Footy Extras

Arsenal in talks to agree deal for 22-year-old Bundesliga star in January

Arsenal have supposedly joined the race to secure services of Eintracht Frankfurt and Denmark midfielder Jesper Lindstrom.

The 22-year-old playmaker rose through the youth ranks at Brondby before signing for Frankfurt back in 2021, and he won the Europa League title in his first campaign with Die Adler.

Lindstrom ended his first year at the Deutsche Bank Park with scoring five goals and providing nine assists from 39 games in all competitions, including an assist against La Liga giants Barcelona in the Europa League.

The Denmark international proceeded to play 70 minutes against Scottish giants, Rangers in the final, and he has started the 2022-23 campaign by founding back of the net three times from 10 games, including the winner against Marseille in the Champions League.

Lindstrom is under contract at Frankfurt until the end of the 2025-26 campaign, however, multiple top teams across Europe are reportedly queuing up to sign him.

According to Italian outlet Calciomercato, the Gunners are among the teams interested in a deal for Lindstrom, however, the North London giants are facing stiff competition from four other teams.

Premier League rivals Manchester City are also reported to be keeping tabs on the Dane, as are Serie A trio AC Milan, Juventus and Roma.

Arsenal defensive rock refused to join Serie A giants in the summer

Arsenal centre-back Gabriel insists he remains fully committed to Mikel Arteta’s side, however, admits it was rewarding to have been rumoured with prestigious teams over the summer, including the likes of Juventus and Barcelona.

The Brazil international joined the North London giants, from Lille two years ago and has established himself as a cornerstone of Mikel Arteta’s team.

Gabriel’s form last term in particular attracted the attention of several European heavyweights, however, despite the lack of Champions League football currently on offer at the Emirates Stadium, the 24-year-old stays fully committed to his manager’s rebuilding project.

‘It’s always nice to get that recognition but I’m really focused on Arsenal,’ he told Sky Sports.

‘I am very happy here. I’ve got a good relationship with my team-mates and I am fully committed to the project.

‘I am convinced that, with the project we have, we can achieve a lot.’

The Gunners campaign got off to a more than encouraging start last Friday when Gabriel, alongside the returning William Saliba who made a belated and encouraging debut, helped ensure a clean sheet in the 2-0 victory at Crystal Palace.

Saliba has had to wait three years to make his competitive bow for the North London giants having been loaned out on three separate occasions following a £27m move from Saint Etienne in the summer of 2019.

The wait looks to have been well worth it, but, and such was his form at Selhurst Park, allied to those in pre-season, that it looks as though he will be a permanent fixture in the side over the coming weeks.

‘I have been here for two years now, so I do have experience that I can use to help him,’ said Gabriel of his role in helping Saliba adjust to English football.

‘But at the same time, he can help me. He has a lot of quality and a lot of physical strength out on the pitch.

‘We have similar qualities. I think we complement each other well.’

Former Arsenal manager regrets of failing to sign Ronaldo

Former Arsenal co-owner and vice-chairman David Dein has claimed which player he most regrets missing out on.

The North London giants have infamously come close to adding many world-class players over the years, only to miss out for a variety of reasons, though how true some of the reported cases remain to be seen.

Notable names that supposedly nearly moved to Highbury and the Emirates over the last two decades include Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Gareth Bale, Yaya Toure, Ronaldinho, N’Golo Kante, Kylian Mbappe, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi.

However, there is one name that stands out the most, given not only the player’s quality and how close the Gunners came to adding them, but however, for the fact that they joined one of the team’s biggest rivals.

‘I was asked by our chief scout if I would go with him to see a young boy playing for the Portugal under-18s and he was only 16,’ Dein, who was at Arsenal from 1983 to 2007, told Sky Sports.

‘You can probably imagine who that young player was. It was Cristiano Ronaldo.

‘The following day Manchester United came and blew us out of the water but these things happen.’

The Red Devils signed Cristano Ronaldo from Sporting Lisbon in 2003 for £17million, the most expensive fee for a teenager at the time, after the attacker had starred against the Red Devils in a pre-season friendly.

The rest, as they say, is history, with Ronaldo going onto become one of the greatest footballers of all time, winning seven league titles, five Champions Leagues, the European Championship, and five Ballon d’Ors.

Legendary Arsenal head-coach Arsene Wenger agrees with Dein, having previously opened up about the agony of missing out on the Portuguese striker.

‘The obvious player [that we missed out on] that comes to mind is Ronaldo,’ Wenger told Arsenal’s official website back in 2018.

‘He was here with his mother, and we were very close. Then United came in and they had Carlos Queiroz at the time, who was their coach. United played against Sporting Lisbon and Ronaldo was outstanding and they signed him.

‘You could imagine at the time what it would have been like to have Thierry Henry and Ronaldo together. That would certainly have changed a little bit the history of my stay here as well.’

Brazilian attacker could leave Arsenal on loan in January

Arsenal head-coach Mikel Arteta is reportedly prepared to let Marquinhos depart from the club on loan in the winter transfer window.

The 19-year-old attacker has made an immediate impression since arriving from Sao Paulo for a £3m fee in the summer and has quickly been promoted to first-team action.

After founding back of the net three times in three matches for the Under-21s, Marquinhos joined the first team for training and has made the bench for the North London giants’ last three Premier League appearances.

The Brazil youth international was handed his first start for the team in Thursday’s Europa League match with FC Zurich, where he scored his first goal for the team in that 2-1 victory.

Marquinhos also provided the assist for Eddie Nketiah’s game-winning header at Kybunpark, and his arrival has helped ease the pressure on Bukayo Saka on the right-hand side.

The North London giants were initially expected to loan out Marquinhos upon signing him in the summer, however, the teenager played his way into Arteta’s plans after impressing at youth level.

However, The Sun reports that Arteta would still be keen to let Marquinhos depart from the club on loan midway through the campaign in order to enjoy regular game time elsewhere.

With Saka indispensable on the right-hand side of the attack in the English top-tier, Marquinhos would likely be restricted to starts in the Europa League and cup competitions this season.

Nevertheless, the report claims that Marquinhos has already won over the Gunners squad, and North London giants chiefs have already decided that the starlet will be a part of Arsenal’s long-term future.

Wenger reveals reason why he never considered to re-sign for Arsenal

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he has not returned to the Emirates at all since departing as Arsenal manager in 2018 because he does not want to be a distraction or a problem for those that have followed him.

The North London giants, legend was in charge of the team from 1996-2018, winning three Premier League trophies and seven FA Cups.

The Frenchman also helped build the Gunners into one of the biggest teams in Europe as they moved from Highbury to the Emirates, however, he has chosen not to even visit the stadium since departing his post as manager.

Wenger says it is loyalty to the North London giants that has seen him turn down a string of offers from other teams, while it is also out of love for the Gunners that he has not been back to the Emirates as he does not want to be a problem for the regimes that came after him.

‘No I haven’t been there. After 22 years I had maybe arrived at the end of the road and people wanted a change, which I can understand,’ said Wenger at the launch of former Arsenal co-owner David Dein’s new book.

‘I was always loyal to the club and turned many, many clubs down because I felt my life is definitely linked with the club.

‘The club has chosen a different direction, which I can understand completely and sometimes you need to change completely to have a new start. Me and my presence there could have been a problem.

‘I stayed away completely to give the club a chance to rebuild a new connection with a new manager. That’s why I never talked about Arsenal and never came back to Arsenal because I didn’t want to be a presence that was maybe not good for the club.’

Arsenal Wenger has been happy to comment on the current Gunners team now, though, and is very impressed with the side that Mikel Arteta has built.

‘I would say they are moving in the right direction. I honestly think there is no weak position in the team… they are young, promising players and they have bought well this year,’ he said.

‘There is no completely dominating team this season and Arsenal has a chance with the potential that is there.

‘We used to be in the top four and why not again? You cannot even rule out the fact that they can fight for the title and hopefully they can do it.’

27-year-old Portuguese free agent midfielder could make Arsenal move in January

Arsenal are reportedly interested in securing the services of Portuguese playmaker Xeka, who is a free agent after leaving Lille.

The 27-year-old initially arrived at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy on season-long loan deal in January 2017 before securing a permanent deal in the summer of that same year, having previously represented Braga and Valencia at youth level.

Xeka was a regular fixture in the Dogues midfield during his five-and-a-half year spell with the Ligue 1 side and made 33 appearances during their title-winning season in 2020-21.

The Portuguese – who also won the Trophee des Champions with Lille – totalled nine goals and seven assists in 144 games for Les Dogues, including four goals and one assist from 31 outings last term.

Despite allowing Renato Sanches to join Paris Saint-Germain, Lille also allowed Xeka to run down his contract, and the free agent is now on the lookout for a new club.

According to 90Min, Xeka’s representatives have offered Arsenal and numerous other clubs – including other teams in the Premier League – the chance to sign their client.

The report adds that the 27-year-old is yet to receive a concrete offer from the North London club, but he has nevertheless garnered “positive” responses from English teams.

Rennes are also understood to have been in talks over the signing of Xeka, who also earned Europa League and Champions League experience during his time at Lille.

Man City in advanced talks to sign 25-year-old Arsenal star

Premier League giants Manchester City are reportedly contemplating a summer move for Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney.

The Premier League defending champions remain in the market for a new defender after allowing Oleksandr Zinchenko to join the North London giants earlier in the window.

Zinchenko made his debut for Arsenal in the 2-0 win away at Crystal Palace last Friday, with Tierney replacing the Ukraine international for the final seven minutes of the contest at Selhurst Park.

The 25-year-old defender underwent knee surgery in April which ruled him out of the final 10 Premier League appearances of last campaign, however, he still managed to feature 25 times across all competitions for Arteta’s side in the 2020-21 season.

According to The Telegraph, the Citizens could turn their attention to Scotland international Tierney, who has established himself as a proven Premier League player since his arrival from Celtic in 2019.

It is believed that the Gunners have no plans to let Tierney depart the Emirates Stadium this summer, however, should Zinchenko make the left-back spot his own, the 25-year-old’s game time in North London could be limited.

Meanwhile, the Citizens are currently finalising a deal for Anderlecht defender Sergio Gomez after the Citizens reached an agreement with the Belgian outfit on Wednesday to secure the services of the 21-year-old for a fee in excess of €10m (£8.5m).

Arsenal forward emerged as shock transfer target for Italian giants

AC Milan have reportedly identified Arsenal winger Gabriel Martinelli as a possible replacement for Rafael Leao.

The Milan player scored 14 goals and provided 12 assists in 42 appearances last term, while he has found the net in one of his club’s opening four league games this season.

Leao’s form caught the attention of Chelsea, who failed with an €80m (£69m) bid to sign the Portugal international late in the transfer window.

Although the 23-year-old remains with the club, the Serie A champions are mindful that he could still leave in future transfer windows.

According to Calcio Mercato Web, Milan are already considering Arsenal’s Martinelli as a potential replacement for Leao, who has a €150m (£129.2m) release clause.

The report indicates that with two years left on his Arsenal deal, which also includes an option for another year, Martinelli would cost between €40m (£34.7m) and €50m (£43.4m).

Martinelli has started all five of Arsenal’s Premier League games this season, scoring three goals to help his side maintain their 100% record.

Arsenal considering move Spanish No.3 full-back

Arsenal and Newcastle United are reportedly ready to battle one another for the services of Benfica defender Alex Grimaldo in January.

The 26-year-old star has entered the final year of his deal with the Portuguese giants, who were expected to sanction a cut-price sale in the summer transfer window.

However, Grimaldo has stayed on the books at Benfica, who are at risk of losing the Spanish defender on a free transfer at the end of the campaign.

Grimaldo will be free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with foreign teams from January, or alternatively, interested parties could try to strike a deal for a nominal fee over the winter.

The Gunners were linked with a move for Grimaldo in the summer before moving for Ukrainian left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko, however, TuttoJuve reports that the North London giants still hold an interest in the Spaniard.

Mikel Arteta currently has Tierney and Zinchenko as his left-back options, with  Tavares joining Marseille on a season-long loan, however, Grimaldo’s versatility could appeal to his compatriot.

The 26-year-old defender is capable of featuring further up the field on the left-hand side and has even deputised in central midfield – an area where the Gunners are short – on a handful of occasions.

However, should the North London giants want to win the race for Grimaldo’s signature, the report adds that they will have to fend off interest from Newcastle and Juventus in January.

Grimaldo left Barcelona’s youth setup in January 2016 to join Benfica, where he has scored 20 goals and provided 52 assists in 259 games across all tournaments.

Arsenal turned down chance to sign former Inter Milan attacker last month

Arsenal rejected the chance to secure services of Mauro Icardi when the Ligue 1 giants, Paris Saint-Germain forward was offered to them this summer, according to the reports.

Signing a No.9 was top of the priority list for Mikel Arteta after the exits of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The North London giants, landed primary target Gabriel Jesus from Man City as the two teams agreed a transfer worth £45m.

Arteta worked with Gabriel Jesus at the Etihad Stadium, and the forward has hit the ground running in pre-season for the North London giants.

However, the north London team were offered the chance to secure the services of another centre-forward earlier in the summer – PSG’s Icardi.

The 29-year-old striker first joined the Ligue 1 champions on loan from Serie A giants, Inter Milan in 2019 before the move was made permanent in 2020.

Icardi has struggled for regular starts in a side that boasts superstars Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Lionel Messi.

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano claims that the north London giants decided not to pursue the Argentine as they were focused on landing Gabriel Jesus.

‘Arsenal have had many opportunities that they have turned down, but this happens in all the top clubs every day,’ Romano wrote in his column for Caught Offside.

‘For example, Mauro Icardi was an option offered to the club in recent months and it was decided not to proceed because they were looking for a different striker, Edu has always had Gabriel Jesus in mind as a priority.

‘Sometimes the refusal is for technical reasons, other times for economic reasons.’