10.40pm Arsenal news LIVE: Pogba a Gunners fan, Coutinho offered for £70m or loan, Aubameyang Real Madrid approach – The Sun
ARSENAL are preparing for a return to Premier League action, but Mikel Arteta admits they have a number of transfer plans to choose from depending on how the coronavirus crisis turns out.
Meanwhile captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has reportedly received an approach from Real Madrid while Dayot Upamecano's barber has dropped a bit hint about the Frenchman's future.
Get all the latest Gunners news and gossip here…
IN THE NICH OF TIME
Charlie Nicholas has stated MIkel Arteta must strengthen defensively in the next transfer window.
He said: “It [the areas needed to strengthen] has been the same for the last five or six seasons now – it's always defensive.
“Up here in Scotland, there's been a report that they might be interested in Odsonne Edouard from Celtic and the scenario is that Arsenal don't really need any more strikers at the moment.
“When the season is finalised, however that may be, I think Arteta has identified quite a number of his own players who he would quite happily try and move on.
“But the defensive area is a part of Arsenal that has been damaged for a long number of years. It has to be fixed and those are the crucial areas for an Arsenal rebuild.
“We know Arteta has improved the team, but they must get much, much better defensively. A lot of the targets I'm reading about in Europe especially are defensive-minded players. That's a positive for me and that's where the target must lie.”
MADE TO PAY
Arsenal chief Raul Sanllehi has warned the squad they face more wage cuts if the Premier League season is voided.
First team players yesterday voted against a 12.5 per cent pay cut across the next year between April 2020 and March 2021.
According to football.london, Sanllehi further suggested that the club would not be able to offer them improved deals in the future if they did not agree to initial deductions.
Like the rest of the Premier League teams, the Gunners will be forced to stump up their share in a huge £750million bill to broadcasters if the campaign is voided.
And the Arsenal players were reportedly furious at being told cuts are likely to be more than the initial offer on the table should the season be scrapped.
Premier League chiefs still don’t know when the season can re-commence following the global spread of coronavirus.
Arsenal are currently fronting an enormous wage bill that runs to £230million each year.
DON'T WANT DEM
Arsenal look set to pass on the chance to sign Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele in the summer, according to reports.
The Catalan club would be willing to accept around £52million for the winger.
But according to Marca, the Gunners – or anyone else for that matter – are not willing to risk that amount of cash for the 22-year-old.
Dembele signed for Barca in 2017 in a deal worth up to £138m from Borussia Dortmund.
But in truth things have not worked out for the Frenchman at the Nou Camp, especially due to a number of injury lay-offs.
He has now picked up seven muscular injuries since arriving at Barcelona, with the latest one expected to keep him out for around six months from February to August.
MARK MY WORDS
Former Arsenal midfielder Mark Randall has claimed Arsene Wenger never said goodbye to him after left the club in 2011.
Now playing for Northern Irish side Larne, the 30-year-old said: “I was coming to the end of my contract, so I knew what was going to happen.
“But I was still gutted when Arsenal told me I would not be getting a new deal.
“I spoke to one of the directors, but I didn’t hear from Arsene Wenger at all, which disappointed me. After all my time there, I thought he would have said something to me.
“It is one of those things and you have to move on.”
Former Arsenal striker Charlie Nicholas has told his former employers to give Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang whatever he wants as reports link him with a switch away.
The Sky Sports pundit said: “Wholeheartedly as an Arsenal man, I would give Aubameyang the contract that he desires – you put it on for three or four years, if he wants to stay.
“You give him what he wants because in a year's time if you sell him, you get your value for money back if it's the case that he wants to leave. I just don't see the point of running down contracts.
“If Barcelona or Real Madrid come in, I'll hold my hands up and say I'm not surprised he would want to go there. If there was anything else in England, I'd be surprised. I don't expect Liverpool or Man City to try and get him so it would probably be to the European stage he would go to.
“At his age, if you can get good money for him and he doesn't want to stay at Arsenal, there's no problem, I don't have a concern with that.
“I think we've got people who can come in and we will miss his goals, but I can accept it if Aubameyang wants to go to Barcelona, Real Madrid or even Juventus… But he is Arsenal's superstar and I think he enjoys that.”
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