Some worrying news from Spain suggests we could soon be facing a transfer ban, with Arsenal among a number of clubs being investigated for our conduct when signing youth players, as reported by Spanish publication AS.
Barcelona are currently coming to the end of their lengthy transfer ban for the same offence, and FIFA are now investigating several other top European clubs. Arsenal, Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Atletico Madrid are among those mentioned, but there are reportedly others (via AS).
We’ve recently been fined by the FA for breaching the rules during our £15m pursuit of former Southampton star Calum Chambers last summer (via the Daily Mail), but it’s unclear exactly which transfer (or transfers) we are facing punishment for.
There is no mention of how long we would be banned for, or even how serious the claims are. But if the reports are true and we are being punished for the same offence as Barcelona, then we could be looking at a similar 14 month transfer ban (via the BBC). Such a lengthy ban would be a huge blow for us, especially if it were to come in with immediate effect.
We’re badly in need of a few signings in the upcoming windows, with a defensive midfielder and a striker our highest priorities. Injuries are already threatening to derail our campaign, and if we aren’t able to make any signings in January then we can more than likely kiss goodbye to any chance we had of lifting the Premier League trophy in May.
If however, the ban doesn’t come into effect until next season – or even later – then Arsene Wenger has to take that into account and spend big in January (like Barcelona did with Luis Suarez). We have several ageing stars in our team as well as being short in a number of positions, so we need to think ahead and bring plenty of new blood into the team. Wenger doesn’t like to bring too many players in at once for fear of disrupting the team cohesion, but he may have his hand forced by a potential ban.
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Arsenal transfer news
Hopefully these are nothing more than baseless rumours though, and there is no chance of a transfer ban for Arsenal; it would be nice if Chelsea were to be hit with a lengthy one though, is that too much to ask?