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The Liverpool Offside’s Transfer Round-Up: Loyalty’s Lies

Arsène Wenger and Antoine Griezmann are set to stay where they are despite expectations to the contrary.

Club Atletico de Madrid v SD Eibar - La Liga Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Wenger’s Miracle

What should one make of Arsène Wenger staying at Arsenal? It was always going to happen, and for fans of ArsenalFanTV, a viable alternative to Netflix and chill will continue to exist. Robbie, Troopz, DT, Claude, Ty, Kelechi, Bully, Lee, and DT-lite newcomer Turkish should all be back next season for more japes to entertain all the family. Just make sure you have autoplay enabled as to avoid missing out on each specially prepared and cultivated hottest take around; for maximum enjoyment, try treating yourself to a healthy and indulgent serving of popcorn.

Apart from this impressive and lengthy piece of analysis on the Wenger era, there are still questions. Can Wenger best two from Pep Guardiola, Antonio Conte, Mauricio Pochettino, Jürgen Klopp, and José Mourinho to regain a spot in the top four? Well, the longest-serving manager in the Premier League and Europe has grand designs. Finishing fifth, however, necessitates some changes in the transfer market.

"First of all, we have a very heavy squad at the moment so maybe we might lose some players," Wenger said with his typically guarded nature that is at odds with revealing too much too soon. "We want to keep the strength we have and build on that.

"We will work very hard to find the additions of top, top quality. I believe that our squad is very strong and we will only look for top-class people who can strengthen our team now. The basis is there so we need the additions who will make a real difference.

"First of all, we look at the top, top quality available. We have seen in the recent games against Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United that we are a very strong team. For us it’s very important that we only consider the players who can really make a difference, no matter where it is."

Good luck to you, Le Professeur. Arsenal may be all you have left in your career, but at this stage, you represent Arsenal’s greatest hope.

Pep Up 2: Receipts

Since the last edition, Pep Guardiola is continuing his early assault on his closet unhappiness. A £35 million deal for Benfica goalkeeper Ederson Moraes has been agreed and will go through when the transfer window officially opens in July. Benjamin Mendy is reportedly close to signing for £39.8 million as Manchester City look to take another player from AS Monaco’s impressive group of young players. Yaya Touré has signed a new contract to remain at Man City for another year and will compete for a place in midfield in his eighth season at the club.

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak is looking forward to a season to remember and even dared to utter the word “quadruple” in a haze of cash-fuelled excitement. One can legitimately desire to pop champagne when you can make it rain, and yes, that line will be this column’s claim to fame without shame nor insincere apologies.

"Pep wants to win it all and that's what I love about him most because that's how I feel too," Mubarak said with what we can only presume is an easygoing countenance revealing unbridled confidence and ambition. "We might not be able to achieve it but I can assure you we're going to try.

"That ambition of winning the Champions League, that dream excites me every day, knowing we can do it. Next year is going to be a massive year for us. Expectations are high, ambitions are high. I have a lot of hope that we're going to come back next season very strong. The dream of doing the treble, yes. I want to do the treble, or else let's go for the quadruple! Why not?"

Mubarak’s team is close to sanctioning nigh on £120 million on three players. Quadruple? I think he’s allowed to even think of such summits. While Mubarak was gleefully rubbing his goals in the face of your own hopes and dreams, he confirmed that the deadly Sergio Agüero would be sticking around.

Done deals and happenings

The chances of Antoine Griezmann going to Manchester United are much worse than six out of ten right now. In fact, those very chances no longer exist in the world we live in after Atlético Madrid’s transfer ban was upheld. Within an hour or so, Griezmann was no longer a target as interest in the player had purportedly “cooled” in what only can be described as a hasty and silly act of leaking information to the press. Wait a few hours at least before claiming that “we never wanted him anyway” while sobbing into a bitter bowl of soup.

Griezmann proudly declared through Twitter that he was with Atlético “now more than ever” in a wholly altruistic and admirable reaction to missing out on dabs, a considerable payrise, and the inspirational machinations of Mourinho. We’ll let you know about his imminent new contract this summer and his inevitable departure in the next one. Be prepared to be shocked. Sticking with striker news, an old favourite has returned to an old haunt. Yes, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has returned to Ajax on a one-year deal. The Eredivisie hunt begins once again for the veteran striker.

Managerial movements

Roberto Mancini is the new head coach of Zenit after Mircea Lucescu was dismissed a week ago. The former Man City and Internazionale head coach has been given a lucrative salary and a three-year contract to perform his duties. There is also the option of extending his contract for a further two years in the event that all parties are happy and huggy about everything. Teddy Sheringham, a fine link striker in his playing days, is the new manager of Swindon Town after Luke Williams resigned last month. Crystal Palace want a new manager or head coach or talismanic figure to be at the South London club "over a long period of time" after losing an eighth manager in seven years.

Luciano Spalletti said he would leave AS Roma if he didn’t win anything, and despite a second-place finish with more goals and points than any season in the club’s history, he has left the club. He has been strongly linked with the vacant position at Internazionale where Suning Group will presumably spend an inordinate amount of money this summer, but Spalletti’s second spell in Rome couldn’t bring the scudetto. The Giallorossi have former Sevilla director of football Monchi so will be just fine, but the 58-year-old could have been a fine partner for Monchi’s way of working. Spalletti plays good football, coaches players well, and can work within a budget. If the Nerazzurri want a successor to Stefano Pioli to get the club back into the Champions League with a revamped squad then Spalletti would be a reliable appointment. Forget about the unattainable Conte and go with the former Roma man.

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