According to a book released by a football agent Jon Smith, Arsenal were forced to pay almost double the price tag on Russian talent Andrei Arshavin when he moved to the Emirates.

Smith’s book titled: ‘The Deal: Inside the World of a Super-Agent,’ contained details of the deals the Gunners made years back for the former Zenit St Petersburg star.

Following a impressive display at the Euro 2008 whilst in action for the Russian national side, Arsene Wenger wanted to lure the Russian player to England. The deal was completed on January 31st, 2009 but the book claims that the London-based outfit paid much more than needed to secure the services of Arshavin.

The Russian joined Arsenal for a record fee of £15 million, even though the initial valuation was about half the price. Smith said in the book that Arsene Wenger was frustrated and had to pay double the fee as Russian leader Vladmir Putin was very much involved in the deal. He claims that the Russian president’s boyhood club was Zenit and that the club is run by state-owned energy company and sponsors of the UEFA Champions League.

“Every conversation with Arsenal was based around how Arsene was feeling and things he thought they could do to bridge the gap. Arsene was totally in control on that environment,” Smith wrote. The agent revealed that he was the bridge between Arsenal and the player as they wanted to avoid breaking the “conventional ethical boundary of not pinching other people’s staff.” He revealed that 30 percent Gunner shareholder Alisher Usmanov was the one that helped get the deal over the line.

In a surprising twist, the agent claimed he paid the difference of £1.2 million himself in order to land the Russian as the transfer window deadline was looming. Arshavin eventually joined Arsenal, scoring 31 goals in 97 games.

Is the Premier League Race Over?

Just under a third of the Premier League season remains, with each club still slated to play 14 more matches. Typically at this stage, football supporters across England and the rest of the world are gearing up for an exciting finish as the few remaining contenders fight fiercely for the EPL crown. But heading for the home stretch of the 2014/15 campaign, this isn’t the case. In fact, many supporters may already be losing some interest in the Premier League season, simply because the race for the title looks to be all but over. Continue reading Is the Premier League Race Over?


Steven Gerrard, the man that has never joined another club other than Liverpool is now deciding on whether or not he should continue playing with the Premier League club when his current contract reaches its end.

The coach of Liverpool has already revealed that Gerrard has been offered a contract extension and now all that is left is for the experienced English midfielder to make a decision.

Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers said: “Everyone knows his history at this club. What a player he has been, and still is. I see his talent every day and just need to manage that and think how it can be most effective. I love working with Steven Gerrard. He is arguably the best player in the history of the Premier League I’ve enjoyed every single minute. I hope that continues I need to focus that talent and utilize it in the games that he plays. He is a world-class talent’’

Steven Gerrard has not been making impressive performances for Liverpool in this season and fans are starting to question as if it would be the correct decision for the club and the team to further extend the contract of Gerrard for another season.

The 34 year old midfielder made his debut for Liverpool back in November 29 of 1998 when Liverpool faced off with Blackburn Rovers and from there on out he has went through a career where he has managed to lift a number of titles including the Champions League and the UEFA Super Cup just to name a few of them.

The Premier League title is a piece of silverware that Steven Gerrard has always managed to lift with Liverpool and the club came close on securing it in the previous season but fell short by 2 points and in the current season it’s close to impossible for Liverpool to secure it as Chelsea, Southampton and Manchester City are the clubs at the top of the English League and have a huge numerical advantage over Liverpool which started the season on a rocky road.

Luke Shaw looking forward to facing the team he supported

Manchester United defender Luke Shaw, who almost joined Chelsea in the summer, says that he is very much looking forward to facing the team that he supported as a youngster. The England international was one of the hottest properties in British football during the summer. Chelsea, Manchester City, and Manchester United were reportedly interested in bringing him for well over £ 30 million. United finally secured his signature by also being an astronomical figure of £ 100,000 per week’s wages. Chelsea were not prepared to meet this figure and settled for Filipe Luis instead.

The blues will be the visitors to Old Trafford this weekend in one of the massive clashes across Europe in football. Chelsea come as the table leaders with a huge 10 point advantage over United. This is the combination of Chelsea’s impressive form in the early weeks of the season and Louis Van Gaal failing to get his footing at United. The Dutchman has been showing the quality at his disposal in recent weeks after United. Shaw says that he is expecting a top of the table clash encounter at Old Trafford. He expects United to completely overcome the defensive frailties that they have shown this campaign.

Chelsea are likely to be without their top scorer Diego Costa and Remy. “Playing against Chelsea is a big thing in my family and among my friends because I was born around that area of London. I used to watch them when I was younger. When I first played at Stamford Bridge with Southampton it was a bit of a surreal experience in a lot of ways because it was at a ground I’d visited as a kid. But playing against Chelsea with United at Old Trafford is a different proposition altogether. I’m really looking forward to it, especially with how big this fixture is,” said Shaw.

Westwood happy with VIlla purchases

Aston Villa midfielder Ashley Westwood has claimed that he is extremely happy with the purchases made by the club this summer. After several years of struggling with finances, it appears that Villa owner Randy Lerner has decided to open the wallet once again. Villa have made some key signings in several areas of the pitch and this coupled with a strong start to the campaign has boosted positivity at the club. After several years of struggling against relegation threat towards the end of the campaign, Villa sit third in the table after three matches. They have dropped only two points along the way and things are beginning to look on the up for Lambert’s men.

Westwood, who was a £ 2 million signing for the club from Crewe Alexandra in 2012, is set to be a key player in the coming campaign. Last season, he made 37 appearances in all competitions and missed only three matches in the Premier League. He says that along with the permanent signings made by the Midlands outfit, players like Tom Cleverley have also strengthened the squad after coming on loan spells. The Manchester United midfielder will be spending the next 12 months at Villa Park and there is a possibility that the transfer could be made permanent since he will be a free agent in the summer.

“I believe there are good times ahead for this club and we’ve strengthened our group now with the arrival of Tom. He’s a really good player. I’ve met him this week and, even from that first day, you can just tell that he’s a top lad. I know he will fight right in. Overall, we’ve got two clean sheets – we almost made it three – and to do that in the Premier League is a real achievement,” said Westwood.

Coutinho Future Rumors

There were fears that Liverpool were taking a massive gamble on Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho when they brought him from Inter Milan for a transfer fee in the region of £ 8.5 million. The transfer was made 18 months ago and since then Coutinho has become one of the important players at Anfield. The Brazilian may have failed to make it into the World Cup 2014 squad, but Liverpool will actually be benefiting from it. The player would have had a good holiday’s and will be ready to look forward to the new season.

However, there has been speculation that he may decide to consider options elsewhere after having played in the Premier League and Italian Serie A. Even though he has a contract until 2018, the player is reportedly looking at earning more wages in line with his contribution to the team. Liverpool have also recognised this fact and they are reportedly preparing a new deal for the player. As negotiations continue behind the scenes, Brendan Rodgers has reiterated that he would like to keep the player for a long time.

The presence of the 22-year-old has been a major reason towards Liverpool playing the intense attacking football, which has become extremely popular amongst supporters.

“I am not sure when it will be done. I haven’t spoken to any of the directors in the last few days so I am not sure where we are on that, but obviously he is someone we want to tie up for a period of time. I am sure I will hear more about it when I get back on Tuesday. We’ve obviously got one or two players who are out who will come back and we have one or two more to bring in, so come the start of the season we will be in a real good condition,” said Rodgers.