Baptista to Arsenal this week

By Myles Palmer


If Seville sign Luis Fabiano today – Tuesday – Seville could sell Julio Baptista to Arsenal.

Luis Fabiano is a Brazilian striker at Porto.

The Baptista deal may be structured like the Reyes deal, which was 7-3-7.

Jose Antonio Reyes was £7 million down, £3 million a year later, and a further £7 million depending on titles, appearances, winning the Champions League.

Arsenal have had a 6-2 offer rejected already.

It may take £8 million down, £2 million in a year’s time, plus further payments if Baptista is a big success in England.

ARSENE WENGER knows more about the regulations than any journalist.

That’s why I wrote the Baptista story so early.

Because I was sure Baptista can work in the UK, even if I was not sure of the detail of the regulations.

We tend to think : a non-EU footballer must have played 75% of his national team’s games in the last 18 months.

However, Baptista HAS an EU passport.

Crucially, the regulations are weighted by country of origin.

If a player is coming from a top football nation he is more eligible to work in UK than a player from a minor football nation.

As a striker from the FIFA’s No.1 country, Brazil, Julio Baptista will qualify with 11 caps.

If Arsenal appealed against the refusal of a work permit, Baptista would be allowed into the Premiership because the weighting given to players from Brazil is greater than that given to players from Nigeria, Peru and Latvia.


LAST NIGHT I watched Pink Floyd again.

They were good.

I’m not a fan but they played well at Live8 in Hyde Park.

Their music is more interesting, more original and more challenging than most groups today. It’s also more durable.

And, having met Dave Gilmour and Rick Wright several times, they are really friendly guys.

Dave is the only English rock star I’ve met who was as amiable as B.B. King and Jerry Garcia.

July 5th 2005.