Arsenal close to Cahill deal
Arsenal remain hopeful of confirming two new signings within the next week, with a deal for Bolton defender Gary Cahill likely to be smoothed by at least one player moving in the opposite direction.
Arsène Wenger would consider allowing Ignasi Miquel or Henri Lansbury experience on loan at Bolton, while Nicklas Bendtner has been mooted as a potential permanent part of the deal.
Cahill has a release clause of £17 million but Bolton manager Owen Coyle would also like to bolster his squad and, given the desire to make significant changes this summer, Arsenal will not pay an inflated price.
In Arsenal’s favour is the fact that Cahill is keen on the move and Manchester City have cooled on their previous interest. While football administrator Brian Marwood is keen on English talent, it is understood that Robert Mancini, the Manchester City manager, is now focused on other targets. Tottenham are also interested in Cahill but need to sell or release players before making significant signings.
Wenger would also like another centre-back and are close on potential deals for Lille striker Gervinho and Velez Sarsfield midfielder Ricardo Alvarez.
Arsenal have a transfer budget of around £40 million that could be almost doubled by the sale of Cesc Fabregas. Barcelona have had one bid of £27 million rejected but are expected to return with a new offer and hope that some compromise can be found at around £35 million.
The Arsenal board, meanwhile, have been subjected to some stinging criticism from former director Lady Bracewell-Smith.
The sale of Lady Bracewell-Smith’s 15.9 per cent stake in Arsenal was pivotal in allowing Stan Kroenke, himself a director, to become the majority owner.
Lady Bracewell-Smith said that Kroenke was “cool-headed and thoughtful” but, having been ousted from the board in December 2008, was damning about his colleagues.
“I agree that current board should all go,” Bracewell-Smith said on Twitter. “They are passe. Have nothing more to give to the club at all. In time we will need a more dynamic proactive, younger board, and a good directional leadership.” Asked why she had been ousted, she said. “[They] couldn’t handle a woman with power on the board. Felt insecure. Male chauvinism.” The post that called for the entire board to stand down was later removed from Bracewell-Smith’s Twitter feed.