Arsenal news LIVE: Sokratis EXCLUSIVE on Aubameyang, Gunners urged to sign Bissouma, Dybala transfer BLOW – updates

Arsenal news LIVE: Sokratis EXCLUSIVE on Aubameyang, Gunners urged to sign Bissouma, Dybala transfer BLOW – updates

April 13, 2022

FORMER Arsenal centre-half Sokratis has been defending Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's dismissal from the club SunSport can reveal.

The Greece international believes that Arsenal's decision to let Aubameyang go was not the "correct choice".

Meanwhile, ex-Premier League forward has advised the Gunners to land the signature of Yves Bissouma from Brighton instead of Douglas Luiz.

And Mikel Arteta has been dealt a huge blow in his bid to land Paulo Dybala this summer.

Dybala, 28, was linked with a shock move to the Emirates but the Argentinian has began contractual talks with Inter Milan according to reports.

Stay up to date with all the latest from the Emirates in our live blog…

  • Justin Lawrence

    Paul over

    Paulo Dybala is reportedly set for Inter Milan transfer talks, in a blow to Arsenal and Tottenham.

    The North London duo are believed to be keen on the Juventus ace, who is expected to leave Turin this summer.

    Dybala's Juve contract expires in June, leading to plenty of interest.

    One such interested party is Inter Milan, who are set to ramp up their pursuit in the coming days.

    According to Gazzetta, talks are ongoing between Dybala's representatives and Inter chiefs.

    They add that the 28-year-old's primary representative will arrive in Italy next week for further talks.

  • Etienne Fermie

    Morning, Arsenal fans

    Arsenal face trying to revive their top-four spot without crocked regulars Kieran Tierney and Thomas Partey.

    And the Gunners fancy three Barcelona players in exchange if the Spanish giants pursue Gabriel Magalhaes.

    Mikel Arteta's men are revving up for Saturday's clash at Southampton following two straight, shock Prem defeats.

    But left-back Tierney will miss the rest of the season due to knee surgery.

    And midfielder Partey has aggravated an old thigh problem that Arteta calls 'significant'.

    Meanwhile, it's claimed Barca are sniffing for Brazilian centre-back Gabrel.

    But the Gunners could dig their heels in for one or more of Holland winger Memphis Depay, Spanish midfielder Riqui Puig and Brazil keeper Neto in return..

    Ex-Prem striker Noel Whelan has urged Arsenal to target Brighton's 'more consistent' midfielder Yves Bissouma, rather than Aston Villa's Douglas Luiz.

    Finally, The Gunners are 14/1 third favourites behind Real Madrid and PSG to sign Mo Salah should the striker quit Liverpool.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Juve want £84m for De Ligt

    Chelsea and Manchester United have been linked with Juventus centre-back Matthew de Ligt – but he could cost around £84million.

    Calciomercato say the Italian giants are keen to keep the former Ajax superstar.

    Chelsea are thought to have monitored the 22-year-old this season.

    And United have reportedly trailed him in past campaigns

  • Ian Tuckey

    New North Bank flag has 10,000 fans' names

    Here's a look at the massive crowd-surfacing flag the Gunners have unveiled with the names of more than 10,000 Arsenal members stitched on.

    The 20m x 30m North Bank banner was put together through My Arsenal rewards.

    The Gunners said: "This is our way of saying thank you for your incredible support, whether you live within a 10-minute walk of Emirates Stadium or live on the other side of the world. "

  • Ian Tuckey

    Arteta made FIVE mistakes vs Brighton

    FAN’S VIEW: Anyone who knows me or reads my articles will know that I am an admirer of Mikel Arteta but even the best coaches get tactics and decisions wrong, writes DAVE SEAGER.

    On a lucky day the odd poor call may not cost your team, or you may have time in a match to readjust or even reverse a decision within the 90 minutes.

    Saturday was not such a lucky day for the Arsenal boss and in my humble opinion he made multiple poor decisions – in selection, tactics, man-management and even in-game with the substitutions.

    One has to admire such self-belief in such a young manager and we must hope that he will begin to show he can admit errors in judgement and learn from his mistakes.

    On Saturday Arteta needed his team to bounce back from a Selhurst Park horror show but here are five mistakes he made that resulted in Brighton winning.

    ARTETA’S ERRORS:
    Not backing Nuno Tavares
    Playing Granit Xhaka at left-back
    Playing two 8s
    Too stubborn to change what was not working
    Alexandre Lacazette Loyalty

    READ DAVE SEAGER’S FULL VERDICT

  • Ian Tuckey

    4 Prem stars in list of Europe’s most valuable rookies

    Arsenal’s Albert Sambi Lokonga is the only player with a Prem giant in a list of Europe’s 20 most valuable rookies.

    But Crystal Palace duo Marc Guehi and Michael Olise, plus Southampton full-back Valentino Livramento, HAVE made the pick.

    RB Leipzig provide the top two – Josko Gvadiol and Dominik Szoboszial.

    But the Three Lions ace only made his Premier League debut THIS season following his move to the Eagles.

    Because of that, Guehi is a Big Five Leagues ‘rookie’.

    And the former Blues defender is fifth-most-valuable ‘rookie’ in Europe, according to data from the CIES Football Observatory.

    But what is a ‘rookie’? Any player who is yet to reach their 23rd birthday and made their Big Five league debut this season falls into that bracket.

    Guehi, valued at £41.7m amid his stellar season, cracks the top five and is the best of FOUR Premier League players in the top 20.

    Yet the real young talent appears to be coming out of RB Leipzig…

    The top two players on the list both hail from the Bundesliga giants – with Josko Gvardiol and Dominik Szoboszlai streets ahead.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Arsenal urged to target Bissouma, not Luiz

    The Gunners are being told to rival Aston Villa for Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma – rather than pursue Douglas Luiz.

    Liverpool too have been linked with Bissouma.

    And ex-Premier League striker Noel Whelan believes the Mali star is more 'consistent' than Villa ace Luiz.

    But Arsenal, Spurs and Newcastle were all linked with January moves for the Brazilian.

  • Ian Tuckey

    'Gunners eye 3 Barca players for Gabriel swap'

    Arsenal have reportedly lined up three Barcelona players they'd consider swapping for Nou Camp target Gabriel Magalhaes.

    Spanish outlet Sport suggest the Gunners fancy Brazil keeper Neto, Holland winger Memphis Depay and Spanish midfielder Riqui Puig.

    We told you earlier today how Barca are keen on recruiting defender Gabriel to join his ex-Arsenal team-mate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Wilshere: Rice is world's best defensive midfielder

    Arsenal legend Jack Wilshere has hailed Manchester United transfer target Declan Rice as the world's BEST defensive midfielder.

    Wilshere played alongside Rice at West Ham between 2018 to 2020.

    Rice has since come on leaps and bounds, moving into midfield and becoming a key member of Gareth Southgate's young England squad.

    In fact, Rice has improved so much that he is the BEST defensive midfielder in world football, according to Wilshere.

    Rice's commanding performances in the middle of the park has attracted interest from football's elite clubs.

    Both Manchester clubs as well as Chelsea and Liverpool reportedly hold an interest in Rice.

    And even Real Madrid have been mentioned as potential suitors.

    Wilshere hailed Rice as better than Liverpool's Fabinho and said he hopes he ends up in an Arsenal shirt.

    He said after West Ham's gutsy 1-1 draw with Lyon: "Tell me a better DMF [defensive midfielder] than Declan Rice right now?

    "Can't think of anyone [who] can do what Dec can…"

  • Ian Tuckey

    EXCLUSIVE: 'Arsenal wrong over Auba exit'

    Former Arsenal ace Sokratis Papastathopoulos doesn't think ex-team-mate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's dismissal from the club was the "correct choice', writes KOSTAS LIANOS

    Aubameyang was frozen out of the squad by manager Mikel Arteta in December after arriving back late in the UK from a trip overseas and was thus stripped of the captain's armband.

    The striker was then offloaded to Barcelona during the January transfer window after the Gunners cancelled his contract to enable him to sign on a free transfer.

    The Gabon international has rediscovered his goalscoring prowess at the Nou Camp with a whopping 10 goals and one assist in 14 matches.

    Olympiacos star Sokratistold SunSport: “Aubameyang is not the only one who left this way from Arsenal, other players also left like that; including myself.

    “That was the team’s choice, each footballer works for the team and has to respect that choice.

    “I don’t know and personally I don’t think it was the correct choice, the matter could have been resolved differently.

    “I’ve known Aubameyang for many years, I know what he can do as a footballer. I am certain of what he will do at Barcelona.

    “I wish him good luck and all the best. The same goes for Arsenal despite the way I also left. I wish them well."

  • Ian Tuckey

    5 left-backs Arsenal could target

    Arsenal could have another busy summer transfer window this year and Mikel Arteta may be targeting a new left-back, writes KEALAN HUGHES.

    Kieran Tierney has been a good servant since joining the club and has been tipped by some to take over as captain at the end of the season.

    But there is a possible problem emerging with Arteta appearing to lose faith in Nuno Tavares.

    The back-up left-back has been hauled off at half-time in his previous two Arsenal appearances and was dropped in favour of midfielder Granit Xhaka against Brighton last Saturday.

    Tavares was signed only last summer but Arteta may be planning to sign a new recruit, or hand more minutes to a youngster.

    Here are five left-backs the Gunners could try to sign when the transfer window opens.

    Kyle Walker-Peters
    Oleksandr Zinchenko
    Nicolas Tagliafico
    Marcos Alonso
    Lino Sousa

    READ KEALAN'S FULL VERDICT HERE

  • Ian Tuckey

    Tierney and Partey woe continues

    It’s looking increasingly likely that Arsenal will have to seal fourth spot spot and Champions League football without injured pair Kieran Tierney and Thomas Partey.

    Tierney has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after having to undergo surgery on a knee injury that he sustained in training, shortly after returning from the international break.

    Partey, meanwhile, has aggravated an old thigh issue and, while his absence for the remainder of the campaign has not been confirmed, Mikel Arteta has described the damage as ‘significant’.

    The two players have certainly been key to the Gunners’ revival this season.

    Of the 18 Premier League games that they’ve appeared on the pitch together, Arsenal have been victorious in 13 at a win percentage of 72.2%.

    However, without one of either Partey or Tierney absent, that drops to 33.3%; the North Londoners have won just four of those 12 matches.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Arenal & Chelsea in bookies' list to sign Salah

    REAL MADRID are the front runners in the race to sign Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah.

    Sky Bet are placing the Spanish giants at 7/1 favourites to seal the Egyptian's signature, ahead of the likes of PSG and a host of Premier League clubs.

    The Egyptian will be 30 at the start of next season, and with contract talks stalling and his current deal expiring in June 2023, Liverpool may be prepared to cash in on him now instead of losing him for free next summer.

    In his time in Merseyside, Salah has won the Premier League, Champions League, the Premier League Golden Boot twice, and finished third for the Best FIFA Men's Player in 2018 and 2021.

    PSG are judged to be Real Madrid's closest challengers to Salah's signing, with Sky Bet pricing the transfer at 10/1.

    Arsenal, Manchester City, Newcastle and Chelsea are all in the picture too, all of whom, it appears, are prepared to offer Salah higher wages than Liverpool are.

    SKY BET ODDS:

    • Real Madrid 7/1
    • PSG 10/1
    • Arsenal 14/1
    • Manchester City 18/1
    • Newcastle 18/1
    • Chelsea 20/1

    4 Prem stars in list of Europe's most valuable rookies

    Arsenal's Albert Sambi Lokonga is the only player with a Prem giant in a list of Europe's 20 most valuable rookies.

    But Crystal Palace duo Marc Guehi and Michael Olise, plus Southampton full-back Valentino Livramento, HAVE made the pick.

    RB Leipzig provide the top two – Josko Gvadiol and Dominik Szoboszial.

    But the Three Lions ace only made his Premier League debut THIS season following his move to the Eagles.

    Because of that, Guehi is a Big Five Leagues 'rookie'.

    And the former Blues defender is fifth-most-valuable 'rookie' in Europe, according to data from the CIES Football Observatory.

    But what is a 'rookie'? Any player who is yet to reach their 23rd birthday and made their Big Five league debut this season falls into that bracket.

    Guehi, valued at £41.7m amid his stellar season, cracks the top five and is the best of FOUR Premier League players in the top 20.

    Yet the real young talent appears to be coming out of RB Leipzig…

    The top two players on the list both hail from the Bundesliga giants – with Josko Gvardiol and Dominik Szoboszlai streets ahead.

    Arteta made FIVE mistakes vs Brighton

    FAN'S VIEW: Anyone who knows me or reads my articles will know that I am an admirer of Mikel Arteta but even the best coaches get tactics and decisions wrong, writes DAVE SEAGER.

    On a lucky day the odd poor call may not cost your team, or you may have time in a match to readjust or even reverse a decision within the 90 minutes.

    Saturday was not such a lucky day for the Arsenal boss and in my humble opinion he made multiple poor decisions – in selection, tactics, man-management and even in-game with the substitutions.

    One has to admire such self-belief in such a young manager and we must hope that he will begin to show he can admit errors in judgement and learn from his mistakes.

    On Saturday Arteta needed his team to bounce back from a Selhurst Park horror show but here are five mistakes he made that resulted in Brighton winning.

    ARTETA'S ERRORS:
    Not backing Nuno Tavares
    Playing Granit Xhaka at left-back
    Playing two 8s
    Too stubborn to change what was not working
    Alexandre Lacazette Loyalty

    READ DAVE SEAGER'S FULL VERDICT

    • Ian Tuckey

      Klopp hints at joining fight for Nunez

      Liverpool could join Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea in a £68million summer hunt for Benfica strike sensation Darwin Nunez.

      That's the speculation after Kop manager Jurgen Klopp praised the Uruguay striker as having a 'big career ahead'.

      Nunez netted Benfica's consolation in Liverpool's 3-1 Champions Leaguequarter-final first-leg win in Portugal.

      And he's expected to meet with a new agent to discuss a possible summer transfer.

    • Ian Tuckey

      Barca could grab Gab after Pierre snare

      Barcelona could follow up on the signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang by returning to the Emirates to swoop for Gabriel.

      The LaLiga giants are likely to be in the market for a left-sided centre-half if – as expected – Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti leave the club this summer.

      And Spanish publication Sport understand that Barca have targeted Arsenal’s Gabriel as the ideal replacement.

      The 24-year-old Brazilian arrived in the Premier League two seasons ago with a promising reputation, and his stock has only risen since.

      Gabriel has three years to run on his current deal at the Emirates.

    • Ian Tuckey

      New North Bank flag has 10,000 fans' names

      Here's a look at the massive crowd-surfacing flag the Gunners have unveiled with the names of more than 10,000 Arsenal members stitched on.

      The 20m x 30m North Bank banner was put together through My Arsenal rewards.

      The Gunners said: "This is our way of saying thank you for your incredible support, whether you live within a 10-minute walk of Emirates Stadium or live on the other side of the world. "

    • Ian Tuckey

      Bus fan's jolly day

      Arsenal star Bukayo Saka has named Sergio Busquets as his most impressive opponent.

      The England international played against the Barcelona midfielder in a 2019 pre-season friendly when he was just 17, and admitted he was ’embarrassed’ by the Spaniard.

      “The way he just so elegantly turned me!” recalled Saka in an interview with GQ magazine (via The Evening Standard).

      “I came at him to press him, I tried to fake this side then go to the other, and the way he just embarrassed me: I was just like, ‘yeah, this guy is elite’.

      “The way he just took me out of the play, I said, ‘Respect.’ He is three steps ahead of everyone and that’s what makes you a top footballer. That’s what I realised that day.”

    • Sam Dymond

      Injured duo a big miss

      It's looking increasingly likely that Arsenal will have to seal fourth spot spot and Champions League football without injured pair Kieran Tierney and Thomas Partey.

      Tierney has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after having to undergo surgery on a knee injury that he sustained in training, shortly after returning from the international break.

      Partey, meanwhile, has aggravated an old thigh issue and, while his absence for the remainder of the campaign has not been confirmed, Mikel Arteta has described the damage as 'significant'.

      The two players have certainly been key to the Gunners' revival this season.

      Of the 18 Premier League games that they've appeared on the pitch together, Arsenal have been victorious in 13 at a win percentage of 72.2%.

      However, without one of either Partey or Tierney absent, that drops to 33.3%; the North Londoners have won just four of those 12 matches.

    • Sam Dymond

      Next five fixtures for Gunners

      Two London derbies at Chelsea and West Ham, as well as another away trip to Southampton, plus a crunch home game with top four rivals Manchester United.

      How many points are Arsenal taking from their next five games?

    • Sam Dymond

      Toon to hijack Bissouma move

      Big-spending Newcastle United are preparing to hijack Arsenal's summer move for Brighton's Yves Bissouma.

      The Ivorian has been a long-term target for the Gunners, and the possibility of a deal had been discussed with the player's representatives.

      However, the Toon Army have now entered negotiations, and are hoping to convince Brighton to do business with them by presenting a double deal that also takes Leandro Trossard to St James' Park.

      Bissouma has 14 months to run on his current deal at the Amex, having arrived on a five-year deal in 2018.

    • Sam Dymond

      Lac can get back on track

      Arsenal captain Alexandre Lacazette can get himself back on to the goalscoring trail when his side travel to Southampton on Saturday.

      The striker has come under fire recently, having scored just two goals in the last four months – both of which came from the penalty spot.

      However, the Frenchman does enjoy facing the Saints.

      Lacazette's last goal from open play came against Southampton in December, and was the seventh he had been involved in during his last six meetings with the south coast club.

      His five goals and two assists against Saints are his most against any side during his time in the Premier League.

    • Sam Dymond

      Gunners face competition for Neves

      If getting the best out of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and targeting Gabriel wasn't enough, Barcelona are now plotting to upset Arsenal further by stealing Ruben Neves from underneath their nose.

      Sky Sports News revealed yesterday that the Gunners had made the Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder their main priority this summer in the transfer market.

      However, Sky are now reporting that Barca are showing a 'considerable interest' in the Portuguese star, which will come as a blow to those at the Emirates.

      Wolves boss Bruno Lage is quoted as wanting £100million for Neves, but it expected that a fee closer to £60million will be enough to get a deal done in the close season.

    • Sam Dymond

      Barca have eye on Gabriel

      Barcelona could follow up on the signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang by returning to the Emirates to swoop for Gabriel.

      The LaLiga giants are likely to be in the market for a left-sided centre-half if – as expected – Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti leave the club this summer.

      And Spanish publication Sport understand that Barca have targeted Arsenal's Gabriel as the ideal replacement.

      The 24-year-old Brazilian arrived in the Premier League two seasons ago with a promising reputation, and his stock has only risen since.

      Gabriel has three years to run on his current deal at the Emirates.

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