Arsenal reportedly favourites to sign Barcelona star this summer – but it’s not Ousmane Dembele

Arsenal are reportedly favourites to sign highly-rated Barcelona midfielder Robert Navarro this summer.

According to the Daily Mail, the Gunners have moved ahead of Premier League rivals Manchester City in the race to sign the talented youngster due to Pep Guardiola’s side cooling their interest.

Furthermore, it’s claimed that the Catalan giants have offered new terms to the midfielder but his preference is said to be for a move abroad to continue his development.

The report also states that Navarro, who celebrates his 16th birthday this week, will become eligible to speak to other clubs in Europe and could follow in the footsteps of Adama Traore, Alex Grimaldo and Gerard Gumbau who have all left the academy to ply their trade elsewhere.

Should he opt for a move to the Emirates Stadium once the transfer window opens then similarities will surely begin to be made with ex-Gunners captain Cesc Fabregas.

Cesc Fabregas playing for Arsenal (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

The Spaniard left Barca’s La Masia academy at the age of 16 and developed into one of the finest playmakers in Europe before returning to the Camp Nou in the summer of 2011.

In over 300 appearances across all competitions for the north London outfit, Fabregas netted 59 goals, weighed in with 91 assists and was part of the side that beat Manchester United on penalties to win the FA Cup in the 2004/2005 campaign.

Navarro isn’t the first Barcelona player to be linked with a move to Arsenal of late.

French winger Ousmane Dembele is rumoured to be a target for the Gunners this summer where he’d be reunited with former Borussia Dortmund teammate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Before opening his account for Barca in the Champions League against Chelsea, the 20-year-old sparked talk of a potential transfer.

“Honestly, I had a beautiful relationship with Auba,” Dembele said. “Too bad it only lasted a year. For me, a guy coming from Évreux, meeting Aubameyang meant a lot.

“I was pretty good with him. It’s easy to play with a guy like that, he goes fast, he is always well placed.”

Ousmane Dembele and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Image: SASCHA SCHUERMANN/AFP/Getty Images)

Whether Arsenal could realistically afford Dembele in the summer remains to be seen as it seems unlikely that the Spaniards would consider selling a player they paid almost £100m for less than a year ago.

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Mohamed Elneny: Arsenal win appeal against midfielder’s red card

Referee Andre Marriner puts his red card in his pocket after sending off Mohamed Elneny, who complains
Referee Andre Marriner sends off Mohamed Elneny off

Arsenal have won their appeal against midfielder Mohamed Elneny’s red card in Sunday’s 3-2 Premier League victory over Southampton.

Elneny, 25, was dismissed in stoppage time following a confrontation with Saints defender Cedric Soares.

The Football Association overturned the decision after an independent panel accepted the Egyptian was “wrongly dismissed for violent conduct”.

Elneny is now available for Arsenal’s next three Premier League matches.

The Gunners face Newcastle at St James’ Park on Sunday before hosting West Ham on 22 April and travelling to Manchester United on 29 April.

Elneny was sent off moments after Saints defender Jack Stephens was dismissed for a clash with Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere in a fractious finale at Emirates Stadium

Arsenal star Henrikh Mkhitaryan out for rest of Premier League season with knee ligament damage… but could still feature in Europa League final

  • Henrikh Mkhitaryan suffered a knee injury against CSKA Moscow last Thursday
  • A scan on Monday revealed medial ligament damage for the Armenian 
  • He has a fighting chance of playing in Europa League final if Arsenal make it

Henrikh Mkhitaryan is expected to miss the rest of the Premier League season — but has a fighting to chance to be fit if Arsenal reach the Europa League final.

The Armenian has had a scan on the knee injury sustained in last Thursday’s quarter-final first-leg win over CSKA Moscow which has revealed medial ligament damage.

The news essentially rules Mkhitaryan out of the remainder of the domestic season as well as a potential Europa League semi-final.

Arsenal star Henrikh Mkhitaryan is expected to miss the rest of the Premier League season

Arsenal star Henrikh Mkhitaryan is expected to miss the rest of the Premier League season

The Armenian suffered a knee injury during last week's Europa League win over CSKA Moscow

The Armenian suffered a knee injury during last week’s Europa League win over CSKA Moscow

However, there is hope that Mkhitaryan could be available for the final in Lyon on May 16, if his recovery goes according to plan.

Mkhitaryan will have intensive treatment in the coming weeks in the hope of being available for the final, if Arsenal make it there.

In better news for Arsenal, they will have Mohamed Elneny available to face Newcastle on Sunday after he won his appeal against the red card he picked up against Southampton for what was deemed violent conduct.

A scan on Tuesday revealed that the Arsenal star suffered medial ligament damage in his knee 

A scan on Tuesday revealed that the Arsenal star suffered medial ligament damage in his knee

Arsenal vs CSKA Moscow: UEL quarter final 2nd leg preview

Arsenal take on CSKA Moscow in the 2nd leg of their Europa League quarter final tie.

CONTRIBUTOR

 

Arsenal FC v CSKA Moskva - UEFA Europa League Quarter Final Leg One
Arsenal boss – Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger takes his side to Moscow with a spot in the semi-finals of the Europa League up for grabs. Arsenal take a 4-1 first leg lead to Moscow and are favourites to make it to the last 4.

Arsenal have been on a 6 match winning streak in all competitions since their 1-2 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion on the 4th of March. With Wenger’s men falling out of contention with regards finishing in the top 4 in the league, winning the Europa league seems the only alternative to get back into Champions League football.

CSKA Moscow were well beaten at the Emirates Stadium last Thursday. They played themselves into Arsenal’s hands by playing an open game which let the Arsenal midfield led by Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey to exploit the gaps in midfield.

Arsenal FC v CSKA Moskva - UEFA Europa League Quarter Final Leg One
Arsenal was victorious last time out

Viktor Goncharenko’s men would look to play tighter in the second leg knowing that Arsenal have a reputation of bottling it when put under pressure. It was seen in the previous round against Ostersunds FK when a couple of goals changed the complexion of the game before a Kolasinac goal settled the nerves and the tie for the Gunners.

Aleksandr Golovin’s first half free kick earned Moscow a vital away goal which may have a huge bearing on the tie. CSKA Moscow will need at least 3 goals to progress to the next round. Despite of having a 3 goal cushion, Wenger is likely to play a full strength squad. The knee ligament damage picked up by Henrikh Mkhitaryan will see him ruled out of the 2nd leg.

Arsenal FC v CSKA Moskva - UEFA Europa League Quarter Final Leg One
Vital away goal

CSKA may see a changed starting eleven as they face serious competition to retain their place in the Russian Premier League’s UCL spots. With the tie almost wrapped up in the first leg, Viktor Goncharenko may provide his players a rest to focus on the league.

Arsenal on the other hand rested Lacazette, Wilshere, Ozil during the 3-2 win over Southampton. Arsenal are definitely a club in crisis, but their recent results have eased some tension around the club. They will definitely close out the game and confirm their presence in the semi-finals.

The gunners will be a tad too strong for the Russian side. Lacazette and Welbeck have hit form in the last couple of games and will certainly be a threat to the CSKA defence.

Authors prediction: CSKA Moscow 1-3 Arsenal

Source: sportskeeda,com

‘We need #WengerOut’ – Arsenal fans’ anger as Gunners miss out on Champions League

'We need #WengerOut' - Arsenal fans' anger as Gunners miss out on Champions League

Arsene Wenger’s future is up in the air after his side finished fifth in the Premier League, leading many supporters to demand his exit

Arsenal missed out on a top four finish for the first time in 20 years under Arsene Wenger, leading many fans to call for the French manager to leave the club.

Wenger has yet to sign a contract extension at the Emirates Stadium, and many supporters feel it is time for him to leave the club. On Sunday, the Gunners failed to better Liverpool’s result in the Premier League, meaning they finish fifth and will not play in the Champions League next season.

While many fans had previously called for Wenger’s exit, those calls grew louder with many prominent supporters including Piers Morgan weighing in on #WengerOut.

Look, I’m not going to tweet . But if I was to tweet it would be justified, because we need .

@IanWright0 So what’s happening with Arsenal? Is Wenger staying? Is Kroenke leaving? We need to know, our club is embarrassing

Arsenal fans: “It’s time for a change.”

Wenger: “Consider it done, Europa League.”

Welcome Koscielny to Wenger out movement. Man took a red to get Wenger out. Also explains why he conceded so many penalties.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Arsene wenger to Uefa: how many RTs to qualify for the champions league ??

UEFA:

View image on Twitter

NO round of applause from me today. This is the only scenario needed at @Arsenal

So embarrassing we’re back to fighting for fourth like it’s the title.

Dumped out of CL in 10-2 thrashing.
18pts behind PL Champions.
11pts behind Spurs.
5th.
Europa League next season.

Conte took Chelsea from 10th to 1st.

Wenger took Arsenal from 2nd to 5th having spent more.

Are we going to pretend like playing the Europa League isn’t hugely embarrassing?

Arrogant fraud thinks fans are beneath him even though we pay the highest prices in the world to watch his team of cowards https://twitter.com/JamesOlley/status/866323722474582018 

However, one supporter believes the fifth-place finish is all part of Wenger’s evil plan!

Wenger’s planned it.

Sign a 2 year deal.
Win Europa League first year.
Win Champions League second year.

Retire a Legend.

The Gunners boss refused to be drawn on his future in post-match interviews with Arsenal set to play Chelsea in the FA Cup final.

Source: http://www.goal.com

Kroenke Out! Champions League failures mean Arsenal must listen to their fans

Kroenke Out! Champions League failures mean Arsenal must listen to their fans

The Gunners will be playing in the Europa League next season and supporters have signalled their demand for a change of ownership


COMMENT


As thousands of Arsenal supporters chanted ‘Stan Kroenke, get out of our club’ there could be no confusion as to who the majority of fans blame for this season’s disaster in the Premier League. The Gunners majority shareholder has hit the headlines again over the past few days following the revelation that Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov had lodged a £1 billion bid for Kroenke’s shares, an offer which was informally rejected by the American.

For the first full season under Arsene Wenger, Arsenal have failed to qualify for the Champions League – their 3-1 home win over Everton proving irrelevant on Sunday after Liverpool defeated Middlesbrough at Anfield. While the financial consequences may not be particularly severe, the bigger picture is that attracting top level players to Emirates Stadium this summer could prove difficult due to the current instability at the club.

There are key issues which need to be resolved at Arsenal over the next three months. None are more important than the managerial situation, with all signs pointing to Wenger extending his stay at the club by at least another season. The Frenchman’s own intentions are unclear and he has gone from saying a decision would be announced in April or May to hinting that discussions will take place in a board meeting after the upcoming FA Cup final.

Wenger’s future is linked to a host of first team players, including Mesut Ozil – who will not even consider committing to the club until an announcement is made about the manager. With both the German international and Alexis Sanchez seeing their contracts expire in 2018, a summer of huge decisions regarding playing and coaching staff, as well as in the boardroom, is expected.

The small matter of an FA Cup final against the newly-crowned Premier League champions Chelsea provides Wenger’s side with a last chance to salvage something positive from what has been the manager’s worst season at the club.

Laurent Koscielny’s sending off against Everton means he will miss the showpiece Wembley final, while an injury for Brazilian centre back Gabriel Paulista has paved the way for club captain Per Mertesacker to start his first game of the season.

The German’s leadership qualities are certainly needed at the back for Arsenal against Chelsea but his own defensive vulnerabilities could be exposed by the mobile attacking threats of Diego Costa, Eden Hazard and Willian. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also doubtful after his recent injury absence.

 
Alexis Sanchez Mesut Ozil Arsenal

Kroenke

You can count the number of times Kroenke has been seen at the Emirates this season on one hand. That is where the brunt of the supporters’ frustrations lie. This is an owner who appears to have no interest in building a relationship with the fans or announcing his ambitions for the club. There has always been an underlying disconnect between the owner and the fan base, and this has become more evident as Arsenal’s form has regressed this season. For most Gooners, Europa League football is the final nail in the coffin regardless of the outcome of the FA Cup final.

Usmanov has already indicated that he won’t relieve Wenger of his managerial duties if he does become majority shareholder at Arsenal, so would new ownership really change the direction of the football club? The Russian has signalled his own intent to buy the best players in the world and it should be noted that Kroenke, while he has never put debt on Arsenal, has not invested a penny in transfer dealings or on-the-pitch matters.

Arsenal’s reputation as a self-sustaining club is something they should be proud of but Chelsea and Manchester City are examples of how modern football teams requires fresh investment on a mass scale each season. The answer isn’t to spend money for the sake of it, but to utilise it in a way which helps the club challenge the likes of their Champions League conquerors Bayern Munich – a statement which chief executive Ivan Gazidis made to fans in 2013.

Tottenham’s second place finish and new stadium has provided several home truths to Wenger, Gazidis and Kroenke. Their wage bill is almost half of Arsenal’s, yet they are far outperforming their local rivals.

I recently spoke to an ex-Arsenal player who played under Wenger for almost a decade and he told me that when he looks at this current side, no-one is smiling on the bench and no-one looks happy. While many critics may argue that Wenger’s tactical shortcomings are the key issue, it is clear that the negative atmosphere off the pitch is contributing to what is happening on it.

Arsenal have failed to qualify for the Champions League and they require big changes across the board this summer. Whether it happens or not is another question, but the fans have made their view clear; they want Kroenke out.

Source: http://www.goal.com

Alexis has massive respect for Wenger but knows his time at Arsenal is up

Alexis has massive respect for Wenger but knows his time at Arsenal is up

Recent comments from the Gunners star provides further hints as to why he’s likely to leave this summer


COMMENT


Alexis Sanchez rarely talks to the media unless it’s an interview with Arsenal’s in-house team or a PR event related to the Chilean national side, but over the past few weeks, the 28-year-old’s policy of speaking out publicly has changed dramatically.

Pundits have tried to read the enigmatic Sanchez, who has 23 goals and 11 assists in the Premier League this season, from his body language, his passion and commitment. But in recent weeks, such advanced techniques have not been necessary.

There has undoubtedly been a shift in Sanchez’s outwardness on the pitch this season. He looks more frustrated, angrier and more selfish in possession. It’s easy to understand why when you take an overview of Arsenal’s season. Arsene Wenger’s side were out of the Champions League and Premier League title race by mid-February and have never really got going, despite starting the season with a handful of positive results.

Recent comments from Alexis provided a telling glimpse into what is going on in his mind right now, even though many will suspect that he is being told to speak about his future by a representative or agent. From the quote in which said he wants to play for a “winning club” to his more recent murmurings about his frustration with the mentality of this current Arsenal side, it’s clear that Alexis is keeping all of his options open going into this summer.

Arsene Wenger Alexis Sanchez

“Sometimes the frustration more than anything is about the fact we could be challenging for the Premier League title,” he said.

“I’ve always said we have great players here, it’s just about having the mentality of being a great player and going out on to the pitch already thinking about winning.”

And mentality is key here. Alexis spent his childhood growing up playing football on the rocky streets of Tocopilla in Chile. He knows what it means to win and will do anything to make it happen. Can the same be said for every single player in the Arsenal team? Results this season, particularly the implosions at West Brom, Bayern Munich and Crystal Palace, are examples of the collective disappointment that has taken over at the Emirates Stadium this season.

By no means should excuses be made for the way Alexis has conducted himself on and off the pitch at times, however. A training ground fight that was denied by Wenger and subsequently confirmed by Theo Walcott and Robert Pires reinforced the notion that the attacking maestro has become increasingly frustrated with his team-mates’ efforts. The stats show that Alexis loses possession the most out of anyone in the Arsenal team in almost every domestic game this season. Different theories have been put forward as to why this is the case: is he always looking for the ball and trying to make things happen or is he someone careless in possession and wants to avoid passing to certain team-mates?

Arsene Wenger Alexis Sanchez

Then there is the relationship with the manager. Wenger brought Sanchez to Arsenal at a time where the Chilean couldn’t get into the world’s best attacking frontline. He has proved that he is world class but this season has shone a light on the Frenchman’s inability to manage his team successfully in the biggest games. The comments from Sanchez about his manager were interesting because he chose not to defend the performances which Wenger has presided over this season – instead, he voiced his disappointment at the protests which have gained traction over the past few months.

“For me, [fan demonstrations are] very bad. He is the manager who gave a stadium to the club, won cups, and he has been 21 years in the job. He is the creator of the stadium, the players and style of the club,” he said.

Whatever happens in the coming months, you can be sure that Alexis Sanchez will be a man in demand. Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus are just a handful of clubs who are monitoring his contract situation, with the deal set to expire at Emirates next summer.

The most important thing for Alexis is clearly winning trophies, and while an FA Cup may go some way to softening the blow of not being able to compete for the biggest prizes, it surely won’t be long before he realises that he needs to go elsewhere to win the most sought after silverware.

http://www.goal.com

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