Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Arsenal Rumors: Fabregas, Gilberto, Song, Fernandez, Mollo, and Ben Arfa

Well in the absence of real news due to the International break, I've decided to write about some of the rumors that have recently been circling the internet.

First, only a day after Barcelona said that they wouldn't break the bank for Cesc Fabregas, Real Madrid have been linked with the young midfielder. It is unlikely that Arsenal's 20 year-old prodigy would join Los Blancos, due to the fact that he began his career with Catalan arch-rivals Barcelona. This rumor circulated during the Summer as well, but I think we can safely (and fortunately) assume that Fabregas will be with Arsenal for a while to come.

Gilberto is another Arsenal player to be linked with Spain, with Valencia allegedly preparing for a January bid for the Brazilian captain. Juventus are also suspected to be interested in the holding midfielder, and this transfer seems more likely to happen than that of Cesc Fabregas. With stiff competition from the vastly improved Mathieu Flamini, Lassana Diarra, Alex Song, Abou Diaby, and Neves Denilson in the central midfield, Arsene Wenger may allow Gilberto to leave Arsenal. His departure may have a great effect on our title chances though, as he is by far our oldest outfield player, and his experience as Brazil captain should prove invaluable.

Alex Song has also been linked with a move away from Arsenal, with the reported target being Charlton. Alan Pardew is interested in either a loan or a permanent deal, and with the limited options in midfield, Song may indeed be taken away on loan. However, if Gilberto leaves Arsenal in January, Song is likely to be kept in case of an emergency in central defense. With Kolo Toure leaving for the African Cup of Nations, we would be left with only William Gallas, Philippe Senderos and Johann Djourou in the center-back position, so Wenger will be cautious about loaning out Song, who can play well in the heart of defense.

Arsenal have been linked with River Plate winger Augusto Fernandez. The right-footed winger was linked with Barcelona during the Summer transfer window, but a deal failed to materialize. Now it seems as though Arsene Wenger is set to swoop for the £10 million rated 21 year-old.

Another possible Arsenal acquisition is Yohan Mollo, an 18 year-old defender playing for Monaco B. The youngster, who has yet to make his senior appearance for Monaco, is reportedly very highly rated by Arsene Wenger, although there seems to be very little information about the reserve player.

The last player to be linked with Arsenal recently is Hatem Ben Arfa. The 20 year-old Olympique Lyonnais striker grabbed his first international goal on Saturday as the French beat the Faroe Islands 6-0. Arsene Wenger was present at the game and was very impressed by the forwards talent.