Football: Arsenal's Hamman bid fuels Vieri effect

ARSENAL ARE set to fuel football's rapidly spiralling inflationary process as both buyers and sellers, launching a pounds 7m offer for Newcastle's Dietmar Hamman yesterday while they pondered a reported bid of pounds 22m from Lazio for Nicolas Anelka.

In contrast with Anelka's apparent eagerness to leave Highbury, Hamman quickly made plain his desire to join Arsenal less than a year after arriving on Tyneside for pounds 4.5m from Bayern Munich on a five-year contract. "Newcastle know what I want," said the German international midfield player, "and that is to leave. I can play Champions' League football for Arsenal and that's better for me and my career."

Arsenal, who may have to pay pounds 8.5m to land Hamman, have already lined up another ball-winning midfielder in Olivier Dacourt. The Frenchman is likely to cost pounds 6.5m from Everton 11 months after joining them from Strasbourg for pounds 4.3m. The arrival of one or both would increase speculation that Emmanuel Petit will play at the back next season, as well as eating into a sizeable chunk of the anticipated fee for Anelka.

Arsenal's readiness to invest such sums reflects a knock-on effect, crossing national boundaries, of Lazio's pounds 28m valuation on Christian Vieri when he joined Internazionale in a world-record deal last week. The size of that transaction clearly emboldened Arsene Wenger to seek a similar amount from the Rome club for Anelka, who had previously been rated at around pounds 12m during speculation over a move to Real Madrid or Juventus.

Now, even if Lazio were successful in beating Arsenal down to a compromise price of between pounds 18m and pounds 22m for the 20-year-old Anelka, it would not only represent a British-record windfall but also remarkable business for Highbury in purely financial terms. For it took a mere pounds 500,000 for Wenger to prise his fellow Frenchman from Paris St-Germain in 1997.

Senior officials from Arsenal and Lazio met to discuss the Italians' interest in Anelka in London on Wednesday. Lazio, pipped by Milan for the Serie A title, yesterday confirmed their offer without specifying a fee, promising developments when the president, Sergio Cragnotti, returned from holiday in South Africa. "Both clubs will communicate their respective decisions over the next few days," they announced in a statement.

Anelka said recently that he preferred to go "to Spain and nowhere else", adding that he did not like the Italian game. To the consternation of the London media, who long since learned not to ask for interviews with him, he has cited harassment by the British press as a reason for wanting to leave. Yet the scrutiny is, if anything, more intense in Italy.

The snag for Arsenal, quite apart from losing a hugely talented if somewhat sullen and solitary goalscorer, is that the knowledge of such fees having been banked tends to bump up the cost of recruiting players. As and when Wenger goes in search of a replacement, either in Europe or at home, he can expect would-be sellers to increase accordingly the amounts being sought for their most prized assets.

If, for example, the Arsenal manager were to pursue his long-standing interest in the pounds 7m-rated Robbie Keane, Wolves' 18-year-old Republic of Ireland striker, a third of the Anelka fee might be eaten up straight away on a player with no Premiership experience. Wolves, indeed, must be licking their lips at the prospect of the Gunners bidding for Keane in competition with Middlesbrough, for one, because that in turn would allow them to meet Bristol City's pounds 3m price for Ade Akinbiyi.

Meanwhile, the Vieri effect is already having an inflationary impact in Italy. In the wake of Parma's acquisition of Ronaldo's latest attacking partner with Brazil, Marcio Amoroso, for pounds 21m from Udinese, Juventus yesterday lavished pounds 12m on a striker who previously failed to hold down a place with Sheffield Wednesday.

Darko Kovacevic, who joined Wednesday from Red Star Belgrade late in 1995 as a 22-year-old, switched to the Turin giants from the Spanish club Real Sociedad, for whom he scored 33 goals in two years. "I believe I'm ready for a more tactical type of football," he said. "I wasn't in good form in England so I came here to prove myself, which I've now done."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Google celebrates the 126th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower opening its doors to the public for the first time
techGoogle celebrates Paris's iconic landmark, which opened to the public 126 years ago today
News
Cleopatra the tortoise suffers from a painful disease that causes her shell to disintegrate; her new prosthetic one has been custom-made for her using 3D printing technology
newsCleopatra had been suffering from 'pyramiding'
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
music
Sport
Nigel Owens was targeted on Twitter because of his sexuality during the Six Nations finale between England and France earlier this month
rugbyReferee Nigel Owens on coming out, and homophobic Twitter abuse
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin visits her 1990s work ‘My Bed’ at Tate Britain in London, where it is back on display from today
artsBut how does the iconic work stand up, 16 years on?
Life and Style
life + style
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Web Designer / Front End Developer

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast expanding web managem...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor