STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - MAY 08: A dejected Arsene Wenger the Arsenal manager holds his head in his hands as his team head towards a 3-1 defeat during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Arsenal at the Britannia Stadium on May 8, 2011 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
With the season kicking off tomorrow, I'd have thought today would be full of preview type news and very little in the way of transfer talk. I guess that couldn't be further off, as the longest running story in the Premier League appears to finally be coming to an end. According to multiple reports, Arsenal have agreed to sell Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona for the ridiculously low price of £31 million. There also appear to be a few add-ons in the deal, and Cesc will reportedly contribute about £5 million out of his own paychecks to seal the deal. This is awful news for Arsenal fans ahead of the season opener and Champions League play-off. It seems likely that Samir Nasri will likely be following Cesc out the door as well with Manchester City the rumored destination.
If things weren't bad enough for Arsenal fans today, rumor has it that Spurs have found a cheap way to fix their striker situation. ESPN is reporting that Emanuel Adebayor will likely be joining the club on a season long loan. I'm confused as to why City would loan him to a direct rival, but the editors at ESPN usually do a better job than most of sourcing their information. My personal hope is that this helps to convince Luka Modric to stay, as I really feel he's not a good fit at the price range we've been approaching.
Liverpool will also be nipping a little closer at Arsenal's heels now. They completed the signing of Newcastle left back Jose Enrique yesterday for only £6 million. The move gives them a pretty well rounded squad, although they probably lack the top end talent needed to push for the title.
Manchester United are appearing a bit more unlikely than earlier in the week to be adding Wesley Sneijder. I'm not sure how I feel about this, as it would have both helped the club now but likely hurt them in the long run. I'd guess Chelsea fans can breathe slightly easier about United's odds of repeating, as they certainly still enter the season with questions of depth in the midfield to answer.
Tuncay Sanli will be returning to the Premier League after a brief stint in the Bundesliga. He'll be joining Bolton as soon as he recieves his work permit, which should merely be a formality at this point.
Blackburn have shored up their defense a little bit this week as well. They added fullback Bruno Ribeiro on a three year deal.
Finally we'll touch on this weeks opponents, Stoke City. They seem to be hotly pursuing Joey Barton, but his signing wouldn't affect this weekend's game at all. Matthew Upson, on the other hand, has been ruled out and will not play.