7am Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Aubameyang future LATEST, Coutinho for Guendouzi SWAP, Willian LATEST, Balogun linked – The Sun
ARSENAL have won the FA Cup – and a path into Europe for next season.
Meanwhile the Gunners have expressed an interest in Jack Grealish while Mikel Arteta has reportedly demanded the board do whatever it takes to sign Philippe Coutinho.
Get all the latest news and transfer gossip from North London here…
MORNING, ARSENAL FANS
What a day yesterday was!
The Gunners came from behind at Wembley to beat Chelsea 2-1 in the FA Cup final.
The trophy is the first the North Londoners have won since Arsene Wenger retired.
And the jubilant scenes after the final whistle will have been more than welcome to all of the club’s fans.
But the joy after the game was tinged with caution after Aubameyang refused to commit his future to the Gunners.
The Gabonese has been heavily linked with a move away.
And he did nothing to quell those rumours.
Asked if he could tell fans anything about his future, the Gabonese – who has been linked with Barcelona – said: “Nothing. Just today and the trophy. That's it.
“I am not thinking about this. I just want to enjoy it with the guys and take the trophy now.
“I think everyone gave their best today and we deserved it. The journey has been long but today we enjoyed it.
“It was a poor start but everyone reacted with the right attitude and we did it.
“I am so happy for the team and the boys.”
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta was more optimistic, insisting Aubameyang WILL extend his contract, which runs out next season.
Asked if the Gabon international will agree a new deal, Arteta told the BBC: “I think he will, yes.
“He knows what I think about him. I want to build the squad around him. I think he wants to stay and it is just about getting the deal done.
“But I think these moments will help him to realise and believe that we are in the right path and he is a big part of that.
“He is loved by everybody at the club. Hopefully he can continue with us.”
Mikel Arteta was sprayed with champagne as Arsenal's squad wildly celebrated their FA Cup win in the dressing room.
The Gunners boss danced with the trophy after his side's incredible 2-1 win over Frank Lampard's Chelsea side.
Arteta is the first person to win the FA Cup with Arsenal as both a captain and a manager.
After the Gunners secured the silverware for a record 14th time, the squad celebrated in style.
Footage shared to Arsenal's Twitter page showed the boss carrying the trophy to the dressing room.
As he strolled in, he was soaked with champagne while the players danced around him.
TO BE FRANK
Frank Lampard paid tribute to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after his double helped Arsenal come from behind to beat Chelsea 2-1 in today's FA Cup final.
Arsenal keeper Emi Martinez was overcome by emotion after he played the full 90 minutes in Arsenal's FA Cup win over Chelsea.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang refused to commit his future to Arsenal after his double fired them to FA Cup glory.
The star striker scored either side of half-time to help the Gunners come from behind to win 2-1 at Wembley.
But while Arsenal fans will be delighted with their first trophy since Arsene Wenger retired, Aubameyang's post-match comments may leave them concerned.
Asked if he could tell supporters anything about his future, the Gabonese – who has been linked with Barcelona – said: “Nothing. Just today and the trophy. That's it.
“I am not thinking about this. I just want to enjoy it with the guys and take the trophy now.
“I think everyone gave their best today and we deserved it. The journey has been long but today we enjoyed it.”
ARSENAL HAVE WON THE FA CUP!!!
RED CARD – KOVACIC!!!!
73. Kovacic and Xhaka came together, it was definitely a foul, but a second booking is very harsh.
Anthony Taylor showed a yellow card before taking an age for the red card to come out.
GOALLLLL – AUBAMEYANG AGAIN!
ARSENAL 2-1 CHELSEA
68. Bellerin breaks down the middle for Arsenal with the ball breaking for Pepe.
The winger squares it across goal to find Aubameyang who ghosts past Zouma and sends a delightful left footed chip over Caballero and into the net.
GOALLLL – AUBAMEYANG!
ARSENAL 1-1 CHELSEA
28. Emphatic penalty from Aubameyang.
We thought we'd have goals and we've got them.
ARSENAL 0-1 CHELSEA
5. Great feet from Pulisic and a delighful dink over Martinez after he was laid off by Giroud.
With that Pulisic becomes the first American to score in an FA Cup final.
FA CUP FINAL IS UNDERWAY!
For minute-by-minute action, follow our LIVE match blog here.
TEAM NEWS IS IN
SUITED AND BOOTED
Arsenal star Hector Bellerin has designed his side’s FA Cup suits for the final against Chelsea.
And the Spaniard has revealed he was led into fashion design after learning to sew at his grandma’s.
Bellerin is well-known for his eye for style, sporting colourful outfits and wacky hats off the field.
So with that talent in the ranks, the Gunners have utilised it to get an advantage over Chelsea in the fashion stakes.
Speaking to the BBC, Bellerin said: “The suits we are wearing this year, I co-designed them with my good friend and his brand ’44’. One of the highlights of my injury was that I could do that, and Arsenal allowed it.
“Some of the boys were thinking ‘what are we wearing’, I was like ‘guys this is Wembley, the FA Cup final, suited and booted’ and then ready for the job.”
BELL OF A COMPETITION
Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin has spoken of what the FA Cup means to him, ahead of this afternoon's final.
He told the BBC: “For me personally it was my first trophy. I think that's always the one that you keep with you and always remember – I still have my medal in my bedroom – so that says it all.
“It's so important, due to how the course of this season we haven't been at the level that we should have been so now we feel that we're not only playing for the FA Cup, we're also playing for Europe.
“The club that we represent deserves to be in Europe.”
HOL LOTTA GOOD
Mesut Ozil is in Turkey and will miss today's FA Cup final clash with Chelsea – after being told he was not needed.
The German hasn't even featured on the Gunners' bench since the 2-0 victory over Southampton on June 25.
And there will be no return to action against the Blues at Wembley.
OUT FOR THE COUT
Arsenal could sign Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona for just £9million this summer… if they let Matteo Guendouzi go the other way.
The Independent report that the LaLiga giants are desperate to shift the former Liverpool playmaker, while acquiring hothead Guendouzi in the process.
Barca aren't the only club interested in the Frenchman, however, with Juventus also said to be considering a bid.
JUST DOU IT
Arsenal are interested in signing Abdoulaye Doucoure, according to reports.
The Watford midfielder was unable to prevent the Hornets' recent relegation, but has been an impressive figure in his four-year spell at Vicarage Road.
The Gunners are hoping to beef up their midfield, with Thomas Partey their No1 target.
But Doucoure could provide a viable alternative to the Ghanaian, although the Mirror claim that Arsenal will have to beat off competition from Everton to secure his signature.
DON'T BE SZO SURE
Chelsea and Arsenal have reportedly been told they can have RB Salzburg star Dominik Szoboszlai for just £26million this summer
The highly-rated Hungary midfielder is set to quit the Austrians on the cheap, according to reports.
Salzburg sporting director Christoph Freund wants to keep Szoboszlai for one more season – but knows an offer of £26m will convince the Austrians to do business.
And Arsenal chief Stan Kroenke has given the green light to do business.
Olivier Giroud has made some telling FA Cup contributions for both Arsenal and Chelsea down the years.
Will he make the difference this afternoon under the Wembley arch?
Boss Mikel Arteta should be boosted by the return of Hector Bellerin this afternoon, after the right-back was rested for last weekend's victory over Watford.
His deputy Cedric Soares is cup-tied, however, while fellow defenders Calum Chambers, Shkodran Mustafi and Pablo Mari are injured.
Long-term absentee Gabriel Martinelli also misses out.
MO OF THE SAME PLEASE
Gunners midfielder Mohamed Elneny has wished his side all the best ahead of this afternoon's FA Cup final.
The Egyptian spent the season on loan at Besiktas, and has shared happy throwback pictures from when he and his team-mates hoisted the famous old trophy in 2017.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang reportedly tried to force through a January move to Chelsea – but it fell through over his huge wage demands.
The Arsenal skipper, set to play against the West Londoners in the FA Cup final later today, is claimed to have wanted out but could not agree terms.
Aubameyang, 31, has a year left of his £200,000-a-week Gunners deal, but wanted out quickly, claim the Mail.
Agents for the Gabonese striker contacted Frank Lampard's Blues.
And he was said to be keen on the move which would have left Gunners fans fuming.
But Aubameyang is claimed to have asked for a salary which would have made him the highest paid player in the club's history – which the Blues could not afford.
Arsenal goalkeeper Emi Martinez has spoken ahead of today's cup final.
He told the Gunners' official website: “I wish my whole family was there [on Saturday]. Like I said, we came from a poor, poor family and for them to see me there winning a trophy in front of 90,000 people and getting a medal would be something.
“I remember for my Champions League debut against Anderlecht, [my Dad] flew 27 hours to reach that game and he was crying all 95 minutes!” he added.
“I am so far away from home. Because of lockdown, I have not seen my mum and dad for a year. It will be tough, but I will be thinking about them when I play.
“I remember the day that me and my brother ate and not my mum and dad. So I know exactly what they've been through. I was living in Buenos Aires and I would only see them twice a month, when I travelled, because they couldn't afford the petrol to go and see me. So I know what they did for me to reach the top where I am now.”
LAC OF THE DRAW
Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette has labelled the 2019-20 campaign as a “weird” season, and the “most difficult” of his career.
He told the Gunners' official website: “We had the long stop with corona, we changed the manager, we had a lot of different players who played and didn’t play. It was a bit weird but at the end we are in a final and we just want to win that trophy.
“It was a difficult season, maybe the most difficult of my career. But I know I learned a lot this season mentally and thinking more about the team [rather] than scoring goals when I had my long period without goals.
“So I know this season, when we talk about statistics, it is not the best one. But it’s still only one season in my career and I know next season is going to be totally different for me.
“I am positive and I am looking forward and I know it’s going to be better.”
Start your day right, Arsenal fans!
Here are some happy memories to get you pumped for this afternoon.
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