Arsenal transfer news: unhappy Sanchez could quit if Wenger stays
They may have finally got back to winning ways at the weekend with a 2-0 defeat of Everton but might Arsenal be about to suffer another major blow - the departure of Alexis Sanchez?
The Daily Mirror reports that the Gunners "face a battle this summer to keep hold of their star striker" with Juventus poised to launch an audacious bid for the 27-year-old Chile international.
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Sanchez, who's experienced Italian football with Udinese, is currently in talks with Arsenal about a contract extension but rumours are growing that he is concerned with the state of affairs at the Emirates. Recently Sanchez bemoaned Arsenal's lack of "hunger" and the Mirror alleges he has "issues with manager Arsene Wenger about the amount of game time he is given".
If Wenger does remain at the helm that will only increase the likelihood of Sanchez leaving Arsenal for Juventus with the Italian champions ready to fork out the same £35m fee that the Gunners paid Barcelona for Sanchez in 2014.
But hang on, what's this in the Daily Express? It agrees that Juventus are after an Arsenal ace but says it's Olivier Giroud and not Sanchez who is in their sights.
Apparently the Italian giants are in need of a strapping centre-forward with a reputation for missing sitters, and that is why they're "keen" on bringing the Frenchman to Turin in the summer. Taking their cue from Italy's Tuttosport, the Express says that Juventus gaffer Massimiliano Allegri has identified Giroud as their Plan B should he fail in his quest to sign Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani, which according to the Daily Express is touch and go for the moment.
Finally, the Daily Mail says that Arsenal had their scouts at Marseille on Friday night to watch Ousmane Dembele play a crucial role in Rennes 5-2 demolition of the Mediterranean club. The 18-year-old winger scored one and chalked up an assist in front of scouts from the Gunners and the two Manchester clubs. Dembele has become such hot property that the Mail says whoever lures him away from Rennes will have to pay around £30m.
Arsenal transfer news: Rabiot snub but Ibrahimovic linked
Will anything go right for the Gunners this year? It seems not with ESPN the latest to heap bad news on Arsenal with a report about Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot.
Back in January, when Arsenal were going strong on three fronts, they were strongly linked with a move for the 20-year-old French international. Though nothing materialised, it was expected that a deal would transpire in the summer transfer window. But ESPN reports that Rabiot has declared his intention "to emulate his idol Steven Gerrard by becoming an icon for his club".
During a Twitter question session organised by betting agency PMU, Rabiot explained that his childhood hero was the Liverpool captain, adding: "I would like to be his equal at Paris." The news is seen as further proof that Rabiot has had a change of heart and has decided to remain in the French capital now that he's smoothed over his alleged differences with coach Laurent Blanc.
But have Arsenal been offered Zlatan Ibrahimovic? The Sun seems to think so, although with every day that passes the stringy Swedish striker is linked with some club or other. According to the paper his agents "are working on a deal" that would see him move from Paris Saint-Germain to the Emirates in the summer.
Bounced out of Europe on Wednesday night by Barcelona, are Arsenal now going to suffer more humiliation at the hands of Manchester United? Metro thinks so, the paper claiming that the Red Devils are "expected to make a bid for Santos youngster Thiago Maia".
The 18-year-old midfielder was approached by Arsenal last year but agent Alexis Malavolta knocked them back, as he did interest from Juventus and AS Monaco. Atletico Madrid are also keen but Metro says it is United who are closing in on the Brazilian teenager.
Arsenal transfer news: Mkhitaryan and Neustadter targeted
As the dust settles on another failed European campaign, thoughts have turned to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger's attempts to rebuild his squad - and the Gunners are being linked to a number of players.
First up is striker Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who is also rumoured to be a Liverpool target. The Daily Express has picked up on a report in Bild that suggests the 27-year-old Armenian international has "caught the attention" of Wenger.
Arsenal are weighing up a summer offer, but "Wenger may struggle in his bid to land Mkhitaryan, with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp - who signed him at Dortmund - reportedly keen to bring him to Anfield", warns the paper.
Wenger may have more luck at another German club, Schalke. The Daily Star reports that he is keen on midfielder Roman Neustadter, whose contract expires in June.
Contract talks with Schalke have stalled, says the paper, leaving the Gunners to battle it out with Inter Milan for his signature.
Reports in Spain suggest Arsenal may move for Real Madrid misfit Toni Kroos in the summer. Newspaper As says the German international is poised to quit the Bernabeu even though he is contracted there until 2020. It names the Gunners as one of his suitors and Metro goes as far as to claim there is "an offer on the table".
And despite the clock ticking down on his career, Wenger is still planning for the future. The Daily Mail reports that Arsenal are continuing to monitor Chile Under-17 captain Marcelo Allende after he spent two weeks on trial with the club.
The teenager, who is only 5ft 4in tall, is regarded as one of his country's best prospects and used his time at the Emirates to get some tips from compatriot Alexis Sanchez.
Arsenal transfer news: Real Madrid also keen on Jorginho
As Arsenal fans brace themselves for a battering in Barcelona this evening, it's another Spanish side who could scupper Gunners' hopes of landing Napoli midfielder Jorginho in the summer.
International Business Times reports that the Italian "is subject to interest from Arsenal and Real Madrid" but for the time being he remains committed to Napoli.
Currently trailing Serie A leaders Juventus by just three points, Napoli have been ably assisted by Jorginho this season and as a result he's the subject of a bitter tug-of-war between Arsenal and Real. But the player's agent, Joao Santos, was keeping his cards close to chest when asked to explain the situation by bizarrely-named broadcaster Radio Kiss Kiss.
"Interest from Arsenal? It's true," Santos said, quickly adding: "After the game against Palermo, compliments arrived from Real Madrid as well. Only compliments, nothing more."
Pressed on the intention of his Jorginho, Santos said: "We'll wait for the end of the season... I want to reiterate that his priority is Napoli." According to the IBT, Arsene Wenger - if he's still in a job in the summer - will look to bring in Jorginho to replace Tomas Rosicky, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini, who are all heading to the exit in May.
Arsenal transfer news: Aubameyang and Ibrahimovic up front?
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has made what according to the Daily Express is a "come-and-get-me plea". Not to Paris Saint-Germain or Real Madrid, both of whom have been linked with the Borussia Dortmund frontman in recent months, but to Arsenal and Manchester United.
If true, either the Gabon goal machine hasn't been keeping up with the Premier League this season, or he fancies playing in the Europa League next season. The 26-year-old Aubameyang has scored 30 goals for Dortmund this season and when asked by beIN Sports if he intended to head to PSG, he replied: "That's not my objective. I can't say anything else about it. I can't see any reason to go back to France when I left three years ago."
Similarly he said there was "no agreement" with Real but refused to be drawn on stories linking him with Arsenal and United.
The most bizarre transfer story of the day comes from Metro, which claims that Zlatan Ibrahimovic "is likely to join Arsenal over the other clubs interested in him". Quite why the lanky, loud-mouthed striker would join a club in crisis isn't explained, but Metro says the 34-year-old will leave Paris Saint-Germain in the summer and cross the Channel to the Emirates, choosing the Gunners ahead of lucrative offers from the USA and UAE.
Manchester United and Liverpool have also been linked with Ibrahimovic but he is reportedly ready to partner Aubameyang in what will surely be the Europa League's most explosive striking duo.
However, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain may not be around to supply the pair with crosses next season if the Daily Star is to be believed. It claims that the disillusioned winger is open to a move away from the Emirates after struggling for game time under Arsene Wenger this season.
Liverpool are said to be keen on the England man and an offer of £30m should be enough to convince the Gunners to sell.
Finally, the Daily Mail says that Arsenal and Chelsea had scouts in Italy at the weekend to check out the form of Bologna midfielders Amadou Diawara and Godfred Donsah. Though the pair could not avert defeat against Inter, Ghana Under-20 international Donsah, 19, particularly impressed and he's the player being eyed by both clubs, with Bayern Munich also said to be in the hunt.
Arsenal transfer news: Morata deal scuppered by Real Madrid
Nothing is going right for the Gunners right now with the Daily Star reporting that Arsenal "have been dealt a huge blow" in their quest to sign Juventus striker Alvaro Morata.
As Sunday's defeat to Watford proved, Arsenal are a club in crisis and nowhere more so than up front where they lack serious firepower. That's why they've identified Morata as a priority signing, but the Star reports a story published by Spanish news outlet Fichajes, which explains that when the frontman left Real Madrid for Turin in 2014, the Spanish giants "insisted on a penalty clause being added to the striker's contract".
The clause allegedly stipulates that Real must receive a £63m payment if Juventus sell Morata before July 2017: so in other words there would be no profit for Juventus if they sold him to Arsenal before that date. Additionally, the Star claims that Real have a buy-back clause in his current deal "and can re-sign the coveted forward for around £23m".
But there is better news for the Gunners as far as teenage striker Sadiq Umar is concerned, although the growing number of Arsenal cynics might wonder if the 19-year-old is another of Arsene Wenger's wacky gambles (think Yaya Sanogo or Amaury Bischoff).
The teenage Nigerian frontman is currently on loan at Roma from Italian Second division side Spezia and according to the Daily Express has "attracted the attention of Gunners scouts". The paper quotes the player's agent, Mohammed Lawal, who told AllNigeriaSoccer website: "Yes, there is interest from Arsenal but at this moment nothing is done... contact was made with Roma so we will see where it takes us in the next few days/weeks."
It has been reported in some quarters that the Nutty Professor tabled a £15.7m bid for Umar last week "with various performance-related add-ons", a fee that if confirmed would represent a huge risk for a player who's yet to prove himself as the highest level.
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