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A Horse Named Stranger

Football: pool in to the Final Spur of the season

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I see the De Ligt saga is still rumbling on. It's looking more and more like he's yet another numpty who cares more about money than football.

If he's not careful this year may end up being the closest he ever gets to a Champions League.

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I am happy that Sarri won a trophy. Based on how the media/his own fans treated him throughout the year you would think he had a much worse season than Emery. 

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12 hours ago, Soylent Brown said:

I see the De Ligt saga is still rumbling on. It's looking more and more like he's yet another numpty who cares more about money than football.

If he's not careful this year may end up being the closest he ever gets to a Champions League.

He'll end up at Barca just like De Jong did. This whole 'transfer saga' is playing out exactly like the De Jong transfer. I haven't seen anything to suggest that De Ligt cares more about money than football.

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11 hours ago, Mark Antony said:

I am happy that Sarri won a trophy. Based on how the media/his own fans treated him throughout the year you would think he had a much worse season than Emery. 

Yes, good for Sarri. Though as an Arsenal fan it's a bitter disappointment, a trophy and CL qualification would have made for a successful season. As it is, it should never have been riding on this single match, we should have secured a top 4 position and threw it away with those losses at the end of the season. I'm willing to give Emery the benefit of the doubt but another season like this would be hard to stomach.

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4 hours ago, Consigliere said:

He'll end up at Barca just like De Jong did. This whole 'transfer saga' is playing out exactly like the De Jong transfer. I haven't seen anything to suggest that De Ligt cares more about money than football.

While not necessarily from bullet-proof sources, I've seen a few articles recently suggesting that Barcelona have moved on and that PSG and united are the only viable options given the money being asked for.

And Barcelona have obviously identified other issues in the team following the CL defeat, so it may well be that they don't have the budget for everyone they'd like. It's not like they need De Ligt as much as they needed De Long - they have Pique, Lenglet and Umtiti already.

I would also argue that him having anything at all to do with Raiola heavily suggests that he's thinking too much about money. I mean, he's 19 and already a really good player, he's going to earn plenty during his career regardless, so why employee a notoriously difficult to deal with superleech?

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Pique won't be around for another decade. Maybe 2-3 more seasons, and that's it (if he does not call it a day before). Yes, defenders have a longer shelf-life, but I don't think Pique will be playing on that level beyond that. Yes, Lenglet and Umtiti are good, but that's two class cb, who will be there once Pique is gone.

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7 minutes ago, Soylent Brown said:

While not necessarily from bullet-proof sources, I've seen a few articles recently suggesting that Barcelona have moved on and that PSG and united are the only viable options given the money being asked for.

The exact same was being reported when it was De Jong i.e. Barca have moved on due to cost and PSG are the only ones willing to meet the demands of various intermediaries. Also, English media (Simon Stone and others) have reported that United have pulled out as the club believes De Ligt is set on joining Barca. 

 

7 minutes ago, Soylent Brown said:

And Barcelona have obviously identified other issues in the team following the CL defeat, so it may well be that they don't have the budget for everyone they'd like. It's not like they need De Ligt as much as they needed De Long - they have Pique, Lenglet and Umtiti already.

I'd argue that they need De Ligt just as much as De Jong. The latter is a long term replacement for Busquets while the former is a long term replacement for Pique. There's also been rumours that Barca want to offload Umtiti due to his recurring knee injuries. Griezmann is likely to be the target that they pass on due to transfer fee and wages - reportedly his buyout clause is €125m and current wages reported to be €20m/year after tax (so €40m/year gross).  

 

7 minutes ago, Soylent Brown said:

I would also argue that him having anything at all to do with Raiola heavily suggests that he's thinking too much about money. I mean, he's 19 and already a really good player, he's going to earn plenty during his career regardless, so why employee a notoriously difficult to deal with superleech?

Raiola is a cunt for clubs but he is a great agent. Which player wouldn't want their agent to broker the best deal possible? Just being associated with Raiola in no way points to De Ligt being more interested in money than football. De Jong and De Ligt are two of the biggest young prospects in world football so of course a lot of money was going to be involved regardless which agent(s) are involved. Also it's unclear in what capacity Raiola actually serves - reports keep saying he's De Ligt's agent but transfermarket lists Barry Hulshoff as his agent. 

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17 minutes ago, Consigliere said:

Raiola is a cunt for clubs but he is a great agent. Which player wouldn't want their agent to broker the best deal possible? Just being associated with Raiola in no way points to De Ligt being more interested in money than football. De Jong and De Ligt are two of the biggest young prospects in world football so of course a lot of money was going to be involved regardless which agent(s) are involved. Also it's unclear in what capacity Raiola actually serves - reports keep saying he's De Ligt's agent but transfermarket lists Barry Hulshoff as his agent. 

He's very good at getting money for himself, but maybe not as good for his clients - he apparently only has one player in the top 20 highest paid (Pogba.) Plenty of other agents would get their clients amazing wages given the same situation.

He is involved in some capacity, but that he's a secondary figure to De Ligt again suggests that De Ligt is either poorly advised or overly greedy.

There's also the likelihood that, if he's still with Raiola, he'll down tools in a few years and push for another move, so Barcelona wouldn't exactly be future-proofing their defence.

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40 minutes ago, Soylent Brown said:

He's very good at getting money for himself, but maybe not as good for his clients - he apparently only has one player in the top 20 highest paid (Pogba.) Plenty of other agents would get their clients amazing wages given the same situation.

He is involved in some capacity, but that he's a secondary figure to De Ligt again suggests that De Ligt is either poorly advised or overly greedy.

There's also the likelihood that, if he's still with Raiola, he'll down tools in a few years and push for another move, so Barcelona wouldn't exactly be future-proofing their defence.

Judging based on the top 20 earners is a poor way of looking at it. Looking at his list of clients, how many there could actually command a top 20 salary? Verratti is probably the only one and he's still on the contract he signed in 2016 while most of the top earners have received bumper renewals since then.

It seems that your issue is with Raiola and you are just badmouthing De Ligt by mere association. That his reps are haggling with Barca makes sense especially when you consider that they're reportedly paying De Jong €12m/year but have offered De Ligt €8-9m/year.

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Time to sell everyone. Get to work Arsenal.

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45 minutes ago, Consigliere said:

Judging based on the top 20 earners is a poor way of looking at it. Looking at his list of clients, how many there could actually command a top 20 salary? Verratti is probably the only one and he's still on the contract he signed in 2016 while most of the top earners have received bumper renewals since then.

It seems that your issue is with Raiola and you are just badmouthing De Ligt by mere association. That his reps are haggling with Barca makes sense especially when you consider that they're reportedly paying De Jong €12m/year but have offered De Ligt €8-9m/year.

If he's so great, why doesn't he have a better list of clients then?

Yeah though, my issue is mainly with Raiola, but it absolutely should reflect poorly on De Ligt that he'd go anywhere near him.

I imagine Barcelona would be a lot more amenable to paying him higher wages if they didn't have to find 10-15m for his agent!

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1 hour ago, Soylent Brown said:

If he's so great, why doesn't he have a better list of clients then?

Yeah though, my issue is mainly with Raiola, but it absolutely should reflect poorly on De Ligt that he'd go anywhere near him.

I imagine Barcelona would be a lot more amenable to paying him higher wages if they didn't have to find 10-15m for his agent!

Barcelona only have themselves to blame. They had no problems paying the intermediary fees for Dembele or De Jong or all the shady business they did to sign Neymar from Santos. Both Dembele and De Jong are on contracts worth €12m/year + bonuses so why should De Ligt settle for €8m/year? Merely being associated with Raiola does not say anything about the player one way or another. No need to jump to conclusions. 

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13 minutes ago, Consigliere said:

Barcelona only have themselves to blame. They had no problems paying the intermediary fees for Dembele or De Jong or all the shady business they did to sign Neymar from Santos. Both Dembele and De Jong are on contracts worth €12m/year + bonuses so why should De Ligt settle for €8m/year? Merely being associated with Raiola does not say anything about the player one way or another. No need to jump to conclusions. 

Defenders get paid less in general, and he's a defender with one and a bit years' experience. And part of De Jong's salary is coming from an increased deal with Nike by all accounts anyway. If he's going to torpedo his dream move over a bit of extra money when whatever he's been offered is already obscene, he's absolutely a dickhead.

And we'll have to agree to disagree over players who employ Raiola.

If he gets his move, then all is fine and he hasn't messed up, but I don't think it's by any means certain he will yet.

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5 minutes ago, Soylent Brown said:

Defenders get paid less in general, and he's a defender with one and a bit years' experience. And part of De Jong's salary is coming from an increased deal with Nike by all accounts anyway. If he's going to torpedo his dream move over a bit of extra money when whatever he's been offered is already obscene, he's absolutely a dickhead.

And we'll have to agree to disagree over players who employ Raiola.

If he gets his move, then all is fine and he hasn't messed up, but I don't think it's by any means certain he will yet.

If he has his heart set on Barca then it's unlikely that he torpedoes the move. As I said before, this is playing out exactly like the De Jong transfer. If Barca refuse to budge then I'm sure he'll accept what's on the table but there's nothing wrong with his reps trying to squeeze more money out of Barca (just as De Jong's did) since the club has proven time and again that they are willing to pay up. We'll have to disagree on Raiola even though there's not a shred of evidence to suggest that merely being associated with Raiola makes it more likely for a player to "down tools" or "care more about money than football". 

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I have to say, if a player Liverpool were after was making so much of a fuss, I'd rather we move on to someone else. There are other good defenders out there, just none quite so young.

By down tools, I meant more seek a move after a few years rather than go on strike or anything that extreme.

I do think any 19 year-old wanting wage parity with most of the players at the club he's moving to absolutely does care too much about money. Perhaps not more than football, but still.

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It's good to see Antonio Conte back in management with Inter Milan. His first season at Chelsea produced some of the best football I have ever seen at the club. His second season...not so much, but we still managed to win the FA cup.

To get the best out of Conte, Inter will really need to back him. That was the issue at Chelsea; after a brilliant first season, the club didn't fully back him after winning the title, instead spending millions on sub-standard players who weren't as high quality as the key players we lost that summer. From then on in, Conte seemed to be at loggerheads with the board, and that spilled into the dressing room and onto the pitch. At the peak of his reign at the end of 16/17, though, he was on par with Mourinho for Chelsea fans. 

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Inter appointing Conte also shows how much Mourinho's stock has fallen. The one club (other than Porto) where he didn't cause a shitshow and won a treble didn't even consider him for the position. Inter have a decent side but I'm not sure they have the financial resources currently to spend big unless Icardi is offloaded for significant money. 

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14 hours ago, Consigliere said:

Both Dembele and De Jong are on contracts worth €12m/year + bonuses so why should De Ligt settle for €8m/year?

Poor soul, making €8m/year at age 19, playing football for one of the biggest and most successful clubs in the world.

Let's all send thoughts and prayers his way. :lol:

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1 minute ago, baxus said:

Poor soul, making €8m/year at age 19, playing football for one of the biggest and most successful clubs in the world.

Let's all send thoughts and prayers his way. :lol:

That's got nothing to do with the point I was making though. Barca were willing to pay those wages and all associated fees when it came to Dembele and De Jong, so why should De Ligt's representatives settle for 33% less? That they are negotiating to get their client a deal that is on par or close to what Barca gave other young, high potential players does not reflect poorly on them or De Ligt.

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1 minute ago, Consigliere said:

That's got nothing to do with the point I was making though. Barca were willing to pay those wages and all associated fees when it came to Dembele and De Jong, so why should De Ligt's representatives settle for 33% less? That they are negotiating to get their client a deal that is on par or close to what Barca gave other young, high potential players does not reflect poorly on them or De Ligt.

In fairness De Ligt looks a very good player, excellent for his age, but De Jong looks like the model midfielder for the modern high pressing game. Given the choice between the two I’d definitely take De Jong, especially from Barca’s point of view who need a midfielder more. So it’s not a big surprise they’re willing to pay him more.

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