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Arsenal have entered the race to sign the England centre-half Rio Ferdinand, long pursued by Manchester United, in an attempt to reunite him with his international defensive partner Sol Campbell.
Ferdinand's immediate future at Elland Road hangs in the balance while Leeds appoint a successor to David O'Leary. But with the chairman Peter Ridsdale under pressure from the plc board to reduce debts approaching £77m - and with the attempt to off-load Robbie Keane to Sunderland for £9m having already foundered - the Yorkshire club will have to listen to offers for their prize asset.

Pini Zahavi, the 23-year-old's representative, is due to meet Ridsdale on Monday, with a move away from Elland Road the anticipated outcome. But, while United had been expected to bid around £30m for his signature, the Double-winners have asked to be kept informed of Ferdinand's situation and over the last fortnight have made a number of inquiries through a third party.

Sources close to Ferdinand expect a formal bid from Arsène Wenger, likely to break the British record of £28.1m paid by United for Juan Sebastian Veron last summer, to be made early next week. Indeed, Leeds's parlous financial position may even prompt them to scrub out a clause in the player's contract preventing him from joining a Premiership club. "If I've got anything to do with it he'll see out his contract," said Ridsdale last week, "but I'm not stupid enough to say never is never."

Ferdinand, born in Peckham and a product of the West Ham youth system, has toed a diplomatic line during the recent turmoil at Leeds. "I've heard all the speculation but as far as I'm concerned it's up to the club," he said. "If they want to keep me I will be staying. If they decide to sell me that's different."

But the prospect of returning to London and playing alongside his international team-mates Ashley Cole and Campbell - their solid partnership had much to do with England's progress to the World Cup quarter-finals - would surely be enticing.

The centre-half's possible arrival is likely to prompt Tony Adams's widely expected retirement, though it would not necessarily mean the end at Highbury for the out-of-contract Martin Keown. "Nothing has been decided," said Keown's agent Barry Neville. "Arsenal want to keep him and it would be very difficult to leave a club of their size, particularly when they have just won the Double."

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If we manage to sign Rio we will win everything next season, but would Wenger spend £30 million on one player. What about the midfield? With Ljungberg, Pires, GvB all injured we need at least one midfielder to replace them. Do we have the money to spend £30 million on Rio?
 

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I don't really think Arsene Wenger is too keen in getting him. But it would be an ideal replacement for Keown if he fails to sign the contract. Besides, a 30 mil pnd for a defender is really crazy. Remember dude, Arsene is an economist. I don't think he'll spend this much for ONE player.

I think Arsene should've land the 29 mil pound move on the package offer (Hofland/Bommel) by end of this week, before Hiddink took over. I think he would been more keen in completing the offer.

Sol - Hofland or Sol - Rio... Either way, its great, but the price tag ain't right though...
 

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Well as a supporter of the Bergkamp i ten to check in on the ARSE from time to time

This whole Ferdinand buisness is really a joke. I mean the kid is big and strong, but from what i have seen, he aint even 15 million pound material much less the 30 they are demanding, fact is his price is higher then Nesta or Cannavaro both of whom put Ferdinand to shame when it comes to defending

When there is a Hofland out there who is better IMO and cheaper why go for some kid that costs twice his worth.

Not to mention with the collapse of the market any club that forks out even 20 mil pounds for a player is commiting suicide unless they are confident of winning for a long time.

Fact is TV cash is gone and will be for a while. The wages of players are absurd and a man costing 30 mil is sure to have some demands, which are unreasnoble as it is.

All in all why shoot yourself in the foot just to get a player whose value skyrocketed primarily on his displays with the NT. In most cases the WC is very misleading as to who is good and is not.

Lav
 

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Im sure every Gunner would love to see Rio at Highbury but that aint gonna happen because he is too expensive for us...
 

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Rio is the best defender in the world not currently plying his trade at Highbury. He's worth £30m - but he'll seel for only £25m because of his release clause in his contract.

Having said this, Arsène is undoubtedly the best talent-spotter in the world, and I'm sure that by buying someone like Pascal Cygan, he'll find a real gem that will be even better than Ferdinand.
 

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Bastin said:
Rio is the best defender in the world not currently plying his trade at Highbury. He's worth £30m
So u are telling me that Campell Ferdinand Cole are better defenders than Nesta and Cannavaro.

Cause if u are, i think u are in la la land mate.


Lav
 

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Cole, obviously, has different attributes from Nesta and Cannavaro, and therefore can't be compared.

But Campbell is a high quality defender as his inclusion in the FIFA all-star squad shows.

I didnt see Nesta or Cannavaro in that squad? It may have been a conspiracy though!! :D
 

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No I don't think it is.... Sol and Rio played better than Nesta and Cannavaro- what do you have to say about that? ;)
 

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What I'm saying is that when fit, the best three centre-halfs in the world are Sol Campbell, Rio Ferdinand, and Tony Adams.
 

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Nesta really playeds alot.....i mean the agame agaisnt ecuador and then the next 15 mins agiasnt croatia before being injured and never agian playing cept a bit of the mexico match because the coach is an insecure **** and risked the best defende rin the world

And Fifa's all star squad, hah if u go by that i feel sorry for u...and the fifa world rankings are great ways to tell who is a good team and who isnt...:rolleyes:

And as for the statement bout Adams, Campbell and ferdinand being the 3 best center halfs in the world.........:dielaugh: :howler: And damn there s no smiley where i cry from laughter

U gotta be joking.


Lav
 

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i dont think wenger would buy ferdinand for 30 million. his tightare wont allow that sorta money to slip.
but personally, i have heard nesta is only 20 million. i would mch rather nesta and save that extra 10 million.
 

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Bastin said:
What I'm saying is that when fit, the best three centre-halfs in the world are Sol Campbell, Rio Ferdinand, and Tony Adams.
In Italy we would say that you made the "sparone":
Rio Ferdinand and Sol campbell are 2 of the best defenders in the World, but Tony Adams is a bit overdone....

As regards Nesta and Cannavaro in the WC: against Korea Nesta was injured and Cannavaro disqualified. Unfortunately the remaining Italian defenders are **** (Iuliano, Materazzi, Panucci,...) while Maldini is ready for pension.

I don't properly like Cannavaro cause he is a mastiff, but he is not so good in passing the ball, so when the team must build the action he is useless.
 

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Tony Adams is definitely in the top three centre-halfs in the world when he plays. He's sensational. Us Arsenal fans realise that...
 

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Bastin said:
Tony Adams is definitely in the top three centre-halfs in the world when he plays. He's sensational. Us Arsenal fans realise that...
You mean you Arsenal fans realise that just in the same way as Milanfans realise that Maldini is among the top 3 when he plays, Real fans realise that Hierro is among the top 3 when he plays, Valencia fans realise that Ayala is among the top 3 when he plays etc. etc.

Strange that...:rolleyes:
 

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Tony Adams is most definitely under-rated. Maldini is not. Ayala is not. Hierro is not. Lanna is not.

Tony Adams is dismissed as a poor player and called a donkey, drunk, or an OAP, but this could not be further from the truth. He's been clean for almost 6 years, can pass the ball better than almost any other centre-half, and would still have 3 years left at the very top if it weren't for wanting to spedn time with his daughter.

Arsenal fans realise that none of the criticism is justified, because we see him every week that he plays, and he is the best defender in English football when he plays.
 

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Bastin said:
Tony Adams is most definitely under-rated. Maldini is not. Ayala is not. Hierro is not. Lanna is not.

Tony Adams is dismissed as a poor player and called a donkey, drunk, or an OAP, but this could not be further from the truth. He's been clean for almost 6 years, can pass the ball better than almost any other centre-half, and would still have 3 years left at the very top if it weren't for wanting to spedn time with his daughter.

Arsenal fans realise that none of the criticism is justified, because we see him every week that he plays, and he is the best defender in English football when he plays.
I could say the exact same thing about Benarrivo but he would still not be the top defender in the world.

When the ball comes straight at him Adams is great. But when he has to cope with fast movements sideways he just can't cope anymore and that fact alone disqualifies him from the category "best defender in the world"
 

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A scenario

tony adams is the last def, a great through ball is placed onto Crespo, a player who isnt the fastest but ahs good speed. Crespo easily takes it and does the Micheal Owen thing kick and chase....he gets round adams no prob and its up to th goalie

Same scenario....the ball is played over, both chase....Admas is left eating Crespo's dust and goalie is all alone.

Same scenarion cept crespo run from the wing onto Adams...he does a plain nutmeg or even a cut abck and a quick burst and its over.

Fact is the man is slower than my granny who has a bad hip.
That alone leaves him dependent on others....not to mention lack of speed can cause him to miss the offised trap movement and end up costing the team.

Billy Costacurta is a milan legend but he has Adams's pae, he has been made a fool of for the last 2 years by any player with half decent speed.

In your eyes he is god......and anything he does well is doubled and any mistake is erased twice as qucikly...thats the problem with legends....u aint used to seeing them fail.

Lav
 

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Swiftwilly said:

but personally, i have heard nesta is only 20 million. i would mch rather nesta and save that extra 10 million.
no way...nesta is worth at least 30m pound...u can't get cannavaro if u only offer 20m...

btw, i don't think arsenal will sign rio...i still think man utd will get him...they might get duff as well...
 
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