Arsenal transfer news: Mesut Ozil calls off contract talks
Arsenal fans celebrating the arrival of Granit Xhaka yesterday will have been stopped in their tracks by the news that Mesut Ozil has postponed contract talks and told the club he is unwilling to discuss a new deal until after the European Championship finals.
His decision is an indication of "a wish to keep his options open", says The Times, and leaves Gunners fretting over the future of their star man. It also increases the pressure on manager Arsene Wenger to make some significant new signings this summer.
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Ozil also put contract talks on hold earlier in the season in order to concentrate on the Gunner's doomed Premier League title campaign.
He is "not agitating for a move", says the Times, "but is aware that there is interest in him from clubs all over Europe and does not want to be rushed into signing what could be his last contract while at the peak of his game".
Arsenal are prepared to pay the 27-year-old German £200,000-a-week, but Ozil is more concerned about "competing for the biggest trophies after winning just two FA Cups in his three years at Arsenal to date".
It means that Wenger is being "made to sweat" over the midfielder's future and that of Alexis Sanchez, says Metro. The Chilean winger has also delayed talks over a new deal.
However, the manager will continue to work on strengthening his squad, says the Daily Mirror, and is set to "carry on spending" this summer.
His priorities are a centre-back and a striker, adds the paper, which reports that Wenger is keen on Napoli's Senegalese international defender Kalidou Koulibaly, who has also been linked to Chelsea.
"The Gunners have also identified Juventus forward Alvaro Morata as their number one striker target this summer and are preparing to take their spending this close-season towards the £80m mark."
Arsenal transfer news: Alvaro Morata ready to quit Juventus
As hints go, they don't come any bigger than the one dropped by Alvaro Morato, says The Sun, which reports that the striker has made it clear he is about to leave Juventus by posing for a photo with the caption 'Adios amigo', hours after he scored the extra-time cup final winner as Juventus become the first to win Italy's domestic double two years in a row.
The snap, uploaded onto Instagram, fuels the rumours that the 23-year-old Spanish striker is poised to leave Turin for the Emirates. Arsenal have long been linked with Morato and reports last week in Corriere dello Sport suggested that the Gunners "have already bid a massive £51m for his services".
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is ready to pay the sharpshooter £155,000-a-week in order to put some bite into the Gunners frontline, but the Sun says that the dismissal of Louis van Gaal could bring Manchester United into the equation with the Red Devils rumoured to be ready to table a bid.
Meanwhile French broadcaster RMC Sport has claimed that Arsenal are circling Bayern Munich defender Medhi Benatia. Apparently the Morocco international is "Wenger's top target" when it comes to defenders and the French gaffer is ready to see off competition from Chelsea to land Benatia over the summer.
Arsenal transfer news: Sadio Mane in, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain out
One in and one out is the name of the game for the Gunners, according to the Daily Mirror, which reports that Arsenal are prepared to sell Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Leicester because they're confident of landing Southampton's Sadio Mane.
Apparently Foxes boss Claudio is a fan of the Ox and sees the injury-prone 22-year-old winger as "the ideal man to strengthen his squad". That isn't a problem for Arsenal, who haven't seen Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in action since February, and manager Arsene Wenger will use the money made on the Ox to outbid Manchester United for Mane.
It was claimed over the weekend that United are also interested in the Saints forward but Wenger believes the lure of Champions League football - plus "a bid around £17m" - will win the day for Arsenal.
And The Sun says that the Frenchman is also "winning the race" to sign Bolton centre-half Rob Holding despite interest from Tottenham. Having rediscovered his taste for pipping Tottenham to the post this month, Wenger is planning to see off Spurs in this race by increasing his offer for the 20-year-old Holding to around £1.2m plus extras in the coming week.
Finally, the Daily Express says Arsenal's ears will prick up when they hear the claims that Marcelo Brozovic "is being forced out" of Inter Milan. The midfielder is known to be on the Gunners wish-list, and is also admited by Chelsea, and it seems the Croatian international could be sacrificed by Inter as they ready themselves to prise Yaya Toure from Manchester City.
Brozovic's agent, Miroslav Bicanic, told Sky Sport Italia.: "I'm drawing conclusions that they possibly want to sell him", and in words that are likely to delight Arsenal and depress Chelsea, he added: "He wants to play in the Champions League."
Arsenal transfer news: Giroud showdown, new Wilshere deal
There could be some choice French language ringing around north London over the summer with Metro reporting that Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud "is demanding showdown talks with Arsene Wenger".
It seems that the 29-year-old frontman is unhappy with recent press speculation suggesting Wenger is going to bring in some new strikers over the summer. Despite a new year dip in form, Giroud still had his most prolific season in the Premier League since arriving at the Emirates in 2012, netting 16 times as well as providing several crucial assists. According to French sports daily L'Equipe, the France international "is desperate to discuss his long-term future" with the Gunners gaffer to find out where he stands.
Giroud's current deal runs until 2018 but it's claimed that if he's going to be just a bit-part player next season he wants out.
And Giroud isn't the only player who'll be sitting down with Wenger to discuss his future. The Daily Mail says that the Gunners are "preparing to open contract talks with Jack Wilshere" with the club wanting the midfielder to commit to a deal new deal - despite playing just 141 minutes of football this season because of injury.
The 24-year-old Wilshere has two years to run on his existing deal and the Mail says Arsenal are anxious to ward off interest from Manchester City. The same goes for Theo Walcott, adds the paper, claiming that the devastating knee injury to Danny Welbeck that will sideline him until 2017 has changed their plans.
The Gunners "are set to resist offers for Theo Walcott this summer" despite suggestions earlier in the month that Wenger was ready to sell the England reject.
Finally, the Daily Express reports that Arsenal are going to lose out to Liverpool in the tussle to sign Leicester left-back Ben Chilwell, The 19-year-old , described by the paper "as one of the best young defenders in the country", had been in Arsenal's sights but after the poor defending by Liverpool in Wednesday night's Europa League final defeat to Sevilla, manager Jurgen Klopp will stop at nothing to sign Chilwell.
Arsenal transfer news: £51m Real Madrid plot to land Alvaro Morata
Are Arsenal set to steal striker Alvaro Morata from under the noses of Manchester United?
The Old Trafford outfit were linked as recently as this week with a move for the Juventus striker, but their failure to qualify for next season's Champions League and turmoil over the managerial situation could scupper their chances of signing the 23-year-old sharpshooter. Instead, claims Talksport, Arsenal "are readying a mammoth £51m bid".
Real Madrid have a buy-back clause on their former frontman and Talksport, taking its cue from Gazzetta dello Sport, says the Spanish giants will buy him back from Juventus next month for £23.6m and then "may consider selling him on to Arsenal straight away for a huge profit".
Apparently the Gunners have already made contact with Real to sound them out about a possible deal for the Spain international, who is "understood to be open to a lucrative move to the Premier League".
And are the Gunners gearing up for a smash and grab raid on Leicester for N'Golo Kante? The Daily Mirror reports that Foxes officials "are increasingly concerned" their star midfielder could be lured to the Emirates in the coming weeks. Apparently the 25-year-old had a buy-out clause, "believed to be around £20m", inserted in his contract when he moved to Leicester from French side Caen last summer.
The Mirror says Arsenal have made enquiries and unlike the rest of the Leicester title-winning squad Kante "has given no assurances yet he will stay with the champions".
Arsenal transfer news: Arkadiusz Milik hunt, Walcott to stay
It may not be a name that trips off the tongue but Arkadiusz Milik's silky skills have attracted serious interest from Arsenal.
According to The Sun the Gunners have identified the Polish international currently burning up the Dutch league for Ajax as the man to ignite the Emirates next season. Trouble is, Arsenal face competition from Leicester, Liverpool and Everton, not to mention Lazio and Sevilla.
The 22-year-old Milik has scored 47 goals in 76 appearances in all competitions during his two years with the Amsterdam club, and that's the reason Ajax have slapped a £15m price tag on the prolific Pole. That figure is set to raise in the coming weeks with Milik expected to star for Poland in the European Championships.
Apparently Arsenal are leading the chase for the young sharpshooter, who six years ago was rejected by Tottenham after a trial with the north London outfit.
Who will he play alongside next season? According to the Daily Mirror that of Theo Walcott leaving the Emirates in the summer is a bit like one of his shots at goal - wide of the mark. The frontman was omitted from England's Euro 16 squad earlier this week but he's not set for the chop from Arsenal, according to the Mirror. It claims that while the Gunners "may entertain offers for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kieran Gibbs", as far as Walcott goes "he is not for sale".
Granit Xhaka could also be lining up in north London come the autumn, after his current club Borussia Monchengladbach confirmed that there had been an offer for the Swiss playmaker.
Arsenal have been heavily linked with the midfielder in recent weeks with Wenger believed to have tabled a £35m bid, says the Daily Star.
In response to the speculation the German club revealed there had been a "specific offer" but the deal was "still pending".
Cynics might say that the fact nothing has been confirmed means Arsenal are in danger of messing up another big money deal and fans can look forward to another frustrating transfer saga like those involving Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain in recent seasons.
"Wantaway defender" is how Talksport describes Mathieu Debuchy with the broadcaster saying his wish to leave the Emirates could soon be fulfilled with Lyon reportedly ready to snap up the right-back. The 30-year-old spent some of last season on loan at Bordeaux, and Talksport says his performances caught the eye of Lyon, who "are preparing a bid of around £5m".
Bordeaux are also keen on turning his short-term deal into something more permanent and Arsenal are hoping they can squeeze a few more quid out of the pair in a bidding war.
One defender out and one in? The London Evening Standard thinks so with the paper claiming that 18-year-old Scotland international Kieran Tierney is on Arsene Wenger's shopping list. The teenage Tierney has been in good form for Celtic this season and apparently if Arsenal are willing to fork out £10m.
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