"The Ivory Coast international has also been linked with a string of Premier League sides during the close season, including Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa and Stoke."
- FourFourTwo, about the transfer prospects of Lens striker Aruna Dindane
Aruna Dindane is an Ivory Coast international striker playing for Lens in Ligue 1. He's been linked with a Saudi club (Al-Hilal), and a whole heap of Premier League clubs including Arsenal, but he insists that he's happy at Lens, saying:
"No one is pushing me away from Lens. I thank them for all they did for me when I was injured. If the club wants to sell me I can't do anything, it depends on the chairman."
I'm not trying to disparage this guy, but who is he, and when was he linked to the Arsenal? As far as I know, Arsene Wenger has taken an interest in Vermaelen, Chamakh, Benzema (briefly) and Melo, and no one else. Where did the name Aruna Dindane come from?
It seems that underneath the frenzied rumor-mongering of the transfer market proper lies a rich current of subterranean transfer rumors. This is the zone in which "Dindane to Arsenal" inhabits, swimming quietly in its murky depths until one day, it's hauled up into the light of newsnow. There it thrashes around in the unnatural sunlight, until it's to mercifully sink back to the bottom of the rumor market.
It makes you wonder how many other players are linked to the Arsenal, beknown to the world. There must be, literally, a hundred players linked tenuously to the Arsenal. I'm sure a lot of them don't even know they're linked to the Arsenal.
Actually, how do all these players get linked to Arsenal? It's interesting because we seem to be linked with a disproportionate amount of players, considering how few we seem to buy. Do you have to make a formal offer to the Arsenal? Or is there just a checklist of transfer-linked clubs on the press-release form, and most journalists tick the "Arsenal" box because it starts with an "A"?
I don't think we'll ever find out. And I don't think we ever want to. If we know the secrets of the transfer market, it'll ruin the magic of it. Rumors are to the transfer season what Santa is to Christmas - there's always the hope that if we've been good fans one year, the Wenger Claus will reward us with a shiny new player.
Whatever the case, good luck Aruna Dindane. We hardly knew you.