Wednesday Kickoff: Walcott, Arsenal at impasse, Spurs bid for Dembele & more

Walcott (Getty Images)

Arsenal sold Robin van Persie after the Dutch striker refused to sign a long-term contract with the club. Now, the same scenario has developed with Theo Walcott.

The speedy winger reportedly turned down a five-year contract offer that would have paid him £75,000 a week and is now potentially on his way out from the Emirates, with the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool ready to pounce prior to Friday's transfer deadline.

The 23-year-old Walcott, who signed with Arsenal from Southampton in 2006, is in the last year of his deal with Arsenal. The club would reportedly seek a transfer fee in the range of £15 million, £10 million more than what was paid to sign him six years ago. Should Arsenal sell Walcott, it would be the third major departure in the last two weeks following Van Persie's move to Manchester United and Alex Song's move to Barcelona.

Here are a few more stories to get your day going:

SPURS MAKE PLAY FOR DEMBELE

Tottenham have made a bid for one of Fulham's most valuable attackers, but no, it's not Clint Dempsey.

Spurs have reportedly had a £15 million offer to Fulham for Dembele accepted, with agreeing personal terms the last hurdle before the move becomes complete. Dembele, a 25-year-old Belgian international, had scored seven goals in two seasons after joining the Cottagers from AZ Alkamaar in the Netherlands. 

The move would provide a boost for Tottenham's attack, which has been improved by the permanent signing of Emmanuel Adebayor. It would also help Tottenham have cover for the potential departure of Rafael van der Vaart, who has been heavily linked to a move to German side Hamburg.

BERBATOV NEARS FIORENTINA DEAL

When Van Persie was brought to Manchester United, the writing was on the wall for Dimitar Berbatov, a player who did not figure to be part of Sir Alex Ferguson's plans this season to begin with. Now, it appears that he is headed to Serie A.

The Red Devils and Fiorentina are reportedly nearing a deal that would send the Bulgarian veteran to the improved Italian side, where he would sign a two-year contract.

Berbatov, 31, tied Carlos Tevez for the most goals in the Premier League in 2010-11 with 20 despite not being a full-time starter as the season progressed, and he has become even more of a reserve since then with the emergence of Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez. He would provide another attacking option for Fiorentina, which topped Udinese in their season opener and already added the likes of David Pizarro, Matias Fernandez, Borja Valero and Alberto Aquilani this past offseason.

JULIO CESAR HEADED TO QPR

Julio Cesar's days at Inter Milan became numbered when the club signed Slovenian goalkeeper Samir Handanovic from Udinese this summer, and now the Brazilian veteran is on his way to London.

Cesar is nearing the completion of a move to Queens Park Rangers, which would end his time with Inter, where he has played since 2005. The 32-year-old Brazilian No. 1 would compete with England goalkeeper Robert Green for the starting job for QPR, who are off to an 0-1-1 start, including a 5-0 loss to Swansea City to start the season.

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What do you make of the Walcott situation with Arsenal? Should the Gunners sell him before the deadline? Do you like the addition of Dembele for Tottenham? Do you see Berbatov rediscovering success in Serie A? Surprised that Julio Cesar would move to QPR? 

Share your thoughts below

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59 Responses to Wednesday Kickoff: Walcott, Arsenal at impasse, Spurs bid for Dembele & more

  1. Tyler says:

    Just like that? They accept an offer for Dembele just like that? After everything they’ve done to Clint with the low balling him in the media and the public threats about bidding on him, that’s how Dembele goes?

    Are you freaking kidding me?

  2. patrick says:

    im about as big of a dempsey supporter as there is, but I’m not sure what you’re upset at? Tottenham made a (wildly overvalued) bid, which Fulham accepted. The problem with dempsey is that there either A) hasn’t been a big for him or B)it hasn’t been high enough.

    You can be sure that if someone offered 15 mill for dempsey, he wouldnt still be a cottager. Oh, and don’t forget there had been rumors about dembele moving since he spoke about Real Madrid being interested, so it’s not like this came from the blue

  3. Tyler says:

    They didn’t do anything to Dembele that they did to Clint. They didn’t make public statements warning teams to stay away from him. They didn’t blackball him in public.

    Now they have to kiss Dempsey’s *ss to get him to stay because with Dembele they are going to struggle.

  4. Eugene says:

    I see the former MLS-bonehead is doing a great job of running Arsenal into the ground. Great sports business professional, that guy…

  5. Josh says:

    Good lord, Arsenal is going to become another Everton unless they drastically rethink their wage-structure. Obviously, the Manchester teams and Chelsea, to name but a few, are running business on an unsustainable model, especially once FIFA’s fair play rules kick in, but at the same time, you can’t blame Arsenal’s players for wanting market-value contracts, even if the market’s unbalanced by petrodollars: they’ve only got a limited window for their playing careers.

    Perhaps Arsenal think they can ride out the storm and be content with an annual CL spot until the fair play rules take effect, but given how wildly profitable the club is, dipping into their purse to pay/keep their players shouldn’t be so difficult.

  6. Aseaborne says:

    Arsenal is making sound Financial decisions. If you want to pass judgement then pass it on the management on the field. This isnt a boardroom problem, this is all Wenger. These guys arent leaving for the money, they arent leaving to play champions league. They want to WIN something. And without that direction on the field then they have no choice but to sell.

  7. biff says:

    News stories I have seen report that Moussa Dembele had a 15-million automatic release clause in his Fulham contract, meaning that Fulham have no choice but to accept a bid over 15-million and release him for a transfer. Too bad Clint’s agent was not smart enough to put a release clause in Clint’s contract.

    Dembele’s departure means that Jol will want to hang on to Clint even more. But reading some of the message boards, some people are wondering about a mystery injury to Bryan Ruiz in warm-ups yesterday before the League Cup game to Sheffield, which upset Fulham to win 1-0. And not only Ruiz was supposedly injured, but new Mladen Petric also was out with an injury. My hope is that Fulham players are finally starting to stand up for Clint, who anyone in their right mind can see has been severely mistreated by Jol.

    I’ve looked at some of the Fulham fan boards, and some posters are lamenting that a lot of players seem to be fleeing Fulham under Martin “Darth Vader” Jol. Maybe something is up. The Fulham billionaire owner cannot be happy with the mess Jol has made of this transfer window and public relations disaster of angering the Fulham’s American fan base, who when forced to take sides most of us will stand shoulder to shoulder with Clint. Jol is a fool not to have let Clint go in July and put it behind him, probably Dembele also, and used the millions to buy replacements. But he let his fat ego get in the way and now he is going to be forced to try to buy players at the last-minute–or maybe not and Fulham is going to be fighting relegation this season.

  8. jones says:

    At this point Dempsey to Arsenal might be a bad move considering how awful that team looks to be this year…I kind of hope he stays at Fulham, but I’m not sure he would do well after everything with that *sshole.

    We’ll see, but I feel bad for the guy.

  9. wides says:

    It’s not the same situation. They have or had Dembele under contract for two more years, they were under no obligation to sell him. Dembele wasn’t trying to force a move out, Dempsey is in the final year of his contract and wants to go. Very few top in demand players play the final year of their deal, they are either extended (if they want to) or they’re sold. That’s why Dempsey is sitting out and Dembele is playing.

    Though they did say regarding Dempsey AND Dembele that no bids were welcome.

  10. iToddyC says:

    Excellent point!: “The Fulham billionaire owner cannot be happy with the mess Jol has made of this transfer window and public relations disaster of angering the Fulham’s American fan base, who when forced to take sides most of us will stand shoulder to shoulder with Clint. ”

    I’ve been a Fulham fan since McBride and have no problem jumping ship once Clint leaves. It’s a shame b/c FFC has been such a class club while not overspending.

    Dempsey’s agent should be beyond embarrassed and Clint should definitely look elsewhere for representation going forward. The best American soccer player being in limbo this long is a disgrace.

  11. Reid says:

    This kid is turning down $6mil a year and its Gazidis’ fault? not sure if I can agree with you on that one

  12. gtv says:

    Someone step up for Deuce! He will play with an even bigger chip on his shoulder after all of this. He’s a 30 goal man!

  13. Ian says:

    Have to agree that Arsenal haven’t looked good on the scoresheet so far. Being an Arsenal fan myself, if Walcott is to leave, I do hope they bring in Deuce. He’s versatile, and although he doesn’t have the pace that Walcott brings (few do, to be fair), he has better instincts around the goal than Theo. I’m not sure I’d value him at £15m, but between £10-12m is pretty reasonable given his resumé for Fulham, despite being 29. This also goes along with Clint wanting some CL action, which he would get with Arsenal (unlike Liverpool, who he was more strongly linked to).

    Ultimately I just want it resolved for Clint’s sake, especially with WCQs coming up.

  14. BurlingtonChelsea says:

    Maybe this is how the club treats you when you man up and suit up week in and week out while still under contract? I dont recall any bad mouthing until after Dempsey decided he was not going to play for Fulham. If you are still under contract act accordingly.

  15. THomas says:

    Dempsey to Arsenal looks all but a certainty at this point. Hope he stays at the cottage, but at least he’s guaranteed Champions League soccer, well for one year.

  16. FulhamDC says:

    Biff – agree with much of what you say here, but I do not believe the al-Fayed is upset at all. al-Fayed has proven to be both insensitive to the fans and extremely difficult to deal with over the past 2 years. I went on and on about it last week, and Jol certainly looks bad here, but al-Fayed is at least as much to blame.

  17. wides says:

    Dude, we get it, you don’t like Jol.

    Do you really think that Ruiz and Petric faked injury so as to “stand up for Clint”?? To stand up for a teammate, who no longer wants to play on your team anymore ? You honestly delusional enough to think that these players are going to sink their team because they want Dempsey to be allowed to leave ?

    Dempsey hasn’t been “severely mistreated”. He may have been maligned unnecessarily by Jol, who made some stupid comments, but how is he being treated any differently than any other valuable player who wants out of a team he has been with for a long time? Fulham have every right to get what they think is fair value for Dempsey, just like Tottenham had the right to hold out for the right valuation from Madrid.

  18. Tyler says:

    That’s a bunch of rubbish. Martin Jol admitted he lied about Dempsey refusing to play.

  19. wides says:

    And this is coming from a Liverpool fan, who is desperate to see Dempsey in a Reds uniform at Anfield.

    But, if LFC wants him, then they’re going to have to pony up the cash.

  20. Eurosnob says:

    Well, if Dempsey is overvalued at $15 million, maybe Arsenal should simply swap Walcott for Dempsey. I actually think that Dempsey could do really well at Arsenal. Arsenal has plenty of possession, but cannot score. Brining in the 4th highest EPL scorer from last season seems like a no brainer.

  21. BurlingtonChelsea says:

    Well tyler, ask yourself why a business would lock out their top scorer and best player if there wasnt an internal issue? Why would they refuse him to play with the team? That obviously lacks logic. So all I am saying is that we dont know what happened. Dembele also wanted out to play for a bigger club as do all players that have that oppurtunity. So why would Dembele not be treated the same? Rubbish? far from it.

  22. biff says:

    No, duuuude, I’m not saying that Ruiz and Petric faked injuries to stand up for Clint. (But you are right: I do not like the way Martin Jol has mistreated Clint and I am not alone in that view. A lot of us are pi$$ed off about it.) What I am saying is that it appears that something is happening here that has not yet been made public. The loss last night to a nothing team was a total humiliation for a Fulham team that almost beat Man U over the weekend and bashed Norwich 5-0 the week before. It could be that the departure of Dembele after the departure during the past nine months of half a dozen other players is an indication of a big simmer problem within the team. Could that problem be Martin Jol? I have no idea. If you are fan, tell me: What do think is going on? Why are so many players leaving?

    This news article after yesterday’s defeat says: “Jol refused to speak after the game, so the identity and seriousness of the injury that forced Bryan Ruiz out of his starting line-up just before kick-off remains a mystery.” Why didn’t Jol take questions from print reporters after the game?

    Martin Jol is lost for words over Fulham worries
    link to standard.co.uk

  23. Tyler says:

    They thought he was going to be traded and held him out. Hence the reason they filed a complaint against Liverpool for the shenanigans they pulled.

    And I could care less what you surmise, Martin Jol admitted that he lied about Dempsey refusing to play. End of story. You can pontificate all you want about the situation, but Martin Jol admitted that what he said was not true.

  24. FulhamDC says:

    From @dicksonetuhu 15 minutes ago – “Ask yourself? Why is everyone leaving or want to leave??? Hhmm”

    13 minutes later added “And I am not referring to Blackburn.”

    Dickson was told he could leave early in the summer and is now at Blackburn. Always thought he was a decent player and was a good sub late in games. Apparently he feels a sense of freedom now…

  25. Tyler says:

    Dickson Etuhu ‏@DicksonEtuhu
    Ask yourself? Why is everyone leaving or want to leave??? Hhmm

    Dickson Etuhu ‏@DicksonEtuhu
    And I am not referring to Blackburn ..

    He just tweeted that 17 minutes ago. Major problems at Fulham with players trying to get out.

  26. fischy says:

    I found it interesting to listen to TV announcers last week discussing Arsenal and other top clubs dropping points last week. It’s fantasy to look at Arsenal’s roster and think of them as a top club right now. They’re not. THey may still be in the hunt for a Europa League slot, but they are not a contender for the EPL title or Champions League. Not that they’ll miss Walcott very much, but they have no one to score goals, no one in the midfield who will make the big plays, and their defense isn’t very good either.

  27. biff says:

    you mean, Dickson Etuhu, then? On one of the Fulham message boards someone said that Etuhu was one of Dempsey’s best friends on the team, and he leaves Premier League team Fulham to follow Danny Murphy to a Championship League team. And Demeble wanted out bad and so does Dempsey. And others? How do they feel?

  28. jones says:

    really? do you actually have a concrete source or are you just speculating like everyone else?

  29. fischy says:

    Well — if DIckson Etuhu tweeted it, it must be true.

  30. biff says:

    troll-lah-lah-lah…

  31. RLW2020 says:

    if you are referring to Kronke, yes he is running Arsenal into the ground! Amazing to watch him do it to another team!

  32. Matt says:

    I’ll take a “not very good” defense that hasn’t conceded a goal in two games this season any day.

  33. BurlingtonChelsea says:

    These things are usually what you see is what you get. I can see as a Nats fan how one could think that Dempsey is gettin ght raw end of a deal, but in the end I believe it will come out as what you see is what you get. No big conspiracies here. So, you say that they “thought” he was going to get traded so they held him out. Really? Is that how clubs do it nowadays? maybe if it keps a player from getting cup tied, but not in league matches.(see Victor Moses to Chelsea). That still does not explain why he hasnt played since that Liverpool deal fell through and they moved on to other players.

  34. BurlingtonChelsea says:

    Sorry to have a different opinion that yourself. Please go along with your day and ignore my future “troll” postings.

  35. KenC says:

    Well, if they got the offer they wanted, then yeah. The problem for Clint is that they didn’t get the offer they wanted.

  36. Tyler says:

    Right, because Etuhu would just randomly tweet that there’s a reason everyone is trying to jump ship from Fulham as players are leaving left and right.

    Of course we could go your route and say that Ethuhu threw his past club under the bus because he woke up this morning and felt bad and concocted a story out of nowhere and tweeted it.

    I mean did you think before you replied to my comment? Probably not.

  37. RLW2020 says:

    honestly I am more pissed off at Liverpool than Fulham. If you want a player make a real bid! They created this quagmire. they are to blame for this mess more than Jol is, although it sounds like he has made a mess of the situation as well.

    Fulham isnt looking good with the loses of Etuhu, Dembele and potentially Dempsey

  38. Old School says:

    “honestly I am more pissed off at Liverpool than Fulham. f you want a player make a real bid! They created this quagmire…”

    Couple facts:

    -A bid was made (that was previously denied and later acknowledged by the lair that is Jol).

    -We don’t know the amount of the bid that was turned down

    While I love Clint, let’s keep a few things in mind:

    -Clint is 29 years old
    -In the last year of his contract
    -Not a lot clubs were beating down the door for his services, apparently.

    Why would Liverpool make a titanic offer for a player they’ll (likely) get on the free next year (in their minds)?

    Jol is the only person that has made this into a “quagmire” by feeding out right lies to the media about Clint’s professionalism and his constant remarks to the media.

    To say Liverpool (who even I think are the scum of the Earth) are somehow at fault for this is about as laughable opinion as I’ve ever come across.

    By that logic, we might as well blame FC Dallas for this fiasco, too, right?

    Some blame can go Dempsey’s way for just being directly involved but any primary blame falls squarely on Jol. There’s simply very little debate about that.

  39. Old School says:

    I’m sorry but if you rate Theo Walcott, you obviously are Robbie Findley’s biggest fan.

    Walcott is a one-trick pony and falls directly into the Aaron Lennon category of “Man, he’s fast…but always injured/rarely effective.”

  40. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    They already play CL ball every year. And if you think they aren’t leaving for money you are incredibly naive.

  41. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    You’re not a troll, you’re just an idiot. There is a difference.

    Dempsey was held out by the team because they thought there was a big deal coming and they didn’t want to risk him getting injured. This is why Fulham has filed a complaint against Liverpool. Jol was a jerk and planted the blame firmly on Dempsey before admitting that it was he who had prevented him from playing.

    Moses is a different case. Wigan struggles to stay in the PL every year, so having Moses play an extra game before being transferred could literally make the difference between relegation and staying afloat.

  42. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    I wish it was concrete, but Arsenal have never really shown serious interest in Clint.

  43. Old School says:

    I think Fabregas, Nasri and Song have all left for the money….oh, and to win trophies.

    Which….they have and will continue to do so, by the way.

    If you think money is the only reason they left, you’re incredibly naive.

  44. HansomeJake says:

    This Dempsey discussion has gotten out of hand. Dembele was just sold for £15 million, apparently his contract had that clause built in. Fulham never rated Dembele so high anyway. £15 million for 7 goals in two seasons…Spurs got suckered. Clint’s rated at £10 million, but yet they’re struggling to find a suitor? I’m not buying it, not one bit. Something’s going on at the cottage and I hope the truth comes out soon. Clint’s only 29, that’s young for an American athlete MJ was 29 when he won his first of 6 NBA championships.

  45. 20 says:

    etuhu? I’m sorry I liked him too but not a big loss

  46. wides says:

    I’m a Liverpool supporter, but I am a fan of Fulham, through following all the Americans that have been there over the years.

    My honest opinion was that Jol was doing a lot of right things. They finished 9th last year and were pretty fun to watch. If I was Jol, I would certainly want to keep Dembele and Dempsey, and if not, get a crap-ton of money to find their replacements.

    Even though they played a pretty strong side against Sheff Wed, it’s not that uncommon for some of these Championship sides to get a scalp. Fulham players were probably a little overconfident, especially after playing well against Man U.

    Jol is also not the first manager to be pissed off at losing and not speak to reporters. I try not to read too much into those things.

    If Dempsey doesn’t move on to either LFC or even AFC for Champs League, then I’d love it if he stayed at Fulham.

  47. wides says:

    What bid ? Where did Jol acknowledge a bid ?

    Can you provide a link ?

  48. Old School says:

    Use google.

  49. Bob says:

    Their defense has been decent so far, but they haven’t exactly faced the most dominate attackers in the EPL. They need help at fullback, and they need Vermaelen to stay healthy. They won’t ship a lot of goals, but they should be good enough.

    And to say they don’t have goalscorers is to just demonstrate your ignorance of non-EPL football–Giroud and Podolski are proven scorers. Their real problem area is mostly in the area of meshing the parts together. They lost van Persie and Song, they have to integrate Cazorla as a playmaker, and Giroud and Podolski need time to gel. It’s not a lack of talent or ability that’s leading to draws but rather time. It takes time (usually several months) to get cohesion and fluidity, especially when you’ve brought in a large number of players in one area. The reintegration of Ramsey and (hopefully) Wilshire in a few months will quickly turn the Arsenal midfield into one of the best in the league. This is a team that should, by late-October, be a terror for most in the league and a struggle for the top squads. Will they win the league? That’s doubtful–the winner will likely come from one of City, Utd, and Chelsea (we’ll have to wait to see if Torres really woke up or is just dreaming for a bit), but there’s nothing to suggest at this time that Arsenal is not one of the top contenders for a top finish and a CL slot.

    This isn’t a new situation for them, either.
    They lost their captain and best player, were humiliated at the beginning of last season, and culminated with a pure thrashing at the hands of Utd. They regrouped, integrated their new players into the lineup, and finished third in the league. This year they’ve lessened the losses with their signings, and their lack of wins can arguably be attributed to the simple chemistry; a month from now and Giroud and Cazorla will finish those missed opportunities.

    tl;dr – Don’t write off Arsenal yet–they will be in the top four come May.

  50. Bob says:

    Goals aren’t the sole metric of value on the pitch for midfielders. Modric scored 13 in four seasons for Spurs. AVB needs someone to pull the strings in midfield and craft opportunities for others. He wants Moutinho (newsflash: he doesn’t light up the scoreboard, either), but that’s not going to happen. Dembele should do well in that role.

  51. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    They obviously had other reasons, but money was definitely involved.

    Also, Alex song is getting paid to ride the bench. I think that says enough.

  52. Old School says:

    “They obviously had other reasons, but money was definitely involved.”

    Then you’ve acknowledged the point I’ve already made. It’s not as simple as you’re attempting to paint it.

    Yes, money was a factor. Was it the only? No, and you’ve already agreed.

  53. biff says:

    yeah, this is getting interesting. Etuhu is getting some heat from some Fulham fans but support from others for finally bringing it out in the public.

    link to twitter.com

    “There are two sides to the story. The truth will come out soon.”

  54. biff says:

    Well put, Jake. And so true. “There are two sides to the story. The truth will come out soon.”

  55. Chris says:

    I understand Dembele is 4 years younger than Dempsey and goals aren’t everything, but at Moussa’s going rate, he’ll need those 4 years to tally what Dempsey scores in a season.

    Also, by comparison, wasn’t Arteta sold last year to Arsenal at the age of 29 for 10M?

  56. inkedAG says:

    Walcott can go. Guy is supremely inconsistent and overrated. Of all the transfers, this one would make me the most happy.

    Now, what would make me even happier is getting rid of Chamakh, Gervinho and Bentdner.

  57. BurlingtonChelsea says:

    you sir are also entitled to your opinion, but your first statement is the definition of a troll. I guess we will just have to sit and see what happens after the transfer window if dempsey starts to play for fulham after being “held out” to prevent injury or whatever. If he starts to play then then kudos to you for figuring it out. If he does not then Dempsey was just throwing a tantrum and will be dealt with by the club.

  58. HansomeJake says:

    Dembele is an atacking mid, he doesn’t set things up in midfield…just not his style of play. He scored 7 goals and 7 assists in all of his 75 appearances for Fulham and hasn’t scored on the international scene since his lone goal in 09.
    My argument isn’t against Dembele, not one bit. It’s the inconsistency on Fulhams part. A few days ago Jol said they would only let Dembele go for a high fee and the got it immediately. The entire offseason/transfer market Jol has constantly said Clint isnt for sale. Great move by Fulham by offloading Dembele for £15 million, Jol way to manipulate the market. The entire Clint saga has gone on for too long; it’s taking away from the team, the players and the fans. We just want to see our boys play great football and shame on Fulham and Jol for taking the joy out of being a fan.

  59. wides says:

    I have, and every article says… “No bids received”