For Kieran Gibbs it’s been a mixed day. Having passed a medical with Watford, the deal fell apart when personal terms couldn’t be agreed. According to the Express & Star, a fee of £7m has been agreed with Arsenal and a move to the West Midlands has been resurrected.
The former England international’s case was helped when West Bromwich Albion’s attempts to sign Kevin Wimmer, 24, fell through. A fee of £15m was agreed but the Austrian international didn’t want to play on the left side of defence. For Tony Pulis, that was a deal breaker and Stoke City stepped in with an £18m deal.
Gibbs wages were previously a stumbling block to any move when combined with the £15m fee Arsenal were demanding. As Pulis observed, “There was a price and after that price there was no deal to be done. That’s the bottom line. He was just too expensive.”
Arsenal are desperate to reduce their squad size – and wage bill for players who will not feature in the first team this season. Gibbs is in a position of strength; his contract isn’t due to end until 2019 so there is no requirement for him to move.
The Baggies aren’t finished in the transfer window yet. Once this deal is finalised, Pulis hopes the club will bring Josef de Souza, Fenerbahce’s Brazilian defensive midfielder.