by Brian Phillips · May 19, 2009
Well, okay, but do you get the feeling that he agreed to stay after the board promised him he’d only have £13 million to spend on new players, rather than after they warned him? As in:
AW: I have an offer from Real Madrid.
IG: Don’t leave! The transfer budget is huge next year—we can give you £75 million!
AW: I don’t know; the challenge in Madrid feels interesting…
IG: Arsène, let’s be reasonable. We’re prepared to make it £80, £85 million. Whatever it takes to keep you here.
AW: No, I think I’m definitely leaving for Madrid.
IG (thinking): What if we made it, say, £45 million?
AW: I’m listening…
IG: £20 million, and you’re not allowed to buy any English players over the age of 14.
AW: Make it £10 million and 12 and you’ve got me.
IG: £13 million, and we’ll agree in advance to pretend the Africa Cup of Nations doesn’t exist.
AW (eyes glinting): Done.
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