Is Arsenal Facing A Wage Cap Limit?

Interesting article in the newspapers this morning that Arsenal might he forced to sell players in order to lower their wage bill.

Arsenal are trying to sign Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to new contracts. But according to Premier League rules, signing their stars to big money deals could mean that Arsenal would be in violation of the short term cost control (STCC) measures which restrict teams to £7 million increases in total salaries each season.

Sanchez currently earns £130,000 per week and Ozil £140,000, and they have both been offered new deals of around £280,000-per-week. That translates to a £15m rise on Arsenal’s wage bill.

So how come the big spending at Manchester United, Man City and Chelsea have never triggered this clause?

Well Premier League rules allow for overspend, should clubs be able to show that it comes as a result of increased commercial or matchday revenue, or player sales.

With no Champions League football next season, it is difficult for Arsenal to show any improvement in commercial or matchday revenue. If anything, they will both decline in 2017/18 versus last season.

So in order to afford new contracts for both Sanchez and Ozil, Arsenal will have to reduce its wage bill by selling players.

One candidate rumored to be leaving the Emirates is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, whose current contract has only one year left to run. The England international is being monitored by Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City and could raise as much as £25m.

Barcelona are known to be suitors of Hector Bellerin, while Olivier Giroud is reportedly on the radars of Marseille, West Ham and Napoli and there are a cluster of fringe players who could also be sold to raise the necessary cash.

Of course, this could all be a moot point if Arsenal cannot agree new deals with Sanchez and/or Ozil this summmer and are forced to sell them on.


La Liga President: Cristiano Joining Manchester United Would Be ‘Huge Loss’

Cristiano Ronaldo leaving Real Madrid would be an “irreparable loss” according to La Liga president Javier Tebas, who is desperate for the Spanish champions to keep the four-time Ballon d’Or winner.

Reports in Portugal broke on Friday that the 32-year-old wants to leave Real Madrid only weeks after leading the club to back-to-back Champions League titles in Cardiff.

It came days after he was formally accused of defrauding the Spanish taxpayer of €14m, leaving Ronaldo unwilling to continue playing in Spain, with Portuguese papers calling the decision “irreversible”.

Manchester United, along with Paris Saint-Germain are interested in signing Ronaldo, but La Liga chief Tebas wants him to stay in Madrid.
Tebas told Spanish TV channel La Sexta:

“You can’t measure it, but it would be huge, and more so on the international growth of La Liga.

“It would be a massive loss for us; an irreparable loss.”

While Ronaldo is understood to have decided to leave Madrid before the Champions League final, the tax issues surrounding him at present are the driving factor but Tebas believes the forward is completely innocent and cannot understand the crime that he has allegedly committed.

“Knowing those around him, and how professional they are, I’m positive that Cristiano is innocent,” he added.

“We live at a time when any news about Spain’s Tax Office means everyone is a fraudster.

“I’m sure he’s innocent. From what I’ve read, I’m sure he hasn’t committed any crime.”


Bayern Munich Warn Clubs About Tapping Up Lewandowski

Strikers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe have attracted a lot of attention already this summer with potential record breaking transfers to other clubs.

But the best striker potentially on the move this summer is Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, and the German giants are moving quickly to try and keep him at the Allianz Arena by threatening to go to FIFA if clubs approach Lewandowski without their permission, amid speculation that Manchester United and Chelsea have held talks with the striker.

Bayern have gone so far as issuing a statement to Sky Deutschland warning clubs over Lewandowski.

“Robert Lewandowski is under contract at Bayern and only recently renewed his deal until 2021. Bayern Munich waste no thought on a Lewandowski move.

“There are no talks with other clubs, and there won’t be any. If other clubs negotiate with players who are under long-term contracts, they risk FIFA punishment.

“The agent also confirmed to us that he has not held any contract talks.”

Manchester United and Chelsea have both been linked in recent days with a move for Lewandowski, with Sky Sports claiming the two Premier League clubs have spoken to his representatives over a potential move.

The 28-year-old striker is reported to be unhappy at Bayern and his agent said earlier this week that coach Carlo Ancelotti offered his client a lack of support in the race to finish ahead of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as last season’s top scorer in the Bundesliga.

Lewandowski scored 30 goals last season but missed out on the top-scorer prize to Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who scored his 31st on the final day of the season.

The striker said recently that he was “disappointed” over a perceived lack of support from Bayern in his hunt for the Bundesliga’s golden boot award., saying earlier this month:

He told the Polish Super-Express newspaper earlier this month:

“I was not really happy with how my team helped me. I was annoyed and disappointed with the team’s attitude.”

And his agent Maik Barthel told German football magazine Kicker:

“He was disappointed as I have ever seen him before.

“Robert told me that he got no support and that the coach (Carlo Ancelotti) gave no call to help him win the top-scorer title in the last game.”


Barcelona To Spend Big This Summer

Barcelona sporting director Robert Fernandez has said the club will make “big-name signings” as they look to strengthen new coach Ernesto Valverde’s squad.

After missing out on the Liga title to Real Madrid last season and losing to Juventus in the Champions League quarterfinals, Barca understand that they need to refresh and strengthen a squad that looked a little jaded at times last season.

With Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez will both be 30 during the upcoming season, Fernandez understands that the Messi window is beginning to close.

So this is not a rebuilding project for Barcelona. They want to invest in players who can improve the team immediately.

Hector Bellerin, Marco Verratti and Ousmane Dembele are reported to be their three top targets as they look to add a right-back, a central midfielder and a forward.

But Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund are not keen to sell, and there are doubts over Barca’s ability to afford all three in the same window.

However, Fernandez told the club’s official magazine:

“We have a lot of information and there’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes.

“It goes without saying that we’ll bolster the squad in the positions we need and that they’ll be big-name signings.”

However, the sporting director said it had become increasingly difficult to convince players to come to the Camp Nou because of the intense competition for places. Something I wrote about recently.

Six new faces arrived last summer but, with the exception of Samuel Umtiti, none has yet been able to earn a regular place.

“The biggest difficulty we face is our own grandeur,” Fernandez said.

“A lot of players don’t want to come here because they aren’t sure they’ll get much playing time.

“But we are very happy with the players that we signed last summer because we think that this year they will make big steps forward in their careers.”


Italy Fans Throw Fake Money At Gianluigi Donnarumma

Wantaway AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma has faced the backlash of angry supporters during Italy Under 21s’ recent clash with Denmark Under 21s at the European Championships.

News spread this week that the 18-year-old stopper would not be signing a new contract at San Siro and would instead be seeking pastures new.

Teenager Donnarumma was given his opportunity by Milan back in 2015 and has since established himself as first choice, though angry fans have greeted the latest news with a torrent of anger and the throwing of fake wads of cash.

As Donnarumma was keeping goal during the Azzurri’s clash with Denmark in Krakow, fans behind the net began throwing heaps of fake money onto the pitch, spilling into the goal of the young ‘keeper while the match was still in play.

Chants also began to break out on the terraces, with fans expressing their displeasure that the homegrown star may be willing to turn his back on the club who had raised him.

A banner erected in the stands simply read, ‘Dollarumma,’ with fans convinced that the youngster is seeking to leave Milan in favour of a bigger payout.

The agent of the player is Mino Raiola, the ‘super-agent’ who takes care of the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Mario Balotelli.

Many opinions have suggested Raiola may be responsible for turning the head of his young client, while attempting to engineer a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid at the same time.

Since his emergence onto the scene in Serie A, Donnarumma has been frequently touted as the long term successor to the throne of legendary Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

Once the debris aimed at Donnarumma in the match had been cleared, the young Italian side went on to triumph with a convincing 2-0 scoreline.


A Peak At Ed Woodward’s Wish List

According to the Manchester Evening News, Ed Woodward has a list of four ‘fantasy’ signings that he would like to make at Manchester United before he leaves the club.

Woodward was appointed as the club’s executive vice-chairman in 2012, and was placed in charge of transfers at Old Trafford the following summer.

His initial attempts at signing players were embarrassing as United failed to sign Cesc Fabregas, Thiago Alcantara and Gareth Bale in Woodward’s first year. When United ended up over-paying for Marouane Fellaini, Woodward and United were ridiculed by fans across Europe.

There was more derision by United’s rival fans in 2014, when the Manchester United executive vice-chairman said:

“We can do things in the transfer market that other clubs can only dream of.”

But five years after taking over Manchester United’s transfers it looks like Ed Woodward has finally grown into the roie. Last summer’s signings of Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Eric Bailly and Henrikh Mkhitaryan all played important role in United winning the Europa League for the first time in the club’s history.

So far this summer Woodward has defender Victor Lindelof, but it is a Galáctico signing that gets Woodward’s heart pounding.

Atop Woodward’s wish list is Cristiano Ronaldo, who is now potentially available after reports claimed that he was ‘sad’ at Real Madrid and looking to leave.

Woodward pursued a move to re-sign Ronaldo in 2013, but the 32-year-old stayed in Spain, one of a number of player who have used Manchester United’s interest to drive up the value of a new contract at their existing club.

In addition to Ronaldo, Woodward also dreams of delivering to investors on the New York Stock Exchange Gareth Bale, Neymar and Thomas Muller.

The fact that these four have all been linked with a move to Old Trafford in the past three years, indicates that Ed Woodward is not giving up on signing a Galáctico every year for Manchester United.