Yep, it’s Round 792 of the Spurs v Arsenal transfer battle. We’ve had Walcott, Bale, Arshavin plus a whole host of players linked who ‘Arry claimed he’d never even heard of. Remember Ganso?
The chap currently in the middle of this North London tug-of-war is influential French midfielder Etienne Capoue. He’s having a cracking season at Toulouse, propelling them to second place in Ligue 1 behind free-spending PSG.
The 24-year-old has been receiving admiring glances from all over the continent, with Barcelona and Inter also running the rule over him, but it looks like the North London contingent and Benfica are in prime position, the latter having been very heavily linked with Capoue in the Portuguese press.
In all honesty, I can’t see Spurs actually picking up the player. They have Sandro who has been in exceptional form this season, Parker to return and Huddlestone as a back up.
Benfica are even less likely than Spurs. They aren’t going to progress out of their Champions League group and, although they are riding high at the top of the Portuguese Premier League, a move from Ligue 1 to Portugal is a step down in anyone’s book.
Arsenal could do with him, but it remains to be seen as to whether Wenger is prepared to spend big again as Toulouse would probably be looking for something in the region of £17m. They haven’t properly replaced Song as Diaby seems to be more keen to join the attack than protect the defence and, as a result, the Gunners have been particularly porous.
He’ll probably stay at Toulouse until the summer but don’t be surprised to see his name re-emerging as we edge into January. Arsenal fans are likely to be imploring Wenger to knock shyly on the boardroom door, providing someone can find the cheque book.