Give me a minute, I had a couple of caipirinhas last night.
Brazil has given us many wonderful things, like Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Ronaldininininho, Gilberto Silva and Andre Santos, but the humble caipirinha is really its most wonderful export.
It’s hot here in Ireland. Right now it’s just after 8:30 a.m. and it’s 21 ° C. It reminds me of when I started Arseblog when I lived in Barcelona. I got up, it would be lovely and warm, and I could sit down at my Mac in shorts and a T-shirt and just write a few things. Here we are almost 20 years later, and that’s exactly what I’m doing (although the € 3 caipirinhas and mojitos at Princessa 23 played their part back then – if you know, you know).
Anyway, let’s get on with that and it looks like the Ben White deal is about to go into effect, with David Ornstein reporting on an agreement between Arsenal and Brighton.
🚨 Arsenal have reached an agreement in principle to sign England center-back Ben White from Brighton. Deal for 23yo subject to medical conditions and will take time to complete. #BHAFC always wanted, guaranteed 50m @TheAthleticUK 1. reported @TomBarclay_ #AFC https://t.co/hZzxa6rRJu
– David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) July 16, 2021
My understanding of this situation is that this is just the last thing that needed to be resolved. It’s been all settled and dusted between the club and the player for a while and it was just a matter of agreeing a fee with Brighton.
This is the most interesting signing of the summer so far, because as much as Nuno Tavares and the yet to be announced Albert Sambi Lokonga are young players with potential, I don’t think either will be signed to strengthen the first team. They’re squad options right now, players that give us some depth. Kieran Tierney plays all of our major games as a left-back when he’s fit; Lokonga is helping us to replace Ceballos / Torreira / Guendouzi; and there is still a need for the elusive partey partner to arrive.
Ben White, on the other hand, is an instant choice for the first team. £ 50m center-backs at a club like Arsenal aren’t made to compete with what you have, they’re bought to add something you think your defense is lacking. So unless something crazy happens in the next few days, it looks like Ben White will become an Arsenal player and our most expensive defensive deal ever (take that Mustafi!).
Elsewhere there are reports that our offer for Manuel Locatelli is far superior to that of Juventus. We are now offering more money, they want to borrow him for a season with a payment obligation, but Sassuolo did not say thank you. It is difficult to say whether this is encouraging for us. Obviously the Italian club would prefer a deal that gives them more money and gives it to them now, but in the end a lot depends on the player and his or her wishes.
I have a friend who works for Juventus as part of their security team but other than that I would love to see the entire club being demolished and its ashes being thrown into the sea from the boot of Italy itself (no excuse for Liam Brady, even after many years) . However, I can understand why Locatelli might prefer moving there than this current version of Arsenal. We can’t sell him with the idea that he could come and win the Premier League or the Champions League; We have to convince him that we are part of a rebuilding that, if things go well, could enable us to ponder these things.
This is hard to sell for anyone, and when you read that Edu is the man who tries to convince him with a “speech” it is difficult to feel safe.
“Come to Arsenal. I will be your friend Come on. You can have dinner with me and my friends Kia and Raul on a fancy boat. By the way, your agent, do you like him? You should talk to Kia, he’s great. “
See, I would really like it if Arsenal signed Manuel Locatelli with his gorgeous hair, but I just don’t see it. If it happens I’ll be eating a whole humble pie on the podcast, but while Juventus’ offer is inferior, I don’t think we can be sure of our chances of making that offer a reality.
This feels like a little note to leave behind for today’s post, so let’s finish with some good news.
I still have half a bottle of cachaça and lots of limes left, so I see caipirinhas in my not-too-distant future, perhaps as an accompaniment to some of the things being cooked on the Weber grill in a hot back garden.
Arsenal will play another friendly against Rangers at 2pm today. I will watch it and report it here tomorrow. Until then, enjoy your Saturday.