It’s not a matter of a transfer free, which would be insignificant for the 33-year-old Júlio César. We’re talking $1.5-$2 million – nothing for the kind of clubs that could be asking for the Confederations Cup Golden Gloves winner. If one of those clubs is Arsenal, whose solution (or lack there of) at goalkeeper could mean the difference between holding off Spurs or being passed for a Champions League spot,* a couple million dollars truly becomes a bargain.
*Since Joe Posnanski writes for NBC Sports, I have a little more license to do these, right? Good, because it’s pretty insane to talk about passing teams for Champions League spots the day the transfer window opens.
The bigger issue for the Gunners in any César pursuit are the club’s principles, ideas that usually preclude playing a player like him the $106,000 per week (£70,000 pounds) he’s making with Queens Park Rangers. Although you don’t hear the term wage structure floated around the Emirates as often as you used to, the club remains dogmatic in its approach to finances. It’s why $197,000 a week (£130,000) is controversial for Gonzalo Higuaín. It’s why the club’s record transfer fee remains a relatively low $22.8 million (£15 million).
But to dissociate transfer fees and wages when assessing a player’s cost would be mistake. There are levels in which that distinction may matter, but in terms of the financial commitment you have to make to a player, both have to be considered as part of a total outlay. It shouldn’t be looked at as $2 million being cheap for César or his wages being too high. The combined package should be considered against what the combined package for a similar talent would run.
Seventy thousand pounds a week does seem high for César. It’s undoubtedly how he was lured to a club like QPR. But at this point, Arsenal may not be able to get him off that number, a number that’s undoubtedly contributing to his low transfer fee. They may need to look at the near $7 million total commitment and ask if they could get a better deal elsewhere.
Given what we saw from César in Brazil, what we saw in the recent past at Inter Milan, and what we saw at times for QPR, it’s hard to imagine Arsenal finding that value elsewhere. As long as his transfer fee stays very low, Arsenal should be able to justify his wages.
The transfer mill has been churning out big names moves a-plenty this week as teams gear up for their seasons.
Rumors are coming fast and furious still, and Saturday is no exception.
[ MORE: Kolo to Celtic ]
Iceland’s run to the EURO quarterfinals may’ve opened a lot of eyes, but many already knew about Gylfi Sigurdsson. The Swansea man left for and returned from Spurs, but now could be on the move again.
The Express says Everton are willing to spend close to $33 million to lure Sigurdsson to Goodison Park. How wild have transfer fees gone in recent years? Brexit deflation aside, Sigurdsson’s moves to Swansea and Spurs cost between $9-12 million.
Eurosport reports that Arsenal is ready to go big in pursuit of Leicester City maestro Riyad Mahrez.
The Algerian international is said to have been “seduced” by the Gunners and wants to make a move to North London. The fee would be approximately $55 million, and take another instrumental part of the Foxes’ PL title run from the East Midlands.
The Sun claims that four omissions from Tottenham’s recent travel list mean all are destined to be sold by Mauricio Pochettino. Clinton N'Jie, Alex Pritchard, Nabil Bentaleb and Federico Fazio are ready for your club’s bid.
Zenit Saint Petersburg coach Mircea Lucescu told Calciomercato that there are three offers in for Belgium midfielder Axel Witsel, one in the Premier League and two in Serie A. Witsel has been linked with Everton, Liverpool and Roma this summer.
Young Spanish center back Carlos Blanco Moreno cranked home a long distance goal in Saturday’s International Champions Cup match between Juventus and Melbourne Victory.
[ MORE: Kolo to Celtic ]
Ex-Barcelona man Blanco, 20, brought down a substandard clearance from Melbourne goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas, took a touch, and blasted a shot over the 24-year-old Australian backstop.
Melbourne would draw level before going on to win the match in penalty kicks, but this was the highlight of the match.
Sky Sports reports that longtime Liverpool defender Kolo Toure has found a home under his former manager.
The 35-year-old center back was released by the Reds this summer, and is undergoing a medical ahead of joining Brendan Rodgers at Celtic.
[ MORE: Sunderland hires Moyes ]
Toure joined Liverpool from Manchester City in 2013, one year after Rodgers took the helm at Anfield.
The move would be Celtic’s second signing under Rodgers, as the Glasgow side added French forward Moussa Dembele from Fulham earlier this summer.
It’s a move that screams its own headlines, yet is being tipped as a precursor to a larger one.
According to Sky Sports, Juventus has purchased Gonzalo Higuain from Napoli for an incredible $103 million, equaling the second-highest transfer fee in football history (Cristiano Ronaldo).
Higuain is 28 years old, making the fee even harder to fathom despite his status as the reigning Serie A goal leader. His 36 goals in 35 matches was by far his best campaign, though he’s always been a productive striker.
[ MORE: Sunderland hires Moyes ]
Moreover, the massive money only fuels the fire that Juventus is possibly selling Paul Pogba to Manchester United or Real Madrid for what will certainly be a world record fee, eclipsing the $110 million Real paid for Gareth Bale in 2013.
Higuain was also tipped for a move to Arsenal, but that always seemed improbable given the reported fees and Arsene Wenger‘s preference for younger players.
It’s a huge risk for Juventus, even given the probability of Pogba money arriving in Turin.