Footy Extras

Arsenal great says £36.5m-rated outcast ‘deserves second opportunity’

Martin Keown is unsure if Arsenal star Matteo Guendouzi is good enough to play for the club, but insists that the talent deserves a shot at redemption.

The 21-year-old star has been exiled from the roster and reportedly forced to train alone after he grabbed forward Neal Maupay by the neck in the 2-1 loss to Brighton two weeks ago.

The highly-rated midfielder has consequently been linked with a transfer away from the Emirates, with teams such as Real Madrid and Barcelona rumoured to be monitoring his situation.

But, in spite of showing promising flashes during his first two years in north London, Gunners legend Keown is not convinced about his ability and believes the former Lorient ace will struggle to get back into Arteta’s side.

‘His biggest quality is his personality, I’m not sure he’s really good enough if I’m absolutely honest,’ Martin told talkSPORT.

‘I think if you do have misdemeanours and you play well on the pitch that seems to get you back in and that may be the problem for him.

‘It’s going to be difficult for the young man to get back in but everybody deserves a second opportunity, but it starts from the training pitch.

‘They may want to use him though in terms of selling players, we talk about the financial difficulties, probably Arsenal need to sell before they can buy in the summer.

‘It may be that he takes the opportunity to offload him in the summer but we’ll have to wait and see what Arteta intends to do.’

Daniel James representative pours cold water on talk of Man Utd exit

Daniel James’ entourage has ruled out the possibility of his client quitting Manchester United on loan, in spite of losing his place in the senior team in recent weeks.

The 22-year-old has made 26 PL starts in his first season with the club, but only one since the restart, in the first match back against Tottenham in June.

The Welshman netted three goals in his first four Premier League games but has not scored since, netting just once in the Europa League since September.

Mason Greenwood has taken Daniel’s place in the first team, but his entourage, Jonathan Barnett, is not concerned and says a lull in form was always likely in a young player’s first campaign in the top flight and Daniel will remain at United.

‘It’s very normal with a young player that he has a little dip in his form at the same time that the other guys have done extremely well, so he’ll have to wait his chance and when he gets it, he’ll take it,’ Jonathan told Stretty News

‘No [he won’t be leaving on loan]. He’s a major part of Man United’s team. I see him playing for Man United.’

He is level at the top of the club’s Premier League assist charts this term with six, alongside Marcus Rashford.

However, a return to the starting elven looks tricky given the form of Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial in the United front three.

He will have to remain patient for now, but the attacker is still in contention, along with Odion Ighalo, if Mason, Anthony or Marcus are rested, injured or suspended.

Chelsea make decision to meet £89m Kai Havertz asking price

Kai Havertz has asked to quit Bayer Leverkusen this summer with Chelsea prepared to pay the midfielder’s €100 million (£89.8m) asking price, according to the latest reports in Germany.

The 21-year-old has drawn interest from several clubs across the continent following his impressive performances in the Bundesliga.

Chelsea and Liverpool are both keen on the midfielder but the newly crowned Premier League champions have been put off by the Germans’ high valuation.

According to a report by a German publication Bild, the Blues’ are now leading the race to sign Kai as they are the only club who are currently in a position to meet Die Werkself’s asking price.

However, the Blues are looking to fund the deal by paying in instalments with €70 million (£62.9m) up front plus another €30m (£26.9m) in add-ons.

Havertz is understood to be interested in joining Chelsea on the condition that they secure a place in next season’s UCL.

As it stands, Frank Lampard’s side currently sit third in the PL following their 3-2 win over Crystal Palace on Tuesday.

Bild also claim that Real Madrid are very interested in Kai but the Spanish club cannot fund such an expensive transfer without offloading stars first.

Havertz, however, is not willing to wait another year and wants to depart Leverkusen this summer.

Bayern Munich are also keen admirers of the talent but the Bundesliga champions have already indicated that they are only keen on a deal next summer having already signed Leroy Sane from Manchester City.

Arsenal face strong Premier League competition in Unai Nunez chase

Arsenal will reportedly have to battle Everton and West Ham United for Athletic Bilbao defender Unai Nunez.

The 23-year-old star has fuelled speculation he is set to leave this summer by snubbing yet another offer.

AS states he has “declined to renew” due to making only 12 starts in the Spanish top-flight this term and now the Gunners and Hammers are leading the race for his services.

The Premier League pair are also joined by the Toffees, who are also weighing up whether to splash out the £27 million release fee that is inserted into Nunez’s existing deal.

However, it looks far from certain that the centre-half will be arriving in England. Serie A side AC Milan are also after the Spaniard.

And French club Monaco are plotting a swoop once the transfer market re-opens. The report also states Athletic Bilbao are yet to receive any firm offers for the star.

The defender has come through the youth ranks at the club and made his debut in the summer f 2017.

He’s good form led to international recognition last year when Unai received his first senior cap.

The star replaced Sergio Ramos in the 4-0 win against the Faroe Islands on September 8.

In spite of struggling for match action this term, Yeray Alvarez’s injury versus Real Madrid will offer Nunez an opportunity to start between now and the end of the campaing.

But it remains to be seen whether that will be enough to convince the star to pen a new contract as Unai enters the final 24 months of his current arrangement.

Man Utd No.2 could miss upcoming PL match but Solskjaer remains optimistic

Manchester United centre-back Victor Lindelof is set to miss the club’s match against Aston Villa on Thursday with a back injury.

The Sweden international was subbed at half-time in Saturday’s 5-2 win over Bournemouth after complaining about a sore back.

He has had persistent issues with his back during his time at Old Trafford and he carefully monitors the problem.

The defender has formed a good partnership with Harry Maguire this season but he could sit out Thursday’s clash, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed.

Asked if the club had received news on Lindelof’s injury, Ole said: ‘Not yet, no. It’s not too bad. He’ll play soon. I’m not sure if he’ll manage the Villa game, but he might do.‘

Ole had named the same line-up for three consecutive games but Eric Bailly could deputise if Victor misses the match.

United are looking to make it five victories on the bounce in all competitions as his side seek a place in the top four.

Villa have picked up just a point since the PL resumed but they put up a spirited display in a 2-0 defeat to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Manchester United allegedly intend to rival Liverpool for Wolverhampton Wanderers attacker Adama Traore should they miss out on No.1 target Jadon Sancho.

The club are expected to admit defeat in their long-running pursuit of Jadon as United are way off Borussia Dortmund’s nine-figure valuation.

According to transfer expert Duncan Castles, the Red Devils may now instead focus on landing speedy wideman Traore to bolster their attacking options for next campaign.

Liverpool have to act quickly to secure signature of tricky Spanish forward

Manchester City and Juventus have allegedly joined Liverpool in the transfer race to sign Wolverhampton Wanderers winger Adama Traore.

The Spaniard has been in great form for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side this season and is understood to be garnering interest from several big teams – with a recent report claiming that the Reds are weighing up an approach for Adama this summer.

Now, ESPN reports that Manchester City and Juventus are thinking about a swoop for the tricky winger, and Pep Guardiola is believed to be a keen admirer of Traore.

However, the report adds that Traore’s former club Barcelona are another side keeping tabs on developments as they attempt to lure the 24-year-old star back to Catalonia.

Wolves are said to be desperate to keep Traore on the books at Molineux in spite of reported interest from elsewhere, but the West Midlands club may be forced into a sale if they do not qualify for UCL football.

The former Barcelona man has registered six goals and 12 assists in all competitions for Wolves this season.

Meanwhile, Bayern Munich star Thiago Alcantara‘s potential move to the Anfield outfit looks to be off.

It had been reported recently that the 29-year-old midfielder had been in talks to join Liverpool.

However, The Liverpool Echo now states that the rumours have no substance and say that Alcantara won’t be joining the club this summer.

He has been with Munich since 2013 and won the Bundesliga title yet again just in June.

He is apparently looking for a fresh challenge but, if the Echo are right, then that challenge will not come at Liverpool.