The ever reliable Madrid daily AS, tongue firmly in cheek, is reporting that representatives from Atletico Madrid are in London negotiating with Arsenal to secure the services of Jose Antonio Reyes. However, in spite of the offer being slightly better than the offer made by Real Madrid for the player, they are still some way short of Arsenal’s valuation. Atletico have offered 13 million euros and Arsenal are demanding 18 million.
It is reported that Jesus Rodriguez de Moya met with David Dein yesterday and that the London club appear to be more open to the idea of selling the player to Atletico because of the improved financial package and the potential of future transactions between the clubs. Guillem Balague, writing in AS, claims that Arsenal would welcome a clause that gives them first refusal on Fernando Torres when he ultimately decides to leave his hometown club.
La Liga review also suspects that Atletico’s interest is welcomed by Arsenal because it provides some necessary competition for the signature of a player who has expressed a desire to leave but, until now, had only generated interest from Real Madrid. It is possible that Madrid’s behaviour in the transfer market this summer has also soured relations with Arsenal, reported here.
Wenger’s comments that “We will not sell Reyes to Real Madrid” is evidence of Arsenal’s reluctance to do business with Calderon.
Guillem Balague is reporting that Martin Petrov is the key to the deal as his sale would provide Atletico with sufficient funds to meet Arsenal’s demands. Petrov has been offered to Arsenal as part of the deal but the London club are said to have refused, being interested in a financial package only.
The Bulgarian winger could still play a very important part in this deal. Atletico are still attempting to sign Maniche and will desperately need the funds that Petrov’s potential transfer would secure. Aguirre has spoken out that he is happy for the player to leave as he feels he has adequate cover for the left wing without Petrov. The Bulgarian has done little to impress the Mexican coach in pre-season and his sending off against Getafe last week confirmed doubts over the player’s temperament.
It is likely that whilst in London, Atletico officials will attempt to resurrect a deal for Petrov with Tottenham that had appeared to have stalled, but that now takes on a new dimension with Atletico even more eager to sell.