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Arsenal turn to Michu, ready to bid $37.5 million for Swansea star

Aug 19, 2013, 8:45 AM EDT

Swansea City v Malmo - UEFA Europa League Third Round Qualifying: First Leg Getty Images

Arsene Wenger is trying desperately to strengthen his Arsenal squad in the transfer market.

Here’s his latest attempt.

According to reports from the UK this morning, Arsenal are chasing Swansea City’s Spanish striker Michu. With bids for Gonzalo Higuain, Wayne Rooney and Luis Suárez proving unsuccessful this summer, Wenger is now turning his attention to the silky Spaniard.

Michu, 27, cost Swansea just $3 million this time last year from Rayo Vallecano. He scored 18 goals in his opening Premier League season and dazzled fans with his trickery, deft flicks and incredible range of passing. He was the bargain of the season and if Arsenal do manage to sign him, Swansea will be making a handsome profit on a player that many soccer fans had never heard of 12 months ago.

But can Michu really solve all of Arsenal’s problems?

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Not disrespect to the lanky striker, known as “the student” in the Swansea locker room due to his scruffy and unkempt appearance, but after one breakout campaign in England’s top-flight is he ready to spearhead a Champions League bid?

Who knows. His style of quick passing and forward movement would fit in at the Emirates.

Whether or not Arsenal grab Michu, it shows that they’re now being a little more realistic with their transfer targets. Bidding for Suárez, Rooney and Higuain showed ambition, sure. But with Higuain preferring Napoli and potential deals for Suárez and Rooney looking dead in the water, Wenger has to lower his expectations.

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But $37.5 million for Michu is an awfully large sum of money. Swansea don’t want to sell him but with new signing Wilfried Bony impressing since his arrival, they could cope without Michu.

Time will tell if Arsenal make their first meaningful signing of the summer. September 2 is edging ever closer but the transfer window slamming shut shouldn’t make Arsenal panic. Wenger reflected his disappointment in the clubs transfer policy following Saturday’s shock defeat to Aston Villa.

“Why should I resist (spending)? I just defend the idea that you spend the money you have and not the money you don’t have” Wenger told Arsenal.com. “For years I did that. Today we have more so we can spend more. It’s as simple as that. Of course I am excited by that prospect but what I want to convince you of is that we are ready to spend the money if we feel that the players makes us a better team tomorrow morning.”

A top player will become available, they just have to bide their time. But now the clubs they’re buying from know Arsenal have plenty of money.

It will be hard for the Gunners to get any value from this transfer market.

  1. Greg - Aug 19, 2013 at 8:49 AM

    They really need to blow up the transfer market and begin again, when team like Southampton are spending $20m on a player you know it’s gone crazy. Michu is a good player, but nearly $40m good? Doubtful. How much would a comparative English player cost since there is an unwritten “tax” on those $50m? $60m?

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 19, 2013 at 10:01 AM

      Michu is every bit that good. Don’t watch the Premier League much, eh?

      • Greg - Aug 19, 2013 at 10:04 AM

        I do, he had a good year last year and an ok one in La Liga before, but $40m? Seriously?

      • Greg - Aug 19, 2013 at 10:05 AM

        I supplement this with the $15m bid they made for Yohan Cabaye, Michu is worth 2.5 Cabayes?

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 19, 2013 at 10:09 AM

        That finishing touch is what separates them. The bid for Cabaye was a lowball offer, which is obligatory from Wenger for any French player. It was rejected immediately.

        If Cabaye ends up going for around $22 million then the #’s look more in line.

      • Colby Rogers - Aug 19, 2013 at 12:48 PM

        I agree, the lowball offer vs an offer to a fellow premier league team is the key. Michu carries a much higher price tag due to the value to his team as well as an in league exchange. I don’t agree that anything should be scrapped, this is as open market as it gets. I love seeing teams overpay (whether you consider this an overpay is irrelevant). Rich teams overpaying allows them to use their assets to acquire players they want, but it allows more savvy and less well endowed teams to compete with the big money by finding the players that fall through the cracks because they didn’t just score 18 goals in their first premier league season. Having said all that, unless they immediately roll it around in a new AM, I hope Michu doesn’t go anywhere…go Swans!

    • atxnole - Aug 19, 2013 at 11:18 AM

      Southampton are being smart whereas other recently promoted (and even other lower-table teams in general) are not. These clubs are making at a minimum, £60m from the TV deal if they stay up. £60m is in line with what teams like City and United got last season for being at the top of the table — that figure is going to be closer to £100m now.

      Hull and Crystal Palace are destined to go back down immediately unless they spend some cash. Most folks aren’t expecting Cardiff to go down again because they’ve followed the formula set by Soton last year. Soton were aggressive and signed Gaston Ramirez and others and they looked like a team capable of winning games and stayed up while their contemporaries went right back down.

      Look at Norwich, they’ve spent what amounts to a good chunk of change for them but they’re doing it knowing that if they don’t, they’re risking going down. If clubs aren’t actively improving, they’re going backwards and giving up millions.

  2. kirielson - Aug 19, 2013 at 8:51 AM

    At this point, Swansea can say “Get the heck out of here” and they’d be justified in doing so.

    Try again in the winter market.

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 19, 2013 at 10:02 AM

      If that’s a real offer they’d be foolish to pass on it and risk injury. They can get a $15 million dollar striker and a half-dozen of their kind of players with that money.

      • Colby Rogers - Aug 19, 2013 at 12:50 PM

        I wouldn’t wanna see another striker there, would love to see an attacking mid to replace Michu directly.

    • renhoekk2 - Aug 19, 2013 at 10:24 AM

      Michu and Bony looked dangerous when they were on the field together against a good Man U team. I would think Swansea would want to see them together for a few more games before they made up their minds. Maybe a “Get back to us in December” type response, or at the very least a last day deadline deal.

      • Colby Rogers - Aug 19, 2013 at 12:52 PM

        Ya, I wouldn’t jump on the first offer, Arsenal sounds desperate. But, (I don’t think it is on Bony, more on a pressing style because they were down 2 goals) I greatly preferred how Swansea played in the first half over the second half when Bony came in. Started trying a LOT more crosses and long balls instead of their Spanish inspired short passing game.

  3. konmtu - Aug 19, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    I think Wenger is being somewhat of an idiot. Going after Higuain makes sense. That he preferred Napoli over Arsenal maybe says more about Higuain’s ambition (or lack thereof) than Arsenal’s desire to get him without overpaying. Even trying to get Rooney or Suarez was worth a shot. But to keep after them when it is clear those teams have no desire to weaken themselves at the expense of a rival is just plain stupid. Now going after Michu might be a good move, and Swansea might take the money and run, but I think Swansea might tell Arsenal to stuff it for probably the same reasons that ManU and Liverpool did. If Wenger is going to get someone he needs to look for someone across the channel and stop shopping the Premier League.

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 19, 2013 at 10:03 AM

      Swansea is not in the position of a rich club to sniff at this kind of offer.

  4. renhoekk2 - Aug 19, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    Not for nothing but they only bid $35M for Higuain. Maybe if they would have bid $37.5M for him they could have landed him. I think most people would agree Higuain is a better player than Michu. Now Arsenal is stuck overpaying for players at this point. Michu is a good player and Arsenal can use him but his not a $37.5M type of player. If they do get him they’ll end up selling him off eventually but won’t get anywhere close to $37.5M for him. You’re always going to pay a premium to take a player from a rival.

  5. medic0nduty - Aug 19, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    One look at the depth (or lack thereof) in Arsenal’s midfield and defense says that $37.5 for Michu could be spent so much more wisely. They had a chance to get Gustavo and Fellaini and blew both of those chances, Arteta is going to miss the next month through injury, they’re down to one true central defender for the Fulham game, and Arsene is in the market for a striker? This also is not including the fact that Laudrup said recently that he wouldn’t let Michu go for even for “ridiculous” money, so why is Arsene even trying?

    • vtcrusade - Aug 19, 2013 at 10:41 AM

      Medic, I couldn’t agree more with you. We don’t have a striker problem we have a MASSIVE defense problem we need 4 or 5 midfielders that can pass to the ball an make opportunities while on the back heal prevent the kind of breakaways we saw Aston Villa have ALL GAME LONG.

      Finally, we need a new first keeper. That IDIOT Wojciech Szczesny thinks he’s Midfielder!

      • Colby Rogers - Aug 19, 2013 at 12:57 PM

        I think Wenger views Michu as an Attacking Mid with the ability to lead an attack and maybe reach double digits with goals and assists (at least that’s what the offer implies). I don’t think Arsenal is looking at putting Michu in as the starting striker in most lineups.

    • renhoekk2 - Aug 19, 2013 at 10:54 AM

      It was a tough first game. The first call on Koscielny should not have been given which means he doesn’t get a red for the second foul. Plus Guzan made a couple of great saves. Without the blown Koscielny call they probably don’t lose the game.

      • medic0nduty - Aug 19, 2013 at 12:43 PM

        Still though, that is no excuse for not having adequate cover in case something like what happened Saturday happens. Going into the Villa game, Arsenal only had two central defenders. After the Villa game, with Koscielny suspended and Sagna injured, Arsenal only have one to play at Fulham. Yes, Koscielny’s sending off might not have been the correct decision, but as a manager there is no excuse, particularly for a club at the level Arsenal are at, to not have cover for situations such as the one they find themselves in now. And now that Wenger is short at cover in defense, he wants to dish out more than $35 million for a striker? Unbelievable.

      • NowWaitJustAMinute - Aug 19, 2013 at 12:46 PM

        This confuses me. The PK and initial yellow on Koscielny WAS harsh…when viewed in slow mo replay. He only caught studs on the ball, which the ref and linesman could not see at game speed. On reply, we could. It was a poor decision from Kosciely, and it cost him dearly. You simply can’t get beat in the box and then expect a tackle like that to go unpunished. Plain and simple.

        Now, the second yellow on him was bullshit. He lunged in, but he didn’t catch the man. Whoever it was jumped over the leg, then fell. I won’t go so far to call it a dive, but there was no foul on it, not even impeding. Absurd red for that, even on a yellow. Koscielny did nothing wrong there.

    • atxnole - Aug 19, 2013 at 11:23 AM

      Arsenal were linked with Gareth Barry during the summer. Now would be the time to make a move for him. He’s a good squad player to have and would be good enough to start immediately while Arteta is injured (especially with Diaby out again).

  6. rphillish - Aug 19, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    Now they’re just srewing with us. I mean, now you’re gonna drop Suarez cash on Michu, but couldn’t find the extra couple bucks to lock in some serious talent a month ago? come on. Nothing against Michu by the way, just if Arsenal had thrown this type of money even 2-3 weeks ago we wouldn’t be in this mess.

    • haniraheeb - Aug 19, 2013 at 10:33 PM

      This is what happens when you wait until the season begins to start making any moves. And this what happen when you lose your opener because of your lack of depth. Finally this is what happens when you get beat on the market for each of your target for being too cheap. Now the panic buys come…and they don’t’ end well.

  7. flyingitalian - Aug 19, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    The other issue no one brings up is that the board and Arsene continue to low ball the players wages they’re recruiting. Why would Gustavo choose a team that didn’t even qualify for Europa league over Arsenal other than money. Unless you believe a Brazilian prefers the wonderful winters in Germany over Champions League football. And to others points, 37.5M for Michu is madness.

  8. 76bean - Aug 19, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    Arsenal has defensive issues to worry about. Wenger should worry about finding midfield cover for his back line.

  9. haniraheeb - Aug 19, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    Wenger has officially gone mad. His answer to all the transfer failures is a crazy bid for Michu. By the way I like Michu and I think he will play well in Arsenal and can allow for more options in the attack. But if you are dropping that type of cash why not spend it on what we desperately need. We missed the boat on Gustavo and Fellaini for a couple of Millions, He made an insulting $6M bid for Ashley from the same Swansea team, and $17M bid for Lars Bender whose worth much more. He is haggling over the salary of Julio’s Cezar, a goalie we desperately need. And lastly makes a silly attempt for Cabaye with a $10M bid. Does he not realize everybody in EPL is watching his failures and will only increase the prices. He can still get good defenders like Rami for approx. $10m if he really wants too but I think he enjoys torturing the Arsenal fans.

  10. bayoor75 - Aug 20, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    No, they are not. Arsenal just says these things to keep fans off their backs. Wenger and Kroenke are too frugal! And the excuse about missing check books…give me a break! get another check book! It is 2013, not 1950!

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