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Arsenal ready to leave Mkhitaryan at home when they travel to Baku for Europa League final

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Arsenal ready to leave Armenian Henrikh Mkhitaryan at home when they travel to Azerbaijan for Europa League final against Chelsea

  • Arsenal resigned to Mkhitaryan being unable to play in the Europa League final 
  • The Armenian has missed trips to Azerbaijan in the past due to political tensions
  • Assurances over the security of the midfielder were sought with UEFA last week

Arsenal are resigned to Henrikh Mkhitaryan being unable to play in the Europa League final.

The Gunners continued their preparations on Thursday for the clash with London rivals Chelsea in Azerbaijan on May 29.

But they face the prospect of leaving the Armenian midfielder at home when they travel to Baku for the final, according to the Guardian.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan all smiles in training but he faces the disappointment of missing final

Henrikh Mkhitaryan all smiles in training but he faces the disappointment of missing final

Arsenal are resigned to Henrikh Mkhitaryan being unable to play in the Europa League final

Arsenal are resigned to Henrikh Mkhitaryan being unable to play in the Europa League final

Arsenal are resigned to Henrikh Mkhitaryan being unable to play in the Europa League final 

Mkhitaryan would be required to apply to the Azerbaijani government for a permit to make the trip to Baku.

The two countries have had no diplomatic relations since the Nagorno-Karabakh War, which ended in 1994.

Assurances over Mkhitaryan’s security were sought with UEFA last week, because of the ongoing political tensions.

Eddie Nketaih, Lucas Torreira and Shkodran Mustafi were in high spirits during training

Eddie Nketaih, Lucas Torreira and Shkodran Mustafi were in high spirits during training

Eddie Nketaih, Lucas Torreira and Shkodran Mustafi were in high spirits during training

Arsenal boss Unai Emery talks to midfielder Matteo Guendouzi during training on Thursday

Arsenal boss Unai Emery talks to midfielder Matteo Guendouzi during training on Thursday

Arsenal boss Unai Emery talks to midfielder Matteo Guendouzi during training on Thursday

Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny has a shot on goal during training at London Colney

Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny has a shot on goal during training at London Colney

Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny has a shot on goal during training at London Colney

Arsenal are expected to make a decision early next week, but they are not optimistic about the 30-year-old being able to make the trip. 

The midfielder missed the trip to face Qarabag in Baku earlier this season because of fears for his safety amid ongoing political tension between his native Armenia and host nation Azerbaijan.

In 2015, Mkhitaryan did not travel to Azerbaijan to face Gabala while with Borussia Dortmund despite being told by UEFA that he would get a visa.

There would be considerable safety risks if Mkhitaryan were to go to Baku given his standing as one of the Armenia’s most high-profile figures and the historical bad blood between the two nations. 

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was fully focused during the training session

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was fully focused during the training session

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was fully focused during the training session

Goalkeeper Petr Cech is set to play his last game in the Europa League final before retirement

Goalkeeper Petr Cech is set to play his last game in the Europa League final before retirement

Goalkeeper Petr Cech is set to play his last game in the Europa League final before retirement

 

 

 



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Arsenal defender lifts lid on David Luiz partnership and makes bizarre Liverpool statement

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Brazil international Luiz joined Arsenal on transfer deadline day from Chelsea for a fee of £8million.

The veteran defender missed the north Londoners’ opening game of the season – a 1-0 win away at Newcastle – but made his debut last Saturday against Burnley.

Luiz played alongside Sokratis on his Gunners bow, though they were unable to keep a clean against the Clarets.

And Greece international Sokratis is hoping to form a similar partnership with the 32-year-old to the one he had with Mats Hummels at Borussia Dortmund.

“I have known him for a lot of years,” Sokratis said of Luiz. “He also speaks some Greek and is a very good guy. I am happy also that we took a player like him, with experience.

“When I was in Dortmund I played with Hummels, who has the same style as David. It was also a very good partnership and it is very good (now with Luiz).

“It was his first game, it is important that we won and we can go from here.”

Luiz and Sokratis will face the toughest test of their season so far on Saturday evening when Arsenal travel to Anfield to take on Liverpool.

Arsenal will then face their bitter rivals Tottenham the following Sunday in the first north London derby of the season.

Sokratis is looking forward to this weekend’s clash with the Reds, who he believes will pose less of a physical threat to the Gunners than Burnley and could therefore make for a “more easy” opponent.

He said: “It was important because the other team played very good – not very good football but they play this style of game where every time they like to fight for second balls.

“It was good, it was a hard game and an important three points. It is good because we go to the derbies with six points. It (playing Liverpool) is a different game. Maybe it is more easy, because you don’t have to fight a lot – but they also play football. If they are on good day and you are having a bad day, it is hard.”

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Solskjaer coy on Sanchez's future as Manchester United flop closes in on loan move to Inter

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‘Let’s see what happens in the coming weeks’: Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer coy on Alexis Sanchez’s future as Old Trafford flop closes in on loan move to Inter Milan

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted Alexis Sanchez could leave Manchester United in the coming weeks, with Inter Milan among the clubs showing interest in the forward.

Having failed to get anywhere near his best since joining from Arsenal in January 2018, the United manager appeared to end any talk of the Chilean leaving during Friday’s press conference.

Solskjaer spoke about his belief that Sanchez would come good at United – but three days on the Norwegian opened the door to the Premier League‘s highest-paid player making an exit. 

Manchester United are open to letting forward Alexis Sanchez leave the club

Manchester United are open to letting forward Alexis Sanchez leave the club

Asked about Sanchez’s future after Monday’s 1-1 draw at Wolves, Solskjaer said: “Well, there’s still a couple of weeks left of the transfer window and there is a chance… some clubs have shown interest in Alexis, so we’ll see what happens.

“Can’t update you more than that.”  

Inter Milan expect to have a firm idea of whether a deal to sign Sanchez can be struck to sign over the next two days.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted Sanchez could leave before the transfer deadline

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted Sanchez could leave before the transfer deadline

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted Sanchez could leave before the transfer deadline

Manchester United are open to letting the Chilean leave Old Trafford before the European transfer deadline on September 2.

Sportsmail understands Sanchez wants a move to Italy and Inter are in the process of putting together a financial package.

The forward – who is close to new Inter signing Romelu Lukaku – earns a basic wage of £300,000 a week, with £100,000 worth of image rights on top. Inter would need United to subsidise part of his salary. 

 

 



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Transfer news: Premier League trio in hunt for Rennes wonderkid Eduardo Camavinga

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Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham in hunt for 16-year-old Rennes wonderkid Eduardo Camavinga after he starred in win over PSG

  • Eduardo Camavinga helped Rennes beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 in Ligue 1 clash 
  • The 16-year-old is being chased by a number of top Premier League clubs
  • Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham all had scouts at Roazhon Park

Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham are hot on the trail of Rennes’ teenage wonder-kid Eduardo Camavinga.

The Premier League trio all had scouts at Roazhon Park to watch the 16 year-old midfielder steal the show and inspire Rennes to a shock 2-1 win over French giants Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday night.

Tottenham were keen to sign Camavinga during his breakthrough campaign last season when he made his first seven senior appearances before being handed three more starts so far this year.

Eduardo Camavinga starred in Rennes' shock victory against Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday

Eduardo Camavinga starred in Rennes’ shock victory against Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday

But his list of admirers, which also includes Barcelona and Real Madrid, is growing and interest is mounting in the Angola-born left footer after he made Europe sit up and take note with his PSG performance.

Camavinga stunned observers with the maturity of his midfield display, despite his tender years and against the much more experienced opponents such as Marco Verratti and Marquinhos.

Camavinga more than held his own, catching the eye with his range of passing – he completed all but one of his 41 passes – dribbling and close control, bravery on the ball and also by setting up Rennes’ winning goal.

The talented 16-year-old has attracted interest from a number of Premier League clubs

The talented 16-year-old has attracted interest from a number of Premier League clubs

The talented 16-year-old has attracted interest from a number of Premier League clubs

EDUARDO CAMAVINGA

Date of birth: 10 November 2002

Place of birth: Miconje, Angola

Position: Midfielder

Youth teams: 

AGL-Drapeu Fougeres

Rennes youth academy

Senior appearances/goals: 

Rennes II – 13/4

Rennes – 10

Did you know?

Camavinga is the first player born after January 1, 2002 to start a game in the top five European leagues

Rennes boss Julien Stephan said: ‘He played a match, indeed, like the whole team – very interesting.

‘We are talking to him. He is someone who is also very well-constructed intellectually, who knows how to question himself, who knows how to ask the right questions.

‘Many of the pros have taken him under their wing, because he is very respectful in the dressing room and very attentive to their advice. He blossomed with us this summer.’ 

Camavinga has primarily been used as a defensive midfielder during his Rennes senior career but his technical and physical attributes have earned him comparisons with Manchester United and France star Paul Pogba.

He is in the process of gaining French nationality, having moved to the country when he was six, and his excited youth coaches believe he has what it takes to one day be even more influential in the national team’s midfield than Pogba and N’Golo Kante.

And in a connection to another of France’s senior stars, Camavinga has the same agent – Moussa Sissoko – as Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele.

Demebele also started his career at Rennes, coming through the ranks before moving to Borussia Dortmund in 2016 and then Barcelona in a deal worth up to £135.5m a year later.



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