Date: 12th August 2006 at 1:05pm
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With news filtering through that Cole will make the short trip from N5 to Chelsea within the next couple of days for a reported £23 million, it appears that once again Chelsea have caved and cracked under the pressure.

A statement was release by Chelsea only three days ago stating that talks had been ongoing between the two clubs but Arsenal’s resilience had not wavered in their quest to gain the correct price for the player and as such it was very unlikely any transfer would be made.

‘Chelsea FC has been in discussions with Arsenal Football Club for some time over the possible transfer of Ashley Cole. Chelsea has made a very substantial offer for the player. Although discussions have continued, Arsenal`s valuation of the player does not match Chelsea`s and therefore no agreement can be reached in the current circumstances .’

It was rumoured that Chelsea’s offer was in the regeion of £17-20 Million, even the Blues manager stated they would pay one penny more. In an interview with Sky Sports news he said,

‘Arsenal have an offer in hand. An offer we believe is a good offer but if they don’t accept, they don’t accept.’

Asked if the offer would be increased, he said: ‘No. I’m not the financial man but they told me no chance, not one penny more.’

And after taking a few steps away from the cameras he made the point of coming back and saying

‘And I agree, I agree’

Many people were shocked by this stance after Chelsea had been held to ransom over Essien, Wright-Phillips, Didier Drogba & Shevchencko, but after losing millions and millions of pounds it was apparent that Chelsea were no longer going be made to pay extortionate transfer fees for their players & Arsenal would just have to settle for their initial offer or face losing the player on a free transfer.

But now, if these reports are true, Chelsea have once again cracked and caved and will stump up almost Wengers full asking price.

I believe that Maureenho & co were hesitant of paying such money for the England left back because they know that Arsene Wenger will be able to strengthen his team considerably more with £23 million than Ashley Cole will strengthen the Premiership Champions.

I for one will just be glad to see the end of this sorry saga.