Arsenal veteran defender must take pay cut to stay at the Emirates

Arsenal will reportedly ask David Luiz to take a pay cut if he wants to extend his stay at the north London club into a third campaign.

The experienced Brazilian defender remains an influential figure in the Gunners dressing room and, despite the abundance of variants available to Mikel Arteta, had been one of the first names on his team sheet before Luiz suffered a potentially season-ending knee injury last week.

The club remain hopeful that the 33-year-old will play again this term but should he want to remain beyond the end of the term he will have to pen a contract on reduced terms, according to The Sun.

The former Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea star came close to walking away from Arsenal 12 months ago but, having been given the unequivocal backing of his boss, signed a year-long extension.

Speaking about David’s situation, Mikel insisted he was capable of playing well into his late thirties, as long as the Brazilian maintains the level of desire he has shown over the course of a testing season.

The Spaniard said: ‘David has played an insane amount of games in the last two months and at his age it shows a lot of credit and desire from his side.

‘His performances have been really strong and you can have some really good example of defenders that have played until 37 or 38.

‘It depends first of all on being injury-free, and then on the ambition, eagerness and professionalism of the player.

‘If you have those ingredients as a defender, I think you can get away with a little bit more.’

Arsenal express interest in highly-rated Liga NOS attacker

Arsenal are reportedly the latest team linked with a swoop for Sporting attacker Pedro Goncalves.

He has also been named as a transfer target for Manchester United as well as Premier League champions Liverpool.

Goncalves has a £53 million exit clause in the contract he signed with the Lions last year upon arriving from Famalicao, whom Pedro left Wolves for.

The eight-cap Portugal international arrived at the Premier League club from Spanish side Valencia and spent two seasons at Molineux.

Part of his brief stay saw the player win the Premier League 2 Division 2 title with Wolves’ academy, making only one appearance for the first-team in a Carabao Cup game back in 2018.

Five goals in 33 matches for Famalicao in the Portuguese top tier saw Pedro earn a move to Sporting, where Goncalves has flourished with 15 goals and four assists to his name for the Liga NOS giants.

And now, Portuguese media outlet A Bola reports are stating that Arsenal are ‘enthusiastically’ following the progress of the technically gifted player.

It will be interesting to see what happens to him, who has earned comparisons to Red Devils star Bruno Fernandes.

Fernandes left Sporting for the Old Trafford side a little over a year ago for around £55 million having starred in the Portuguese top flight.

Boss supports Arsenal idea of bringing €50m right-back to England

Mikel Arteta welcomes Arsenal’s push to land Inter right-back Achraf Hakimi, according to the latest reports in Spain.

The north Londoners are expected to be in the market for a new right-back in the summer, with reports claiming that the Spanish tactician will allow his compatriot Hector Bellerin to leave at the end of the season.

Achraf joined Inter from Real Madrid last year in a €40 million (£36.3m) deal and the Morocco defender has played a key role for Antonio Conte’s side this campaign.

But according to AS, the Nerazzurri are open to offers for the 22-year-old star and would be willing to sell if their €50 million (£42.7m) asking price is met.

The report adds that Arsenal are now preparing a ‘firm offer’ for Achraf at the end of the season, while Arteta ‘welcomes’ the club’s desire to bring in the defender.

Zinedine Zidane’s side have a first-refusal option if the Italian giants decide to sell this summer but it’s said that the Spanish champions do not intend to re-sign Hakimi.

Meantime, Arsenal defender David Luiz has allegedly been told that he must take a pay cut if he is to be given a new deal at the Emirates Stadium.