Earlier this week it was confirmed on Sevilla's official website that Arsenal and Sevilla FC had agreed a fee, reportedly around 6.5 million, for French defender Sebastein Squillaci.
He was said to be flying to London that evening to undergo a medical the following day. As most fans would have thought, his transfer would have been announced in the coming hours, at most a day, but those hopes have come and gone, thus causing some doubt in the minds of Arsenal fans as to where the transfer stands now.
There have countless reports questioning why Arsenal have yet to announce the transfer, but I have come up with a few reasons as to why it has yet to happen.
A rather unlikely case, considering he was poised to start their Champions League clash against Braga last week. However, a typical Arsenal medical takes much longer than the average one, and if anything came up, it would cause a delay in finalizing the transfer.
Arsène Wenger has said all along that Arsenal are in still in the market for more than one player and he has alluded to the fact that both the defense and keepers need an upgrade. It would certainly shock Arsenal fans and add a whole new feeling of confidence to the season.
Arsenal fans have been dreading starting the season with Almunia in goal, and it would certainly send a shock to the rest of the Premier League if Arsenal brought in two top class players at the same time. Not to mention adding some real steal to the back line.
It wouldn't even be out of the realm of possibility to see two defenders signed together as well, with Ciani and Juan linked as possible targets still, along with the impending arrival of Squillaci. Rumors of Arsenal signing a midfielder are a real long shot, with other areas of the team being a more pressing need, so I would believe either two defenders or a keeper and a defender would be the case if a double signing were to occur.
Think of it: "Schwarzer and Squillaci Sign for Gunners" or "Stekelenburg and Squillaci put pen to paper for Arsenal." It would the top story for a week!
In response to the previous suggestion, if a keeper is signed, Almunia is sure to be upset and quit the club. Wenger rarely likes to make enemies in the footballing community, and will be sure to try and find Almunia a respectable club to sell him to if such the case happens.
The problem is whether there are any takers. Clubs are interested, considering he is valued around two million; however his wage demands have ruined any chance of a real with clubs. However, as any Arsenal fan would agree, any money we get for Almunia will be a bonus. Almunia out of the goal will be enough of a compensation.
It has been reported that a three-year contract has been struck with the Frenchman for when he officially signs with Arsenal. However, Wenger will be going directly against the rule that he only gives one-year contracts to players 30 and over, the same rule that caused Gallas and Campbell to leave Arsenal. This double standard could cause a ripple effect for future new signings and when players want new contracts at the club. Wenger might be having second thoughts about the length of the contract, and the future consequences it could have.
Close of the Transfer Window
Although true, a deal has been agreed between Arsenal and Sevilla for Squillaci, but that doesn't mean the deal is set in stone. It is now the last week of the transfer window, a time when Wenger has notoriously done a lot of his business and gotten some discounted deals in recent years. Wenger could easily be looking to see if there is a cheaper or better priced option that will become available in the dying days of the market when typically the most action occurs.
Knowing the state of the market is key, countless clubs are being forced to sell key players to say out of debt, and Arsenal are looking to buy. Clubs like Ajax and Bordeaux are looking to off-load players, and with the market closing may become desperate to make some quick cash for a star player.
Even Man City might become desperate and let fringe players leave with the new 25-player rule coming into play September 1st. Wenger might just be waiting for everything to fall into place before he begins to make his move.
All in all, most fans would be highly surprised if Arsenal did not end up signing Squillaci before the close of the window. However, I think Wenger is looking to add at least two, hopefully three new faces to the squad in the final week of the transfer season.