and depth in the squad?