Wenger loses again as Song follows Van Persie out the revolving door

After departure of their Dutch talisman, Arsenal now sell midfield mainstay to Barcelona for £15m

Arsenal accepted the loss of as second regular first-team player last night when agreeing a £15million fee with Barcelona for Alex Song, who will have a medical in Spain today. Two days after selling Robin van Persie to Manchester United for £24m, Arsène Wenger agreed it was "frustrating" to lose another senior player, who played 46 games in all competitions last season.

Arsenal may yet bring in a replacement – Real Madrid's Nuri Sahin remains a target – but Wenger insists they are well stocked in midfield. "We have plenty of players at the moment," he wrote in the match programme before yesterday's disappointing goalless draw at home to Sunderland, from which Song was left out. "We have nine or ten and if Alex goes we will still have somebody else in the defensive area."

Mikel Arteta and Alou Diaby, who is back from injury, played there yesterday, with Aaron Ramsey coming on later. After spending £40m on three new players in Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla, Wenger has balanced the books by adding Song's fee to Van Persie's.

Meanwhile, Manchester City hope to sign the Roma midfielder Daniele de Rossi in defence of their Premier League title, although the Italian club say they must increase their offer to nearer €30million (£23.5m). Reports from Italy say City bid €25million for the man, who scored for Italy in their midweek defeat by England.

City's manager Roberto Mancini, having signed only Jack Rodwell from Everton and said that Manchester United are even firmer favourites after securing Robin van Persie from Arsenal, wants two more players in the remaining fortnight before the summer transfer window closes.

Mancini has made defending the Premier League title his club's priority, ahead of the Champions' League, and wants to avoid the sort of unexpected away defeats that almost cost them last season.

City begin their League programme against newly promoted Southampton today at the Etihad, where they were impregnable last season. The manager did not complain about losing at Arsenal and Chelsea but was upset by the other three away defeats. "There are some moments when maybe you can't win because the other team play better but you can't lose a game like Everton, Swansea, Sunderland where you didn't deserve to lose," he said.

United will assess Van Persie's fitness today before deciding whether he starts at Everton tomorrow.

 



Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine