Arsenal Transfers: Calling Fact or Fiction on the Latest Rumors
Every time the transfer window opens, the fans of every club get inundated with rumors about possible arrivals and departures.
Despite the club's frugal ways, Arsenal does not seem to be an exception to this rule; indeed, Gunners fans are treated to just as many, if not more speculative stories as any other club in England.
Of course, a lot of these rumors turn out to be just that, and nothing more comes of stories that were concocted in the mind of some journalist who is desperate for copy.
There is no way that Arsenal will sign dozens of players this summer, but, occasionally, there will be a nugget of truth in the middle of a bunch of hokum.
Let's try to debunk or confirm some of the stories swirling around the Emirates Stadium nowadays.
Ibrahim Afellay: Fact (Posssibly)
According to Metro, Barcelona are looking to offload Dutch winger Ibrahim Afellay for the relatively small price of £6 million.
What might make this move somewhat attractive to Arsene Wenger is the fact that, for a paltry price in today's market, he can buy a young international who is full of skill and might be overlooked after a season filled with injury and a lackluster Euro 2012 campaign.
However, with the signing of Lukas Podolski, who is used to operating on the left wing, and the presence of numerous talents such as Gervinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott and perhaps even Ryo Miyaichi, Arsene Wenger might not want to add to a corps of wingers.
Tongo Doumbia: Fiction
Rumors linking Tongo Doumbia to Arsenal, like this from talkSPORT, are classic cases of the press grasping at anything they can get their hands on.
It just so happens that Doumbia is the midfield partner of Yann M'Vila, who was so strongly rumored to be signing with the Gunners just a short time ago.
Now that the link between a star like M'Vila and Arsenal has all but disappeared, his Rennes teammate appears an easy subject for the latest speculative article.
We know that Arsene Wenger likes players from Ligue 1, but with a very good, albeit brittle, midfield, he won't look to add a merely average player to the most important position on the field.
Etienne Capoue: Fact
While Arsenal have enough depth in midfield that they don't need to go out and sign the first French player they can find, perhaps one more good player would add enough depth for the manager and fans to feel secure.
Etienne Capoue fits the mold perfectly.
While the Gunners probably don't have to compete with Barcelona for his services, as the Daily Mail suggests, he fits the mold of an Arsene Wenger signing quite well.
At 24 years old, Capoue is still young and could blossom into quite a player in his prime years under the tutelage of the right coach. With a reported price of £9 to 10 million, he would fit into Arsenal's budget for recent signings, and he is just obscure enough for Wenger to seriously look into him.
Robert Lewandowski: Fiction
In the wake of Robin van Persie's rather stunning statement that announced his intention to not renew his contract, Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski has frequently been mentioned by the likes of the Daily Mail as a possible replacement.
Lewandowski is a very good player, and was one of the top scorers in the Bundesliga last season. He would undoubtedly be a wonderful addition to the squad.
The only problem is that Arsenal have already acquired two premier strikers this summer, and one of them plays a very similar style to Lewandowski.
Both the Pole and Olivier Giroud are tall, yet nimble goal scorers with fleet feet and a keen eye for goal. Both are good acquisitions for Arsenal, but Giroud was just signed first.
Not to mention the fact that Dortmund would likely demand a very high transfer fee for their top goal scorer.
Robin van Persie to Leave: Fact
Oh, Arsenal fans, always grasping onto that last straw of hope when all appears to be lost. It is our nature, after all.
After Robin van Persie issued his now-infamous statement about his contract a week ago, we had all gone through the five stages of grief and were reconciled to the captain's departure, mentally prepared for a world without the club's best player.
Yet there were reports floating around the Internet, like this one from GiveMeFootball, that stated that van Persie could be prepared to pull a Wayne Rooney and sign a new deal after his PR stunt.
Unfortunately, there is little substance to this. Even if the Dutchman had intended to remain at Arsenal all along, that ship has left the harbor.
After the inflammatory half-truths that utterly blindsided and dishonored the club that still pays his wages, van Persie has completely burned his bridges and charted his own path out of the Emirates, whether it be to Manchester City or any other club.