Samir Nasri (Arsenal) is going nowhere, Luka Modric (Tottenham Hotspur) is going nowhere and Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan) is going nowhere (not at that salary demand).
That is what the clubs say this morning. But that is not what the players are saying.
The Premier League transfer season this year has been marked by players wanting out of teams that look unlikely to win anything and coaches (and owners) who created those players not wanting to let go.
Reports that Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri has agreed to join Manchester City in a move that will more than double the French international’s weekly wage to £185,000, on Sunday, were tempered with the fact that any deal will be made against the wishes of Arsene Wenger, underlining the manager’s reduced power at Arsenal since Stan Kroenke’s takeover.
Nasri has been named in Arsenal’s 23-man squad to travel to the Far East on Sunday.
Then there’s the case of Manchester United telling Inter Milan’s Holland midfielder Wesley Sneijder to drop his £250,000-a-week (Dh1.47 million-a-week) pay demands if he wants to become their latest signing.
Sneijder, who favours a move to Old Trafford rather than anywhere else in Europe, benefits from Italy’s more favourable income tax regime, with its top rate of 43 per cent against Britain’s 50 per cent.
According to the Daily Mail, he claims that anything less than a cool quarter of a million pounds a week would mean him effectively taking a pay cut to join United.
But that amount would make him the Premier League’s biggest earner above Rooney and City’s Yaya Toure and Carlos Tevez and is well outside United’s wage structure.
“Wesley is obviously a top player and United would love to sign him,” said an Old Trafford source. “It would be a question of whether he will accept a salary which will put him on the same level as the team’s other big earner, Wayne Rooney.”
Meanwhile, Manchester City are ready to splash out £40 million for Atletico Madrid’s Argentina striker Sergio Aguero, which would pave the way for the departure of leading goalscorer Tevez to Spain or Italy.
Sources close to City manager Roberto Mancini were claiming that an agreement with the player and Atletico Madrid could be just hours away, according to the Daily Mail.
Mancini and his squad were already heading for a pre-season tour of California last night. But the Italian is being kept abreast of negotiations.
Meanwhile, Arsenal have already turned their attentions to finding a replacement. Aston Villa are believed to have received contact from the London club on Sunday for the services of Stewart Downing, who is valued at £19 million. Downing is also wanted by Liverpool.
Back to Modric. The midfielder, who signed a six-year deal worth around £40,000 a week barely a year ago, has amazingly accused Tottenham of being disloyal as the gloves came off last night.
And the Croatian insists he has given everything for the cause since his £16.5million move to White Hart Lane from Dinamo Zagreb in April 2008.
All Modric wants now is for Tottenham to let him follow his dream as a reward for his service and because – he claims – Levy promised he would not stand in his way if opportunity knocked.