When the news of Tottenham Hotspurs pursuit of Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin dropped, many watchers within Arsenal were amazed that Arsene Wenger would allow such opportunity to slip without going for the French midfielder particularly against the backdrop that he has been linked to Arsenal all summer. The question then is does le prof has a plan? And who might that be?
A grand plan!
Arsene Wenger has a past antecedent of not following media trends; he has a tendency of doing things under the radar from the preying watchers of the Media. A case in point is how he moved for Sporting Lisbon’s defensive midfielder William Carvalho with a £24 million bid when there were no previous clues to that move. That he has not moved for Morgan Schneiderlin who would be settling for Europa league football over Champions league football id his move to Spurs is confirmed, means there is a plan to bring in another player in that position that is not known to the fans.
William Carvalho’s bid was not rejected out rightly according to Portuguese daily O jogo, with the claims that the Lisbon club was not pleased with how Arsenal intends to pay the fees, demanding that the fees be paid up front, because of third party ownership in the rights of William Carvalho. There is also the other part that the Lisbon club is holding out for the full complement of his buy out clause which is £34 million. What this portends is that, the club’s move for the Portuguese player still has some steam to it, which could have resulted in the failure to go in for Morgan Schneiderlin.
Then there is Sami Khedira, whose transfer trajectory to Arsenal has taken more twist and turns than a tropical storm. Arsenal were reportedly closed to a deal for the German midfielder with Madrid daily Marca reporting that a fee of £19.5 million had been agreed between both clubs, despite his agent’s denial, what was clear was that his wage demands was the stumbling block to a deal happening. There are now new reports that he has reduced his wage demands from £150,000 to £135,000 a week, which would still put him at par with the highest earners at the club.
What is clear is that the closest the club has come to the signing of a holding midfielder if media reports are anything to go by is William Carvalho and Sami Khedira. The latter could well have been confirmed as an Arsenal player if not for his wage demands.
In the end, the grand plan of Arsene Wenger would be to bring in any of Carvalho or Khedira, or any other player which is not yet known, and not Morgan Schneiderlin which must have informed why he didn’t move for the Saints midfielder.