Arsenal are sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League, with a five point advantage over closest challengers Manchester City. The defending champions are in turmoil after Monday’s revelation that they had been charged with more than 100 alleged breaches of Premier League rules. The Gunners have been warned that that crisis could light a fire in the belly of City players. That warning comes as a former scout revealed the reasons behind Arsenal’s failure to sign Jude Bellingham and Brighton captain Lewis Dunk dealt a blow to their chances of signing Moises Caicedo. Here, Mirror Football rounds up the latest Arsenal news. Arsenal have been warned that the crisis hitting Manchester City could spark a renewed title fight. City are five points behind the Gunners but club legend Martin Keown fears that Pep Guardiola’s men could be given fresh motivation by the charges. “I’m pretty certain this will only galvanise the City players. This can be used as fuel to get back to the top of the Premier League table,” Keown told talkSPORT. “There’s a feeling that the world is against them now, the ramifications are huge. These players will want to hit back, they’ll use this as energy. They’ll have the best lawyers in the world against this and they’ll want to get the truth out.” HAVE YOUR SAY! Who will win the Premier League this season? Comment below. A former Arsenal scout has admitted the Gunners weighed up moving for Jude Bellingham in 2020. Francis Cagigao was part of the Premier League giants‘ recruitment team and recommended signing Bellingham. At the time, the midfielder was featuring for Championship side Birmingham City, and Cagigao has revealed that the Gunners were forced to pull out due to the fee it would take to bring him to the Emirates. “I saw him for the first time when he was 16 years old,” Cagigao told AS of Bellingham. “I wanted to sign him for Arsenal, but he was already too expensive. He is very good.” Brighton skipper Lewis Dunk has dealt a blow to Arsenal’s hopes of signing Moises Caicedo by insisting the midfielder has been welcomed back with open arms. Caicedo, 21, was told to stay away from the Seagulls as the Gunners launched a late January move for him, but he has since returned to training. “Obviously, it was a difficult situation for him [Caicedo] and these things happen in football. It’s not the first and won’t be the last time players at a football club have this going on over their head,” Dunk told talkSPORT. “He’s a young boy and we stick with him. He’s a great lad and obviously a fantastic player. Who knows how long we’ll have him for and we’re grateful to have him for at least the rest of the season and hopefully for longer.”
Mikel Arteta finds himself in a rare position this week as he is tasked with rallying his Arsenal players in an attempt to get them to recover from a league defeat. The 1-0 loss away at Everton on Saturday afternoon marked just their second league defeat all season and while they remain top for the time being, the Gunners boss will know that every single dropped point only ramps up the pressure with nearest challengers Manchester City chomping at their heels. The clash was not littered without controversial moments, such as Gabriel’s penalty that never was, but Arteta choose to use his post-match media presser as a chance to reinforce his ‘love‘ for his players and get behind them with big games against Brentford and title rivals City coming up. Arsenal defender Gabriel Magalhaes was left furious he was tripped by Everton striker Neal Maupay but it wasn’t awarded as a penalty, though it has since been explained why a spot-kick wasn’t given. With the Gunners chasing the game late on after falling behind, Gabriel strode into the box before it appeared as if he had been tripped by Maupay, which in turn sent the Brazilian centre-back clattering into Idrissa Gueye. Referee David Coote actually awarded Everton a free-kick as a result of the coming together and though VAR analysed the incident, those in Stockley Park opted to stand by Coote’s on-field decision. Former Premier League referee Peter Walton has since explained why, telling BT Sport: “Well actually the initiation of contact was from the Arsenal player so I don’t think this will be given as a penalty kick, certainly there was enough contact there, but not a penalty kick.” Read the full story HERE. Alex Iwobi makes feelings on Arteta clear. Alex Iwobi enjoyed a bright display against his old side at Goodison Park, with the Everton ace a thorn in the side of Arsenal all afternoon. The winger netted 15 goals in 149 appearances for the Gunners after graduating from the club’s famed Hale End academy set-up. He joined Everton in 2019 for a fee of £34million, which raised eyebrows at the time. He clearly harbours no ill-feeling towards his old club, as Iwobi took to social media after Everton’s victory to write: “Nice To See Some Old Faces, Even Better To Win!”. Iwobi even took the step of singling out Arteta, whom he shared the Arsenal dressing room with while the Spaniard was still playing himself for the Gunners. The Nigerian international uploaded a picture of the pair embracing alongside the caption: “Big respect!”. Find the full story HERE. Rodri hands Arsenal Haaland warning. City midfielder Rodri has warned Arsenal that their star striker Erling Haaland could net a goal in every single game for the rest of the season. For all of Arsenal’s brilliance this term, they simply do not boast the kind of goal-scoring machine that City possess in Haaland, who could prove to be the difference between the two sides in the race for the title. “Rodri seems to think so, as he said:”We feel like we have a weapon to fear the opponents. “Of course, we have switched different things to the way we used to play before, before we didn’t have this weapon and now he is always a guarantee of scoring goals – and I think he can score more than one goal in every game.”
Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo was left out of Roberto De Zerbi’s squad for the FA Cup fourth round game against Liverpool, with the Seagulls coming from behind to eliminate the holders. Roberto De Zerbi has given Arsenal a glimmer of hope on transfer target Moises Caicedo. Arsenal have had a £60m bid turned down for the Brighton midfielder who has been told to stay away from the club until after the transfer window shuts to remove him from the uncertainty over his future. De Zerbi admitted he was “Surprised” that Caicedo posted on social media that he wants to leave and said that Brighton would be able to move forward without him. Brighton chairman Tony Bloom is adamant that nothing has changed and they will not sell in this window as a point of principle. “Brighton boss De Zerbi said:”It’s already difficult for me to have a coach. “Caicedo is a very, very good guy. I can understand him because when you are 21 and you receive a request of a big big team playing in European competition.”I would like he can finish the season with us. Can Brighton cope without Moises Caicedo? Have your say in the comments section. “I think we need some players in some positions,” De Zerbi continued. We are a good team but we can improve in the transfer window. If we lose also Caicedo, it will be a problem for us. If we want to fight for Eueroap League or the maximum in the table. “If you want to stay like this, you can stay But I don’t like. Arsenal are desperate for a new midfielder in this window to bolster their title push amid concerns over Thomas Partey’s fitness.
Deadline day is edging ever closer and Arsenal don’t have much more time to do their business. The Gunners have made two signings in January so far after Leandro Trossard made the switch from Brighton and Jakub Kiwior joined from Spezia. Mikel Arteta is keen to do more recruitment, espeically midfield following injuries to Mohamed Elneny and Thomas Partey. Moises Caicedo remains high on the agenda, with the 21-year-old missing Brighton’s clash with Liverpool on Sunday. The Gunners have been told that it will take offers in excess of £90million to prize the midfielder away from the Amex Stadium. Declan Rice is still Arsenal’s priority for the summer transfer window, even if Moises Caicedo makes the move to the Emirates. The Brighton midfielder is trying to force through a move to the Gunners this month after releasing a statement on his social media account. Caicedo may not be the only new midfielder Arsenal have by the end of the season with Rice still being eyed. London, the Gunners are keen to sign both players and their stance on signing Rice hasn’t changed. It is thought that the move for Caicedo will not affect the Gunners‘ pursuit of Rice who is reportedly the main target for the summer window. Arsenal are still pushing to sign Caicedo and it is understood signing a midfielder is their priority before the end of the month. Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi has suggested Moises Caicedo has made a “Mistake” with his demand to leave the club – but did not rule out his transfer exit this week. Caicedo appeared to bid farewell to the Seagulls on Friday night after posting a heartfelt message on his social media channels. Caicedo was subject of a £60million bid from Arsenal, but that was turned down by the south coast side. It now appears that the Ecuador international may be trying to force through an exit. Speaking ahead of Brighton’s clash with Liverpool, the Italian coach explained: “Moises is a good guy. We will see what happens tomorrow and the next day. We hope he stays with us until the end of the season, but this is a question of the club and Moises.” De Zerbi added: “In life you can make mistakes. There are many solutions for everyone and we will see the best solution for the club, for him and for us.” Juventus and Inter Milan are interested in a move for Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney, according to reports from TMW. The Scotland international has struggled for game time so far this season, often starting behind Oleksandr Zinchenko and Takehiro Tomiyasu. In actual fact, Tierney has started just four Premier League matches all season but does often come on in most games. The report suggests that the Gunners could move Tierney on if they secure a deal for full-back Ivan Fresneda from Real Valladolid. Inter and Juventus are amongst the teams interested in Tierney, who still has three and a half years left on his contract at the Emirates Stadium.
Marco Asensio has a contract renewal offer on the table from Real Madrid but several other top European clubs have also made contact with him through his agent Jorge Mendes. The 27-year-old has joined Mendes’s Gestifute agency a year ago as his deal at the Spanish giants ticked into the final 12 months. Last summer, sources close to the player suggested that Arsenal were in the box seat to land him – but a decision on his future has been delayed. Last season, Asensio admitted that he was less than happy with his lack of continuity at the club. He then gave an update on his future in June in which he admitted he wanted to play more and that this was an “Important moment for an important decision” over his future. Asensio has continued to find game-time limited in Carlo Ancelotti’s side this season, starting just three of the club’s 18 La Liga matches to date and completing just one of those games. Despite his love for Real Madrid, it has led to question marks on his future. A report in Marca has outlined how Los Blancos are keen to renew his deal but several other clubs have also made an approach. None of those teams are referenced, but it is believed Arsenal have continued to monitor his contractual situation. It is believed that Asensio last year was leaning towards a departure and his priority for any future contract is the promise of more minutes on the pitch ahead of any money on offer. There has been an easing of tensions between the player and club in recent weeks. Club president Florentino Perez is a fan of the forward and has made his admiration known to the player, while Asensio also was included from the start in Real Madrid’s recent victory at Athletic Club Bilbao. His decision is not definitive, but he is said to be swaying towards staying in the Spanish capital. “Asensio said last summer:”I have one year left on my contract and I have three possibilities, after the international break we will talk. “ The three future options to which he refers are the following: renew his contract, stay at Real Madrid until the summer of 2023 and then leave for free at the end of the contract or seek an exit this summer for a fee. Asensio joined Madrid in 2014 but spent his first two seasons at the club on loan spells at Mallorca and Espanyol, meaning that he was not a member of the first-team squad in Ancelotti’s first spell in the dugout. He was somewhat of a young prodigy at Madrid and he bagged double figures in his first two full seasons with the club between 2016 and 2018. He suffered a dip in form the following campaign before suffering a LCL knee ligament injury in summer 2019 – which ruled him out of action for a year.
Brighton owner Tony Bloom made his name as a professional poker player, so he knows when he has a strong hand. When you hold all the cards, you don’t need to worry when the bidding increases. You have your rivals exactly where you want them. Brighton have had enough strong hands over the past few years to know how to play them. Moises Caicedo may well have gone public with his desire to leave the club in the final days of the January transfer window, but his pleasantries won’t change their stance. Caicedo is under contract with the Seagulls until June 2025 and they are under no financial pressure to sell. The Ecuador international is being chased by Arsenal and Chelsea, who have both seen bids rejected during the past few weeks. They are not willing to sell a player who cost £4.5million from Independiente del Valle in 2021 for £55m, or £60m. Both Arsenal and Chelsea know first-hand how focused Bloom’s poker face can be and how stubborn Brighton are when it comes to transfers. The Gunners ended up forking out £50m to sign Ben White in July 2021, while the Blues coughed up £60m for Marc Cucurella in August 2022. Tottenham paid £25m plus add-ons for Yves Bissouma in the summer. The departures of White, Cucurella or Bissouma – nor that of manager Graham Potter to Chelsea – have not dented Brighton’s progress. Have they remained on an upwardly mobile trajectory under Roberto De Zerbi, and they won’t let Caicedo threaten that midway through the season. “I think he is a good guy, he is only focused on Brighton. I hope he can stay with us until the end of the season,” De Zerbi said this week. “In my opinion, that is the best solution for him and us.” “I spoke to him on Wednesday and told him it is difficult to change teams during the season. It is important for him to stay another four months with us. He is relaxed. I spoke to him like a father, not a coach. I understand when a player has a possibility to go to a big team, it is a big moment. My job is to give him the style of play, but also advice on his career and life.” De Zerbi’s insistence that Caicedo is “Only focused on Brighton” is now provably false. Caicedo is instead pitching the transfer he wants as a plus for the club. “I am proud to be able to bring in a record transfer fee for Brighton which would allow them to reinvest it and help the club continue to be successful,” he wrote on Friday evening. The thing he does not appreciate, perhaps, is that Brighton don’t need the record transfer fee he speaks of. They have already sold Leandro Trossard to Arsenal for a fee which could reach £27m, in this window. Trossard had fallen out with De Zerbi and was soon to be out of contract. Once again, the transfer fee achieved appears to be at the very top end of the scale. The club has asked Caicedo to stay away from the training ground until February 1 when the transfer window will have closed. He won’t be involved in their FA Cup tie against Liverpool on Sunday. The plan is a simple one: protect your most valuable asset and sell at a time when it suits you. … Read more
Against almost all the odds Arsenal sit five points clear at the top of the Premier League as it pauses for the World Cup. While few are getting carried away with themselves, many Gooners are simply enjoying the ride as their young squad goes from strength to strength under Mikel Arteta. Having not even been tipped by many to finish inside the top four anything above that feels like a bonus for this Gunners side who have changed the opinions of many. With six weeks now to reflect on how well things have gone it feels like the perfect time to look back on the main success stories of the season so far, and those for whom things haven’t exactly gone to plan. London takes a look back at the winners and losers from the 2022/23 campaign as things stand. It may seem bizarre to think now, but at the start of the season, Mikel Arteta still had plenty of doubters. There were some who felt the Spaniard shouldn’t have been given beyond his disastrous start to last campaign and many more who felt he had missed Arsenal’s main moment by missing out on last season’s top four. The Spaniard has had records tumbling faster than a game of Jenga so far this time around. Best managerial record after 150 games in Arsenal history? Completed. Best Arsenal start to a Premier League season ever? Check. Arteta himself would of course say at this point that he hasn’t actually achieved anything with nearly two thirds of the season still to go. What he has done is made Arsenal a fun team to watch again and one that fans can be proud of. For a long time it appeared as though we would never see the day when William Saliba turned out competitively in an Arsenal shirt. The Frenchman had been on three separate loan spells since his high profile signing from Saint-Etienne in the summer of 2019 and with time running by it appeared he may be destined never to live his dream of playing for the team he supported as a boy. He has been crucial to the high line that Arsenal have been able to pull off this season, and oh by the way, did we mention he’s still only 21. The sky is the limit for young Saliba who now holds most of the power as Arsenal sit down to negotiate a contract with him. Getting him to sign it has to be priority number one for Edu when he is back from the World Cup break. The Granit Xhaka redemption arc was well on its way going into this season when Arsenal fans rose to proclaim him with a standing ovation in the final match of last campaign against Everton. Since then he hasn’t looked back and the transformational turnaround has been solidified by finally earning his own chant after six years in north London. Few saw this box-to-box attacking threat coming from a man who had spent much of his Arsenal career covering the left-back spot. Keeping the likes of Gabriel Jesus and Thomas Partey fit in the second half of the season will be crucial in any title charge, but you could make a decent argument that Xhaka is just as, if not more, important. The Scot had missed the back end of the last two seasons with injury though and having been hit hard by that on both occasions he would surely have understood as Arsenal looked for an option that ostensibly made him back up for the start of the season. In Zinchenko’s injury absences, Tierney has still found it hard to get in the team with Takehiro Tomiyasu being preferred for his inverting capabilities. This is tremendously harsh on the Scot who has barely put a foot wrong all season. He’s been incredibly unlucky so far, but will be hopeful of battling his way back in after the World Cup. … Read more
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