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Arsenal ask Santi Cazorla for transfer advice on two La Liga targets

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Arsenal have made contact with former midfielder Santi Cazorla to ask for his advice on two of their transfer targets. The Gunners have been keeping an eye on Cazorla’s Villarreal team-mates Samuel Chukwueze and Pau Torres.

Cazorla made over 100 appearances during his six-year spell at the Emirates Stadium.

Persistent injuries plagued his time in north London but the 35-year-old is enjoying regular minutes since joining Villarreal in 2018.

The Yellow Submarines have a well-balanced squad and are eighth in the La Liga table – four points outside of the Champions League places.

Two of their best young players are 23-year-old Spanish defender Torres and 20-year-old Nigerian winger Chukwueze.

The pair have impressed so much that Arsenal have been considering making an approach.

Cazorla was asked by Spanish publication Marca if any English sides had made contact for transfer advice.

“Yes, friends of Arsenal especially,” the playmaker replied.

“They ask me about them and believe that tomorrow they can make the leap to the Premier.

“It is good that great teams are interested in young Villarreal players, but for now I tell them to leave them alone here. They have to take steps still.

“I will finish the season and see that the body asks me because every day I wake up the sensations are different.

“I always said that I was returning here to play at my best level and when I see that I am not at 80 per cent I will step aside and give way to young people.

“To this day I am happy, but the age shows, the injury is there and it costs more and more.

“I do not consider anything now, but it is clear that playing in Europe is a plus for any player. I will decide this summer.”

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Arsenal ready to pay £21m release clause amid Bukayo Saka talks but face Tottenham issue

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Arsenal are reportedly ready to trigger the release clause of Getafe full-back Marc Cucurella. The Gunners could be forced to sign a new left-sided player with Bukayo Saka refusing to commit to a new deal as of yet. That could still change though and Mikel Arteta is hopeful that the young prodigy will stay at the Emirates Stadium.

Nonetheless, plans are already being drawn up for the summer window when the club are expected to bring several new faces through the door.

According to Spanish outlet COPE, Arsenal are just one of a number of clubs willing to pay the £21million (€25m) release clause of Cucurella.

That could leave the decision in the hands of the 21-year-old, who is on loan from Barcelona but that Getafe will sign for £5m (€6m) by exercising an option in his loan deal.

Arsenal face firm competition though with Tottenham also amongst the clubs willing to prise the young Spaniard away from La Liga.

JUST IN: Man Utd handed Jadon Sancho transfer boost after Liverpool update emerges

Cucurella is a player that Arteta has followed closely since his first coaching job with Manchester City.

In 2017, the current Premier League champions were keen on bringing him to the Etihad Stadium, but a move failed to materialise.

Getafe have been the surprise package in this season’s La Liga and are currently just outside the top four in fifth place.

The Madrid-based side beat Ajax 2-0 in the first-leg of their Europa League Round of 32 clash on Thursday.

Cucurella has been one of their standout performers this season and Barcelona know even though they do not want to keep him they can turnover significant profit.

Arsenal are hoping to tie up Saka to a new deal amid interest from Liverpool, but the 18-year-old has already said he is leaving talks to his representatives.

Arteta is hopeful the situation will get resolved sooner rather than later: “That is something the club has to get sorted.

“My priority is that he continues to play like he is doing and he keeps developing. He is always asking the right questions.

“He is a very brave guy. Every time he gets into the final third, he is trying to cause problems for the opponent. He deserves these chances, he is doing very well and that’s why he is in the team.

“He’s great for the club. If we can get players from the academy and give them real chances even when we have other people fit, it shows we believe in them. He’s responded well.”

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Tottenham and Arsenal among host of European clubs interested in Marc Cucurella 

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Tottenham and Arsenal among host of European clubs interested in Barcelona full-back Marc Cucurella 

Tottenham and Arsenal are among a host of European clubs keeping tabs on Marc Cucurella.

The 21-year-old is currently on loan at Getafe from Barcelona and has impressed for La Liga’s fifth-place side. 

And according to Cadena Cope – via Football Espana – the two Premier League sides have the left back on their radar, as do Sevilla, Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach.  

Tottenham and Arsenal are among a host of clubs interested in signing Marc Cucurella

Tottenham and Arsenal are among a host of clubs interested in signing Marc Cucurella



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Where does Manchester United new boy Bruno Fernandes come? – Premier League POWER RANKINGS

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Bruno Fernandes makes the grade while Olivier Giroud’s heroics against Spurs earn him a spot… but is Mo Salah’s luck in after fluky goal in our Premier League POWER RANKINGS?

  • There is plenty of movement in Sportsmail’s latest Power Rankings this week 
  • Sadio Mane has gone up after his crucial goal in Liverpool’s win over West Ham  
  • Find out here who Sportsmail placed at the top of the latest Power Rankings 

Each week throughout the 2019-20 season, Sportsmail will bring you a Power Rankings table, listing the top 10 hottest players in the Premier League

As the stories of the season unravel, the rankings will provide a form guide with players moving in and out of the top 10 depending on both their performances in the previous fixtures and also in recent weeks.

So, who wins a place in the latest edition of our Power Rankings?

10. Diogo Jota (new entry)

When your team has Raul Jimenez, Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho in, it is easy to slip slightly under the radar.

But Diogo Jota has, on the sly, been very important to a decent run of form for Wolves.

At the weekend he struck twice as they downed Norwich. That result means that Nuno’s side are still just two points behind fifth place, which could end up being a Champions League spot this season.

Jota has contributed massively. He has hit 10 goals in his last 12 games for Wolves.

He has also, ludicrously, struck them across just four games in that spell, netting at least two goals in each — with two braces and two hat-tricks to his name.

Keep it up and it will ease some of the burden on the other big guns in the Wolves side. 

Diogo Jota hit two for Wolves as they overcame Norwich in a 3-0 victory at Molineux

Diogo Jota hit two for Wolves as they overcame Norwich in a 3-0 victory at Molineux

9. Dani Ceballos (down one)

Given the level of discipline and the demands Mikel Arteta has put on his players at Arsenal, the fact Dani Ceballos has been restored to the side and played two in a row says a lot about him.

He seemed like a complete outcast under his compatriot just a month ago but is now becoming a regular pick for the Arsenal manager.

Ceballos was not the most impressive player on the pitch against Everton but did have a decent game before being substituted off.

The 23-year-old has also been crucial to helping Mesut Ozil return to form. As Peter Crouch highlighted, he did the dirty work alongside Granit Xhaka to let the German prosper.

He now needs to keep making those appearances and establish himself in Arteta’s preferred line-up. 

Dani Ceballos is becoming a fixture in Mikel Arteta's midfield after a period on the sidelines

Dani Ceballos is becoming a fixture in Mikel Arteta's midfield after a period on the sidelines

Dani Ceballos is becoming a fixture in Mikel Arteta’s midfield after a period on the sidelines

8. Olivier Giroud (new entry)

It has been an exceptionally tough season for Olivier Giroud, who has found himself behind both Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi in the pecking order at Chelsea.

That seemed overly harsh when it came to Batshuayi, who has struggled to do much whenever he has played, and Giroud had a right to be frustrated.

He got the nod on Saturday as Spurs visited Stamford Bridge and proved a point to manager Frank Lampard in the process.

His hold-up play was excellent and helped those deeper then himself come into the game in attacking positions.

Giroud also got the opening goal for himself, a fine finish that sent Chelsea on their way to an important win. He has shown enough to deserve a place in the side while Abraham is out injured.

Olivier Giroud took advantage of being named in Chelsea's starting line-up by impressing

Olivier Giroud took advantage of being named in Chelsea's starting line-up by impressing

Olivier Giroud took advantage of being named in Chelsea’s starting line-up by impressing

7. Jordan Henderson (down six)

Jordan Henderson did not play for Liverpool against West Ham on Monday evening and only remains in the rankings because he was first in the last edition.

But it is worth saying that in his absence he managed to prove how important he is to the league leaders.

Jurgen Klopp’s side struggled to assert themselves in the usual way against struggling West Ham at Anfield.

Naby Keita, who filled in for him, did not look as useful in the same role and it tells you a lot about how Henderson has improved in recent years. He is now crucial to the team that is going to win the league. 

Jordan Henderson did not play as Liverpool beat West Ham and was notable by his absence

Jordan Henderson did not play as Liverpool beat West Ham and was notable by his absence

Jordan Henderson did not play as Liverpool beat West Ham and was notable by his absence

6. Bruno Fernandes (new entry)

It has not taken long for the comparisons to be made when it comes to Bruno Fernandes. Paul Scholes is one name that has been bandied about, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has also been hugely complimentary.

There is a reason why it has happened so quickly. Fernandes has made a huge impression at Manchester United since his January arrival, looking classy on the ball and able to create chances for his team-mates.

He also sent United on their way to victory on Sunday. They had looked poor before they won a penalty.

With the pressure on, Fernandes slotted the ball past Ben Foster in the Watford net and from that stage on they never looked back.

The Portuguese midfielder also provided an assist, which capped off an excellent day for him. 

Bruno Fernandes managed a goal and an assist as he helped Manchester United beat Watford

Bruno Fernandes managed a goal and an assist as he helped Manchester United beat Watford

Bruno Fernandes managed a goal and an assist as he helped Manchester United beat Watford

5. Roberto Firmino (down one)

It might have just been the way that West Ham played, but Roberto Firmino did not have the best of days against the Hammers on Monday night.

That is not to say that he was bad, just that he was less effective than usual in knitting together the dynamic front three.

Still, there’s a reason why he lasted the full 90 minutes. He is crucial to Liverpool’s system and kept going throughout.

He drops down just one place compared to last week’s ranking. 

Roberto Firmino was not bad against West Ham but did not shine compared to recent displays

Roberto Firmino was not bad against West Ham but did not shine compared to recent displays

Roberto Firmino was not bad against West Ham but did not shine compared to recent displays

4. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (new entry)

It is not often that a new entry storms up the charts like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has here, but then very few players are as crucial to a single win as he was to Arsenal’s victory over Everton.

While Eddie Nketiah got the opener, the rest was pure Aubameyang as he drove them to victory.

The first was a particular highlight and earned deserved comparisons to Thierry Henry. He came in from the left before latching onto a pass and slotting it past Jordan Pickford.

His second was also impressive, a lovely header past Pickford that sealed the win.

Arteta seems to be getting more out of him since moving him to the left side, so expect him to keep turning up in these rankings going forward. 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's first goal for Arsenal on Sunday was compared to Thierry Henry

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's first goal for Arsenal on Sunday was compared to Thierry Henry

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s first goal for Arsenal on Sunday was compared to Thierry Henry

3. Kevin De Bruyne (down one)

Kevin De Bruyne drops down in the rankings not because he had a bad weekend or anything of the sort.

Instead, it is just the fact he did not have an exceptional one as Manchester City managed to overcome Leicester with a single goal.

De Bruyne and City struggled to pick apart Leicester, who have been having a great season, although they did manage seven shots on target.

The eventual goal had nothing to do with De Bruyne, with City winning a penalty and Gabriel Jesus converting.

It might just be that he was saving his best for the game against Real Madrid on Wednesday. 

Kevin De Bruyne was on the pitch as Manchester City beat Leicester 1-0 on Saturday night

Kevin De Bruyne was on the pitch as Manchester City beat Leicester 1-0 on Saturday night

Kevin De Bruyne was on the pitch as Manchester City beat Leicester 1-0 on Saturday night

2. Sadio Mane (up five)

There has been plenty of debate over who Liverpool’s main man is these days, with Sadio Mane consistently staking a claim for that spot this season.

The truth is that both Mane and Mohamed Salah are crucial for how Liverpool play, which is reflected by how they perform when they are absent.

Mane had the crowning moment against West Ham on Monday night, though. They looked as though they might drop points for only the second time this campaign.

Then Mane intervened. He latched onto Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross to strike in the 81st minute.

He might also have had a second if it were not for moving into an offside position as the cross came in. It was a good day out for the forward.  

Sadio Mane hit the winning goal for Liverpool as they recovered against West Ham

Sadio Mane hit the winning goal for Liverpool as they recovered against West Ham

Sadio Mane hit the winning goal for Liverpool as they recovered against West Ham

1. Mohamed Salah (up two)

There was a touch of luck to Mohamed Salah’s goal against West Ham, to say the least. On an average day, Lukasz Fabianski saves that tame effort easily.

But Salah’s run for the goal was excellent, perfectly placing him for Andy Robertson’s drag back. His strike, while soft, was on target.

It was a crucial effort too. Liverpool are now eyeing up an unbeaten league season and it felt, at the stage just before they equalised, as if West Ham might have had their number.

Sure, it was fortunate, but Salah made his own luck. Sometimes, when you do the right thing often enough, it seems like a fluke.

There’s nothing fluky about Salah rising to the top of the charts this week, though.

Mohamed Salah scored the equalising goal for Liverpool against West Ham on Monday

Mohamed Salah scored the equalising goal for Liverpool against West Ham on Monday

Mohamed Salah scored the equalising goal for Liverpool against West Ham on Monday



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