In Depth

Arsenal transfer news: Wilshere Bournemouth move makes sense

Midfielder heads to the South Coast for the season as Gnabry quits Gunners - all the latest Arsenal transfer news and gossip

Arsenal transfer news: Jamie Vardy in, Theo Walcott out

07 June

West Ham have reportedly wasted no time in capitalising on the news that Arsenal are ready to sign Jamie Vardy from Leicester. Though no deal has been officially agreed between the 29-year-old England forward and the Gunners, the Evening Standard claims that West Ham are already "sounding out the possibility of signing Theo Walcott" for a fee believed to be around £25m.

The paper adds that the same agency negotiating Jamie Vardy's potential move from Leicester is also in talks with the Hammers about signing Walcott. Rumours have been circulating for several weeks that Arsenal and Walcott were ready to part company with reports that the 27-year-old former England star has "grown frustrated at a lack of first-team opportunities".

Arsenal meanwhile were said to be wearying of his inconsistency and injury record, and while West Ham are genuinely keen, the Standard says Walcott's £140,000-a-week wages "are an issue". So it may be that he has to take a cut pay in his quest for a club that can offer him regular game time.

As for Vardy, the Daily Mail claims England manager Roy Hodgson is concerned the transfer saga may distract the striker from concentrating on the Euros. The Three Lions arrived at their base in France on Monday afternoon and the paper said Hodgson "wanted Vardy's situation resolved before his players boarded their flight". It hasn't been, however, with the Mail saying "Leicester had gone close to matching Arsenal's offer of £120,000 a week".

Though there has been no further news from Arsenal on the matter, the Mail predicts that "Hodgson will be less than amused" that just days before England play Russia in their opener, one of his key players is trying to decide his future.

Arsenal transfer news: Vardy triggers more Leicester raids

06 June

No doubt about the shock transfer story of the weekend - the news that Arsenal have activated the £20m release clause in Jamie Vardy's contract with champions Leicester. 

The media have spent the weekend agog at the news that the Gunners have made the move and are confident the deal will go through. According to the Daily Express Arsenal "have offered the England star a £120,000-a-week deal" and the paper predicts the 29-year-old will swap the King Power Stadium for the Emirates after the European Championships. 

Current Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud gave a strong indication that the deal is going ahead, telling reporters at the weekend: "I think it's [Vardy's capture] very beneficial to the club. Hopefully he's going to score lots of goals like he has for Leicester."

But hold your horses (or should that be foxes?). According to the Daily Telegraph Leicester "are expected to make a counter contract offer" to Vardy this week. The paper doesn't provide many details on what offer the Premier League champs will table, but it appears that they intend to fight for their goal-scoring machine.

And might N'Golo Kante follow his Leicester teammate to Arsenal? The Daily Mirror believes that's a distinct possibility with the paper claiming that the Gunners are ready to activate the French midfielder's release clause. 

Coincidentally it's the same amount as Vardy's, and it's reported that Arsenal will win the race to Kante's signature ahead of Paris Saint-Germain. Asked at the weekend about his future, the 25-year-old playmaker hardly gave a ringing endorsement to Leicester, replying: "For now, I have not taken a decision even if I have been made offers... I will decide my future after the Euros.”

Then again, if The Sun is to be believed, Arsenal "are in talks" not with Kante but Riyad Mahrez and are edging closer to signing Leicester's Algerian winger. Claiming that Vardy has already has his Arsenal medical at their London Colny training ground, the paper says that the north London outfit are after Mahrez in a swoop that will signal "Theo Walcott's future at the Emirates is all-but over".

And there's more good news for Gooners with Metro's report that Arsene Wenger is "winning the £20m race" to sign Dortmund star Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The Armenian ace is described by the paper as "one of the most sought-after midfielders in Europe" and apparently the failure of Chelsea to qualify for next season's Champions League has tipped the scales in Arsenal's favour. Dortmund have tried to tempt the 27-year-old with a new deal but it seems that Mkhitaryan has made up his mind to join Arsenal.

Arsenal transfer news: Is Barcelona Bellerin claim genuine?

3 June

Gunners fans could be forgiven for breathing a sigh of relief after Barcelona denied that they have any interest in signing Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin this summer, reports the Daily Express.

The paper, taking its cue from Spanish rag Mundo Deportivo, says that the Catalan giants have moved to quash speculation that they are preparing to lure the 21-year-old right away from the Emirates and back to the club where he started his career.

In conversation with Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona's sporting director Robert Fernandez batted away rumours the club are interested in signing Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin - for the time being, at least. "I haven't raised [Bellerin] at this point," said Fernandez. "He's a player who we know because he grew up here but at this time I'm not raising anything in this regard."

But can the Gunners really relax? The rather half-hearted denial might not assuage the fears of Arsenal supporters who remember the game of cat and mouse a few years ago when they began making eyes at Cesc Fabregas.

What's more, the Express points out that Barcelona are "on the lookout or a new right-back" after Dani Alves' confirmed he was joining Italian champions Juventus, and Bellerin, like Fabregas, came through the ranks at the Camp Nou.

Arsenal transfer news: Girlfriend casts doubt on Morata deal

02 June

The future of Alvaro Morata remains uncertain with conflicting reports on where the 23-year-old striker will be shooting for goal next season.

Rumours have been growing in recent days that Arsenal are poised to table a record bid for the Juventus marksman and, according to the Daily Star, most bookmakers "reckon Morata will sign for Arsenal".

That's the good news for the Gunners, who are aware of the interest of Manchester United in the Spaniard, but the bad news come in the pages of the London Evening Standard, which claims that while Morata has indeed received "tempting" offers from at least one Premier League club, his girlfriend has suggested he may turn them down and remain in Italy. In conversation with Italian magazine Chi Alice Campello declared: "I'm not so sure that Alvaro will leave Turin."

One thing is clear, and that is that Real Madrid are determined to make a tidy profit on the Spaniard. The Champions League winners sold him to Juventus for around £15m in 2014 but inserted a clause that allows them to get him back for a fee of £23m. They will activate that clause this summer, reports Talksport, and have told Arsenal that he will then be made available for £50m.

Another bright young thing said to be on Arsenal's radar is Gabigol, the 19-year-old Brazilian "set to take the Copa America by storm". That's The Sun's claim, at least, with the paper reporting that the Gunners, Manchester United, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain are all chasing the Santos forward who will take the place of the injured Neymar in the upcoming Copa America.

The Sun says that Gabigol has a £40m release clause which, while a hefty sum for one so young, could net one lucky club a "team-changing star."

Arsenal transfer news: West Ham lead race to sign Umtiti

1 June

"Stunned" is the word used by the Daily Express to describe Arsenal's reaction to news that West Ham have nosed ahead of them in the chase for Lyon defender Samuel Umtiti.

The 22-year-old has been called into France's Euro 2016 squad after the withdrawal through injury Jeremy Mathieu, and it seems Hammers fans could be seeing a lot more of Umtiti next season. According to the Express West Ham "are now leading the charge for his signature this summer" with boss Slaven Bilic ready to outbid both Arsenal and Tottenham for the highly-rated blocker.

Better news for Arsenal fans at Talksport, however, as it reports - courtesy of German rag Bild - that Borussia Dortmund midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan has "snubbed the chance" to extend his contract with the Bundesliga outfit. The rejection has fuelled speculation that the 27-year-old, who scored 23 goals last season, is poised to join Arsenal this month.

Talksport says the Gunners "have been tracking the attacking midfielder since January" with Arsene Wenger known to be a fan of Mkhitaryan's. With the Armenian ace refusing to pen a new deal to the current contract that expires in a year. Bild says Dortmund may have to sell him in the coming weeks or see him leave on a free next summer.

There's a "north London transfer battle" brewing, says the Daily Star with the paper claiming that Arsenal and Tottenham are set to square up over Ajax starlet Riechedly Bazoer. The 19-year-old is described by the Star as "among the most sought-after young prospects in Europe" and the Dutch midfielder was scouted in person by Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino during Holland's friendly with the Republic of Ireland last Friday. Arsene Wenger has also been tracking the teenage sensation and a bidding war could break out later this month.

Arsenal transfer news: Kante hint as Bellerin battle hots up

31 May

Leicester City's French enforcer N'Golo Kante has hinted that he could be open to a move to the Emirates after Euro 2016, claims the Daily Telegraph after poring over an interview the 25-year-old gave to French paper L'Equipe.

When asked about his future the midfielder said: "For now, I am happy at Leicester. I do not pay too much attention to everything that is said... I am in Leicester and I focus on the Euros."

The words "for now" are of most interest, says the Telegraph, and will give hope to the Gunners that they can land the Paris-born magician who arrived at Leicester in a £5.6m deal from Caen last year. Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus have been linked with Kante, who is in the France squad for next month's Euro Championships, but he said earlier in the season that he wants to stay in England.

Meanwhile the Daily Mirror reports that Arsenal have "repelled Barcelona’s interest in Hector Bellerín". But again the words "for now" are in evidence, with the paper saying that the Catalan club will likely come again for the 21-year-old defender.

With Dani Alves having agreed a three-year deal with Juventus over the weekend, Barca are desperate to replace the 33-year-old Brazilian international. According to Barcelona rag, Sport, the Spanish giants contacted Arsenal last week but were told in no uncertain terms that Bellerin is not for sale "at any price".

The International Business Times claims that Arsenal are "considering an approach" for Inter Milan centre-back Jeison Murillo. The 24-year-old Colombian was a rock in the Italian club's defence last season and according to Gazzetta dello Sport, the Gunners are planning to table an offer in the coming weeks. Murillo only moved to Inter from Granada 18 months ago for a reported fee of £6m but IBT claims Inter are "willing to part ways" with Murillo should a club offer them £19m. Leicester and Russian outfit Zenit St Petersburg are also in the hunt but sources in the Italian media say the Gunners have their noses in front.

Finally the Daily Star reports that Arsenal target Alvaro Morata has been discussing his future with Spanish rag AS. The 23-year-old striker, who has also been linked with Chelsea and Manchester United in recent weeks, is currently with Juventus but Real Madrid have a buy-back option which, says the Star, they are likely to activate before selling him at a big profit over the summer. Asked by AS what the future holds, Morata replied: "There are some offers from England that are tempting, not only by the contract. I think for my characteristics the Premier League would also be a great destination."

Arsenal transfer news: Barcelona in contact with Hector Bellerin 

27 May

With Dani Alves on his way out of Barcelona (possibly to Liverpool), the London Evening Standard claims that the Catalan club have already identified Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin as "their top target" to replace the 33-year-old Brazilian defender, raising the prospect of yet another acrimonious transfer wrangle between the two clubs. 

According to the paper Barca coach Luis Enrique hasn't been impressed by the performances of Aleix Vidal since he arrived at the club 12 months ago. Bellerin, on the other hand, has caught the eye of Enrique and he believes the fact the 21-year-old Spaniard came through Barcelona's youth system will make it easier to lure him back to the club. Reports in Spain suggest that Barca "attempted to make contact with Bellerin's representatives a month ago" and will look to pursue their prey in the coming weeks.

Sticking with Barca, Spanish rag Mundo Deportivo says Arsenal are edging ahead of Manchester United in the tussle to sign Javier Mascherano this summer. The 31-year-old Barcelona midfielder has two years to run on his contract but its said that Luis Enrique is ready to let him go early if they receive an offer to match his exorbitant £76m release clause. 

The former Liverpool playmaker has also received enquiries from China but Mascherano believes he's still got a couple more years of European gas in his tank and favours Arsenal over United because of their Champions League credentials.

Whether the ever-parsimonious Wenger is prepared to shatter the Gunners' transfer record for a 31-year-old defender remains to be seen.

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