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Friday, 6 January 2017

REVEALED: Arsenal and Chelsea have a secret transfer window truce pact which fans have no clue about




THE transfer window can be a cut throat business and there is no love lost between Premier League rivals when it comes to major signings.
arsenal vs chelsea logo

Gazumping, tapping-up, underhand deals and mega contracts. All is fair in love and war when it comes to getting the best players.

My favourite story of a club nicking a target from a rival is from when Emmanuel Petit joined Arsenal from Monaco in 1997 - and Tottenham paid his
cab fare for him to sign for their bitter rivals.

Petit travelled to London to meet Tottenham, Arsenal got wind of it, told him not to sign for Spurs and the former France midfielder asked for more time to think about it.

Unwittingly, former Tottenham chairman Lord Alan Sugar paid for the cab for Petit to go back to his hotel - but instead the taxi took a detour so he could meet Arsene Wenger and David Dein and join Arsenal.

There will be plenty of transfer poker during the January window but what people might not know is a secret pact between Arsenal and Chelsea. They won’t confirm it and it’s done purely on a nudge and a wink. A few other clubs have their own similar understandings.

For years, there has been an unwritten rule between the two clubs not to nick youngsters from each other which is becoming increasingly prevalent within football at youth level.

So much so, that the Premier League now examines every transfer - even looking at phone records and bank accounts - when youngsters move between Category One academies.

Youngsters move all the time. England u-17s defender Nya Kirby, 16, was involved in a tug-of-war between Tottenham and Chelsea before he eventually joined Crystal Palace.

Teenager Dom Solanke, 19, above, has been involved in a contract stand-off with Chelsea and has been linked with Arsenal as his deal expires this summer.

It would be one thing for Solanke to join Arsenal as a free agent and senior player. And quite another for them to tap up a youngster and nick him from their youth team.

If Solanke goes abroad or even follows the example of Moussa Dembele, below, and goes to Scotland then there is a set compensation fee of around £300,000 to pay for training costs and so on.

But should Solanke leave for another Premier League club then a tribunal would set a fee based on evidence such as him playing for England under-21s, training with the England senior squad and Chelsea offering him a big contract to stay. The tribunal fee could be millions.

You will see both Arsenal and Chelsea going head-to-head for senior players, they have signed players from each other in the past (notably Ashley Cole) and yet they don’t tread on each other’s toes at youth level.

Chelsea and Tottenham really do not appear to like each other on or off the pitch and at both senior and youth levels. But the truce remains between Arsenal and Chelsea.



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