Friday, January 31, 2014

Best-laid plans

"I love it when a plan comes together". I bet Hannibal's glad he was part of the A-Team rather than the Newcastle Utd team, then, because at St James' Park few plans ever come together.

Take, for instance, the recent plan which seems to have been to flog Dreamboat to PSG and then recruit Clement Grenier as a younger, cheaper replacement. Admittedly, Stage 1 was accomplished successfully, but Stage 2 has proven much trickier to execute. Damn Lyon for lobbing a spanner into the works and rejecting our bid - the mean spoilsports.

Stilll, all is not lost - we can just take our cue from PSG's dogged pursuit of Dreamboat and trust they'll be more receptive to an increased offer, can't we? Unfortunately, no. Even if Jean-Michel Aulas can be offered sufficient compensation to part with the French international, there's an additional stumbling block. Unlike Dreamboat, the player himself isn't eager for the deal to happen, and for a number of reasons helpfully detailed by his agent Frederic Guerra.

First, Grenier doesn't want to leave the club midway through a season, at the very end of the transfer window and in a World Cup year ("not safe at all"). Second, he's been given assurances of game time from coach Remi Garde, assurances to which we presumably couldn't commit. Third, he's undervalued at half Dreamboat's price (that perhaps might just be Guerra talking here, mind). And finally, but most significantly, he doesn't want to be tagged as Dreamboat's replacement, and that's exactly what he would be.

In light of all that, any attempts to continue negotiations with Lyon seem futile. A shame, really, as this useful scouting report and this "super amazing" free-kick give the impression he's a very promising talent.

Time for Plan B, then. I'm sure there's a Plan B. Is there a Plan B? JFK, are you there?

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