All signs from the news feed had pointed to Marouane Fellaini landing with Arsenal, but the transfer battle is not over yet.
While the odds that Fellaini will end up in an Arsenal uniform per his £24 million release clause are high (per Sky Sports), there’s still a possibility for a higher bid from another top-four suitor.
Even if a Manchester United or Chelsea doesn’t want to pay a hefty price tag, they can smell the desperation from Arsene Wenger and his club. The Gunners maestro has six figures of cash to improve his club’s talent, and unfortunately every other manager knows it.
The Gunners snuck into the top four and qualified for the Champions League with a goal differential suggesting they played better than their final record showed.
To sustain their UCL eligibility, they must build on it this summer with a significant transfer haul. And for the summer window to be a true success, they need the first domino to fall.
That is, signing Fellaini.
The behemoth midfielder is a budding Premier League star and possesses the ability to see the field better than most. In addition, Fellaini creates lineup flexibility, as Wenger can move him around like a chess piece in formations.
And unlike Wayne Rooney, another target that may cost £200,000 a week but is at his peak right now, Fellaini has yet to play his best match. He’s only 25 years old.
The Belgian would instantly boost the midfield and give Wenger an embarrassment of riches to choose from between Fellaini, Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla, Abou Diaby and Aaron Ramsey among others.
The transfer window is a cash game. Money talks and everything else is just cannon fodder. The Gunners have made their intention known this season. They are all-in and willing to pay to get better.
Being without leverage isn’t fun, but Wenger must not let his pride get in the way of negotiating. Arsenal’s figurehead needs to go get his top target, even if it means shelling out more money.