Arsenal fans are beginning to panic over their club taking too long to secure Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s signature but really there’s no need to be worried – and here’s why.
As super-agent Jon Smith explains in his book The Deal: Inside the World of a Super-Agent, two clubs negotiating is like a game of chess. Neither wants to move and leave themselves exposed.
This is especially true if there’s still a decent amount of time left in the transfer window.
“An agent’s job is to make that breakthrough but sometimes neither side is willing to move while there is time to stand still,” Smith, who has worked with Arsenal on a number of deals, explains.
“Two weeks from the window closing gives everyone plenty of space to assess their options, and completing a deal early is sometimes seen as sticking on 16 when you could take another card that gets you to 21.”
He added: “January isn’t usually a big trading window. It is more often a tidy-up of deals that were incomplete, mismanaged or simply not possible during the summer.
“January can be the time when a chain of deals is finally completed — perhaps a club replaces a player sold on deadline day that left them short.
“Nobody wants to be left with an incomplete squad and, when a club is caught between two possible options, it has ramifications for all involved.”
Everything suddenly speeds up when the close of the window approaches.
“When the window gets to the end, it focuses minds,” Smith says.
“Eventually, somebody has to make a decision on a player and a price — as Arsenal belatedly did on Arshavin — but people use the window to see what else is around and there are many clubs who delay that decision as long as possible
“Then, there is this mad scramble to complete their business. The consequence is a selling club could lose a player they need to replace. And that sparks pandemonium.”
In the case of Aubameyang, Dortmund are fully aware that Arsenal want to sign him.
The Gunners wouldn’t have sent over a delegation of Ivan Gazidis, Sven Mislintat and Huss Fahmy if they didn’t mean business.
Arsenal's Ivan Gazidis and Sven Mislintat are in Dortmund to negotiate a move for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. (Source; BILD) pic.twitter.com/Z0Gq9cdVhe
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) January 21, 2018
The Bundesliga club know Arsenal need a goalscorer, they know we have money to spend and they know we’re serious.
In that case, why would they settle for anything less than the £61m they’re reportedly demanding? Sure, they need a replacement, which I’m sure they’re on the look-out for, but they can’t sign one without cash.
Unless they bring in Olivier Giroud on loan, of course.
On the other hand, why would Arsenal want to pay more than necessary? The whole point of negotiations is to find the most attractive deal for your club, not to just go around giving other clubs whatever they want. How would that look in future contract talks?
Arsenal have made their interest in Aubameyang very public. Therefore, I don’t see us leaving Germany without the 28-year-old.
I just think we’re holding out for as long as possible. I’d expect everything to speed up at the beginning of next week.