Tricky Arsene stringing along Gallas negotiations

With Silvestre and Senderos out, Johann recovering, Sol pushing the century mark and Gallas without a contract, the physical and psychological underpinnings of the Arsenal defense are in tatters. Arsene knows this and is shopping for a new central defender. But to get what, or who, he really wants, he’s extending the Gallas contact negotiations until he gets what he wants. That’s why he hasn’t signed Gallas and that’s why he stopped all contract extension negotiations across the board.

This summer, Arsene must decide whether to keep Gallas or move on. But I’m betting the decision has been made already: Arsene is ready to let Gallas go. Indeed, had Arsene signed Smalling this January, Gallas would be announcing his move to Roma or somewhere else by now.

In case you aren’t familiar with the contact issues: Gallas’s contract is up this summer, so he can transfer for free to another team; not surprisingly, he wants a two year deal form Arsenal. But because he’s on the wrong side of 30, Arsene’s policy is only to offer a one year deal. No deal has been made, and I suspect why.

It’s simple economics, supply and demand; or in our case, Arsene is pretending we don’t have a demand. I think Arsene is extending negotiations with Gallas to keep other clubs from having leverage against us as we bid for a new CB to replace him. As long as Gallas might stay, Arsene can bid cheaply for CB’s. Basically, he can tell teams we already have a starter for next year, we’re looking for the year after that, but who knows, we might find someone else or develop one in the Academy. That in turn keeps the transfer price down since we don’t NEED a starting central defender. But once Gallas announces he’s leaving, Arsenal WILL need a starting central defender. This means the price goes up and Arsene will have to pay more for a new player.

The fact is, Gallas only has one, maybe two, years left at Arsene’s level. Not at the top level mind, I’m just referring to Arsene’s policies. Hence the contract fight. Although Gallas can provide leadership, he wants an opportunity for one last payday and the chance to start for the next couple of years. Playing the aged mentor isn’t his plan. But that’s just not Arsene’s way. We let other teams give that pay day. So I’m sure Arsene is out there bidding £10m for who knows what player, to bring in a new starter. And once that player is announced, Arsene will shrug and say that unfortunately the negotiations with Gallas just did not go as hoped.

-the student

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