Now this is just getting ridiculous.
Just five days ago, The Guardian's Sid Lowe reported Gonzalo Higuain's transfer to Arsenal was very close to being finalized. The fee would be around £23 million, and Higuain would get a three-year deal worth £100,000 a week.
Lowe is one of the most respected English-language Spanish football experts. When he broke that news, you took it very seriously.
However, Florentino Perez has thrown a major monkey wrench into the transfer. In an interview with Univision, per Sky Sports, he said, "We don't want Higuain to leave. What's more no one from Arsenal has come to us and made us any offers at all for him. There are no offers on the table."
That's quite an incredible statement given how much it's been reported about discussions regarding the move being so advanced.
For Gunners supporters, this is more than unwelcome news. They'll be more than antsy about this news. They've been burned too many times before when something like this has happened. There's a laundry list of players that Arsenal have been linked to for years, only to see those targets move to other clubs.
Arsenal have built a reputation as a club that is largely inept in recent years when it comes to the transfer window. They lose a key player or two and bring in players who are poor replacements.
Last summer brought a solid haul with Olivier Giroud, Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski. Of course, Arsenal are not that far removed from the summer when they panicked and brought in Per Mertesacker, Yossi Benayoun, Andre Santos and Mikel Arteta on the last day. Mertesacker and Arteta have worked out well enough, but the club continues to be stuck in neutral.
With Higuain, this is a player you can genuinely see as a major upgrade for the club. He's a talented striker who's built himself a strong pedigree at Real Madrid. For the first time in what seems like a long time, a very good player was moving to Arsenal from a major European club that isn't in financial peril.
Now, though, you've got the president of Madrid completely blowing off the move as if anybody who bought into the speculation was an idiot.
Of course, what Perez said should be taken with a grain of salt. Clubs routinely run misdirections for one reason or another. This could be a tactic in order for Madrid to squeeze a couple more million out of Arsenal. Or he could genuinely want Higuain to stay at the Santiago Bernabeu, although that's unlikely at this stage.
The fact of the matter is, Arsenal have to get this deal done as soon as possible. The quicker this is done, the quicker Higuain can join preseason training. The club also wouldn't have to continue dealing with the constant media speculation that has surrounded this move.
By the looks of it, Higuain isn't the only player the Gunners want to bring in, either. While the club is able to target multiple players at once, securing the Higuain deal would allow Arsenal to strengthen their focus on bringing in more reinforcements, while simultaneously moving out the dead wood presently at the club.
Arsenal have been making some nice strides this summer, whether it's getting rid of unneeded players or bringing more money into the club via new sponsorship deals.
The last thing the Gunners need is to have this move blow up in their face.
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