The Star this morning ran an “exclusive” story stating that Arsenal were confident that they had put together a package that would convince Wayne Rooney to join the club from Manchester United. The story continues by suggesting that having Rooney and Higuain up front would be Wenger’s “dream partnership” and that Arsenal are convinced that they have a realistic chance of signing him.
As you can probably imagine I’ve got one or two issues with the story….
Firstly – the story heavily contradicts the last thing that the Star wrote about this story (that Arsenal couldn’t afford to fund the package part of the deal). The narrative for the Rooney to Arsenal story from the very beginning has also been strongly driven by the Star - and then picked up by other news outlets. This story continues that.
The story also speaks about how signing Rooney would help Arsenal join “the big boys” in terms of transfers and that it could help persuade Wenger to sign a new contract. I’m not going to get in to the “should he be offered a new deal” debate here (I’m personally in the “not yet” camp) - but as it is widely accepted that Wenger is largely in control of both transfers and wages at the club anyway – signing someone like Rooney shouldn’t make that much of a difference to Wenger’s contract situation as it is Wenger who makes the final decisions on transfers in the first place (and this isn’t the first season that he has had money to spend). It’s worth bearing in mind though that signing Rooney would raise the profile of the club (as would signing Higuain) – something especially relevant in commercial dealings (and no – I’m not suggesting that Arsenal will sign him simply for commercial reasons).
The other (main) thing that I’m not convinced about in the story is actually very simple. I’m pretty sure that Arsenal will break their transfer budget twice this summer. But they aren’t going to go on a mad spending spree (see City / Chelsea when they first got money). Can you really see Arsenal signing two forward players for over £25m each?
Now don’t get me wrong here. I (as much as anyone else) believe that the squad needs to be improved and I honestly believe it will be (and soon). Rooney is a great player and IF he is available (bearing in mind that by all accounts he hasn’t even met with Moyes yet) then Arsenal might well be interested (as Arsenal should be in top players). I would happily welcome Rooney to the club (despite what Adams had to say about him) but I’ll wait until a report emerges with some real information (including actual facts) before I start to think more about that. For the time being – I’m still convinced that Rooney will be staying at old Trafford.
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