The football media is today buzzing with the story that Arsenal have launched an audacious bid to sign Marouane Fellaini from Everton. Apparently, the Belgian international has a release clause in his contract, although the exact amount is unclear. According to some reports, it is £24 million unless the club that makes the offer has qualified for the Champions League, in which case the figure could be around £22 million.
This is the worst possible news to greet the new Everton manager Roberto Martinez, especially after the Spaniard made the bold promise of getting the Toffees into the top four. According to bookmakers, there is not much confidence in him being able to achieve this, and that will not be increased if he starts to lose his best players.
This could be the first sign of Arsenal’s new financial muscle, after years of the board using Arsene Wenger and his skill at staying in the top four on a shoestring budget and unearthing players from all over the world. Last season was the closest Wenger has come to finally dropping out of the European elite, and the stress was clear to see on the French manager.
The Arsenal fans have also had it up to their necks and feel that they have been lied to and treated very badly by the board. Paying the highest ticket prices in the world, while having to see your best players sold off to direct rivals season after season has made even the most mild mannered Arsenal fan seethe with anger. Skysports certainly think there is some truth to the story as the odds of the big midfielder coming to the Emirates has been falling steadily this morning.
The capture of Fellaini would be a great coup for the Gunners and would go a long way to appeasing the long suffering fans. Is that the glint of silverware I see in the distance?