Chelsea and Spurs sign Arshavin, Arsenal and United get Huntelaar, Liverpool get Barry and Villa as Chelsea sell everyone

A run down of the summer silly season can leave newspaper readers in no doubt: there have been a lot of big-money transfers already.

Depending who you believe, both Chelsea and Spurs have signed Andrei Sergeyevich Arshavin at least four times, for fees ranging from about £20 million to about £50 million.

If you are surprised about the lack of pictures of the striker in training at White Hart Lane, however, that is simply because the deal is actually going to be concluded “before the end of the week,” or even because the move has been held up over problems stemming from the fact that he looks extraordinarily similar to Klaas Jan Huntelaar, who has recently signed for Manchester United. And Arsenal. And even Newcastle actually, depending which paper you buy.

All of Chelsea’s squad is on the transfer list, which is why they have lost all their big name players – Tal Ben Haim, Steve Sidwell, Khalid Boulahrouz and Ryan Bertrand — to world class Champions League teams like Man City, Aston Villa and Norwich. This is a sign the team are in disarray, and at the same time a clear indication Scolari has made his mark on the team and good things are to come this season.

Ronaldo has clarified his future pretty much every day of the week, telling Sir Alex in both blazing rows and amicable chats that he is demanding to be transferred, while expressing his deep desire to play for the team for years to come. He has refused to come back from his holiday, refused to talk to Sir Alex, and is so angry he has even managed to come back to England early and have a ‘productive’ face-to-face meeting with his manager.

Gareth Barry’s move from Villa to Liverpool is definitely on, with the only stumbling block to the player joining up with his new teammates being the fact that the clubs haven’t agreed a fee, he hasn’t agreed personal terms, and the fact that he’s going to be staying at Villa.

Liverpool have managed to sign David Villa and David Bentley though, explaining perfectly why Villa is still in Spain and Bentley has recently donned a very tight white Tottenham shirt. Than again, you can see why Villa would want to play in the Premier league, what with Ronaldinho having agreed personal terms with Man City months ago now.

The conclusion is this:

Either hang on to the papers’ every word looking for hopeful news about you club’s summer dabbling in the transfer market and argue about it with your friends over your club’s ambition, or remember one thing:

Until they sign on the dotted line; until they are pictured beaming on the website waving a home shirt, talking about their desire to make an impact, how they can’t wait to meet up with the lads, how the manager’s vision drew them to such a big club, how they supported the team as a boy and have always looked out for their results; until the club website has described them as an ‘international’ despite the fact the closest they ever came to winning a cap was carrying on the drinks against Mongolia in a friendly in 2003; until they’ve been pictured in all the shop merchandise on the homepage and you’ve been warned the shirts with their name are ‘flying’ out so you will have to buy yours soon; until rival fans have told you how they are only using your team to put themselves in the shop window and they will never adjust to the Premiership anyway; until your club is accused of inflating transfer prices and paying enormous wages; until the previous player to play in their position has said they welcome the challenge of more competition, despite the fact you know they will never be seen on a football pitch again; until the club waxes lyrical about a three-yard sideways pass the guy made under no pressure in a preseason friendly against Bognor Reserves, and uses it as evidence that he has loads to offer the team….

…it’s really all just talk. Don’t believe everything you read, kids.

The Armchair Fan promises to bring you all the stories from the football world which failed to make the regular press – check them out at his website.

Serie A 08-09: A 6-horse title race?
Andy Hunter has no shame


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