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D-day for Mathieu Flamini. Will Arsenal get to re-sign the Flamster?

It's decision time for Mathieu Flamini, with boss Arsene Wenger wanting to hear the 24-year-old's plans for next season before the end of today.

According to various reports, Mathieu has been offered deals by Juventus and AC Milan that could see him earning €4 million per year, or about £3.2 million in real money. Wenger has stated that he doesn't want to break Arsenal's pay structure and to match such a deal the Gunners would have to pay the Flamster about £60,000 per week. But for me that would be perfectly reasonable, if it was to persuade the midfielder to stay.

What people forget about the Arsenal pay structure is that it has been broken before. Sol Campbell arrived at the club on a free transfer from Tottenham and was paid somewhere in the region of £110,000 per week to make up for not getting a signing on fee. Last season, Thierry Henry became the club's record earner, on a salary of about £120,000 per week. And Arsenal's highest player at present is supposedly William Gallas, who is said to be on £90,000 per week.

So if Arsenal are determined to hold on to Flamini, there should be no excuses. Obviously I don't know what's going on behind the scenes, but the reports are that he has been offered a deal that would be worth about £55,000 a week, so if that's true I wouldn't blame the lad for moving on...

Flamini stated earlier this season that he wanted to stay at Arsenal and Wenger has also said that the club wants to retain his services, so I'm really hoping we'll hear some good news today.

Wenger is renowned for his use of statistics and mathematics when it comes to offering players new deals, so it can't have escaped his attention that should he have to dip into the transfer market to replace Flamini, it will end up costing the club more than if we were to simply improve Matty's contract.

Finding a player who could slot into the team and instantly fill Flamini's shoes would not be cheap. Even if Le Gaffer was to find a bargain player for about £6 million, then conservatively estimating weekly wages of £30,000 would mean that he would cost the same over four years as it would to keep Flamini.

Of course the club has lost important players before and rather than suffer from their departures has become stronger. But having developed Flamini into an international midfielder who has been pivotal to the team's improvement this season, it would be a terrific boost to learn that he will remain a Gunner for another few years. After all, at 24 Flamini has the best years of his career ahead of him and I'd like to think he'll spend them at our club.

We've all enjoyed watching some great football by Arsenal this year, but ultimately the season has ended in disappointment without any trophies to grace Emirates Stadium. However, if Arsene Wenger could announce that Mathieu Flamini had extended his contract with the club, then we'd all have something to sing about on Sunday at the last home game of the season.

Share your thoughts here on Flamini's protracted contract negotiations. I'll be sure to update you as soon as the club makes any kind of statement.

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Posted by Gordon Masson on April 30, 2008 9:40 AM in Debate of the Day| Players| Transfers
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Comments

Flamini should just show some sense of appreciation and sign a deal with a team that built his name..dont be greedy man!!! we need you next season or you will flop at juventus!!!!! and we wont take you back.

Posted by: Gunner 4 Life | April 30, 2008 11:28 AM

I disagree with this article. Sol came on free transfer from another club. We also didn't pay for Gallas. Henry was the club's top scorer. All 3 men were players of international stature and class proven over many years.

Flamini is not. He has just had his breakthrough season in that position, and that cannot justify breaking the bank to keep him. Sagna and Clichy have played equally well this season - why should they not then demand to be put on whatever wages the writer believes Flamini should be offered?

Although it annoys me, I understand if Flamini leaves. He will be offered shetloads from the Italian teams since they will be getting him for free. I don't believe that we should match them though - I think this is just 'one of those things'. The fault lies with Wenger, this deal should've been wrapped up before this was allowed to happen.

Posted by: Nicky S | April 30, 2008 1:13 PM

I disagree with this article. Sol came on free transfer from another club. We also didn't pay for Gallas. Henry was the club's top scorer. All 3 men were players of international stature and class proven over many years.

Flamini is not. He has just had his breakthrough season in that position, and that cannot justify breaking the bank to keep him. Sagna and Clichy have played equally well this season - why should they not then demand to be put on whatever wages the writer believes Flamini should be offered?

Although it annoys me, I understand if Flamini leaves. He will be offered shetloads from the Italian teams since they will be getting him for free. I don't believe that we should match them though - I think this is just 'one of those things'. The fault lies with Wenger, this deal should've been wrapped up before this was allowed to happen.

Posted by: Nicky S | April 30, 2008 1:14 PM

clichy has played well but not nearly as well as flamini. why? because even if clichy is really good offensively 95% off his crosses are lousy and off target. Kinda lika Eboue's.

/Hiro

Posted by: hiro | April 30, 2008 6:10 PM

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