By 1970’s Gooner
Chris Hughton is insisting that his decision not to start the season with Scott Dann was down to footballing reasons.
Dann had missed the previous two warm-up matches because of a tight calf and Curtis Davies and Steven Caldwell started three of the four pre-season friendlies together as the centre-back pairing.
However it was quite obvious that with Dann likely to be sold before the transfer window deadline, there was real reason why Hughton chose to promote new boy Caldwell, who will obviously be around for the duration of the campaign.
But Hughton said it was not a case of overlooking someone to ‘protect’ a saleable asset.
“Any player at this moment who is contracted to Birmingham City Football Club is available,” stated Hughton to ‘Birmingham Mail’
The real reason of course, as it transpires, is that a host of clubs have been looking at Dann seriously including Stoke who put in a joint bid for Dann and Jerome for 10m.
They have now dropped out of the race realising that Dann is out of reach and look favourites to sign Jerome for 6m.
Arsenal have put in a bid for 6m, according to local papers, after Pat Rice and chief scout Steve Rowley watched Dann in a training ground friendly against Tottenham on Tuesday.
The transfer looks like it will go ahead.
Wenger, after making the decision to get rid of Cesc and Nasri can now feel free to concentrate on strengthening the defence.
Also Dann has two other characteristics that Wenger looks for (apart from football ability).
He is young (24) and therefore has resale value and his price tag is relatively cheap which means that there is potentially a profit to be made in the future.