06 July 2014

Amid Sánchez rumors, Barça have a Monday press conference...

It's getting harder and harder to resist the temptation to feel like something special is about to happen around Alexis Sánchez, what with odds around him joining Arsenal going from 8/15 just two days ago to climbing to 1/2 Sunday. Even more mouth-watering is the news that  Barça have scheduled a press conference for Monday at 11am, London time, to discuss who knows what? It's tantalizing to think that the presser might relate to Sánchez's potential departure, although it more-likely has something to do with some other player arriving. It's unlikely for a club to schedule a press conference to announce a player departing. Still, 'round these parts, hope springs eternal, even if that means rational thought takes a back seat.
We are, after all, Gooners. We are to the transfer-window what Charlie Brown is to Lucy's football (the American one, I guess). We run and we run and we run, believing that this time, we'll finally kick the ball. This is our day. Each time, of course, Lucy snatches the ball away. Our transfer-window angst reduces plays like Waiting for Godot to mere slap-stick. Vladimir and Estragon may not have been Gooners, but Beckett was an Irishman living in Paris, so there are a few telling signs there. Still, not even they, nor Charlie Brown, can know the rank alienation of repeating endlessly, ad nauseum, the same futile process over and over and over again, believing, vainly, that, somehow, someday, salvation will arrive. Beckett thought he had captured the bleakness and vast emptiness of human experience in his writings? Ha. Try following Arsenal in the modern transfer-window, Sammy.

Still, there are signs that this time will be different. Surely, it will be different. The odds are rising so high that there's no turning back. Then again, Higuaín. We've been down this road before, most recently with Higuaín. With Sánchez, as with Higuaín, there were reports that we had agreed personal terms. With Sánchez, as with Higuaín, there were rumors of key players flying to or from this or that city. What we haven't yet had is Sánchez's father making bold statements or Sánchez himself being photographed in an airport.

The tweets are flying fast and furious, most of them from Spain and Chile, suggesting that we've submitted and Barça have accepted our €40M/£32m bid for Sánchez, so it's perfectly acceptable for you to drool all over your keyboard or mobile. We're talking about an undeniable talent who could fit in well with our system, both competing with and playing alongside Giroud, and who can produce. There are no pressing questions about his mental state, as there are with Balotelli. The idea that we could get a player of Sánchez's class for a fee in the low £30m range feels almost too good be true. To address one of our most-pressing needs at that price, in this market? C'mon.

I'm going to bed. It's past midnight where I live. This presser will happen at 5am in my time-zone, but you'd better believe I'll be tuning in. Just in case...

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