ARSENAL are back in training as the Premier League's return draws closer.
And we have all the latest transfer news on Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele and Bukayo Saka.
Get the latest news, gossip and updates from the Emirates here…
Barcelona will reportedly listen to loan offers for winger Ousmane Dembele, putting the likes of Arsenal and Juventus on red alert.
The Gunners are said to be in competition with the Old Lady in the race to sign the French winger at the end of the season with the Blaugrana looking to ship him off.
According to the Daily Mail, Barcelona are prepared to let Dembele leave on an initial loan deal as they look to get him off their wage bill.
They state they don't want his value to carry on dropping, and hope a loan spell will see his price increase at which point they can flog him.
Arsenal have received a big boost with Barcelona reportedly willing to let Ousmane Dembele leave on loan last season.
The Daily Mail report that Barca are very keen to get the former Dortmund man off their wage bill and would be willing to accept an initial loan deal.
It had already been reported that the Catalans had dropped their asking price to £37m for the winger.
Two conditions will have to be agreed before Arsenal can make their move for Philippe Coutinho.
According to Caught Offside, the Gunners only want to sign him on loan.
Barcelona want around £70million for the former Liverpool star and Arsenal are not prepared to splash the cash.
Mikel Arteta's cash-strapped side also want Barcelona to contribute towards his £250,000-per-week wages.
Arsenal's squad were back at the training ground today – in small groups, of course.
Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette are among the stars that were spotted at London Colney.
WORK OF ART
Mikel Arteta was barking orders from behind his facemask at Arsenal training today.
THREE & EASY
The Premier League have finally given the go head for 3pm games to shown live on TV – with some matches even set to be aired for FREE.
Top-flight bosses have dropped its opposition to the game being shown to compensate for them being behind closed doors.
The long-standing blackout was lifted last month, but Prem bosses initially claimed they still wouldn't allow 3pm matches to be broadcast.
But now they have had a “change of heart”, according to The Times – with the previously blocked games now allowed to be shown.
There are 92 Premier League matches left to be played this season, with the restart pencilled in for June 12, although some fear it may be more like June 26.
Every match will be broadcast via some medium to make up for the fact fans are not allowed to watch live from inside the stadium.
GUNNER GET ONE
Bolstering Arsenal's defence is at the top of Mikel Arteta's to-do list.
The Gunners have been linked to a number of big names ahead of the summer transfer window.
Here's some of the most likely options…
PHIL US IN
The Gunners are set to thrash out a deal with Barcelona for Philippe Coutinho this week with the attacker Mikel Arteta's “dream” signing.
Bayern Munich have rejected the chance to turn the Nou Camp outcast's loan deal into a permanent arrangement.
According to Mundo Deportivo the Emirates camp are so desperate to land the midfield maestro that they have pressed for negotiations to start within “the next few days” to get a deal over the line.
Arteta reckons Coutinho will undergo a resurgence if he moves to the Emirates, and will “lead Arsenal to compete against both Liverpool and Manchester City”.
Barca are thought to be asking around £71million for the Brazil ace – which has put a spanner in the works for the cash strapped Gunners.
Mikel Arteta is reportedly prepared to listen to offers for three of his central defenders this summer.
David Ornstein of The Athletic revealed the Gunners will listen to bids for Rob Holding, Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi.
The Arsenal boss is planning to strengthen his defence this summer by bringing in some fresh faces.
Arteta has been linked to the likes of Dayot Upamecano, Samuel Umtiti and Jerome Boateng.
But first, he must get rid of the deadwood in his squad.
Manchester United reportedly rejected the chance to sign Thierry Henry before he joined Arsenal as Sir Alex Ferguson claimed “he's always f***ing injured”.
According to Old Trafford's former head of security Ned Kelly the Red Devils were the Frenchman's “first choice” ahead of the Gunners.
Kelly told beIN Sports: “In the tunnel after the game my phone goes, Eric's [Cantona] older brother Jean-Marie says, 'Ned, tell Alex [Ferguson] that Thierry Henry wants to come to the club',
“Now this was before he went to Arsenal, his first choice was Manchester United. So I go to the boss and say, 'boss, I've just had Jean-Marie Cantona on the phone, he had said Henry wants to come to the club'.
“He [Ferguson] says, 'no way, he's always f****** injured'. He went to Arsenal, the rest is history.”
MATT'S YOUR LOT
Jeremie Aliadiere has urged Matteo Guendouzi to grow up if he wants to progress with the Gunners.
He told Goal: “He's grown up as a player, he's matured massively as a player and every year he gets better.
“I think that's what he's missing and that's why he's not playing as much under Mikel [Arteta] because Mikel is not really up for that.”
He added: “You can be the best player, but if you don't have the right attitude and right mentality, that will cost your career. I don't care how good you are.”
'YOU'VE WON NOTHING'
Goalkeeping legend Jose Luis Chilavert has had a pop at Pablo Mari for saying that Argentine club Velez Sarsfield don't exist.
The unique goalscoring stopper, who bagged 67 career goals from free kicks and penalties, played for the Buenos Aires club for 10 years.
Velez are currently managed by former Manchester United defender Gabriel Heinze.
Mari suggested the club didn't exist, after he and Lucas Torreira were grilled in a 'what you know' Q&A with Arsenal TV.
Angry Chilavert tweeted: “Pablo Mari, the one that doesn’t exist is you.
“Velez Sarsfield are Club World Champions and champion of all international tournaments in South America. It shows that you haven’t won anything.”
SIGN DA TING
Norwich midfielder Charlie Gilmour has told Bukayo Saka to sign a new deal with Arsenal.
The versatile wide man, 18, has been tipped to sign a new deal with the Gunners amid interest from Liverpool.
After Saka posted a snap of himself as a youngster in Arsenal kit with the caption “Kid with a dream”, Gunners youth product Gilmour replied.
He left the comment: “Sign da ting fam.”
Real Madrid are set to swoop for Espanyol midfielder Marc Roca, a target for Mikel Arteta.
The 23-year-old has been increasingly impressive for the LaLiga side and would make a suitable addition to the Arsenal squad.
Dani Ceballos – who is also owned by Real – is set to leave the Emirates at the end of the season, suggesting that Zinedine Zidane’s squad could be overloaded with midfielders anyway.
That might mean that Casemeiro could leave Real to make way for Roca.
Cesc Fabregas admits he is still angry over Wayne Rooney's “dive” during Arsenal's famous 'Pizzagate' clash with Manchester United… sixteen years later.
The Red Devils ended the Gunners' 49 game unbeaten run after their incredible Invincibles season and the Spaniard has lifted the lid on the fiery match.
Fabregas said: “We were so disappointed, we were angry, we were upset for the way it went.
“Don’t get me wrong, it had to come to an end the Invincibles, the 49 games, and it can happen. It was at Old Trafford, against a great team, against a great Manchester United team.
“But I think it’s the way it happened. First of all, Gary Neville, what he did to [Jose] Antonio Reyes, mamma Mia!”
TURN OF FRASE
As reported below, Arsenal are reportedly in pole position to land Bournemouth ace Ryan Fraser this summer despite interest from rivals Tottenham.
The Cherries winger, 26, looks set to leave the South Coast for free when his contract expires at the end of the season.
And, according to the Daily Mail, the Gunners are “confident” of sealing a summer swoop for the Scottish international.
That is despite recent reports that Fraser would snub Mikel Arteta's side for neighbours Spurs… and a shot at the Champions League.
The former Aberdeen man signed for Bournemouth for less than £500,000 in January 2013, when they were in League One.
And he made his name in Eddie Howes' side last season, finding the net seven times and adding 14 assists – the second best tally in the Premier League.
GOOD MORNING, ARSENAL FANS
Arsenal are back in pole position for Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser – and still in the chase for Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot.
That's the verdict on the transfer speculation front overnight, with Spurs said to be keen on Scotland star Fraser and Manchester United interested in Frenchman Rabiot.
The Gunners seemed overwhelming favourites to sign Fraser – until recent reports suggested the 26-year-old had a preference for linking up with Jose Mourinho.
Now, though, the path once again seems clear for Mikel Arteta to make the pocket-sized dynamo one of his first signings.
As for the enigmatic Rabiot, he has struggled to maintain a regular place for the Serie A kings this season.
And the Gunners have been increasingly mentioned over a player who could cost around £27million.
Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo suggest Arsenal are also keen on ex-Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho – if they could tempt Barcelona into an initial loan deal.
Arteta might baulk at the £71.5m fee – so he would first want to make sure the Bayern Munich loanee rediscovers the scintillating form he has lost since departing the Premier League in January 2018.
Chelsea and even Liverpool are also reportedly monitoring the 27-year-old's situation.
Meanwhile, Arsenal legend Cesc Fabregas still feels angry over Wayne Rooney's “dive” during Arsenal's famous 'Pizzagate' clash in 2004 when Manchester United ended the Invincibles' 49-game unbeaten run.
Fabregas told ex-United defender Rio Ferdinand on FIVE’s new Locker Room YouTube series: “The emotion was that we lost against a great team, which can happen, but we didn’t feel we should have lost.
“We didn’t think it was the right time to lose our Invincible run.”
PLAY-DAY LOANS: EXPERT VIEW
As SunSport revealed some Prem clubs might consider payday-style loans, a financial expert involved in this area explains why the sport has arrived at such a situation.
The specialist said: “Football has lived way beyond its means for years and now they’ve run out of money.
“It’s like any other market in a downturn, so when you’re desperate for money you go to the people who have it and they dictate the terms.
“Firms are being asked for loans from clubs who don’t necessarily have the assets to command better rates.
“Liquidity in football clubs is very low and most of those looking for cash are asking for tide-over money of £30m-50m over six months.
“There’s no rule to say the lender can’t set whatever rate it likes if they know the client is desperate.”
Cash-strapped Premier League clubs are considering payday-style loans with huge interest rates to stay in business.
City investors are looking to cash in on the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic by charging 25 PER CENT on borrowings up to £100million.
At least four struggling Prem outfits are at the mercy of private equity or venture capitalist firms offering loans at rates massively above the Bank of England base rate of 0.1 per cent.
Lack of match-day revenue and uncertainty over how and when football will return have created a black hole in revenue for clubs.
And with games behind closed doors likely in the immediate future, clubs are unable to borrow cash against season ticket sales and normal game-day income.
They are also discouraged from using potential earnings from broadcast deals as collateral for loans.
Here is how the Arsenal team could be laid out in a 3-4-3 formation if they sign Icardi, Coutinho and Fofana.
What a side this would be!
BUK TO THE FUTURE
Bukayo Saka appears to have told Manchester United and Liverpool they must be kidding if they hope to sign him.
Arsenal have reportedly been struggling to reach an agreement with speedster Saka, 18, over extending his contract beyond 2021.
But the ex-Gunners schoolkid posted a cute picture of himself in his very earliest days with the Londoners – smiling serenely as he posed in a teamshot.
Saka's Instagram snap soon attracted tens of thousands of likes – with, inevitably, many fans urging him to pen a new deal.
FIXTURES AND FITTING
Most clubs are expected to back the Premier League proposals put forward in phase two – including for returning to action next month
And Sky Sports claim the end of the week could see top flight bosses put forward draft plans as virtually the last step before the season resumes amid the coronavirus crisis.
That could include a provisional fixture list, including the date when football will officially return.
June 19 is one date commonly mentioned. But some Premier League clubs want a further week to prepare.
PREM CLOSE TO AGREEING RETURN DATE
THE Premier League's eagerly-awaited return date could be decided this week.
And a blockbuster clash between Manchester United and Spurs could be the first game back after the coronavirus pandemic.
Players are already preparing to step up training to include close-contact, with coaches reportedly being brought in to monitor contact.
Stars and managers can discuss any remaining concerns over phase two of Project Restart when they hold separate video calls with the Premier League on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, clubs can then vote on whether to move to the next stage of training, which could be brought in before the end of this week.
GUNNERS FLYIN' FOR RYAN
Arsenal are heading Spurs in the race to sign Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser, reports suggest.
The Scotland star is available for free when his contract runs out this summer.
And despite recent talk that the 26-year-old favoured Tottenham, the Daily Mail now say the Gunners are “confident” of signing Fraser.
He admitted he was flattered to be linked with an Emirates move last year, but also said it had affected his form.
And before the coronavirus pandemic halted football this season, he had managed just one just one goal and four assists.
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