Barcelona point finger at Raul Sanllehi after Denis Suarez deal collapses


Last week it was reported that Denis Suarez’s loan deal to Arsenal was off after the two clubs failed to reach an arrangement that would satisfy both parties.

The Catalans wanted to include an option which would require the Gunners to purchase the player; we wouldn’t commit to that and so an impasse was reached and negotiations were broken off.

In a little snippet in today’s El Mundo Deportivo though, it seems as if there might be some bad blood between Raul Sanllehi and his former colleagues at the Camp Nou.

Some might have hoped that his relationship with Barcelona, where he served as Director of Football, might have been of benefit to us when negotiating with them, but they have accused him of making it a ‘personal matter’.

It tallies with something we heard last week, and although there aren’t any details per se, it seems that there is a clash of personalities between Arsenal’s new Head of Football and the La Liga champions.

Now, if this is a case that Sanllehi has played hard ball and refused to do a deal which would oblige Arsenal to buy a fairly average player who has barely played this season and can’t get into the Barcelona team, then it could be seen as him maintaining a tough stance for the good of his current club, and it’s hard to argue with that even if we are desperate to boost the squad this month.

Also, this is a timely Tweet from Sid Lowe, not specifically about Barcelona and Arsenal, but it’s worth taking into account:

Experience has taught us that when it comes to transfers you always have to be suspicious of Barcelona and what they make public via their friends in the media.

The inability to sign Suarez probably informs the attempts to bring in Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic on loan, but again there’s a stumbling block as the Italians also want a purchase clause included.

There are reports that the two clubs yesterday made progress in that regard, but it remains to be seen how far down the line this one will go.

The window closes on Thursday evening, and the clock is ticking.

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I cannot and never will have any time for that arrogant, toxic, hypocritical, shitbag of a club.

mas que mierda.

Northern Gooner

Absolutely no need to resort to insults mate.

As Sid Lowe says, clubs lie a lot…and that include us too.


You’re right. We should just send Monreal to Spain to throw an Arsenal kit over Suarez’s head!

Northern Gooner

If you are referring to the Fabregas’ incident, then a bit of context would go a long long way mate. I’m not excusing it, but pretending that was instigated by Barca is plain silly.

Also “Mes que un club” refers to the social part the club played during the Franco years, when football brought together different sections of Catalonian society.

Lots of freely available articles on the subject on the net.


Barcelona are toxic, from their on-field antics to their club politics, recruitment strategy…everything. Just because they are good at playing football and win a whole lot of trophies or did some good at some point does not excuse the fact they have been setting a terrible example of how to wield power as a big club.


Agreed Barcelona are toxic; on the pitch, socially, politically.

Jimbo Jones

NG are you a Barca fan?


Surely that should be menos sue mierde!


I think that you mean mean ‘menos que mierda’ 😉


He signed a contract extension to preserve value, and will be loaned to Arsenal for the rest of the season, with no obligation to buy, only an option.




Yes this looks a lot like:
Player has limited contract length
Arsenal want loan and buy on to reflect soon Out of contract status
Barcelona want fee to represent current value and avoid loosing for free
Player wants to move to play
Arsenal publish interest in perisic
Player panicks
Barcelona force the hand of the player to sign contract xtension
Arsenal agree to optional increased buy on clause

Bai Blagoi

Is there something that has gone right after Sanllehi has joined the club? Kicked out Ramsey out of the club, chased away Sven, cannot get even one player on loan this window… This guy is like crappy King Midas, everything he touches turn into shit.


Stewart Robson's therapist

He was part of the committee that appointed Unai Emery. That’s a plus in my view.


somebody tell what are his achievements? How is a Barcelona DOF fit with Arsenal football club and their completely all different style of management, and shall I say completely not in the business of shady deals and transfers?
How is he compatible with a self-sustainable model, more than say, the kicked-out Sven Mislintat.

Bai Blagoi

Yes – together with Ivan Gazidis and Sven Mislintat. So I can give him credit for not managing to screw up also that deal.


Not sure Sanllehi is the issue here. Barcelona seem to be annoyed that we refuse to sign D Suarez permanently and are descending into their usual tantrum about it. Seen this behaviour plenty of times before with Barca.

Seems to me Sanllehi is one of the few figures in football who is able to stand up to their hierarchy. Good on you Raul!

Bai Blagoi

Who else can be the issue? Arsene, Ivan, Sven — they are all gone, he is the sole king of the castle now.
And you cannot blame Barcelona for Suarez. They have agreed to negotiate (not like United with Bailly), and from here on it is his job to make that deal happen. He is not doing it, and what we are left with is good excuses and no new player. Good on Raul?! What is the good for the club here?!


Who says anyone must be blamed?

We don’t want D Suarez permanently, Barcelona don’t either. Whatever the issue, the deal’s clearly not in the best interest of both parties and so it’s been called off. Seems sensible to me.

That doesn’t excuse one side to go whining to social media about the other. When that happens, I am inclined to support the one who remains professionally silent about the matter.


No need to be upset over this deal. In my view if the club really wanted denis suarez we would have gone all out for him, particularly at a time when we badly needed players. This tells me that maybe they didint valued suarez that well from the beginning itself. It might have been like maybe if we get a good value we will take him, so we played hardball over him. Look at perisic deal, we knew he is once in a lifetime opportunity so we went all out for him,with wages as well as fees that we are… Read more »


They were being the usual penny wise pound foolish fishing for 10m from Juve to take Ramsey early. But that held up on Suarez as well as we were not able to commit wages to him. And in any case, all the moaning about Ramsey going for free, he only cost us 4.75m courtesy of Wenger Should just sent Ramsey off for free, take the small hit, free the wages and convince the player to extend with Barca. Better still if we truly had the gumption and belief he can make a difference just buy him out right with the… Read more »


Ramsey wants to leave. UE said often enough that they talked about the best for Ramsey’s family and future and it is to leave. No need to accuse the club of something the player himself wants.

DB10s Air Miles

Which seems to be the opposite of what Ramsey has implied. There was an offer and then arsenal withdrew it. Arsenal decided he wasn’t worth the dough for some reason? I’m just hoping they make us happy with an amazing replacement in the summer….. if not then I have absolutely no idea why we’re letting him leave for free?

Bai Blagoi

You could have said that if the situation has developed in an Oxlade-Chamberlain scenario. The club was offering what they could, it was on the table until the last moment. But the player decided to leave.
What I saw here is that Raul has pulled out the offer, which means that the club wants him to leave.


Sanllehi is a glorified gazidis. A suit in sheep’s clothing if you will. I have no confidence in him making sound recruitment decisions at all.

Leno me, I’ll be your friend

All I know for sure is that Raul kinda reminds me of that guffpuppet off the telly box, Eamonn Holmes.


As I said elsewhere, clubs are on to the fact that we want to make top 4, and we’re recruiting temporarily to achieve this aim without committing large sums of money.

That’s why Perisic’s pay per game on loan is higher than the proposed wage per week if he were to sign a contract with Arsenal.

It’s a question of getting value for results, this also means the summer clear out of under-performing players will be ruthless.


there is also the issue that price may be higher in the summer for Suarez with more suitors from other clubs then.

Its a bit pennywise pound foolish IMO. We have players like Carrasco and Dennis wantaway for a reason now Like Mahrez last Jan.

If we don’t make top 4, we may not have them for the price we think we want then. Hopefully we get a first look deal in place with this.


Before you throw out under performing players, we can’t even get rid of non performing players like Elneny, Jenkinson, Lucas Perez, Opsina. No buyers.

We are not in a position to make whole sale changes if we can’t even sell the dead wood.


According to Transfermarkt Ozil is worth 31.5m and Perisic 36m.

Pay the difference and the 5m fee ontop to grease the wheels (the amount we are supposedly resrrved to use for a loan fee)

Throw in an unused squad player too.


I’d rather we back Emery fully in the summer having seen what potential he has brought out of the squad individuals.

Rather than halfway now and halfway in the summer like we usually do


Elneny is a poor player.

Can’t even sell him.

Complains about Mustafi and Granit but happy to keep players like Elneny and Jenkinson go figure.


You really have an anti-Özil agenda, haven’t you? LOL


Fuck Barcelona. Every interaction we’ve had with that club left a sour taste in my mouth.

David Hillier's luggage

£16m for Alex Song in 2012 was pretty sweet.


Can’t say I was too unhappy about the money we got for Alex Song, or the money for a broken Vermaelen.

Faisal Narrage

Ironically, both under the management of Senllehi.
Hleb too.


Exactly. If sven has an eye for young talent. This guy has one for duds and over-priced squad fodder.


YOung talents like Lichsteiner, Mhkitaryan. Sure.

Ya gooner

I’m not sure how song became a shit player in our eyes, he was pretty integral to the midfield in that team. He was again played as a dm when he was more of a box to box type player, I’d rather have last season as a gunner song over xhaka any day of the week.


Song all day long over Xhaka


How soon we forget Song was poor for a long time and only had one decent season with us before he decided to ship out.

Granit does a lot of good work in midfield switching our play early from deep. Against United, he consistently found Kolasinac or Iwobi as an outlet with first time passes from deep.

Complain about Granit but Torreira gave the ball or was robbed 5 times or more against BHA, Soton, Liverpool, 3 or 4 of those led directly to goals.

Bai Blagoi

Most of the sour memories you have from Barcelona are actually from the time when Sanllehi was their Director of Football.

Forest gooner

Sanchez was an excellent buy


Sanllehi is an underwhelming signing, I wish he was on loan.
Thank you Ivan Gazidis.


Ivan Gazidis also got us Unai.

Mslintat got us Mhkitaryan and Lichsteiner. Leno isn’t that great either.

Torreira after a flying start has been poor against BHA, Soton, Liverpool, West Ham.


Okay, I might be being really ignorant here. But can somebody please point out to me the difference between a fully fledged purchase, and an initial loan with an obligation to buy later clause? Because the net result is the same to me, and I’m struggling to see why they’re being differentiated.


Key difference is that Denis Suarez can refuse to sign with us even if we have an obligation to buy, and Barca have been burnt in the past in a similar deal (forgot which player). So they want Suarez to sign a contract extension before leaving on loan, but he is refusing to do so.


I have no nonsense with this loan deal or no deal drama IF AND ONLY IF Emery will be backed properly in the summer.




Panic Loan season.

At least we are bringing someone in even if its late in window.

Had it been Wenger people would be moaning to no end.


If you want someone on loan, why would you agree to a compulsory purchase clause for a later date? If you aren’t keen to lose a player, why would you insist on inserting the clause? If I go shopping, I buy something if I think I’ll need it long term, if not, then I go to the hire shop. If the hire shop insisted that I’d have to buy it after the loan period, I’d go elsewhere. Even an HP agreement allows you to just hand it back. This whole loan system worries me; I see clubs like the Citeh… Read more »


BC the Transfer team have been dragging their feet on this and Mslintat can find no better.

So they are back in and have accepted they may have to agree to a commitment in the summer.

Which may not be a bad thing since prices for the likes of Suarez may go up particularly if we do not make CL.

Better to lock down a price now IMO when he has reason to leave.

Faisal Narrage

Well at least Raul’s done something right so far. Don’t give a damn about Suarez, sorry guys for those who get excited at any transfer and have convinced themselves that a 25 year old (later to be 26, but until then is 25) who wasn’t good enough to even start in Emery’s Sevilla’s EL final is now good enough for us. Now we’re playing it too tough to deal with Perisic. If only we had a famous scout adept at finding gems rather than trying to negotiate with high-profile 30 year olds with less goals and assists in more games… Read more »

The Bruised Banana Rides Again

Couldn’t care less if we have a good relationship with Barca. Cunts at buying and cunts at selling. Fuck em! Raul knows their tricks better than most. Wait for the summer and bring in some real talent.


Wait for the summer carries risk.

If we don’t make CL, we will not attract top tier. BUT even second tier will demand more bc there will be other suitors who will be in CL.

We will then have to spread the scarce resource as always over less players and again neglect certain areas we need to reinforce, (particularly with Cech retiring and us not considering a year’s extension at least)

Instead we will again be carrying average to mediocre players like Elneny and Jenkinson who contribute next to nothing.


I imagine Santori will blame Mislintat


Yes I do.

He identified Mhkitaryan and put us in a mess there. Same with Lichsteiner.

Raul is the other half of the double act that commited us to Ozil at 350K

They go hand in hand. But Mslintat has been poor which is why we are back in with Barca likely bc he has not got any better options.

Matthew Coplestone

Whilst perhaps not a popular opinion. I feel we should hold off any possible transfers until the summer. The squad does need investment but panic buying now will not help us achieve CL qualification. There is a chance through Europe league. We panicked last January and ended up with two 30 year olds on massive wages that now can’t be shifted in ozil and miki. However anything less than 100 mill spent in the summer would be catastrophic for next year’s chances of achieving anything.


The Europa league is not a certainty, hence the need to achieve top 4.


Summer is a stupid move.

If we are out of CL prices are higher for the same players we are chasing now as others (with CL) would be in the market.

As per usual the fans want to replace the whole squad but the reality is we will again have scant resource to commit and we will afford even less.

Galtee gunner

Not sure we can blame the club for Ramsey or Suarez moves. I’m told Ramsey wanted to stay but his agent overplayed his hand and was not engaging with Arsenal who lost patience eventually. Barca brought Suarez back by exercising their cheap buy back clause. They want to sell and turn a quick profit. This was the sticking point as a straight loan is not what they planned for. Let’s see how this plays out before the window closes


Nah. Ramsey would leave if necessary.

The club is fishing for money from Juve to release him early but it is idiotic bc it means we then delay proceedings with Barca over say 10m when Ramsey cost us 4.75m. Ramsey staying means we hold up 110K, money that will be used to pay Dennis on loan.

Elneny can leave as well if we can find a buyer. He will free up 55K.


Our Dear arsenal has become a laughing stock…. Did anyone ever wonder why Ivan Gazidis was so in a hurry to leave? ….he left arsenal, a structured club, for a club trying to find it’s feat…… cos he had had enough of lies and promises, and the greedy American using him to front thereby tarnishing his name…. In the past we blamed arsene for not wanting to spend, but the reality is now staring us in the face, like day light…. Step by step, the club is dwindling, I wish I was in London, I would have personally organized protests… Read more »


It has not improved.

Mslintat and Sanheli have saddled the wage bill since, brought in players that don’t really help us tactically in Mhkitaryan or Lichsteiner.

We are now in the Panic Loan era.


All the hate cause the club refuses to loan without a buy out clause. Where the real problem is with the chairman who continues with his silly antics, Wenger was goin with a diplomatic approach. Now with unai and the sporting director and arsenal are still the same, refusing to pay as always and continue to make up shit about they can’t pay.


Its the transfer team. They do not take the needs of the club into consideration. We have needed a Rwinger for 2 or 3 seasons now arguably before Aleixs left. We had opportunity with Mahrez last Jan spurned instead for Mhkitaryan. Then Cback has yet to be resolved. We failed to extend Ramsey last Jan instead over committed on Ozil. Things have not improved on the Transfer stage unless you are one of these Arsenal fans who imagined that wenger used to panic buy and Dick Law only got us Campbell (Santi Carzola?) Wake up is all I can say.… Read more »


Mslintat AND him have been less than convincing. The current Transfer team have not been an improvement over Dick Law. We are now doing Panic Loans bc both these chaps loaded on Ozil at 350K but also added needless older players like Mhkitaryan and Lichsteiner for 120K and 90K respectively. The structure put in place (heralded blindly by many) was in reality meant to come close to replicate the sort of acumen Wenger had in market. Remember even in second phase of his tenure with us, Wenger was till uncovering gems like Giroud, Koscielny, Monreal, Santi Carzola. He made some… Read more »