Good morning. It's a quick one from me this morning, as work beckons shortly. The Arsenal news is thin on the ground at the moment, and we're back to discussing Barcelona's ham-handed attempt to sign Cesc Fabregas today.
Despite having to take out a colossal loan just to keep paying everyone's wages, Barcelona have decided they have €50 million to spend on new additions to their squad this summer. But naturally, rather then press on with tabling an offer for Fabregas, they've continued to talk about it.
I'm quickly concluding that pursuing a transfer deal in a way other than out in the public domain is completely alien to Barcelona. They've wheeled out all their dirty tricks this summer and none of them landed them their man thus far.
Faced with the truth that their efforts simply aren't cutting any ice with Arsenal, and indeed have made things even more difficult for them then they already are, Barcelona give me the impression that they're totally baffled.
Since they have no other tactics, they're just going over all the old ground again and again, apparently hoping to find a way through that they missed the first time.
This may help to explain why in a short space of time, we've had both Sergio Buckets and Lionel Ritchie (not tremendously original I know, forgive me, it's early in the morning) parroting the Barcelona party line.
That this approach is hugely disrespectful to Arsenal, and that it violates the rules of the transfer market, is immaterial to Barcelona. Whilst they sometimes speak of respect, it's clear they don't understand the meaning of the word.
And as for breaking the rules, Barca know that nobody will punish them. FIFA have demonstrated their unwillingness to sanction them as well as Real Madrid in the past for their behaviour.
As we head closer to the new season, Barcelona will not be blind to the fact that their persuit of Cesc threatens to cast a shadow over Arsenal's preparations for the new season.
I expect they will redouble their efforts in an effort to make Arsenal think it is in their best interests to give in, so that the club's preparations for a new season are not hampered.
I hope that the Arsenal board and Arsene Wenger will recognise those tactics for what they are, and stick to their guns. They must continue to stand firm, and the only way Cesc can be allowed to leave this summer is with a deal that is right for Arsenal.
If Barcelona are telling the truth about their transfer budget (which I doubt), then they don't have the funds for such a deal. They should stop wasting everyone's time with this nonsense if that is the case.
I regret to say that at the present time, no incoming transfers seem nearer completion. Talk that deals may be concluded this week for Mark Schwarzer or Joe Cole would appear to be wide of the mark.
I hope that the club is working hard behind the scenes to get these deals done. There are improvements that need to be made, and ideally they should be in place in time to prepare for the new season.
If Schwarzer is the keeper we want, then that needs to be acted on. If Fulham are willing to talk, then get round the table and start talking about a realistic fee with them. If we really want Joe Cole, then the time is now to press on with an offer. By no means is it time to press the panic button just yet, however in an ideal world these signings need to be in place in time to get on with our preparations for the new season.
Of course, the centre-half question also looms, the manager has told us he is looking for another defender, but no clear candidate has yet emerged. Perhaps the club is still hoping Sol Campbell will sign on for another year, or maybe they are working on something as yet not picked up on by the media at large. In any case, central defence is in close competition with the goalkeeping position as our top priority, and once again, in an ideal world, this is not a time for a long protracted Arsenal transfer negotiation.
Right then, must get off to work, Arsenal have got a game tomorrow let's not forget. Let's look forward to that and I'll have a preview of sorts tomorrow. Until then.