In a story that is part shocking, part infuriating and part absurdly inaccurate, the Spanish website sport.es reveals that Barcelona could wrap up the signing of Arsenal midfielder Alex Song within the next 48 hours (Daily Mail also backs up the report here).
The sport.es article alleges that Barcelona are facing difficulties over the signing of Javi Martinez of Athletic Bilbao, and they are looking at Song to fill the defensive midfield void left by the summer departure of Seydou Keita to China.
If the article is to be believed, all parties agree in principle over the transfer of Song, but the price appears to be a sticking point. The following is a roughly translated extract:
The novelty of the case is that the positions are very clear on both sides, something unusual in this type of operation. So much so that from the club insist that the signing of Song should be closed within 48 hours, ie before Sunday. The Arsenal is reluctant to discard the possibility of African, but not negotiations and insists on asking 20 million euros. Meanwhile, the club does not seem willing to pay so much money and in principle would like to pay 15 million cap.
While many readers may choose to disregard the article due to some of its blatant inaccuracies—for example, listing Yossi Benayoun as one of Arsenal's current midfielders, or stating that Song's Arsenal contract expires in 2015 when it actually does in 2014—there may be more truth to it than we would like to believe.
Is Alex Song irreplaceable at Arsenal?
I wouldn't trust him an inch.
Secondly, Song and Fabregas are extremely close friends, so you never know what might be in the offing.
Song appears to be extremely happy at Arsenal and grateful to Arsene Wenger for having kept faith in him when no one else did. He is an automatic starter at Arsenal—a status he wouldn't enjoy at Barcelona, with Sergio Busquets the current defensive midfield incumbent.
Logic and loyalty suggest that he would stay at Arsenal long beyond when his current deal expires.
But logic and loyalty have been torn up and binned so many times in recent seasons at Arsenal that I have lost faith in both.
Don't go, Alex—we've only got one Song.