Despite being bombarded with stories that Arsenal could only afford the £40m offered for Zaha, it seems clear that the club is trying to buy Nicolas Pepe for a deal thought to be in the region of £72m ….. How?
Past transfer shenanigans have shown that deals can be made on a whim and a handshake at times, with players being snatched off the treatment table when having a medical for one club to jumping straight on a plane to sign for another.
Deals are done in car parks, engineered by other players, a casual phone call … all sorts of chicanery can be involved.
Mike M came up with this possible (albeit tongue in cheek) script of how the negotiations between Lille and Arsenal were conducted ….
Lille 1 : So we need $80m for Pepe or we’re not selling.
Lille 2: Hey Boss, Arsenal are on the phone inquiring about Pepe.
Lille 1: Tell them to forget it. They only have $40m they can’t afford him.
Lille 2: I told them, they still want to talk to you
Lille 1: What a colossal waste of time. Ok put them on.
Lille 1: So you’re interested in Pepe huh, my assistant already told you he’s not in your price range. We want $95m.
Arsenal: What is our price range? How do you know?
Lille 1: Everyone knows. It was in the media.
Arsenal. We’ll give you $65m structured as follows … (blah blah).
Lille 1: No we want at least $90m
Arsenal : The player wants to come to us, lets figure it out.
Lille 1: Ok.
Lots of talking……..
Arsenal: so $72m it is structured in the following way …. (blah blah)
Lille 1 : Ok. You’re lucky the player wants to join you. We already have offers of $80m. Deal. Hang up phone.
Arsenal 1: So they thought we only had $40m to spend. You think if we’d announced we had $100m they would have settled for $72m?
Arsenal 2: Hard to say, but I’m glad we didn’t kill that press rumour, it certainly didn’t hurt.
Lille 1: So I guess we did good. They only had $40m and we ended up getting $72 from them.
Lille 2: Good job Boss, I’d have never believed that a few hours ago.
NB – Hope we get him now !!!!!!