Just as Brazil’s flimsy rearguard burst in brutal fashion, so it seems has Arsène Wenger’s resistance in the transfer market with the Arsenal manager not so much opening his wallet as taking a crowbar to the treasure chest and smashing it open.
Alexis Sánchez will be paid £150,000 a week by the Gunners to, among other things, roll his shorts up unnervingly high when taking set pieces in a tribute to the 1980s football fashionistas. Sánchez has been in London for negotiations over a £30m move and is set to sign on for five years, becoming Arsenal’s highest earner.
Not content with throwing a sizeable spanner in Liverpool’s works and their plans to take Sánchez in part-exchange for Luiz Suárez, Wenger also plans to bolster his midfield with the addition of Sami Khedira from Real Madrid. With Mikel Arteta rumoured to be on his way to Fiorentina, Khedira would appear to be a perfect replacement and a logical signing.
There may be more to this one that meets the eye, however – the sheer sight of the German midfielder next season will have Paulinho cowering in the corner after Tuesday night’s shame and Wenger will be eagerly looking forward to outlasting the 378,609th Tottenham manager during his tenure.
Speaking of Spurs, they have been questionably quiet this summer, either because Tim Sherwood wreaked such havoc with their scouting network before being succeeded by Mauricio Pochettino, or perhaps more likely because Daniel Levy remains convinced Nacer Chadli is a world beater and what he does not know about football …
But it appears Levy has not been able to resist a last-minute attempt hijack of Liverpool’s move for Belgium’s super-sub Divock Origi. It does not take rocket science to read between the lines and realise that Tottenham will pay for his medical before he signs on at Stamford Bridge.
Tottenham are also among a plethora of clubs being offered the former Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou. The Ivorian was apparently at the World Cup and Arsenal, Liverpool, Everton, Roma and Monaco are all possible destinations.
Liverpool’s rotten luck continues with the news they are set to miss on Xherdan Shaqiri. The “Alpine Messi” seemingly cannot resist joining Ashley Cole at Roma for £15m.
Aston Villa are clearly bullish that the dark days are behind them – no doubt pointing to the World Cup form of Ron Vlaar as evidence and to capitalise on the feelgood factor, they are ready to snap up the former Arsenal substitute Nicklas Bendtner who has not taken the hint, having been released by the Gunners.
Elsewhere, Didier Drogba is waiting by the phone, hoping José Mourinho meant what he said about a return to Chelsea, having ended his contract with Galatasaray – he had better put the kettle on.
And Millwall are using their tungsten-reinforced fishing rod to dangle hulking defender Danny Shittu as bait in an attempt to secure Oldham’s highly rated Jonson Clarke-Harris.