Sunday, April 20, 2008
Flamini auction opens the door for youngster
By 1970’s Gooner
It appears that Flamini will not be with Arsenal next season. This looked a real possibility when the player refused to get down to serious business and negotiate a new contract.
He has rejected a new deal from Arsenal that would double his salary from 25,000 to 50,000 pounds a week!
This delay has been going on for more than 12 months and he has obviously let his contract run out so that with no transfer fee for his new employer's his services will be in tremendous demand.
Arsene Wenger has told the player that he will not be held to ransom over a new contract and has given him 11 days to sign up or find a new club.
It seems that the same thing will happen with Flamini as with Edu who refused to sign a new contract and then left on a free to go to Spain’s Valencia.
I myself realized that Flamini was really on his way out when he looked so eager to be substituted at Anfield.
As soon as he looked at his ankle he immediately gestured to be substituted. He didn’t want to wait for Gary Lewin’s diagnosis; he wanted to come out. This told me that he was saving himself for his up coming move to “greener” pastures.
So it appears that the auction will soon begin.
Bayern’s sports director Hoeness has already indicated that they are interested: “there are some very good players that are available on a free” he said recently.
Juventus have been linked with Flamini for a few months and the latest reports from Italy claim that Alessio Secco, their sports director, is flying to London to present Flamini with an official contract offer.
This says to me that the offer is most probably at its final stages after negotiations have already been finalized by Flamini’s agent and Secco.
But Milan are also in the bidding process. They are reported to have been greatly impressed by Flamini’s wonderful display at the San Siro during Arsenal’s win there in the Champion‘s League.
The Milan hierarchy realized that he is the perfect replacement for Gattuso who himself is showing signs of ageing (in football terms).
While Flamini can now sit back and mull over which club he wants to ply his football next season Arsene has to make plans for his potential replacement.
Gilberto will most probably go in the summer too so this will open the door for the younger midfielders in the squad to shine.
Diaby, Denilson and Song are to my mind very good players and could excel at that position.
Diaby in particular should be given a chance to show what he can do at his natural place in midfield.
Just like Fabregas when he was younger, Wenger has been using him in the first team, albeit out of position.
This shows that he has the belief in him and we will, I think, see him start many more games there.
Song too as I have repeatedly written about in the past has the potential to become a very good midfielder aside from his present position at the centre of the defence. Denilson however needs more time.
But all these players have not played that much in this position. And if some injury strikes then we will be desperately short again. So experience needs to be drafted in so as to bolster the squad and give options.
First choice would be to keep Flamini of course and I hope that Wenger manages to convince him to stay.