Friday's Transfer Gossip Assessed And Analysed

Emmet O'Keeffe
By Emmet O'Keeffe
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The Santos Suarez Soldado Gossip

Upon reading that Stoke are close to signing Mame Biram Diouf for £8 Million, my immediate response was check their odds for relegation. 10/3 with Ladbrokes sounds fairly reasonable but that is not exactly the kind of reaction one usually has after reading a club is about to sign a prolific striker from the Bundesliga. However, Diouf did look mediocre at best in his brief spells with Manchester United and Blackburn. He has probably improved since then though, given he has scored 27 goals in 51 games since leaving United to join Hannover in the January transfer window in 2012. The Mirror report the Senegalese forward's agent flew in for talks yesterday and Diouf may complete his move to the Potteries as soon as today.

The move is good news for Tony Pulis who must have been worried that Mark Hughes was laying waste to the solid foundations he had built after the purchase of Marc Muniesa from Barcelona. A cultured, flaky centre-half like Muniesa breaking up the feared partnership of Ryan Shawcross and Robert Huth would have Pulis tearing out what little hair he has left. Buying another big, athletic, overpriced striker will quell his fears that Stoke are actually serious about 'changing philosophy'.

Arsenal fans still fearing that this Summer's transfer 'War Chest' will only serve to crush their dreams may at least be cheered by the news that André Santos will not darken the door of the Emirates Stadium again. According to the Daily Mail, 'the "left-back" has cancelled his contract at Arsenal and agreed a two-year deal with Flamengo, who will own 50 per cent of his economic rights.' The 30-year-old spent the second half of last season on loan with Gremio and sealed a move to Flamengo just before the close of the Brazilian transfer window on July 20th.


Gonzalo Higuain apparently revealed to Spanish newspaper AS that José Mourinho wasn't quite telling the truth when he said Wayne Rooney was his only transfer target. Regardless of the reliability of the Argentinean's claims of Chelsea's interest, the chances of Higuain wearing an Arsenal jersey next season would appear to be diminishing, especially with Real Madrid reportedly increasing their asking price to £37 Million. So if the Luis Suarez saga ends in disappointment for Arsene Wenger, the Gunners faithful will need something more to look forward to than the standard battle for a Champions' League place.

If a football supporter can't have glory, then humour is a palatable alternative and André Santos certainly provided that. Although his swapping of shirts with Robin Van Persie during the Manchester United game probably provided more anger than mirth, Santos did seem to be building a cult following in the same way Djimi Traore did at Liverpool, through comic ineptitude. When they're sitting through a comfortable but unsatisfying 2-0 win over West Brom next season, Arsenal fans may yet miss the presence of the potential footballing heart attack that was André Santos.



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