Reports from Spain, the Guardian, and the Beeb indicate that Arsenal were unwilling to budge from their position to keep Nuri Sahin on just a year long loan move seeking instead a provision to make him permanent. This did not find favour with Real Madrid. The other sticking point was that Arsenal balked at paying a large share of his £120,000 a week wage which he is receiving at Real.
Let that percolate for a while. This is in Spain on the verge of a financial collapse with a 24% unemployment rate paying a footballer who has played barely a dozen games since his arrival a year ago and is still getting paid £120,000 a week. Even with a scaled back £90,000 per week, Sahin on loan would be Arsenal's top paid player, even before touching the ball. Ridiculous really. No wonder the sport is in such bad financial shape. Arseblog makes a good point with some more money thrown in we can get a player like Yann M'Vila on a permanent move.
Liverpool put themselves in pole position after they assured Real they were only looking at a short term move while picking up the major share of the payment tab. There are other reasons with Jose Mourinho personally pushing a Liverpool move as a big favour to his old associate Brendan Rodgers. The English side had a tough go in their Europa Cup first leg playoffs against Hearts bailed out by an own goal. After the West Brom shellacking, this further underscores Rodgers's need for creative players.