Footy Extras

Chelsea No.5 star emerges as shock transfer target for Arsenal

Arsenal are targeting Chelsea star Jorginho as a potential alternative to Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey, according to reports.

Partey has been one of the Gunners’ top targets for the summer window but the club have been unable to reach an agreement with Los Rojiblancos.

Arsenal have already offered Matteo Guendouzi plus €25m (£22.7m) for Partey but Atletico have rejected that offer and will only sell if the midfielder’s €50 million (£45.5m) release clause is met.

According to Sky Sports, Mikel Arteta’s side are now looking at alternatives and the Italo-Brazilian is on the Gunners’ shortlist.

The 28-year-old was linked with a transfer away from Stamford Bridge at the end of last campaign after he was left on the bench by Frank Lampard for four consecutive matches.

But the Italy international has started both of Chelsea’s PL fixtures this season and scored a penalty in the 3-1 win against Brighton last week.

Jorginho then missed his spot-kick on Sunday as the Blues were beaten 2-0 by Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.

The club have plenty of competition for places in midfield but Frank Lampard is expected to trim his roster before the window closes on October 5.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ross Barkley have attracted interest from West Ham and Aston Villa, who are interested in loan deals.

Arsenal, meantime, are also targeting Lyon’s Houssem Aouar and have also offered Matteo to the French club in exchange for the midfielder.

But Les Gones’ management rejected the proposal and are demanding €60 million (£54.7m) for the 22-year-old.

Man Utd to keep English attacker after receiving no offers

Manchester United misfit Jesse Lingard is set to stay at the club with the club planning on keeping the star beyond the end of the transfer window.

The Englishman’s time at the club appeared over after a disastrous season last term, where he managed just three goals across all competitions.

Lingard came through the club’s academy and is a popular member of the dressing room but off-field problems contributed to a poor campaign.

The 27-year-old was left out of United’s 18-man roster to face Crystal Palace last Saturday and he’s been linked with a transfer to Tottenham, which would see him reunite with former head coach Jose Mourinho.

However, though United were once ready to listen to offers for Lingard, it appears that the ship has sailed on selling the midfielder with the Daily Mail reporting that he is set to stay at the club.

It could be that the board are attempting to save face after failing to attract a suitable proposal for Lingard, despite interest from the likes of AC Milan in the latest months.

United had been willing to part with the player, particularly as the club need to raise funds to have any chance of signing £108million-rated Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho.

United remain confident of signing at least one new player in the remaining time of the window, though a move for a left-back appears more likely than the arrival of a right wide attacker.

Porto ace Alex Telles is interested in a move to the club but United are haggling with the Portuguese side over their £23 million asking price.

Chelsea ready to axe attacking midfielder with PL rivals on alert

Chelsea are open to proposals for Ross Barkley with Aston Villa interested in signing the midfielder, according to reports.

Ross has come off the bench in both of Chelsea’s PL games this season but was given 90 minutes in the 6-0 win against Barnsley in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday.

With Ruben Loftus-Cheek and N’Golo Kante back to full fitness, Ross faces increased competition for a place in Frank Lampard’s midfield.

According to a report from The Telegraph, Aston Villa manager Dean Smith wants to sign a new midfielder and is considering a swoop for the 26-year-old.

The report claims that the Blues are open to loaning out Barkley but are demanding that his £120,000 per week salary is covered in full.

However, The Athletic claim that Chelsea are open to offloading Ross on a permanent basis if they receive an acceptable sum.

Barkley was signed from Everton in a £15m deal back in 2018 and still has three years remaining on his contract with Chelsea.

Loftus-Cheek has also drawn interest from Aston Villa but Premier League rules would only allow the side to sign one player on loan from Chelsea.

The 24-year-old midfielder struggled to make an impact in the 3-1 win against Brighton last week and has failed to make Chelsea’s roster for the games against Liverpool and Barnsley.

‘I keep getting asked about the size of the squad,’ Frank said after Chelsea’s 6-0 win on Wednesday.

‘There might be movement, we know that, but nothing is concrete so don’t read too much into those selections at the minute.

‘It will have to be things which are right for the club and individuals and me and in terms of what happens in the next couple of weeks.’

Arsenal star pinpoints manager and fans as main factors behind contract extension

Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang says manager Mikel Arteta and the passion of the club’s fans convinced him to pen a new long-term deal at the Emirates.

The 31-year-old star finally put an end to the speculation about his future earlier this month by signing a fresh three-year deal in north London, worth a reported £300,000 per week.

Arsenal’s chances of keeping Aubameyang appeared bleak before Mikel took over and the Gabon international was already exploring his variants with 18 months left on his previous deal at the club.

However, Mikel has transformed Arsenal’s fortunes and Aubameyang has been a crucial part of that with the Spaniard building his attacking philosophy around the ex-Dortmund striker.

Aubameyang admits Mikel played a key part in convincing him to commit to the club, while the forward says the ‘love’ from supporters also proved vital.

‘Two things persuaded me to stay,’ said Pierre-Emerick.

‘The first thing was Mikel Arteta, because since he came in he brings a lot of positivity & a new philosophy for us.

I think that was important because it matched my game & I feel that I can improve with him.

‘I think this was the key factor & as well, the love that I receive from the fans & the whole club.

Everyone is treating me very, very good, so I feel at home & that’s why I’m staying’.

Mikel made keeping the striker one of his main priorities when he replaced his compatriot Unai Emery as manager last December but few felt he’d succeed.

However, after impressive victories versus Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United in the run-in last campaign, Arsenal finished the term as FA Cup winners and followed it up with a win against Jurgen Klopp’s side in the Community Shield.

Man Utd dealt blow in chase for ball-playing Bundesliga defender

Dayot Upamecano has poured cold water on speculations that he could be set for a transfer to Manchester United and insists he remains fully ‘focused’ on playing for RB Leipzig for the time being.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to bring in a centre-back with pace to make up for Harry Maguire’s lack of mobility and has allegedly identified Upamecano as his priority target in this position.

The 21-year-old ace is regarded as one of the finest young centre-halves in European football and his performances in last season’s UCL, most notably his outstanding display versus Atletico Madrid, made sides across the continent sit up and take notice.

And despite Dayot putting pen to paper on a three-year extension with Die Roten Bullen in July, the Frenchman’s camp were given permission to talk to rival clubs over a possible departure from the Bundesliga side.

However, in a TV interview with Telefoot’s Culture Foot programme this week, Dayot appeared to commit his short-term future to Leipzig in spite of strong interest from Europe’s elite.

‘For the moment I am with Leipzig but it is true that I was able to discuss with certain clubs,’ Upamecano said.

‘As I said, for now I am focused on Leipzig and I will continue to play for Leipzig and then we’ll see. You never know what can happen in a football season.’

In other news, Porto and Brazil defender Alex Telles is pushing for a move to Manchester United, according to the latest reports.

Liverpool still looking at deal for €125,000-a-week Napoli man

Liverpool will reportedly attempt to hijack Manchester City’s bid to land  Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli this transfer window and will ask Sadio Mane to persuade the central defender to sign for the Premier League champions, according to reports in Le Parisien.

Jurgen Klopp believes an agreement with Napoli could be reached before the transfer market closes on October 5, but is mindful that both Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are interested in the 29-year-old.

However, the Anfield outfit boss knows the Senegal connection between Sadio and the centre-back could help them pip their rivals to the star’s signature.

It is thought a transfer fee north of £60 million would be rehired to prise him from the Italians.

He is hot property this summer, having transformed into one of the continent’s elite defenders since joining Napoli from Genk six summers ago.

The Senegal international has been praised for his reading of the game, aerial prowess and leadership skills, while his pace and strength are perfectly suited to the fast-paced PL.

Klopp knows a defence marshalled by Virgil van Dijk and Koulibaly would take his team to even greater heights.

Joel Matip and Joe Gomez have both performed well beside Jurgen’s first choice Dutch defender, but neither has managed to make himself undroppable in the deputy role.

He has already brought in Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich for £29 million and Diogo Jota from Wolves for £40 million.

Having upgraded his midfield and attack, the German tactician now wants to improve his defence.