Mikel Arteta is closing on a move to Arsenal (AMA/Getty Images)Paul Merson has branded Arsenal’s hierarchy as ‘clueless’ over their decision to target Mikel Arteta.The Gunners have already held extensive talks with their former midfielder and Metro.co.uk understands that the club are confident that an agreement can be reached this week.Arteta has been Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City since July 2016 and a move to Arsenal would be his first move into management.And Merson believes Arsenal are taking a huge risk by appointing a candidate who lacks experience.ADVERTISEMENT‘This is a big, big gamble putting someone that has never managed before in charge of a club the size of Arsenal,’ Merson told Sky Sports. Advertisement Paul Merson slams ‘clueless’ Arsenal board for targeting Mikel Arteta Mikel Arteta has been Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Man City since 2016 ((EPA)‘It’s all well and good saying he’s worked under Pep Guardiola, but let’s be honest, Guardiola would struggle managing this Arsenal team. Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp would struggle!AdvertisementAdvertisement‘You’re only as good as your players at the end of the day and the idea of Arteta replicating Guardiola’s style of football at the Emirates just falls apart when you look at the players he’ll be working with.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘Other than the fact he won’t get lost on the way to training, I don’t know what else he brings to the table.‘I cannot make the case for Arteta because he’s never managed before, yet someone at Arsenal can. How can you do that?‘I want to know who is upstairs at Arsenal saying this is a good appointment. From the club’s perspective, it’s clueless.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Comment Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 17 Dec 2019 8:39 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link476Shares Advertisement
She warned that full clarity about the new vehicle might come too late, as many contracts – for insured pension plans, for example – expired at year-end.Obdam said she hoped Parliament moved quickly to address the APF Bill in its current form, and suggested contentious issues that might delay passage of the legislation – such as accommodating mandatory industry-wide schemes – be addressed at a later stage.According to Obdam, the only important question to be answered at the present moment is the level of capital requirements for the new vehicle.However, Sako Zeverijn, a professional trustee at several pension funds, said he preferred the APF to be “hammered out properly”.His view was echoed by John Smolenaers, a partner at Deloitte, who said on Twitter that the postponement offered the market more potential for a “proper business case”.The €188bn asset manager and pensions provider PGGM said it was prepared for the quick introduction of the APF, while Jeroen de Munnik, head of institutional business, pointed out that many small pension funds were looking for an alternative to their current pension plans.Meanwhile, Cor Zeeman, chairman of the Dutch pension fund of Alcatel-Lucent, said feared the APF would come too late as the potentially favoured alternative for his scheme.The pension fund is currently facing liquidation, as the employer terminated the implementation contract with the scheme after it reported a funding shortfall. The Dutch pensions industry has met the government’s recent decision to postpone the introduction of the new pensions vehicle APF by six months with dismay, according to IPE sister publication PensioenPro.Opinions varied, however, on the necessity of the delay and its potential benefits.The Dutch Pensions Federation, which called on the government to expedite the APF a year ago, said the delay might serve as an opportunity to open the vehicle to mandatory industry-wide pension funds.But, in the opinion of Nicolette Opdam, a pensions lawyer at law firm Holland van Gijzen, the biggest impact of the postponement is that it narrows the options of a large number of pension funds considering liquidation.
Luis Suarez will be allowed to hold talks with Arsenal but Liverpool have no intention of selling their striker until his £50m-plus valuation is met.Arsenal’s club-record bid of £40m plus £1 was firmly rejected by Liverpool but Suarez now wants to hold talks with the north London club.The approach triggered a clause in his contract that means he has been told of the bid and can now talk to Arsenal.But Liverpool will not sell him until Arsenal up their offer significantly.On Wednesday Suarez made his first appearance for Liverpool since his infamous bite on Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic’s arm last season, coming off the bench in an 18-minute cameo during the Premier League club’s 2-0 win over Melbourne Victory at the MCG.With Liverpool 1-0 up, the Uruguayan laid on the Reds second for new signing Iago Aspas late in the match.After the game Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said: “There’s nothing new to report, he [Suarez] is very much a Liverpool player and over the course of the next couple of weeks we’ve got to get him up to speed.” Rodgers did, however, remind Suarez of the debt he feels the player owes the Liverpool fans who have stood by him after two seasons of controversy.“The support he has received from the supporters and the people of the city of Liverpool has been unrivalled,” Rodgers added.“In this period of time he’s missed a lot of games for the club through various reasons. The people have stood by him like a son and really looked after him. Whatever happens in the coming weeks that will be in his mind because it’s something you can never forget.”Liverpool have now turned down two offers from the Gunners, who are keen to boost their attacking options, while Real Madrid, now managed by Carlo Ancelotti, also remain interested in the player but have yet to make a formal offer.Following Arsenal’s most recent approach, a post on Liverpool owner John Henry’s Twitter page read: “What do you think they’re smoking over there at Emirates?”It is unclear whether Henry is talking about Arsenal’s attempts to sign Suarez or their valuation of the player. While Liverpool remain determined to keep Suarez, who scored 30 goals for the club in 44 appearances last season, their resolve is likely to be tested if the bids continue to rise. Should Arsenal persist and have an improved bid accepted, it would more than double their previous highest initial outlay on a transfer.The Gunners, whose first offer for Suarez was £30m, paid £17.5m to Sevilla for Jose Antonio Reyes in 2004.Suarez wants to leave Anfield to play for a Champions League club despite only signing a new long-term deal last summer.Speculation has grown about Suarez’s future since he was punished with a 10-game ban at the end of April for biting Ivanovic.The striker still has to serve six games of that suspension and was also banned in 2011 after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra. Suarez joined Liverpool from Ajax in January 2011 in a £22.7m deal.