by CARL ELDRIDGE Sensational news from this morning’s Sun. The redtop’s back page screams that Arsene Wenger wants to bring Paddy Vieira back to the Arsenal. Except that it isn’t news. I can’t even see that the report can be classified as speculation. Because in the piece, which says AW has made Vieira the same financial offer as T********, there isn’t even a hint of qualification of the tale. No sources, insiders or pals of the star seem to have leaked this to the paper.
No quotes attributed to anyone to at least attempt to back it up. So has the Sun dreamt it up? I think it is what’s known in the industry as a flyer. And the reporter in question may well have been listening to Ian Wright yesterday when he said on his talkSPORT radio show: “I am hearing Vieira, pay-as-you-play, back at Arsenal.” The Mirror run the story but quote Ian Wright, Wright, Wright. Hmm. Can’t see it, Wrighty.
After all, what has been AW’s age policy over the years? Exactly. PV is 33. The Daily Mail looks into Arsenal’s transfer dealings after the club made a £14m profit when Kolo Toure went to Manchester City. They pick AW’s top five most profitable departures and the mark-up they have brought in. As well as Kolo, we have made £18m on Manu Adebyaor, £10m on Vieira, £18m on Marc Overmars and (who can forget) £22.5m on Nic Anelka.
The point is, Arsene, we are football fans and not accountants (well some of us are) and I’d rather be a few quid (more) in debt and have silverware to parade than cheer on our bank balance. Nutty Nigel has his say on the current situation in today’s Guardian: “I think it is now essential that Arsčne makes new signings,” said Winterburn. “They need three players to bolster the squad; a centre-half, a strong central midfielder to complement Cesc Fábregas and possibly someone else up front.”
Tediously, the remainder of the papers limp home by confirming Kolo’s switch and we’ll find our more of the Ivorian’s thoughts at a press conference today at 1pm. If you don’t tune in, he’ll talk about the fantastic opportunity to join the City revolution but will neglect to mention his dislike for Bill Gallas or the mega-money he’ll pick up. Still, I’ll give him a cheer from Block 109 when he comes back to the home of football with his new team.