10 July 2015

The Transfer Merry-Go-Round sends Schneiderlin to Arsenal...

In 2013, we saw Tottenham sell Bale to Real Madrid, who financed that move in part by selling us Özil. In 2014, Liverpool sold Suarez to Barcelona, who financed that move in part by selling us Alexis. Come 2015, we've waited for the other, other shoe to drop—who among our rivals would sell abroad in order to launch the merry-go-round once again? Would it be Man U selling van Persie to Fenerbahçe? Cue the spit-take. In a bit of a twist, though, one spin 'round might see things moving in a different direction, with Man U signing Bastian Schweinsteiger from Bayern. Before you start drooling over whom we might sign from Bayern, cool your jets. The more-likely knock-on would be Morgan Schneiderlin, whose move to Man U had already stalled ahead of the Schweinsteiger news...

First, apologies. I was off on vacation for a few days. We're back in business, though. According to a report in The Guardian, the central midfielder, who will turn 31 in a few weeks, "has been offered a three-year contract worth £140k a week". He'd played under Van Gaal from 2009 to 2011 and apparently has a strong-enough rapport with the gaffer to facilitate the move. So be it. That same report suggests that Man U "have had offers for the Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin rejected." Ace.

In one fell swoop, it seems, we get to enjoy the schadenfreude of van Persie being "betrayed" (his word...) by Van Gaal while watching Van Gaal apparently embrace another former player (Schweinsteiger) with us the beneficiary on one if not two levels. I won't make much of van Persie's circling of the drain other than to mention just a few words ago because this Schweinsteiger news matters a bit more, if only from Schneiderlin's perspective. In Man U's ideal world, Schneiderlin would play at the center of a 4-3-3 with Schweinsteiger and Di María ahead of him. However, in Schneiderlin's ideal world, he doesn't have to contend with Carrick, Blind, Fellaini, Mata, or Herrera in the various formations that Van Gaal might deploy.

Then, there's wages. It's anyone's guess whether Man U might spend £40m in transfer fees on one position (£15m for Schweinsteiger, £25m or more for Schneiderlin), not to mention the weekly wages. If it's true that Schweinsteiger will earn £140k per week, would Man U really commit another £200k a week to Schneiderlin? That's some heavy spending, even for the likes of the Glazers.

At the other end of things, Schneiderlin has to be reassessing his options. A week or so ago, he was one of Man U's priceless baubles, worth £200k a week. Now, he has to feel jilted. To join Man U would not only force him to swallow a bit of pride, he might also suffer a hit in that weekly wage packet not to mention minutes on the pitch. Sign with Man U, and he might endure the indignity of a reduced role at a reduced wage at a club that gets dumped from Champions League play by none other than van Persie.

While none of this quite rises to the thrill of us signing Özil or Alexis, either for strategy or schadenfreude, it does open the door to Schneiderlin arriving at Arsenal. Instead of coming to a once-legendary club lingering on the edges of relevance, he could join a legendary club on the edge of a renaissance, even claiming credit for that renaissance even if he's not quite cut from the same cloth as Özil or Alexis. Would that claim, along with a larger role, Champions League play, a legitimate shot at a Premier League title, and a chance at making Arsenal the FA Cup winners three times in a row (wresting that claim from Tottenham in the process) be enough to encourage Schneiderlin to join Arsenal?

If nothing else, credit your correspondent for correctly spelling "Schweinsteiger" and "Schneiderlin" repeatedly. That was a monumental feat...

Before you go, though, drop below the fold to share your thoughts in the comments-section. Thanks!