Navas/ Ticket prices/ Sagnol/ Ricardo/ Baptista/ Torres/ Barcelona link up



By Ian Grant

According to ANR reader Sunny, “a friend of my cousin bumped into David Dein yesterday in Seville. He was talking to the agents of midfielder Jesus Navas’ and striker Julio Baptista.”

No mention of Navas in the Sunday press. The NoW says David Dein returned home empty handed this time, and if Arsenal can’t get Julio Baptista, they’ll go for Atletico’s Fernando Torres – who said he wants to stay and see out his contract.

Baptista is a strange one. He’s only played 15 out of the last 40 internationals – and he needed to play 30 – making 75% to satisfy Home Office requirements. However he’s naturalised next year and gains an EU passport.

According to Goal.com, Seville have rejected a 12m euro bid – 9m euro up front with 3m euro over a period, in the hope of a better fee. But they point out Seville risks it going to arbitration and a lesser fee.

The Arsenal paragraphs are dominated by Willy Sagnol, the 28 year-old, French international Bayern Munich right back. A couple, including the S.Mirror reckon Arsenal can nip in and take him from under Valencia’s noses – particularly if £5m is offered. He has one year left on his contract – and he knows the French internationals very well. And with Hleb would revolutionise Arsenal’s right side. However, Sky Sports said earlier that he rejected Valencia because he wanted to see out his last year with Bayern.

Similarly Ricardo, the 29 year-old Sporting Lisbon goalkeeper is mentioned, not for the first time. He is quoted as saying he wants to play in the Premiership. But is he good enough for Arsenal? And Graham Stack says he wants to leave.

Good piece in the S.Mirror about Alex Hleb – how he grew up in poverty, with a mother bricklayer, and first played for the Borisov Tractor Equipment Factory. His working class background would appear to make him hungry and motivated.

Shame then that working class fans are being frozen out of clubs like Arsenal and Chelsea, according to a Supporters’ Trust spokesman.

This follows a survey in the S.Mirror which shows Arsenal having the most expensive tickets in the lowest and highest season ticket prices league. Top cheapest season ticket is £855, with the highest priced at £1825 – both from Arsenal.

Tottenham come second on £540-£1350, with Chelsea third on £650-£1150.

Man U for reference is £399-£684.

Average cheapest for the Premiership is £674. Average dearest is £704.

Is an Arsenal-Barcelona alliance and Chelsea-Madrid link up happening? David Dein met Jean Laporte in the week to discuss amongst other things getting non EU internationals to play in Europe. A Real Madrid spokesman, meanwhile said they’d got a unwritten agreement with Chelsea not to go for the same players thereby not jacking up the price.

Let’s finish with good news. The Arsenal management have confirmed they want Robert Pires to stay [So they’ll have to find a solution to the two-year contract problem]. And Quincy, has signed an extension to his contract.