Arsene Wenger had an 11th hour change of heart on the Morgan Schneiderlin deal according to reports.
Apparently, the deal had been agreed in principle - Schneiderlin wanted to join the Arsenal and it was his favoured destination as he wanted to stay based in the south of England.
Arsene Wenger really likes Schneiderlin and it looked to be a mere formality - but as the old saying goes - 'it ain't over till the fat lady sings'. It seems though Wenger, Arsenal, Southampton and Schneiderlin himself were all keen, the terms put forward from the players people were non-negotiable and as we know, that isn't Wenger's way. He also thought that at £25 million it was a little high in his estimation for the 25-year-old France international midfielder.
Evidently, current Arsenal and Chile international Alexis Sanchez had the perfect answer. In a phone call from Wenger to check on the player's condition and fitness and congratulate him on his countries progression in the Copa America - Alexis reportedly told Wenger of Arturo Vidal's keenness on joining-up with his friend at Arsenal in the Premier League.
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At around £21m and a proven star for club and country Wenger thought immediately that this was better value for money. All it took then was to speak to Vidal's people and discuss his terms - which were much more agreeable. Nothing will be finalised however until the players return from the Copa America tournament. Then, it is expected that they will get around the table with Arsenal Lawyer and deal broker Dick Law - and rubber-stamp the deal.
If this report is true, and I have no reason to believe contrary at the moment, it sees the Arsenal manager is flexing his new-found financial muscle.
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Firstly, he won't be taken for a ride on player's demands, secondly, he now has the clout to walk away if the deal doesn't suit him - and look for better alternatives. There can be no-doubt that Arsenal football club has made great strides over the past two years by winning back-to-back FA Cups and in doing so creating a club record of most FA Cup wins.
But, it also proves that having control of Arsenal's finances for so long - having to cut-his-cloth so to speak and rein in his spending for so long - has left a lasting legacy with him: he will always be looking for value-for-money. It is his way now, it is part of his makeup.
The Arsenal faithful know this. They would ideally like Wenger to see a top, top player, a last piece of a jigsaw, and say 'what-the-hell we need him, lets push the boat out'.
But, they know deep down that isn't Wenger's way - and as much as that rankles a few of the faithful, it also sits well with the many, because they know that while Wenger is at the helm their beloved Arsenal will never be in debt or fall by the wayside because he is there - steering the ship home through murky waters and difficult times. They know it's his ship, his project and he will get it right - doing it his way.
Is Arsene Wenger doing the best business in the transfer window?
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