On deadline day, David Ornstein talked about a possible power shift in control of Arsenal’s transfer activity, as more Arsene Wenger ‘allies’ are replaced behind the scenes.
The BBC journalist is usually very reliable when it comes to information and gossip concerning Arsenal, especially when it comes to transfers.
On a segment of the BBC’s transfer updates on 31 January, Ornstein gave his thoughts on how things are changing.
“There have been reports that Arsenal and certain members within the club hierarchy would like him (Wenger) to leave the club this coming summer,” he explained. “Wenger is still in control of transfers, nothing will be done going in or out without his approval.
“But clearly with the deals that have been done this window there’s been significant involvement of others.
“The new appointments of Sven Mislintat (Head of Recruitment) and Raul Sanllehi (Head of Football Relations), who starts on February 1st.
“Dick Law is leaving the club today (January 31st). He joined in some capacity in the mid-2000s and became chief transfer negotiator and contract negotiator in 2009. He was a Wenger ally.
“It’ll be interesting to see Wenger’s relationship with Sanllehi, Mislintat and of course Ivan Gazidis the chief executive. Also Huss Fahmy has come in as another contract negotiator.”
None of these appointments are new information to anyone following the club closely in recent months. Arsenal announced Sanllehi’s appointment back in late November, and Mislintat’s just a week earlier.
There was a lot of speculation at the time that perhaps this could be a power shift away from Wenger. Like Ornstein mentions, it also made it seem like the Gunners are preparing for life after the manager.
It’s really interesting to hear Ornstein himself say it though. We know the BBC man has close connections to the club, since that’s how he announces deals like Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang’s with such a degree of reliability.
Either his club sources are feeding him information that Wenger might be off, or that’s just the impression he gets. Whichever it is, it doesn’t bode well for the manager.