Arsenal transfer news: Gunners prepare to sell Theo Walcott in January
England forward is a reported target for Everton and West Ham
The Gunners are getting ready to blast the dead wood from the Emirates and top of the flops is Theo Walcott.
So says The Sun with the paper reporting that Arsenal are “preparing to sell Walcott in January” as Arsene Wenger looks to streamline his squad and trim his exorbitant wage bill.
Although the 28-year-old Walcott scored twice in last week’s Europa League win against Belarusian powerhouse Bate Borisov, it’s been a long time since the winger impressed consistently on the domestic front.
As a result, says the Sun, the bit-part player will be sold and the money used to bring in a more reliable replacement.
The paper claims that Walcott, who has 18 months left on his £110,000-a-week contract, has “attracted interest” from West Ham and Everton in recent months.
The Toffees have recently ruled themselves out of the running for another Arsenal forward, Olivier Giroud, but apparently they are interested in Walcott, regarding him as a player who still have four or five good years left in his tank.
It’s claimed that Walcott is “considering his future” after accepting he’s no longer a first-choice at the Emirates and with the World Cup less than nine months away, the opportunity to put himself in the shop window for selection with regular game time at Everton would be tempting.
As to who Wenger might look to buy with the money made from offloading Walcott, Italian outlet calciomercato namechecks Napoli star Dries Mertens.
Apparently the Gunners and Manchester United are both interested in the 30-year-old frontman and Arsenal reportedly had a bid turned down earlier in the year.
It’s said that the Belgian has a release clause in his contract that says he will be “available for €28m [£24.8m]” if Napoli don’t win the Serie A title this season.
That seems unlikely, given 1990 was the last time they got their hands on the trophy, and consequently it’s expected that Mertens will look to England.
Alexandre Lacazette reveals Antoine Griezmann plan
Watch out Manchester United because Arsenal could yet win the race to sign Antoine Griezmann despite the smart money predicting the French frontman will head to Old Trafford next summer.
Currently with Atletico Madrid, Griezmann is expected to leave La Liga at the end of the season. There were rumours in the summer that he had earmarked United as his intended destination.
But now in an interview with Match of the Day magazine, new Gunner Alexandre Lacazette confessed he’s concocting a cunning plan to lure his compatriot to north London.
“I’m going to ask him to sign for Arsenal,” declared Lacazette, who is with Griezmann on international duty this week.
Explaining that the pair “are very good friends and have lots of fun”, Lacazette even revealed that they have pet names for each other – Griezzy and Lacaz.
Lacazette added that as well as crazy nicknames they also share “a good chemistry and don’t need to talk to understand each other’s movements on the pitch”.
It remains to be seen whether the Gunners have got the cash to meet Atletico’s £100million asking price but perhaps Lacazette will be able to haggle them down.
Still with Gallic goal-machines, The Sun reports that Everton will not be making a second attempt to lure Olivier Giroud to Goodison Park in January despite the Toffees’ sticky start to the season.
Currently languishing in 16th spot, Everton are in desperate need of a sharpshooter. There have been rumours for a while that manager Ronald Koeman has Giroud in his sights. But the paper says that Koeman will “chase other targets to beef up his attack in January” after apparently being told that Giroud is happy at the Emirates.
Talks open with Jack Wilshere over new four-year deal
Arsenal are ready to hand Jack Wilshere a four-year contract, claims the Sunday Mirror, though it seems the midfielder has yet to win back the faith of Arsene Wenger.
Despite his impressive performance in last week’s 2-4 win against Bate Borisov in the Europa League, Wilshere was an unused substitute in yesterday’s equally comfortable 2-0 victory against Brighton.
There were rumours last month that the 25-year-old was becoming fed up with his bit-part status at the Emirates and might accept an offer from West Ham in the new year, but the Sunday Mirror says that Wenger wants to keep Wilshere on the club’s books.
Talks about a new deal have “already started”, the newspaper reports. The Gunners want the deal signed and sealed by the end of the year, ruling out any distracting transfer gossip in January.
Meanwhile, the Daily Star claims that Arsenal and Chelsea are set to square up over the right to sign the youngster described as the “new Gerard Pique”.
Central defender Iker San Vicente is only 16, but has already earned rave reviews in Spain for his composed displays for the second division outfit Osasuna.
The teenage blocker has been scouted by the two London clubs in recent weeks. According to the Star, La Liga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid are also interested in San Vicente, who is available on a free transfer in January.
Inter Milan confirm interest in Mesut Ozil
Inter Milan have admitted that they have their eye on Arsenal star Mesut Ozil, reports Goal.com.
Rumours emerged at the weekend that the Serie A side were interested in the German midfielder – and now Inter president Erik Thohir has confirmed Ozil is one of the names on their wishlist.
Ozil is in the last year of his Arsenal contract and while Manchester United have been linked to the 28-year-old World Cup winner in recent weeks, Goal.com believes the serious interest comes from Inter.
With the January transfer window the final opportunity for the Gunners to cash in on Ozil, it’s believed an Inter offer could be forthcoming. Thohir added fuel to the transfer rumour fire by telling Metrotvnews.com that Ozil “is definitely one of those players we are looking at”.
Goal.com says any January move may depend on Arsenal’s asking price – but Italian media say a fee of around £25m would probably find favour with Inter.
Meanwhile ESPN says that Arsenal and Manchester United “are among a number of clubs tracking Aston Villa youngster Keinan Davis”.
The 19-year-old arrived at Villa Park two years ago and has now broken into the senior squad, where he is highly regarded by manager Steve Bruce.
ESPN says scouts from United, Arsenal and Everton have all been running the rule over the England under-20 striker but add that it will cost them a few quid to prise Davis from Villa.
Bruce believes the young gun is essential to his club’s chances of promotion back to the Premier League and a move would be unlikely in January unless a gargantuan offer landed on his desk.
Anthony Martial could be open to Emirates move
Arsenal have asked Manchester United “to be kept informed about Anthony Martial’s situation”, reports the Daily Star, claiming that the Frenchman could be used as a bargaining chip by the Red Devils in their quest to sign Mesut Ozil.
The German midfielder was linked to United at the weekend and that might lead the Gunners to suggest a swap. Arsene Wenger is an admirer of the 21-year-old Martial, which doesn’t seem to be the case with Jose Mourinho, who has used him sparingly this season – although he got a run in last night’s 4-1 Champions League win over CSKA Moscow.
The Star says the forward “is frustrated at his lack of first-team action under Mourinho” and consequently he could be open to a move south. United are keen on Ozil and the Star says a deal could be agreed in January.
Has Borussia Dortmund’s poor start to the Champions League opened up an opportunity for Christian Pulisic’s suitors?
Earlier in the week it was reported that Real Madrid were taking an interest in the teenage winger, and now The Sun says Arsenal are on the tail of the American ace.
Liverpool and Spurs have both been linked to Pulisic in recent months and although Dortmund have always dismissed the idea of selling the young winger, their form in recent weeks has put that stance under the spotlight.
Without a point in the Champions League, Pulisic has nonetheless been one of the few players to impress in Dortmund’s stuttering European start to the season.
His form has caught the eye of Real Madrid and also Arsenal, but the German media say that for the time being Pulisic is happy to remain at Dortmund provided they continue their solid domestic form.
Edinson Cavani lined up to replace Alexis Sanchez
Having failed to persuade Manchester City to swap Raheem Sterling for Alexis Sanchez, might Arsenal now turn to Paris Saint-Germain for an exchange deal?
According to The Sun, which quotes Chilean newspaper El Mecurio, the French club are increasingly confident of landing Sanchez because they are ready to pay him a £9m advance on his signing-on fee, with the rest - believed to be £15m - following in the summer.
Apparently PSG are determined to beat the Sky Blues to the Chilean frontman and believe he will find their offer irresistible.
While it’s not clear if PSG will look to sign Sanchez in January or next summer, the Sun says that his arrival almost certainly spells the end of Edinson Cavani’s stay in the French capital.
The Uruguayan marksman, who has nine goals to his name this season, has fallen out with record signing Neymar in recent weeks and it’s rumoured that he wants out of Paris.
Arsenal have been continuously linked to Cavani and a move to the Emirates could be the best way out for the South American.
Another player mooted as a possible Arsenal target in the event of Sanchez’s departure is Napoli and Belgium star Dries Mertens.
The 30-year-old frontman has pace and vision and according to Caughtoffside, which cites Calcio Mercato as its source, he also has a £25m release clause written into his contract.
Apparently Wenger sees Mertens as a like-for-like replacement for Sanchez and if the Chilean were to be sold in January for around the same price, he wouldn’t leave the notoriously frugal Frenchman out of pocket.
Inter Milan join Man Utd in race for Mesut Ozil
The Mirror has him moving to Manchester United to hook up once more with Jose Mourinho while the Star has thrown a new name into the ring – Inter Milan.
Apparently the Italian outfit are “serious” about signing the Arsenal midfielder. What’s more they intend to beat United to the race by launching their bid in the new year.
While United would be prepared to take Ozil on a free transfer at the end of the season, the Star says that Inter “are ready to test the Gunners’ resolve” with a January bid.
To sweeten the deal Inter will offer Arsenal Joao Mario, the former Real Madrid man who the Star says has been in Arsene Wenger’s sights for a year. The Portuguese playmaker caught Wenger’s eye during the 2016 European Championships and it's said that the Frenchman “might be tempted to do a deal” with the Serie A side.
January might also be the month when Everton return for Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud, says the Daily Mirror. Toffees gaffer Ronald Koeman was linked to the Gallic goalscorer last month and although no deal materialised the Mirror says that “this time he will get his man”.
It’s likely to cost Everton £40million but Giroud is coming round to the idea of making a fresh start away from the Emirates.
Once again this season, the Frenchman is being deployed as a substitute by Wenger. It’s said that he had hoped to start regularly this season. With the World Cup approaching, Giroud is anxious to get regular game time to catch the eye of France coach Didier Deschamps. Goodison Park offers him just that.
Finally, The Sun reports that Arsenal are in a “four-way battle” with Nice, Bordeaux and Red Bull Leipzig for the hand of Le Havre defender Harold Moukoudi.
Aged just 19, the young blocker has been earning rave reviews across the Channel and the Sun says that Moukoudi, capped by France at Under-18 level, has caught Wenger’s eye.
Big and powerful, Moukoudi could be bought by the Gunners in January and then loaned back to Le Havre to finish his football education before making the switch full time next summer.
Jonny Evans no longer an Arsenal target
Arsene Wenger has ruled out another move for Jonny Evans, reports the Daily Star.
The Gunners were linked to the Northern Irishman last month and it was believed an approach was made to West Bromwich Albion but without any success.
According to the Star the Baggies weren’t ready to talk business and the 29-year-old centre-half remains at the Hawthorns.
The two clubs clash in the Premier League on Monday evening and when he was asked if he would be making another attempt to prise Evans from Albion, Wenger replied: “No. Once the transfer period is over, you focus on your squad and your players. You accept that as well from the players who play for their club.”
Alexis Sanchez is expected to start against WBA having sat out last weekend’s draw at Chelsea, but Wenger has told BBC Sport that the Chilean must fight for his place in the starting line-up.
Sanchez is once more being linked to a number of clubs and Wenger was asked if this was one reason he had been dropped to the bench.
“There is no disguised attitude on my side,” he said. “I have six or seven strikers but if I go in one game with three strikers, the three who have not played will play in mid-week no matter what game that is… there is no real hierarchy.”
Elsewhere The Sun would have us believe that the Gunners are ready to do battle with Borussia Dortmund for the hand of Marseille star Christopher Rocchia.
Apparently Wenger is “plotting a January swoop for the 19-year-old French defensive prospect” who is highly-regarded in his native land.
The teenage left-back is out of contract in June and that’s alerted both Arsenal and Dortmund. Rocchia has been nurtured by former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra and Arsenal’s chief scout, Gilles Grimandi, has “contacted Rocchia’s advisers after being impressed by the teenager’s displays”.
Marseille are believed to have offered the youngster a lucrative new contract but according to the Sun he is “strongly tempted” to try his luck overseas.
Gunners target Karim Benzema signs new Real Madrid deal
One name Arsenal can cross off their striking list is Karim Benzema, reports The Sun, with the paper one of several outlets to confirm that the Frenchman has signed a new deal with Real Madrid.
It’s a big one, too, a four-year deal that comes with an eye-watering £890million release clause - or put another way, one billion euros. That’s unlikely to be triggered by Arsenal anytime soon, or indeed any club hoping to lure the 29-year-old Benzema away from the Bernabeu after eight seasons.
The Gunners have been linked with the Gallic goalscorer for a number of seasons, with suggestions over the summer in the Spanish press that Zinedine Zidane was ready to cut his compatriot loose. Those rumours have turned out to be false with and the Sun says that the Real boss is ready to give Benzema an increase on his £150,000-a-week wages.
Meanwhile the London Evening Standard updates Gooners on what surely by now should be called ‘Sanchez-Gate’.
Noting that Manchester United have become the latest club to be linked with a move for the Gunners’ Chilean hitman, the Standard claims that Manchester City are still in the driving seat to sign Sanchez at some point in the next 12 months.
What isn’t clear, says the paper, is whether the South American “will attempt to force through a mid-season move or wait until next summer”.
He’ll be a free agent in June and although Arsene Wenger remains “hopeful” Sanchez may sign a new deal, the Standard believes he’ll jump ship with Arsenal likely to accept a January bid from City in the region of £25m.
The Daily Mirror corroborates the Standard’s story but adds that Arsenal are expected to “make a fresh bid” for Raheem Sterling in January.
It’s believed that Wenger was keen on doing an exchange with City last month, Sterling for Sanchez, but although nothing materialised the Arsenal manager is apparently ready to discuss such a deal again after Christmas.
Jack Wilshere wants West Ham move
Jack Wilshere has finally woken up to the fact that he has no future at the Emirates, reports the Daily Star, and he “wants a West Ham transfer to save him from Arsenal misery”.
The news will come as no surprise to the Arsenal faithful who have watched Wilshere’s decline with dismay in recent seasons.
Once touted as the new Liam Brady, the midfielder’s career has never taken off after a succession of injuries and last season he was loaned to Bournemouth.
It was rumoured in the summer that Arsene Wenger wanted to get shot of the 25-year-old for good but apparently Wilshere was determined to fight for his place while suitors were put off by the £20million price tag.
But six weeks into the season Wilshere has realised his interests would be best served elsewhere and Arsenal are ready to lower their demands.
That’s interested the Hammers, says the Star, who had their scouts at the Emirates last Thursday to see Wilshere appear as a second-half sub against Cologne in the Europa League.
They’ll be another sighting of the former England star this evening when he plays for the Gunners against Doncaster Rovers in the Carabao Cup, and the Star claims that West Ham are likely to sign Wilshere in the new year once a fee has been agreed.
Meanwhile Goal.com reports that Arsenal’s hopes of landing Julian Draxler next year have taken a blow following comments made by the German to DW Kick Off.
Despite the fact the winger has struggled for game time this season at Paris Saint-Germain, Draxler emphasised that he’s determined to win back his place.
“I will do everything I can to be in the first XI,” he said, adding that he had no plans to quit PSG. “I’m really enjoying Paris, the city is really nice - I have a lot of fun playing with great players and in a great squad. I’m very happy.”
So what about Edinson Cavani? According to The Sun Neymar has “demanded” that PSG sell his teammate after the pair clashed during Sunday’s 2-0 win over Lyon over who should take a penalty.
Spanish newspaper Sport says that Neymar has “instructed PSG chiefs to offload Cavani as soon as possible” with allegations that the pair had to be separated in the changing room after the game.
Arsenal have long been linked with the Uruguayan striker and the north London outfit will doubtless be buying the Sun today to discover the latest situation is regarding the fiery South American sharpshooter.
Gunners line up Lucas Moura to replace Alexis Sanchez
Arsenal may have found the man to replace Alexis Sanchez, reports the Daily Star, and it’s none other than Lucas Moura.
The paper says that the Gunners have earmarked the 25-year-old Brazil international as the successor to Sanchez, who is almost certainly set to leave the Emirates, particularly after his latest faux pas, which involved laughing at Alexandre Lacazette’s miss on Sunday, The Sun reports.
Moura has scored 44 goals in just over 200 matches for Paris Saint-Germain in the five years he’s been in the French capital. But increasingly he feels his future is under threat with the the arrival in the summer of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
PSG boss Unai Emery appears to agree that it might be the right moment for Moura to move on and a January transfer is on the cards for the winger.
While Manchester City are still favourites to sign Sanchez, the Star says that Mesut Ozil is now being targeted by Barcelona. The German playmaker was linked with a move to Manchester United earlier this month but apparently Barca have now pencilled in Ozil as a January purchase having concluded that they stand no chance of prising Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool.
Elsewhere and talkSPORT reports that Jean-Michael Seri has ruled out a move away from Nice until the end of the season.
Apparently the Gunners, along with Tottenham, were hoping the Ivorian playmaker might consider his options after Christmas after both expressed an interest in signing the 26-year-old over the summer.
But in an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro, Seri said: “Regardless of any club asking for me this winter, I won’t leave Nice before June.”
It’s expected that the London rivals will table bids next summer but talkSPORT claim that Barcelona are also tracking the African midfielder.
Alexis Sanchez now a Real Madrid target
Real Madrid head honcho Florentino Perez has added to the gloom at the Emirates by revealing that he’s got his eye on Alexis Sanchez.
The Daily Express reports that the unsettled Arsenal striker is now on Real’s New Year wish-list.
The Real president believes the time has come for the Champions League holders "to overhaul their strike force" and the Express says that Sanchez, 28, is the man to do that.
The former Barcelona star has been widely linked to a move to Manchester City when his Emirates contract expires in June but, according to Spanish publication Don Balon, Real could hijack the move.
Perez is said to be "fed up" with Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo (who this week has again been linked with Manchester United), and is ready to table an eye-watering offer to the Gunners for the Chilean striker.
There's also a sense in Spain that Perez needs a marquee signing to boost his standing after missing out on Monaco ace Kylian Mbappe, who joined PSG on loan last month.
Perez's desire for a reliable striker will only have intensified after the revelation that Marco Asensio was absent from last night's Champions League drubbing of Apoel because of an infection caused by his shaving his legs.
The Telegraph reports how a stunned press corps was informed by Real coach Zinedine Zidane that Asensio "has a pimple which means he cannot pull his sock up".
Talking of someone else who could do with pulling his socks up, Mesut Ozil is apparently being courted by Jose Mourinho.
Metro, citing German paper Bild as its source, says that the Manchester United boss is "plotting a move" for Ozil next summer when the midfielder's contract at Arsenal expires.
The pair know each other well from their time at Real Madrid and it seems Mourinho believes he can do what Arsene Wenger has failed to do in four years at the Emirates and get the German to break into a sweat.
Jack Wilshere ready to battle for his place
Jack Wilshere still believes he has a future at the Emirates, reports the Evening Standard, despite the fact Arsene Wenger came clean with the injury-prone playmaker and told him “he would face a fight for his first-team place this season”.
It’s believed that the Arsenal boss was ready to move Wilshere on during the summer - as he did Kieran Gibbs, Gabriel and Wojciech Szczesny - and the keenest interest came from Turkish outfit Trabzonspor.
The Standard says Wenger was keen to loan out the 25-year-old, and Trabzonspor manager Muharrem Usta echoed those sentiments in an interview with the Turkish media. “I held direct talks with Jack Wilshere,” said Usta. “We wanted him on loan and were close to a deal but the move stalled at the last moment.”
It’s believed that Wilshere decided to stay in north London and fight for his place, with his first opportunity of the season coming in tomorrow night’s Europa League clash with Cologne.
The Standard says that despite the interest from Trabzonspor, and also Newcastle United, Wenger “has not ruled out giving him a new deal” and will monitor his progress in the coming months.
Meanwhile talkSPORT reports that Genk midfielder Sander Berge is playing down interest from Arsenal and Everton amid rumours the pair will come calling in January.
The 19-year-old Norwegian international joined Genk at the start of this year and has quickly earned plaudits for his composed performances.
According to talkSPORT Genk knocked back a £14.5million bid from Sevilla over the summer but the club is bracing itself to receive further offers from the Gunners and Everton in the new year.
Speaking to Norwegian paper VG, Berge said he didn’t know “if the club have put a specific price on me” and in time-honoured fashion he emphasised that all he was thinking about was the here and now.
Arsenal and Roma battle for Jose Maria Gimenez
Corriere dello Sport reports that Roma will go head to head with the Gunners for the signature of Atletico Madrid defender Jose Maria Gimenez.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is known to have scouted the 22-year-old Uruguay blocker in recent months but apparently Roma have despatched representatives to begin negotiations with Gimenez.
It’s believed that the South American centre-half currently has a €65million release clause written into his contract, but with that deal finishing at the end of this season Atletico will either have to persuade him to extend his stay in Spain or sell him in January at a knockdown price.
Gimenez is reportedly ready to leave Atletico for a new challenge and with Arsenal’s Spanish influence at the Emirates a move to north London is a strong possibility.
Meanwhile Spanish outlet Don Balon claims that Arsenal and Napoli remain in the hunt for Barcelona midfielder Denis Suarez.
The 23-year-old playmaker was linked to Tottenham and Roma last month but like a Gunners title challenge those rumours soon fizzled out.
However, with new Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde appearing to have little faith in Suarez’s ability, Don Balon believes that he could be on his way out of the Camp Nou in January.
Finally, an old Arsenal transfer talk favourite is back in the news with the Daily Express claiming that (not for the first time in recent months) Karim Benzema could be on his way to the Emirates.
The 29-year-old’s role is “under the spotlight” after a poor start to the season in Madrid and it’s Don Balon who state that Benzema is “keen on a move to Arsenal”, where he'd like to link up with compatriot Alexandre Lacazette.
Arsenal still want to sign City star Raheem Sterling
Arsenal are still in the hunt for Raheem Sterling, claims the Daily Mail, with the paper reporting that the 22-year-old Sky Blue “is open to a return to London and the chance to play more regularly at Arsenal”.
In recent months Sterling has found his game time restricted at Manchester City with Pep Guardiola struggling to retain his faith in the England frontman.
All the same, according to the Mail, Guardiola “vetoed a proposed swap” to swap Sterling for Alexis Sanchez on deadline day last month with the City board insisting on a cash only deal for the Arsenal striker.
That went against Arsenal’s wishes and so the deal fell through but the Mail says that Arsene Wenger remains interested in bringing Sterling to the Emirates.
With City expected to return for Sanchez in January, with a £20million offer, Arsenal will look to once more strike a deal for Sterling, although the negotiations will be led by a new face.
The Mail reports that Dick Law, who has been working in the transfers department at Arsenal for the last eight years, leaves the club at the end of the month and in January the comings and goings will be handed by Huss Fahmy, who comes to the role from a position with British cycling outfit Team Sky.
Reports at the end of last week suggested that the Gunners are still cautiously optimistic that they’ll sign Thomas Lemar in January but the Daily Express says that Monaco’s vice-president has other ideas.
In an interview with French sports daily L’Equipe, Vadim Vasilyev hinted that the club - who lost 4-0 to Nice at the weekend - won’t be offloading any more players in the foreseeable future having made £300m this summer from the sale of Benjamin Mendy, Bernardo Silva, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Kylian Mbappe.
“We want to maintain a competitive team while respecting our economic model,” said Vasilyev. “In 2015 we had to sell in order to meet FFP [Financial Fair Play conditions] so it was more of an obligation. We are currently financially safe and sound.”
Gunners confident of Thomas Lemar deal
Thomas Lemar could yet wear the red and white of Arsenal this season, claims the Metro, with the paper reporting that despite failing to land the midfielder last month the Gunners are in fact “confident” of signing the Frenchman in the January transfer window.
Apparently it wasn’t the reluctance of the 21-year-old to sign for the Gunners that caused the move to collapse but rather a lack of time. Metro says that due to Lemar’s involvement with the French national squad last week the relevant paperwork couldn’t be completed before midnight on deadline day.
But Lemar has “agreed on a five-year contract with the Gunners worth £250,000 per week”, and will arrive at the Emirates in the New Year in a £92million transfer that will make him the club’s record signing.
Meanwhile Arsene Wenger has dismissed suggestions that Alexis Sanchez will struggle mentally to cope with his return to Arsenal after last week’s will-he-won’t-he Manchester City saga.
The Chilean frontman was all set to join City on deadline day but the deal broke down when Arsenal failed to prise Lemar from Monaco.
Consequently, Sanchez will have to spend at least another four months at Arsenal, starting with tomorrow’s clash with Bournemouth, but Wenger says he is sure that the South American will give of his best.
“I have no doubt about Alexis’ mind and mentality, that people question,” the Frenchman said in the London Evening Standard.
“He needs to come back to full fitness, which he was not against Liverpool. It was his first game, and he has suffered a negative experience with Chile. But he is strong mentally and hopefully he will be back very quickly to his best.”
Gunners will pay price for not selling Sanchez
Arsene Wenger has admitted that he and Arsenal have paid a heavy price for refusing to sell Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City last month.
The Sky Blues tabled what Sky Sports describes as “multiple bids” from the Sky Blues, the highest of which was £60million. But Wenger turned them all down once he realised Thomas Lemar had no intention of leaving Monaco for north London.
Consequently Sanchez can leave the Emirates on a free transfer next summer when his existing deal runs out. Wenger says that in the meantime the Gunners will have to find a similar player to replace the South American. This is likely to set the club back around £70m.
“You take Sanchez into the final year of your contract, you sacrifice £60m-£70m income and then at the end of the season you will have to buy somebody for that amount of money,” Wenger said in an interview with broadcaster beIN Sports.
“So it has a huge price. So at some stage you have to make a decision you have to sacrifice one or two [players].”
Sanchez, who returns to the Emirates after international duty this week, is expected to feature for Arsenal against Bournemouth on Saturday. But will he see out the season with the Gunners?
The Sun reports that the marksman appeared to send a message to Gooners last night, posting a photo on Instagram of him wearing an Arsenal shirt with the words ‘Back home. Focus’ underneath.
But the Daily Star is one of several papers to report that City could “reignite their interest as soon as the New Year”.
Apparently Pep Guardiola is confident that Arsenal will want to make a bit of cash on the wantaway Chilean. An offer of £20m is therefore likely to be accepted in January.
If this happens might Arsenal make a move in the New Year for Bayern Munich forward Thomas Muller? Goal.com has a story that appeared in the German paper Bild in which it said the international striker was no longer a guaranteed starter under Carlo Ancelotti. It says he could be ready to move on in January, with Arsenal, Chelsea and Juventus all interested.
Gunners on red alert for North Korean striker
It’s perhaps only fitting that fans with a reputation for going ballistic could soon be cheering a North Korean.
The news that Arsenal are tailing Han Kwang-song is a headline writer’s dream and The Sun has wasted no time with “Nuclear Arsenal”, adding that the Gunners are on “red alert” for the 18-year-old international striker.
Pyongyang-born Han has rocketed to fame since signing for Cagliari earlier in the year and this season he has been loaned to Serie A side Perugia. He recently fired home his first-track and the Sun says he’s now on the radar of Arsenal, Everton and Juventus.
Apparently Arsene Wenger has already sent his scouts to Italy to run the rule over the North Korean dynamo and Han, who has won two caps for his country, is expected to the subject of a transfer battle in the New Year.
Meanwhile the Daily Express says Barcelona midfielder Rafinha is once more the subject of transfer speculation in Spain.
Linked with a move away from the Camp Nou this summer, Rafinha’s long-term knee injury scuppered those plans but according to Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo, the 24-year-old is “attracting attention from Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham”.
The Brazil international, who has a £68million release clause written into his contract, is reportedly anxious to leave Barcelona and join a club where he can play regularly and put himself in the mind of his national coach as he decides on his World Cup squad.
With the arrival of Paulinho and the rise of Sergi Roberto threatening his place at Barcelona, Rafinha has his heart set on a January move and the Express says that the Catalan club “will not stand in his way in January”, provided suitors meet his release clause in full.
Arsene Wenger plans showdown talks with squad
Three matches into the new league season and it’s already a case of showdown and not showtime for Arsenal.
With just one streaky win to show from their opening games, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will “hold showdown talks with all his Arsenal flops to save their season”, reports The Sun.
The tabloid doesn't say if there is a room big enough in the Emirates to accommodate the entire Arsenal squad, but with no one distinguishing themselves so far, the riot act will be read to each and every player.
The Gunners boss intends to “sit his squad down for a clear-the-air talk to avoid the campaign spiralling into complete disaster”, amid talk of a club in crisis.
The team host Bournemouth on Saturday and if they to lose to the south-coast club, the pressure on Wenger may be too much even for his famously robust shoulders.
According to The Sun, “the majority of their top stars [are] wanting to quit the club”, and with morale at rock bottom, there are fears they face defeat to Bournemouth.
Alexis Sanchez is said to be “furious” that he wasn't allowed to join Manchester City on deadline day, while Shkodran Mustafi is reported to be unhappy about the vetoing of his proposed loan move to Inter Milan.
The Daily Telegraph claims that Arsenal hope to reopen talks with Sanchez about an extension to his contract, which expires next June.
The same goes for Mesut Ozil, says the paper. It claims Wenger wants to tie down the nucleus of his squad to new deals before Christmas, with Aaron Ramsey, Petr Cech, Danny Welbeck, Nacho Monreal and Theo Walcott among those who will be invited to prolong deals that expire in 2019.
Thomas Lemar opted against joining a club in crisis
Such is the standing of Arsenal these days that even a bid of €100million (£92m) failed to persuade Thomas Lemar to leave Monaco for the Emirates.
Goal.com reports that Arsene Wenger tried to prise the 21-year-old midfielder to the Premier League in a deal that would have seen Alexis Sanchez head north to Manchester City.
But while the Sky Blues were ready to meet Arsenal's £60m asking price for the Chilean frontman, the move collapsed when Lemar opted against joining a club in crisis.
"He decided to stay at Monaco," Wenger admitted to French outlet Telefoot at the weekend. "Did we make a €100m offer? Yes. Are we going to make another offer? Yes."
Lemar, who showed what Arsenal missed out on when he scored a superb goal on Thursday in France's 4-0 thrashing of Holland, apparently wanted to join Liverpool.
The Sunday Times says that the young playmaker is "more interested in going to Liverpool next summer" and that's why he turned down Arsenal's overtures and will continue to do so.
Meanwhile the Daily Mirror is one of several papers to report that Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane knocked back the chance to sign Sanchez from Arsenal on deadline day.
Citing "sensational reports from Spain", the Mirror claims that Real were offered the 28-year-old frontman for £69m despite the fact Manchester City were in talks with the Gunners about a move to the Etihad.
Zidane decided Sanchez would add little to his squad and politely rejected the proposition, although Spanish outlet Don Balon says he could make a move for the South American next summer when he becomes a free agent.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain move could spark mass exodus
The word used by The Sun to describe the situation at the Emirates is "crisis".
According to the paper there could be a "mass exodus" today as players look for a way out of a club going nowhere but downhill.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is bound for Anfield while the paper says that Alexis Sanchez is expected to complete his move to Manchester City despite interest from neighbours United.
City officials have flown to Chile, where Sanchez is on international duty, to wrap up the move and he could be joined in a flight towards the exit by Granit Xhaka and Shkodran Mustafi, both of whom have exasperated Arsene Wenger with their performances.
As for who the Gunners gaffer might try and buy today, the Sun namechecks Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez, Nice's £40million-rated midfielder Jean Michael Seri and West Brom defender Jonny Evans.
Oxlade-Chamberlain's departure to Liverpool was confirmed last night with The Guardian one of several outlets to report that the 24-year-old has passed a medical at Anfield and will move north in a deal worth £35m plus £5m in add-ons.
The Ox, who made 198 appearances for the Gunners after arriving at the Emirates for £12m from Southampton in 2011, turned down the chance to join Chelsea and opted instead for Merseyside.
According to the Guardian Arsenal "initially refused to hold talks with Liverpool" over Oxlade-Chamberlain, due to the ongoing ill-feeling caused by the Luis Suarez saga of four years ago, but good business sense prevailed in the end with Arsenal deciding to sit down with Liverpool rather than risk losing the winger for free at the end of the season.
It says much about the Ox's opinion of the Gunners that, according to BBC Sport, he rejected Arsenal's offer of £180,000 a week to pen a five-year contract with Liverpool worth £120,000 a week.
Another Gunner who is set to go is Lucas Perez with The Sun reporting that the unwanted Spanish sharpshooter is "edging closer to ending his Arsenal nightmare".
Since arriving from Deportivo La Coruna in a £17m move 12 months ago he's been unfathomably overlooked by Wenger and not surprisingly Perez wants out.
Linked to Newcastle earlier in the summer, the forward is now close to sealing a deal to return to Deportivo. The Sun reports that Arsenal, who been demanding £13million, "will now accept a loan move with a reduced fee to get him off their books".
That suits Deportivo who will offer £4m for their former player with the option of a future permanent transfer if all parties agree in May.
Arsenal transfer news: Chelsea 'agree fee' for Oxlade-Chamberlain
The Ox has deserted the sinking ship. That is the consensus among the British media with outlets reporting that Chelsea have "agreed a fee" with Arsenal for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Both agree, however, that the Ox, who is in the final 12 months of his contract, had been offered "new and improved terms to commit his future to Arsenal" but last week informed Arsene Wenger that he no longer wanted to be part of the club.
Given the mediocrity that has gripped the Gunners in the last few years it's hard not to sympathise with the 24-year-old England winger, and according to Sky Sports "large parts of a medical could be carried out at England's training centre".
That's where Oxlade-Chamberlain is this week as he prepares for England's qualifier against Malta on Friday, and it's expected that an official announcement will be forthcoming from the Blues in the next 48 hours.
Liverpool have been tailing the Gunner in recent weeks but the Guardian says that Oxlade-Chamberlain’s preference is "to remain in the capital with Chelsea".
It seems that Antonio Conte has been attracted by the versatility of the Ox, who will challenge Victor Moses's position at right wing-back and also offer options in midfield for the Chelsea manager.
The Guardian adds that England manager Gareth Southgate will allow Oxlade-Chamberlain "special leave" to complete his move before joining the rest of the squad for the match against Malta.
Meanwhile the Daily Star, in a valiant attempt to lift the Arsenal faithful out of what must feel like perpetual misery, claims that the Gunners haven't given up the ghost on Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema.
Apparently Real coach Zinedine Zidane is chasing Juventus forward Paulo Dybala having missed out on Kylian Mbappe (now with PSG), and consequently he's ready to listen to offers for the Frenchman.
The problem for the Gunners is that Liverpool are also interested in Benzema and if he's seen highlights of Sunday's match there's only one club he'll want to join. And it's not the shipwreck that is Arsenal.
Arsenal transfer news: Gunners join race to sign Virgil van Dijk
Arsenal are said to be "closing in on Southampton star Virgil van Dijk" with The Sun claiming that officials from the north London club have met the Dutch defender's representatives for talks about a possible move to the Emirates.
That the 26-year-old wants to leave St Mary's is not in question, van Dijk having handed in a transfer request earlier in the month. But hitherto it's been Liverpool and Chelsea leading the chase for the tough-tackling centre-back.
But given their poor start to the season, leaking four goals in two league games, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is desperate to bolster his defence before the transfer window slams shut on Thursday.
Apparently Arsenal contacted the Dutch international's agents "in order to push forward a deal", aware that in recent days Chelsea have been heavily linked with him.
Southampton have said all along that they would prefer not to sell their talismanic defender, but with van Dijk determined to leave the Sun says that the Saints will let him go for no less than £50million to secure the Dutchman’s signature.
The arrival at St Mary's this week of defender Wesley Hoedt from Lazio is seen as a strong indicator that they are resigned to losing van Dijk and will try and spark a bidding war in the coming days.
Elsewhere Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce has admitted to Talksport that he's interested in signing unwanted Gunner Jack Wilshere.
Rumours emerged earlier in the week suggesting Arsenal were ready to offload the former England midfielder to Villa, although it was claimed the player himself wasn't too keen on a move to a Championship side. But with game time looking severely restricted at the Emirates this season, it might be a sensible career move for Wilshere, whose fall from grace has been spectacular in the past year.
Asked by Talkspot about the rumour, Bruce told the broadcaster: "Hey, who wouldn't want Jack Wilshere? But I don't know whether we're capable of landing him and let's not forget he’s only 25."
It's believed Arsenal would prefer to sell the playmaker but they might be prepared to loan him to Villa for the rest of the season if terms can be agreed.
The Daily Mirror says that Wenger is "prepared to listen to offers" between now and the end of the transfer window on Thursday as he looks to trim his squad.
The Gunners gaffer needs to reduce his squad from its current number of 28 to 25 to comply with Premier League rules and according to the Mirror Wilshere is "a prime candidate" to be discarded.
Arsenal transfer news: Wenger hopeful Ozil will sign new deal
If Alexis Sanchez is on everyone's radar right now, his Arsenal teammate Mesut Ozil has dropped right off it and that, claims the Daily Express, is why the German midfielder is edging towards accepting the Gunners new contract offer.
The paper says that Ozil "has been offered a mammoth £300,000-a-week deal" to replace the one that expires in June, despite the fact he rarely breaks into a sweat - let alone a jog - as he strolls around the Emirates.
But for some reason Arsene Wenger believes he's the linchpin of the Arsenal side and the Gunners gaffer is hopeful he'll agree to extend his stay in north London.
That might be because he's resigned to losing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, tipped to join Chelsea, although The Sun reckons that Wenger will have one last try to tempt the Ox to pen a new deal by offering the 24-year-old a £100,000-a-week contract".
But with Liverpool ready to rival any Chelsea offer, the Sun says it's almost certain Oxlade-Chamberlain will seek a new challenge elsewhere.
Meanwhile the Daily Express claims that Everton "could scupper Deportivo La Coruna’s transfer plans" with a late bid for Lucas Perez.
It's expected that the Spanish sharpshooter will leave the Emirates in the next week but while the smart money had been on a return to his former club in La Liga, the Express says the Toffees are now sweet on the 28-year-old.
Manager Ronald Koeman has drawn a blank so far in his search for another frontman to work alongside Wayne Rooney, and having failed to lure Gunner Olivier Giroud to Goodison Park he's set to have a go at landing Perez.
Everton lost out last year to Arsenal in a bid to sign the striker but the Express says they are "hopeful of completing a £14million deal" before August 31.
Arsenal transfer news: Oxlade-Chamberlain 'rejects' contract
So it's official, then, or sort of. The news in The Sun and several other newspapers is that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has told Arsenal he has no wish to extend his stay at the Emirates.
Apparently the 24-year-old England international "has rejected Arsene Wenger's £125,000-a-week offer and told him money is not his main motivation".
Rather the Ox feels that he, and by extension Arsenal, are stagnating and he needs a fresh challenge to reinvigorate his career as he approaches what should be his peak years.
Having seen how Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere have faded into rank mediocrity at the Emirates in recent seasons, Oxlade Chamberlain doesn't want his career to go the same way and the winger has told Arsenal that "he is determined to leave".
Where might he go? The Sun says Chelsea are the favourites to sign the Ox, who has a year left on his current deal, and the Blues are ready to offer Arsenal £35m for the player.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has made the former Southampton star "one of his main targets" in the final week of the transfer window and apparently Oxlade-Chamberlain "is understood to be tempted by a switch across the capital".
The decision by the Ox to reject a new contract will send a shudder down the collective spine of Arsenal fans, who are bracing themselves for Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez to do likewise in the final season of their deals.
But wait! What's this from Sky Sports? According to the broadcaster the Ox has not broken any bad news to Wenger and will "hold talks over his future at Arsenal later this week".
In fact, Thursday is the day he's scheduled to sit down with chief executive Ivan Gazidis and Sky Sports does say that as far as it understands the winger is "no nearer agreeing a new deal". But whatever the accuracy of the rumours, it does seem that the future of Oxlade-Chamberlain will be decided by the end of the week.
Arsenal transfer news: Inter Milan in pole position to sign Mustafi
The future of Shkodran Mustafi is the subject of speculation in the Daily Star with the paper claiming that the German defender "could be off after failing to bond with team-mates".
Apparently the 25-year-old hasn't found the chemistry to his liking within the Gunners dressing room and a move could be on the cards in the next nine days. Inter Milan are in the pole position to land Mustafi, says the Star, provided the Italian club are willing to meet Arsenal's £35m asking price.
That's what the north London club paid Valencia last summer for Mustafi, who had a mixed campaign in his first season at the Emirates.
He made his first start of this season in Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Stoke City and the Star says that while Arsenal are willing to sell the German, the "transfer will be dependent on a replacement being lined up first".
Meanwhile, Jack Wilshere looks to have signed his Arsenal death warrant by getting himself sent off on Monday night while playing for the Under-23s. Reduced to turning out for the junior Gunners these days, the England international had been expected to lead by example against Manchester City.
But if Arsene Wenger had hoped to see a new and more mature Wilshere, he was sadly disappointed by the antics of the 25-year-old. Incensed by a reckless challenge from Matt Smith, Wilshere floored the Sky Blue and was shown a red card. So was City's Tyreke Wilson and the pair appeared to clash in the tunnel as they walked towards their dressing rooms.
Although The Sun says Wilshere won't banned for any senior games, his sending off is only likely to strengthen Wenger's determination to offload him before the end of the transfer window.
Another Gunner whose future could be decided this week is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Linked with Chelsea this month, the England winger is in the final year of his contract at Arsenal and the Daily Express says that the club will "hold crunch talks" with the Ox this week.
The paper says that Arsenal are willing to offer him a new and improved four-year contract but that might not be enough to entice him to say if the Blues make Oxlade-Chamberlain an irresistible offer.
Arsenal transfer news: Wenger fighting to keep hold of Sanchez
With a little over a week remaining in the summer transfer market, there is much speculation about Manchester City making one final move to prise Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal.
According to the Daily Mirror, the Sky Blues are "ready to offer a staggering £70 million" to land the Chilean striker, who missed Saturday's hopeless 1-0 defeat to Stoke because of an injury.
The Mirror says that Pep Guardiola will pursue Sanchez "right until the 11pm deadline on August 31", quietly confident that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will eventually sell because he won't want to see him leave on a free at the end of this season.
For the time being Wenger is still trying to "tempt him into signing a new £300,000-a-week deal", but if The Sun is correct that won't be enough to ward off City. The paper says that the Sky Blues "are drawing up an eye-watering deal worth £400,000-a-week deal for Sanchez".
Describing the plan to entice the South American to the Etihad as "meticulous", the paper claims that the offer of £21million-a-year would turn the 28-year-old into the Premier League's "highest-paid player on a weekly basic of £325,000 plus £75,000 image rights". Paul Pogba earns a modest £280,000 a week at Manchester United, and Guardiola wants to send a clear message to his neighbours that when it comes to spending crazy amounts of cash City are top of the table.
It's claimed by the Sun that City’s Director of Football, Txiki Begiristain, has been tasked with securing Sanchez's signature in the coming days and he "will offer him a choice of exclusive rented accommodation in the city and on the outskirts".
Meanwhile, a report in goal.com suggests that Arsenal have resolved the situation concerning Jack Wilshire, who's been unwanted at the Emirates for the last 12 months. Loaned out to Bournemouth last season, the 25-year-old midfielder no longer has a future at the club and apparently he could soon be on his way to AC Milan. Italian paper Corriere dello Sport says an agreement could be reached shortly even though Wilshire is said to be reluctant to leave the Premier League.
Arsenal transfer news: Walcott and Giroud to go?
Arsene Wenger is ready to take an axe to his underperforming squad, says the Daily Star, with the paper claiming a raft of Gunners are about to be given the chop at the Emirates.
First to go are the forward duo Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud, with "West Ham set to splash £50m" for the pair.
Giroud has long been linked with a move from the Emirates after being relegated to the bench last season, but the Star says that Wenger has tired of Walcott and his "inconsistent seasons with the Gunners".
The Hammers were first linked with Giroud last month but the Star claims they're ready to double up and take Walcott in a £50m swoop.
That kind of money would nearly cover the £57m that Lyon are demanding for their star striker Alexandre Lacazette, who is believed to be angling for a move to north London.
Meanwhile, the Star claims that "other players on the way out" are left-back Kieran Gibbs and French midfielder Francis Coquelin, neither of whom have fulfilled their youthful potential.
Not so for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, however, with a new deal for the England midfielder "close to being finalised" in the face of interest from Chelsea and Liverpool, although the London Evening Standard has a more restrained take on the situation. According to the paper, negotiations over a new £100,000-a-week deal are progressing slowly with the Ox keen to obtain "assurances over his first-team role at Arsenal before deciding whether to stay at the club".
The Sun says that another Gunner soon to be gone is central defender Laurent Koscielny. The Frenchman is being chased by Manchester City, Marseille and AC Milan and, although Wenger is reluctant to sell one of his few consistent performers in recent seasons, a "mega-bid of £30m-plus" could weaken his resolve.
Arsenal transfer news: Alexis Sanchez to Man City is 'a done deal'
It's not a question of "if" but "when" Alexis Sanchez quits Arsenal for Manchester City, according to the gossip in most British papers.
According to The Sun the Chilean frontman has "finalised" a deal with the Sky Blues with reporters in his homeland leaking the news in the wake of Chile's 1-1 draw with Russia over the weekend.
The Daily Star says that City manager Pep Guardiola has fought off competition from Bayern Munich and Chelsea to land the 28-year-old South American and in doing so Sanchez will become "the highest-paid player in their history". Guardiola knows Sanchez from their time together and Barcelona and apparently that was the clinching factor in his decision to sign for the Citizens. There's also the money, with the Star claiming that Sanchez will earn £275,000-a-week at The Etihad.
Metro reports that the Gunners will receive £50m from City in return for Sanchez, although the paper says that Arsene Wenger hasn't entirely given up hope of persuading his star striker to remain at the Emirates. The Frenchman hopes that by making some big-name signings in the coming weeks - such as Lyon forward Alexandre Lacazette - he will convince Sanchez to sign an extension. But Metro alleges that Sanchez has lost faith in "the club's ability to compete for the league title".
And there's more alarming news for the Arsenal faithful in the Daily Express with their report that Liverpool are "ready to make a last-ditch attempt" to lure Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from north London. Reds manager Jurgen Klopp is expected to make a £40m bid for the England international this month in the hope of persuading the Gunners to part with the Ox, who is rumoured to be tiring of spending so many matches on the bench.
Meanwhile ESPN seem to give credence to the rumours of Sanchez's departure with their report that Arsenal are poised to table a £50m bid for unwanted Real Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez. The Colombian has been linked with Liverpool and Manchester United but apparently the Gunners will lose no time in spending the money made on Sanchez to bring Rodriguez to the Emirates.
Finally, Goal.com says that Laurent Koscielny has refused to rule out a move to Marseille amid growing speculation that the French central defender wants out of the Emirates. In conversation with Telefoot, Koscielny was asked about the Marseille gossip. "I have always said that I was a Marseille fan when I was younger," he said. "When a mythical club like Marseille contact you, it is good. But will I sign for them? I have no idea."
Koscielny's comments might then explain why, according to the Daily Mirror, Arsenal are going head to head with Chelsea for the services of Borussia Dortmund's Sokratis Papastathopoulos after news emerged that the Greek defender wanted a fresh challenge for next season.