Date: 11th July 2007 at 9:04am
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Reading between the lines, it looks like Oba Martins` move to Ashburton Grove is drawing ever closer. Following the suggestion in the broadsheets yesterday that Wenger will be completing a double swoop, the bespectacled one signed Bakari Sagna as stage one. The Evening Standard yesterday ran the story that stage two – activating Oba`s trigger clause – would be coming by the end of the week.

Interestingly from our end the suggestion is that Martins is after a pay hike up to close to what EMO is on, which we`re not willing to do.

Overall – I can’t say I’m surprised. His behaviour towards the end of last season and early this summer has been really erratic. Switching his agent was an opening shot, quickly followed by no-shows for the Watford game and Nigeria matches, before being topped off by the Lagos drive by incident.

Naturally Jonathan Barnett will be whispering sweet nothings in his ear to try and get his 5% cut of £13m, promising the lad the earth like he did to Dyer. However whilst Dyer got the huge pay hike he was after I don`t think we`ll be playing ball with Oba.

Whilst sorry to see him go I`ll be happy if we replace him with Gudjohnsen, pocket a bit of Pat Cash and reinvest in a similar pacey player who we can bed in – a Darren Bent type, signed from somewhere like Ipswich and brought up to PL standard, all for a £3m-4m type fee. I’ve a funny feeling that Rigters at Blackburn will do well, having been signed for a pittance like McCarthy.

I’d be hoping for a front four of:

Viduka, Owen, Gudjohnsen and someone else.

Stroller, with his fake hip and zimmer, and Carroll, as one for the future, aren’t good enough for where we are aiming for at the current time.

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