For the first time this summer, Arsene Wenger would be correct in his decision to hold firm on a valuation.
Arsenal have looked rather foolish so far in the transfer window for their inability to budge on a transfer. They have a set fee for a player, and anything above that is simply unacceptable. That's the only answer you can come up with as to why no other moves have been made, aside from Yaya Sanogo arriving on a free. The club has money to spend, and it's clear there are holes in the squad.
With the transfer window closing in less than a week, you could see the Gunners finally making some moves.
One of the players who could move to the Emirates is Yohan Cabaye. Earlier in the month, Arsenal made a £10 million bid for the Newcastle midfielder (h/t BBC Arsenal).
Yohan Cabaye: Arsenal in £10m bid to sign Newcastle midfielder http://t.co/ykkOYM14Uc— BBC Arsenal (@bbcarsenal) August 19, 2013
However, that bid apparently falls very short of what Alan Pardew feels his player is worth. Pardew said, "He either stays or he goes. The bottom line with a world-class player is he has to go for world-class money" (Goal's Jamie Dunn).
Commentator Ian Darke doesn't think Cabaye is worth anywhere near that kind of money.
Newcastle s demand for £20m for Cabaye is about twice what he's worth. Plus do you want to sign a man who refuses to play for his club?— Ian Darke (@IanDarke) August 26, 2013
Colin Young of the Daily Mail reported the 27-year-old is refusing to play, in order to force a move away from Newcastle. Ian Holyman claimed that L'Equipe reported it's not an issue but rather an agreement between Cabaye and Pardew.
L'Equipe say Cabaye agreed w/Pardew he wouldn't play in the last 2 games, and that he's not on strike and training normally #NUFC— Ian Holyman (@ian_holyman) August 27, 2013
Either way, this is one deal where the Gunners should back away if Newcastle want to play hardball.
For most of this summer, Arsenal have bungled their way through the transfer market. There was Gonzalo Higuain going to Napoli, Luis Suarez staying in Liverpool and Luiz Gustavo choosing Wolfsburg. The club has looked incompetent as a result of its inability to sign players.
In this case, Wenger would look more incompetent if the purchase actually happened.
Is Yohan Cabaye worth £20 million
Cabaye isn't the kind of player the Gunners need at the moment. Centre-back, defensive midfielder and striker are all more pressing concerns. They lack the necessary depth and/or quality of talent at these three positions to compete for the Premier League and Champions League titles.
The one thing Arsenal don't need are central midfielders, like Cabaye, who are skilled on the ball and more inclined to pass the ball than take it from the opponent.
He's certainly not a world-class player, either.
While this doesn't equate to Steven Gerrard saying Joe Cole was better than Lionel Messi, it's still a foolish stance from Pardew. Unless the phrase "world class" has come to mean above-average midfielder, then Cabaye is far from a world-class player.
He's not even that much better than Mikel Arteta. It would be good if the club could find some cover for Arteta, as it's unrealistic to continue expecting him to play 40-50 matches a season. It wouldn't be good if the club is spending £15-20 million on a 27-year-old midfielder who is not a vast improvement from what you already have.
Wenger has already said Arsenal won't panic and buy inadequate players as the window closes (h/t The Independent's Matt McGeehan). If he's going to follow through on that, then Cabaye shouldn't be a realistic target anymore.