This week the transfer rumour mill had another one of its jumpy rotator moments when the simple absence of two men from a 2013 calendar sparked widespread chitter-chatter about their impending exits.
Theo Walcott and Bacary Sagna were omitted from the 2013 edition of the Arsenal FC calendar amid stalled contract talks with the pair this year. Theo Walcott is coming to the end of his deal in the summer and has already rejected a previous offer from the North London club. Since then he has gone on to enjoy a fine stretch of form; becoming Arsenal’s top-scorer in the process.
Bacary Sagna has 18 months left to run on his current deal but earlier in the year commented on his frustration at seeing the likes of Robin Van Persie, Alex Song and Cesc Fabregas leave the club in recent years. With continued reports in Italy and the UK linking him with a January move to Inter Milan and the emergence of Carl Jenkinson as a more then capable replacement it again resonates with a certain aura of respectability.
Thomas Vermaelen, Mikel Arteta, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski, Wojciech Szczesny, Aaron Ramsey, Andre Santos, Kieran Gibbs, Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla and Per Mertesacker.
So in that case it is clear that none of the 12 names on this list are on their way anytime soon. This time next year all 12 of those names will definitely still be at The Emirates no doubt about it.
But what about Andre Santos?
The Brazilian was torn apart by Arsenal fans after a hapless display against Manchester United not too long ago and enraged the faithful more by swapping shirts with United traitor Robin Van Persie at half-time.
He also added fuel to the fire this week after saying:
"My idea is to stay in Europe. I want to keep playing, wherever it might be. I still have many objectives on this continent, some clubs from Turkey have called me, but there is nothing concrete. If there is any interest from Sao Paulo, we'll talk as I'm professional, but there was nothing."
With the likes of Besiktas and Galatasaray reportedly interested Santos could definitely be on his way in January.
The fact remains that Arsenal do not have to sell the Brazilian. His contract is until 2015 while Walcott’s is until June and Sagna’s 2013; plus let’s face it he doesn’t really have the hair for a calendar anyway and wasn't involved in the 2012 edition.
Does their calendar omission mean they are definitely going to leave in January or later in 2013; no they are just slightly more likely than the other 12 on the list due to their contract situation.
The fact is this. When any Arsenal fan that got the 2012 edition of the calendar for Christmas last year turns it over to December on Saturday morning guess whose face will welcome them to the final month of 2012.
Robin Van Persie’s.
The Walcott and Sagna omissions are insurance that no fan has to deal with that feeling again in 2013.