Date: 20th June 2011 at 3:30pm
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Arsenal’s pursuit of Blackburn skipper Christopher Samba has hit a road block after it emerged today that his former club Hertha Berlin will be due 15% of his transfer fee if he leaves the Lancashire club this summer.

Now, Arsenal face the prospect of paying almost £12 million for Samba just so that Blackburn will get what they want from his sale.

Arsene Wenger’s expertise in making bargain deals have come to the fore, as Arsenal are close to signing Gervinho for a reported £10.5 million, and when Blackburn acknowledged the Gunners approach for Samba, and subsequent reports claimed that Arsenal’s £9 million offer for the Congolese defender would be enough to seal the deal, it looked like Arsenal were close to signing two important players while having to spend just one third of their budget.

Though these two transfers look imminent, it looks like Arsenal will have to spend more than they expected to land these players, especially Chris Samba.

Samba’s transfer from Hertha Berlin to Blackburn in 2007 included a ‘15% of next transfer fee’ clause, in addition to the initial payment of £450,000.

Though Blackburn’s ambitious Indian owners want to retain their captain, it is believed that they are ready to part ways if they can attain £10 million from his sale. Now with this clause surfacing from his previous transfer, Arsenal will have to spend around £12 million for his signing, and there is a concern that Wenger might be reluctant to pay the fee that Blackburn demand.

Without a doubt, Samba would make a great addition to the Gunners squad. The 27-year-old is a natural leader and has Premier League experience under his belt. He is fantastic while defending set pieces and poses an aerial threat during corner kicks. The centre-back wants to play for Arsenal, and will certainly be a first-team regular. So, £9 million for him would have been a great deal for us, and would have allowed Wenger to spend more on other areas of the squad. However, £12 million for Samba is still a worthy deal, and it would be a wise for Arsenal to produce the extra cash and nail the transfer immediately, especially with Gervinho expected to sign for £10.5 million. It would show that we mean business and might help in persuading someone like Samir Nasri to stay at the club.

With a reported £60 million transfer budget and further funds from the sale of several players, Arsenal are in a good financial position to assist their title ambitions next year, and so paying £12 million will not be a problem. But whether Wenger is ready to pay more than what he values a player for so that the trophy drought comes to an end, is a question that might be answered in the upcoming weeks.

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