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Arsenal transfer rumours 11Dec18 – Pepe, Calero, Aouar and the ridiculous Ozil story

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As the New Year fast approaches the Arsenal transfer rumours are starting to cme in thick and fast, and with the amount around today I’m all set to do a roundup….

According to the Metro, Emery is keen to bring in a replacement for Rob Holding this January. They reported: Arsenal are targeting a move for Real Valladolid centre-back Fernando Calero, according to reports in Spain. Unai Emery has struggled for options in central defence due to injuries and now faces the remainder of the season without Rob Holding, who ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the 2-2 draw with Manchester United last Wednesday. Laurent Koscielny is closing in on a return but the Gunners are in the market for a new long-term replacement for the 33-year-old. And according to Cadena SER, Calero is on Arsenal’s radar.

Calero is only 23 so could be a good investment at the reported price of 10m GBP, but do we really need any more centre-backs? I don’t think so….

Moving on, Arsenal have been linked with Nicholas Pepe for some time, and InsideFootball claim that Lille have decided that they want 60m euros for the classy winger, but they also reckon that there will be competition from many top clubs so it may not be easy. But the fact is that I think we all agree that Arsenal could do with a bonafide winger, but would we pay 60million?

Next up we have the young Lyon star Houssem Aouar, who the Metro think is the perfect replacement for Aaron Ramsey. They report: Arsenal are keen on signing Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar and manager Unai Emery sees the young Frenchman as an ideal replacement for Aaron Ramsey. The 20-year-old has already scored five goals in Ligue 1 and laid on three assists in the Champions League this season, emerging as one of the most promising you talents in European football.

They say that France Football think that it is Arsenal who are particularly keen, but again do we really need any more midfielders at the moment? I don’t think we would even miss Ramsey to be honest!

I have noticed a few readers talking about the possibility of Arsenal swapping Mesut Ozil for Alexis Sanchez, which must rank as one of the most ridiculous rumours I’ve ever heard, but according to the Express, the German is now odds on to move to the Red Devils. They are reporting: Arsenal boss Unai Emery has been willing to drop Ozil at times this season and the German playmaker has not started any of the Gunners’ last five games.

Ozil is currently earning £350,000 a week at Arsenal and bookmakers Coral reckon they may try to bump off the playmaker in January.

Manchester United – who have been linked with Mesut Ozil for weeks – are as narrow as 1/2 with the bookmakers to secure a transfer.

But now exactly the same paper is saying that PSG are now favourites ahead of United to sign Ozil. I wonder who they will make favourites tomorrow. The crazy thing is; Why does anyone even think that Arsenal are going to sell him? The world has truly gone mad!

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Arsenal ace Lucas Torreira drops transfer revelation that could WORRY Gunners fans

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Torreira joined the Gunners from Sampdoria lsat summer and impressed in his debut season at the Emirates.

The Uruguayan made 34 Premier League appearances as the Gunners finished fifth, scoring twice.

But he has now thrown his Arsenal future into doubt by admitting he wants to play in South America.

“One day, I want to play for Boca and wear their shirt,” Torreira said.

“It’s a dream I have had since I was a little kid. It’s no secret, my family and friends know that.

“I was with several friends [at the Copa Libertadores final in Madrid]. I did not think I was going to suffer so much, I lived it with a lot of nerves.

“It was not as we wanted, but reaching the final is not for anyone. It was a nice show because I had never had the chance to see Boca.”

Arsenal boss Unai Emery is expected to have a busy summer, though his budget may be limited.

First, the Europa League final against Chelsea on May 29 is on Emery’s mind though.

Though the Spaniard recently admitted he needs money to improve his Arsenal squad.

He said: ”I think we can improve first, by spending money to achieve players.

“In the past the club have done great work in watching players, finding and signing young players and developing our players in the academy.

“I have big respect for our work, for our players in the academy.

“I want to develop the players here—giving them progress to achieve something at a big club like we are.

“We can also achieve [buy] some players who are in other teams, who can come here and give us this performance—like [Virgil] Van Dijk with Liverpool.”

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Arsenal facing transfer PROBLEM because of Man Utd, Liverpool and Nicolas Pepe

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Arsenal boss Unai Emery is looking to the transfer window to strengthen his squad, regardless of whether or not they win the Europa League.

But Manchester United and Liverpool are looking to do the same, with both clubs interested in securing Pepe’s signature.

The Lille star, who is also in the Gunners’ sights, has enjoyed a stunning campaign with the Ligue 1 giants.

The 23-year-old has bagged an impressive 20 goals from 36 league outings, clocking up 11 assists along the way.

Express Sport understands Arsenal are interested in securing Lorient hitman Alexis Claude-Maurice.

But Lille want him too as a replacement for United and Liverpool target Pepe.

Should one of Arsenal’s domestic rivals swoop for the star, then Lille may go in for Claude-Maurice.

And that would give the Gunners a problem, with Emery eager to sign Claude-Maurice as well this summer.

Liverpool have been strongly linked with a move to Pepe.

But United, according to journalist Duncan Castles, have enquired about the player Arsenal are also tracking.

“One of the clubs interested in Pepe [that] have expressed an interest to Lille is Manchester United,” he told The Transfer Window podcast.

“I’m told that last week a phone call went in to one of the Lille directors to enquire about the cost of a transfer for Pepe, who’s been outstanding in the French division this year, scoring goals and creating goals with a great deal of pace, actually a very good fit to what Manchester United would need on the right wing, to ask whether he would be available for sale.

“So Manchester United have shown their hand there. They’ve not gone any further.

“I’m told there’s been no bid and there’s been no further contact with Lille since that enquiry.

“But, again, the market’s beginning to move.

“Clubs like Lille who have players like Pepe who they know they will sell this summer, they very openly advertised and set a fee for him, would like to have as many of the big clubs bidding for him as possible, are waiting for one of these big clubs to make a move and inject money into the market so they can spend and recruit elsewhere, and those moves have implications for everyone else.”

Arsenal have also been linked with Kostas Manolas, Wilfried Zaha and Samuel Umtiti.

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Arsenal star hopes to play last Gunners game in Europa League final vs Chelsea

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Danny Welbeck could be available to play for Arsenal in the Europa League final after returning to training.

The 28-year-old has not played after breaking his ankle in November.

The Injury was so severe it required him to go under the knife twice as part of his recovery.

However, following Welbeck’s return to full training Arsenal are now planning to take him to Baku to face Chelsea, reports the Daily Mail.

Although the player will travel with the squad it is not known what involvement, if any, the England international will have during the final on May 29.

It is expected to be a farewell game for Welbeck, after Arsenal boss Unai Emery confirmed the player will be leaving the club when his contract expires in the summer.

Following Arsenal’s 1-1 draw with Brighton in their final Premier League game, Emery confirmed Welbeck’s departure.

“I spoke to the club with this situation and the decision is he is going to leave,” Emery said at the time.

Despite Welbeck missing half of the season through injury, he could get an opportunity to help the club qualify for the Champions League next year as Arsenal might not be taking Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Azerbaijan.

The club have made it clear they want Mkhitaryan to travel, but the 30-year-old Armenian might be caught up in political tensions if he travels to the game.

That is because there is currently a dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh territory.

Arsenal are seeking guarantees from UEFA about the situation with Mkhitaryan, but the club are reputedly growing concerned about the situation.

The Gunners have already played in Azerbaijan in the Europa League this season, when they took on Qarabag FK in the group stages of the tournament.

Mkhitaryan did not travel to Baku to play but the Gunners did win 3-0 on the night.

However, it might not just be Mkhitaryan not making the journey to Azerbaijan, as thousands of fans from both clubs also face the prospect of missing out.

Both Arsenal and Chelsea have only been allocated 6,000 tickets each from the 68,700 seats at the Olympic Stadium in Baku, a decision which has infuriated fans.

And those who are lucky enough to get a ticket then face the logistical nightmare of completing a 2,500 mile round trip to attend the game.

Uefa have apologised to both clubs over the travel chaos fans face but admit they hadn’t expected an all-English final.

“It goes without saying that an all-English final played by two London teams was not a very predictable event at the time of the appointment,” Uefa competitions director Giorgio Marchetti said.

“There is little doubt that this has added significant difficulties to the event logistics.

“We are really sorry for the problems that your (and Chelsea’s) fans are encountering trying to organise their journey to Baku.

“Our experts are keenly working on this matter with a view to help find cheaper solutions for travelling fans. We would welcome a joint effort with your club in this respect.”

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