In what promises be a busy 24 hours before the transfer window closes at midnight tomorrow the Madrid press are reporting a late twist to the Jose Antonio Reyes transfer saga. Marca claims that they are ‘90% certain’ that the winger will be joining Real Madrid after Arsenal accepted a last minute swap deal that will see Julio Baptista sign for the Premier league club.
It had been widely reported in the Spanish press that Real Madrid had accepted an offer for Baptista from Tottenham, only for the player to refuse a move to Arsenal’s London rivals. Marca is claiming, however, that the player would favour a move to Arsenal with the guarantee of Champions league football thought to be a major factor.
Should Reyes move to the Bernabeu, it would represent good business for both clubs involved. The Spanish international has made no secret of his desire to move to Spain and this week claimed that once he joined up with his national squad, he would “never play for Arsenal again”. Reyes has never really settled in England and his form could be described as erratic, at best.
Baptista was a target for Arsene Wenger before the midfielder made his move from Seville to Real Madrid last year and it would appear that the Arsenal manager may finally have got his man. It will, however, require the Frenchman to back down from his promise that he would “never sell Reyes” to Real Madrid after becoming increasingly upset at Madrid’s attempts to unsettle his player and conduct the transfer through the media.
The fans of Arsenal will take pleasure from Baptista’s decision to snub their London rivals, just as Madrid fans will take particular pleasure in having thwarted Atletico Madrid’s bid to sign the talented winger.