It's still early days and the transfer window officially opens on July 1, but teams are already busy with contract negotiations and are preparing bids for their top targets.
Arsenal, on the other hand, seem to be struggling to manoeuvre quickly. Arsene Wenger is notorious for deadline day bargains just to knock the fee down a bit. However, this is not the time for bargains, as Arsenal are facing a daunting task of keeping their disgruntled players happy following a sixth trophy-less season on the bounce.
There could even be a mass exodus of star players at the Emirates this summer. To make matters worse, Wenger was thwarted in his bid for Blackburn defender Phil Jones by Sir Alex Ferguson.
It was reportedly a late bid from Arsenal, which Blackburn accepted, but the player chose Manchester United over Wenger's team, following in the footsteps of Chris Smalling.
It's worrying times indeed as players seem to choose other clubs over Arsenal.
Lack of trophies and unwillingness to offer higher wages seem to be ruining Arsenal's chances of attracting top players to the club.
Wenger, though, is willing to make big-money signings this summer as proven by his readiness to meet the £16 million asking price for Jones. That's a clear statement of intent from the club.
However, the worrying factor is, Wenger doesn't seem to have a strategy in place. The last minute bids signify desperation.
The club is desperate to sign home-grown, overpriced defenders but at the moment it looks like they don't have a strategy in place, as they're waiting for other clubs to make a bid and are countering it with last minuted bids. That's not how you attempt to sign your prime targets.
Gary Cahill is also on Arsenal's radar, but now Manchester City have cast their eyes on him, and when the cash-rich blue-half of Manchester targets someone, it's difficult to hijack those moves.
These days, players don't just move for the money, as was the case in the past, but Manchester City can now offer Champions League football as well.
If Arsenal were that keen on Cahill, they should've secured his signing by now. The indecisiveness to spend cash is hampering the club's ambition to make significant moves in the summer.
At the end of the season, Wenger said he needed mature, experienced players.
But as of now, he's concentrated on youngsters just like he did in previous years. Enriching the youth academy is not a bad thing. The pressing need though is experienced and established players to make the club competitive in the League and in Europe.
The signing of Carl Jenkinson and Hector Bellerin doesn't help Arsenal's cause in the immediate future or in the present.
Also, the prospective signing of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain—hailed as the next Theo Walcott—wouldn't appease the fans. Arsenal don't need next Ronaldinho's or next Walcott's.
The fans want to see top-notch signings. Players that are established. Not the next X or next Y. But rather, the current Z.
Yesterday, it was reported that Arsenal were on the verge of signing Gervinho from Lille. But the latest reports confirm that Wenger is haggling over a few million pounds and, as as result, both clubs have failed to agree a fee as of now.
You may want to say it's still early June.
In my opinion, this is the best period to secure the players on top of a club's wish-list, as it will give a massive boost to the team. The fans would be thrilled. The newcomers will get more time to adjust to new environment. Suddenly, a positive vibe permeates through the club. And the grumbles easily transform into optimistic melodies.
Sir Alex Ferguson, again, leads the way. He does his key business as early as possible with little fuss. This summer is no different. Not many expected the Red Devils to swoop for Jones, but one day it came out of nowhere, whereas Arsenal had been linked with him for quite some time prior to the signing.
Now Ferguson is on the verge of securing the signing of Ashley Young. He's also thought to be close to sealing the deal for David de Gea.
The Red Devils are also keeping close tabs on Samir Nasri, Wesley Sneijder and Luka Modric. One of these three is expected to sign for United this summer.
It seems very easy for United to secure their top targets. The earlier, the better.
Arsenal, on the other hand, gives an impression that it wants to stretch signings to August. Amidst the turbulence engulfing the club, that's the last thing one would want to hear. Key signings must be made in June or early July instead of waiting for the deadline day to get players on a bargain.
Even if Arsenal are forced to pay a few million extra, it's worth it, as it would give more time to get used to the system and work together with the teammates. Positive energy is key. And top signings early on in the transfer window do bring positive energy.
At the moment, it's not as positive because the fear is growing over a mass exodus of star players. Two or three big-name signings now will allay the fears.
At the end of the day, it's not a luxury but a necessity, so why delaying thereby increasing the chances of losing out on the top targets.
Arsenal must move quickly. Wenger must change his attitude and habit of a lifetime. And above all, Arsenal must show their power in the transfer market after a brief lull. They must show that they can attract top players. This is the time to do it, so do it quickly Wenger.
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