Arsene Wenger has placed a £10m for Everton and England centre-back Phil Jagielka. The bid was immediately rejected by David Moyes who is loathed to lose the defender.
Arsenal have been in search of centre-back all summer having been linked with Bolton’s Gary Cahill, Blackburn’s Christopher Samba and Borussia Dortmund’s Neven Subotic, and FC Copenhagen’s Mathias Jorgensen.
Last summer, a £12m bid from Arsenal was rejected by Everton who value Jagielka much higher than this. The difference in fee this time around reflects Everton’s well-publicised lack of transfer funds.
Wenger is clearly trying to take advantage of that fact and this will not go down well with Moyes at all. Determined as ever to keep hold of his star players, it is fair to say that only a huge transfer fee would dislodge the former Sheffield United man.
Though Everton need to sell to buy, if Jagielka was sold, a direct replacement would have to brought in immediately. It is unlikely that a player of adequate quality can be purchased cheaply, and so unless Arsenal come in with a significantly larger offer, it seems they will have to look elsewhere.
A move to Arsenal would represent a substantial step-up for Jagielka. Being able to compete in the Champions League and to challenge for the Premiership title would significantly boost the defender’s claims for a starting position in England’s line-up.
However, Jagielka has often spoken to the press about his loyal nature – explaining his difficulties in leaving Sheffield United – but also his profound respect for David Moyes and how much he owes to the Scot for moulding him into the England international he is.
Not only did Jagielka sign a new four-year contract with Everton this March, but the common view amongst Evertonians is that he will succeed Phil Neville as club captain
With only Sylvin Distin and Johnny Heitinga on the books as centre-halves, David Moyes will not be forced on this issue. He is also likely to find the bid rather insulting, and will more than likely be unwilling to negotiate the deal.