Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Gunners 'frontrunners' to land Coutinho, Maitland-Niles 'AGREES' Roma move, Vlahovic swoop

Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Gunners 'frontrunners' to land Coutinho, Maitland-Niles 'AGREES' Roma move, Vlahovic swoop

December 28, 2021

ARSENAL are still keeping their eyes on a move for Philippe Coutinho, according to reports.

The Barcelona star is on some of the highest wages at the Nou Camp and the Catalan giants are keen to get him off the books.

Elsewhere, Jose Mourinho's Roma are expected to complete a swoop for Arsenal's Ainsley Maitland-Niles, according to reports.

Club sporting director Tiago Pinto is claimed to favour an initial six-month loan deal, with the option of making it a permanent transfer.

A four-year contract has been touted, although negotiations for a future permanent fee are yet to progress

Meanwhile, boss Mikel Arteta has compared Arsenal's young generation to the one he came through with at Barcelona's iconic La Masia academy.

The Spanish manager came through at Barcelona alongside Carles Puyol and Andres Iniesta.

Eddie Nketiah, Gabriel Martinelli, Charlie Patino and Emile Smith Rowe are all Arsenal starlets that have made waves this season.

The Gunners are also looking to sign Fiorentina's Serbian striker Dusan Vlahovic, 21, according to reports with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang heading for the Emirates exit.

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  • Jon Boon

    Coutinho transfer hope

    Arsenal appear to be frontrunners to land Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona next month.

    The Brazil international has been the subject of interest for a host of Premier League clubs after falling out of favour at the Nou Camp.

    But the player himself is reportedly leaning towards the Gunners after signalling to Barca bosses he would prefer a move to the Emirates.

    Tottenham, Everton and Newcastle are other top flight clubs in the mix for his signature.

    But Sport reports Coutinho and his representatives reckon Arsenal can match both his ambition and wage demands.

  • Jon Boon

    Dixon wants Calvert-Lewin

    Arsenal legend Lee Dixon believes the Gunners should move for Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

    The Everton striker could be set for a move to a bigger club in the near future.

    And while Dixon understands the club can't compete for the signature of someone like Erling Haaland, Calvert-Lewin would be an achievable signing.

    ‘Would I like to see Calvert-Lewin at Arsenal? I think yes. I think you’d struggle to get one of the top, top strikers like [Erling] Haaland,’ Dixon told MailOnline.

    ‘It would be a step up for Calvert-Lewin, no disrespect to Everton.

    ‘I like him, I think he’s got potential to be as good as he wants to be. He is fit and athletic, he is strong and good in the air and a good finisher. I would take him.’

  • Jon Boon

    Smith Rowe praised

    Mikel Arteta has been waxing lyrical about Emile Smith Rowe.

    The Arsenal youngster has been in inspirational form, leading the Gunners charge up the table while earning his first England call-up.

    And Arteta told Arsenal's website: "He works extremely hard, he’s an extremely humble boy and he has a really special connection with this football club."

  • Jon Boon

    Gunners in for Schick

    Arsenal are one of a number of clubs looking at bringing Patrik Schick to the Premier League.

    The Gunners have joined the race alongside West Ham, Everton and Spurs for the Czech Republic ace, who starred in last summer's Euros, according to the Mirror.

    Schick, 25, has continued on from a stellar tournament to star in the Bundesliga this term.

    He has 16 goals in 13 games for Bayer Leverkusen.

  • Jon Boon

    Jovic linked

    Real Madrid outcast Luka Jovic is being linked to a move to Arsenal again, if reports are to be believed.

    According to Defensa Central, Los Blancos are open to allowing the Serb striker leave on loan in January.

    Jovic has played second fiddle to Karim Benzema again this term, and has been starved of first team action.

    Manager Carlo Ancelotti is ready to sanction a temporary move, but doesn't want to sell his asset.

  • Jon Boon

    Tattooed Gunners

    Arsenal fans are the most tattooed in the country, a study has found.

    Gunners supporters topped a table drawn up by analysing the number of footie-inspired inkings on show on social media.

    In just 14 days, they shared 2,101 photos of their tats — almost double that of Liverpool fans in second place.

  • Jon Boon

    Happy birthday Frank

    Arsenal legend Frank McLintock turns 82 today.

    The famous captain of the Gunners won the Double for the club in the 1970-71 season.

    He played 403 times for the North London giants, winning the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup the season before lifting the title and FA Cup.

    NINTCHDBPICT000000878678Credit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
  • Jon Boon

    Arteta salutes Odegaard

    Martin Odegaard was the star of the show when Arsenal battered Norwich 5-0 at Carrow Road.

    In his last six games, he's been involved in six goal involvements for the Gunners, who have moved to fourth in the league.

    Arteta told Arsenal's website:"Martin has got a tremendous quality and the capacity to unlock situations and put players through to generate open spaces in tight areas.

    “I’m really happy [with him] and now he's improving in his goal threat as well so we have a big player there that is very willing to become one of the best, but it's still very early.”

  • Jon Boon

    NOT SO BESTIES

    Granit Xhaka has revealed he's unlikely to be best friends with Arsenal fans, but has welcomed their love after winning his place back.

    The Swiss international had an altercation with fans on the pitch, after being booed off.

    It was an incident that cost Xhaka the captain's armband and saw him dropped from the squad.

    But now, the midfielder feels he's on the right track with supporters.

    "People were good with me," he told The Athletic. "Of course they might say something – that is part of our life.

    "But after what happened two years ago we were very far from each other.

    "I think we are step by step coming closer and closer. I don't believe we will be best friends. 

    "But what I can tell people is from the first day until the last day I am here I will do everything for the football club."

    He added: 'I will make mistakes because everyone does. We are not perfect. 

    "But I will give 100 per cent in every training session and every game. This is my message to the fans.

    "Sometimes you have misunderstandings and I believe this was the only reason for the problem we had between us. 

    "I feel much more love than one or two years ago but it is a slow process we have to do with each other."

  • Jon Boon

    AUBA AND OUT

    Granit Xhaka is confident that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang still has a future at Arsenal despite the striker’s bust-up with manager Mikel Arteta.

    Aubameyang has been banished from the squad and stripped of the captaincy for returning late from a visit to France two weeks ago.

    Now his Emirates future is up in the air after the Gunners won five successive games without their absent superstar.

    But Xhaka insists it is not the end of the road for the out of favour striker and knows exactly how Aubameyang is feeling right now.

    The Swiss midfielder was all set to quit Arsenal when he had the armband taken from him by former boss Unai Emery following a bust-up with the Emirates fans in October 2019.

    Now he says: “I have been in this situation and know how Auba is feeling. 

    “Mine is a different story with different problems but maybe sometimes this is not a step back but a step forward.

    “I think Auba is strong enough and has enough experience to come back and be better than before.

    “It doesn’t have to bring you down. You have to be positive and believe you can turn it around. And I believe Auba can do that.”

  • Jon Boon

    DONE AND DUSTED

    Arsenal have been ruled out of signing Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic.

    Well-respected Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio believes moving to the Gunners isn't on his or his agent's agenda.

    Di Marzio revealed: "It depends on which project, how much money he is being given.

    "Arsenal, for example, his agents do not want to speak to them. They think Arsenal is not enough for him and his career."

    Vlahovic already has 16 goals in Serie A this season.

    The centre forward, 21, is also a target for Manchester City, Manchester United and Spurs.

  • Etienne Fermie

    Arsenal ace like David Silva?

    Gunners boss Mikel Arteta was asked if Martin Odegaard reminds him of David Silva, having worked with his Spanish compatriot at Manchester City.

    Arteta said: “That’s a big name. My opinion is David is the best I’ve seen playing between the lines for the last 20 years.

    “Martin has got a tremendous quality and the capacity to unlock situations and put players through to generate open spaces in tight areas.

    “I’m really happy [with him] and now he’s improving in his goal threat as well so we have a big player there that is very willing to become one of the best, but it’s still very early.”

  • Etienne Fermie

    Arsenal ace 'signing of season'

    Aaron Ramsdale has been picked as the signing of the season by Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher.

    The 23-year-old's £30million transfer from Sheffield United was branded a 'mess' by fans and ex-pros.

    But speaking on Sky Sports, Carragher said: "I went for Ramsdale because it was almost the biggest surprise to me.

    "When they brought him in I thought they were bringing him in as back up and because he was an English player for the quota.

    "He hadn’t impressed me in his Premier League time at Sheffield United and Bournemouth.

    “But it’s not just the saves he’s made. He’s a personality, he’s a character.

    "Already, to go into that dressing room – yes, there’s young players in there but it’s still a huge club, going into Arsenal as a young lad, a young goalkeeper.

    "He’s got a presence about him that I didn’t see that he had and he’s had a big impact on the team.”

  • Etienne Fermie

    Alexandre Lacazette to leave Gunners

    French striker Alexandre Lacazette is set to leave Arsenal at the end of the season, according to reports.

    Lacazette, 30, has six months remaining on his current deal.

    With the forward having worn the captain's armband in recent matches, there has been optimism that an agreement can be reached over an extension.

    But according to L'Equipe, he has decided to see out the final six months of his deal before pursuing other opportunities.

  • Etienne Fermie

    No game today for Arsenal

    The Gunners had been due to take on Wolves in the Premier League this afternoon.

    But an outbreak of cases in Wolves' squad, combined with several injuries to their players, saw the fixture pushed back to the new year.

    Arsenal said: "We are disappointed to announce our Premier League fixture against Wolves on Tuesday December 28 has been postponed due to a number of the Wolves squad testing positive for Covid-19.

    "This game will be rescheduled in due course and any tickets and/or hospitality packages purchased for this fixture will be valid for the rescheduled date.

    "We apologise to our fans for any disappointment and inconvenience caused.

    "Thank you for your support."

  • Etienne Fermie

    Neville and Carragher pick XIs

    Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher picked their Premier League teams of the season so far.

    And just one Arsenal player made either cut.

    Carragher opted for Aaron Ramsdale as his goalkeeper.

    While Neville snubbed the Gunners entirely.

  • Etienne Fermie

    Freebie transfer bargains for 2022

    Some of football’s biggest names will be able to agree to join which ever club they want next month – and there is not a thing their current sides can do to stop them.

    Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba and Gareth Bale head the superstar list of players entering the last six months of their contracts on January 1, leaving them free to sign pre-contract agreements elsewhere.

    They would NOT move to their new club until the summer, but there would be no transfer fee.

    An astonishing 539 players from Europe's top five leagues are entering the last six months of their current contracts, meaning they can agree free transfers abroad on the first day of the New Year.

    Players moving for nothing is not something new, but few years have seen such a stellar cast of talent who are counting down the days until they become free agents at the end of the season.

    Which leaves some of the biggest clubs desperately trying to wrap up contract talks or spending the next month hawking the players around in the hope of at least getting a small fee for assets they will lose without a fee in the summer.

  • Etienne Fermie

    Partey time with this team

    Arsenal star Thomas Partey is loving playing with the Gunners' emerging talent.

    He said: "It is very enjoyable, I enjoy a lot playing with them.

    "They are good talents, a lot of people around that can play with them and they have a lot of quality in front of goal and they can score at any time, so it is a joyful moment playing with them.

    "We feel very happy. This is a game we really enjoyed. We have had a couple of games now where the team is doing very well and performing and I think this is what we have to keep doing.

    "I think we are working harder, we are doing what we have to do, everyone is playing their role very well and that is the mentality that the coach wants us to play with and enjoy one the field and that is what we are doing."

  • Etienne Fermie

    Newcastle 'in the mix' for Gunners star

    Relegation-threatened Toon are interested in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, according to reports.

    The Gabonese striker is currently in Arsenal exile following a disciplinary breach earlier this month.

    Aubameyang could leave North London during the January transfer window.

    According to the Star, Newcastle are in the mix to prise Aubameyang away from Emirates Stadium.

    But the 32-year-old is claimed to prefer other destinations.

  • Etienne Fermie

    Gunners defender in huge transformation

    Arsenal star Rob Holding is almost unrecognisable having gone from nearly bald to sporting a full head of luscious locks.

    The Gunners centre-back had a noticeably receding hairline at the end of last season – despite only turning 26 in September.

    He was then pictured with a shaved head during pre-season over the summer – which some fans suggested was evidence of a hair transplant.

    And snaps from Arsenal training last week show a complete transformation – with the defender having a full head of hair.

  • Etienne Fermie

    Ex-England star tips Haaland for Gunners

    Carlton Palmer has tipped Arsenal to make a shock move for Borussia Dortmund ace Erling Haaland.

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's future at the north London club is in doubt after his latest 'disciplinary' breach.

    Speaking on talkSPORT, Palmer said: "They will be looking to bring in a striker.

    "Maybe they'll be in a position to bring in Haaland, I don't know.

    "I think a lot of people will do because, you see, what it represents, what you've got to understand is Haaland's 22.

    "So if you get him out of his clause at £62million. If you give him say, £30m-£40m – you're still at £100m.

    "If you're buying Harry Kane at £110m, and then £50m on top is £160m, and then he'll be 32-33 at the end of his contract."

  • Etienne Fermie

    More from boss Mikel Arteta

    Spaniard Mikel Arteta still believes that Arsenal can get better and better.

    He added: "I insist the better that we play, the better that we understand the spaces, how we have to attack, the movement, the timing, the cohesion and the execution becomes better because you get in a much better position when you enter the final third.

    "When that happens and you have a clear idea of how to attack those situations and goals or goal situations will come.

    "Then it will come down to the effectiveness of the players in their decision making."

  • Etienne Fermie

    Keeping feet on the ground

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is refusing to get carried away, despite his side's good form.

    He said: "We go game by game.

    "[At Norwich] we played some really good football, we won the game, we competed really well, but there’s still a lot of things that we have to do much better.

    "We have a lot of room for improvement and I’m focused on that, maintain the things that we do so well now that giving us results and consistency and try to improve the rest and the results will come.

    "It's still a long long season to go ahead with a lot of unpredictable things probably that are going to happen, but we are there [in the top four].

    "We want to continue that and we want to continue improving and playing better and better and then let's see where we get."

  • Etienne Fermie

    Spurs in for AC Milan ace

    Tottenham are leading the race to sign Franck Kessie from AC Milan, according to reports.

    Fellow Prem duo Arsenal and Manchester United are also keen on the Ivorian midfielder.

    But according to the Express, Spurs are at the head of the queue.

    With his contract set to expire next summer, Kessie will be eligible to sign a pre-contract on January 1.

    And Tottenham reportedly want to tie up a deal quickly.

  • Etienne Fermie

    The Emile Smith Rowe show

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was quizzed about how good Emile Smith Rowe can become, after he scored yet again from the bench against Norwich.

    The Spaniard replied: "We don’t know. What I know and what I expect is what he does all the time.

    “He works extremely hard, he’s an extremely humble boy and he has a really special connection with this football club.

    “His talent is obviously unquestionable, but he needs his team-mates, he needs his environment, he needs a cool head and he needs a very clear direction of what we wants to become. Time will tell.”

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