The Gunners’ boss is exactly right to force Gallas to stop dragging his feet as too many players in the modern game use the Bosman ruling in order to broker bigger deals and it is unfair for clubs that have an eye on building for the next season should be left hanging.
Arsenal are in an awkward position as two of their other centre-backs Sol Campbell and Mikael Silvestre’s contracts also expire on June 30. Wenger has already suggested that he wants to get most of his summer business done before the World Cup in South Africa and it seems as though he will be keen to tie down his out-of-contract players as soon as possible, especially as Gallas has attracted the eyes of Roma and Paris Saint-Germain.
Arsene said: “If Gallas doesn’t extend his contract, we have to go out and strengthen this position.
“There is a cut-off point for him. It doesn’t depend only on me. He can come on and say, ‘Boss, we will stop the talks because I signed somewhere’ and that’s it.”
He continued: “I could set a deadline and that will be before the end of May, because we then have to look for someone else. I still have to assess the Gallas and Campbell situations. Silvestre is out of contract, too, and the whole package has to be right — one goes, one stays. We have to get the number right” (The Times).
I think the players have too much power in contract negotiations since the Bosman ruling and it is all too easy for players to stall on new deals and hold their club to ransom. Often the club then has to pay big bucks to hold on to them like Chelsea have done in the last few years in keeping Frank Lampard and John Terry who were linked with moves away to Inter Milan and Manchester City respectively when their old deals were set to expire.
But it seems clubs may become increasingly reluctant to cave in to a player’s demands as Wenger delivered an ultimatum to their French defender Gallas and Chelsea now look like they will only re-sign players like Michael Ballack and Joe Cole if they are willing to take a deduction in pay.
I just hope that clubs can stick to their guns and not allow their players to walk all over them. It is not the only ugly side effect the Bosman rule has produced though as smaller clubs who used to train young players and sell them off for profit are also losing out. Spare a thought for those clubs at the other end of the scale to the Arsenals, Uniteds and Chelseas who are no longer willing to invest in talent if their players can just up and leave at the end of the contract for nothing, which is hurting them financially and it is also hurting the game.
Gallas is playing for a top club which competes in the Champions League every season and is already on big wages. Just once I would like to see a player sign for the love of the club and his fans rather than his love of their money.
To follow me on Twitter click here