Arsenal transfer news: Barcelona join Nolito hunt - again
History repeats itself, they say. The first time is tragedy and the second is farce. So what to make of the Arsenal and Nolito saga, which, according to Talksport, continues to run and run?
Arsenal and Liverpool were both heavily linked to the 29-year-old Celta Viga frontman last year, but the scent went cold during the transfer window and it was widely expected the striker would sign for Barcelona in January.
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But, as Talksport recalls, his move to the Camp Nou fell through at the 11th hour and that has led some to speculate the Gunners are once again in pole position to sign the striker, who has hit eight goals in 15 La Liga matches this season.
But wait! According to Spanish media, Barcelona are also ready "to discuss a move ahead of the summer transfer window" and are confident they will beat Arsenal to the player who was on their books for three seasons before moving to Viga. Just as they were in January.
It seems the Gunners' best chance of getting a deal is to hope the two Spanish clubs can't agree a price for the player. It is rumoured Barca will try and negotiate Celta down from their £14m asking price, giving Arsenal the opportunity to move in.
Of course, that didn't happen in January, so there seems to be little reason to expect it to happen in the summer.
Another player Arsenal could move for is Sofiane Boufal, the Lille winger described as the "new Eden Hazard". The Daily Express reports he has had a £15.6m price tag slapped on him by the club, who are hoping to make a tidy sum if he leaves in the summer.
The 22-year-old has also impressed Manchester United and Liverpool and been linked to Inter Milan and Juventus since his move from Angers in January 2015.
But as they have one of France's most exciting talents, Lille will not let Boufal leave on the cheap. Sporting director Jean-Michel Vandamme had this message for his suitors: "Boufal costs at least €20m (£15.6m), that's the minimum... there are Premier League clubs after him."
Arsenal transfer news: Payet dispute has Gunners on alert
The exorbitant pay demands of Dimitri Payet could see him part company with West Ham, leaving an opportunity for Arsenal to add yet another playmaker to their midfield. The Daily Star says the Gunners are "on red alert" after learning of the French midfielder's wish for a pay hike.
Payet arrived at Upton Park from Marseille last summer and has impressed in the first half of the season. But it's alleged the agent of the 28-year-old, currently on £65,000 a week plus £10,000 each game, "has demanded a new £125,000-a-week contract". The Star says West Ham won't give into the demand, but nor do they intend to sell Payet, a situation which Arsenal, as well as Chelsea, are said to be monitoring.
Meanwhile, the Daily Express claims Everton "have set their sights on Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny". The Pole has been loaned out to Roma this season after a series of gaffes last term, but with Tim Howard likely to return to the US this summer, Everton boss Roberto Martinez has singled him out as the man to slot in between the Goodison Park sticks next season.
Szczesny, 25, who has been at Arsenal since 2006, will return to the Emirates Stadium in June, after Roma decided against signing him on a permanent basis, and the Express says that with Petr Cech nailed down as Arsenal's number one these days, manager Arsene Wenger could well agree to sell Szczesny to the Toffees.
Arsenal transfer news: Alexis Sanchez wants 'equal pay to Mesut Ozil' to extend contract
Gooners can start the week in better spirits after Sunday's 2-0 win at Bournemouth and now there is more encouragement, with a report in the Daily Express that Arsenal have "kickstarted talks over a new deal for Alexis Sanchez".
Slowly getting back to form after his return from a hamstring injury, the Chilean frontman is currently on a deal that nets him £130,000-a-week. But the Express claims his representatives are negotiating a contract extension worth "a staggering £51.5m" to tie him to the Emirates for the next five and a half years.
The paper adds that Sanchez "wants to be paid the same" as the club's top earner, German midfielder Mesut Ozil, who pockets £180,000-a-week.
Meanwhile, The Sun claims Watford striker Odion Ighalo will "spark a frenzied scrap" for his signature come the summer. The Hornets want to hang on to the 26-year-old frontman but apparently, they have a "gentleman's agreement" to listen to offers and that's music to the ears of Arsenal, who are front-runners to sign him, although there is also said to be interest from China and Manchester United.
Atletico Madrid were also said to be keen earlier in the season, but their Uefa transfer ban has left the way clear for the Gunners and the Sun reckons "they could get £12m for him at the end of this season".
Finally, could Paul Pogba be on his way to the Emirates? Unlikely as it seems, the Daily Express has given the Gunners a glimmer of hope that the Juventus midfielder might one day wear the red and white of Arsenal.
The paper quotes Pogba's brother, Florentin, saying that as a kid, Paul dreamt about "Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United and Arsenal". Having experienced a nightmare spell at Old Trafford, we can rule out United - but would the French magician really want to choose Arsenal over the two Spanish giants...?
Arsenal transfer news: summer move for Daniel Sturridge
Could Daniel Sturridge be the answer to the Gunners goal-scoring crisis? Metro believes so, and the paper reports that Arsenal "are ready to sign" the England frontman from Liverpool in the summer.
It would certainly seem a perfect fit what with the 26-year-old Sturridge being just the sort of injury-prone player who could fit seamlessly into the queue outside the Arsenal physio's treatment room.
Metro says that the England international "wants to leave Anfield after his attitude and fitness was questioned by Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp".
According to the Daily Mail Arsenal showed "serious interest" in Sturridge three years ago when the forward made it known he wanted to leave Chelsea, but on that occasion they lost out to Liverpool.
Apart from one stellar season alongside Luis Suarez, things haven't worked out for Sturridge on Merseyside and despite the fact that he has made only a handful of appearances over the past 18 months, the Mail predicts that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will revive his interest this summer, even though he could face competition from Chelsea and Tottenham.
As for the likely cost of signing the player, his track record of injuries means Sturridge could come as cheaply as £20m.
Arsenal transfer news: Wanyama battle looms with Spurs
There's a "red alert" in north London with the Daily Star claiming that Arsenal and Tottenham are both on tenterhooks as Victor Wanyama "stalls on a new contract" with Southampton.
The Kenyan international is wanted by both clubs and the Star says he's told Southampton he's mulling over his future. The midfielder, impressive for the Saints in their goalless draw with the Gunners on Tuesday night, is apparently waiting to see if the south-coast side qualify for European competition before reaching a decision on his future.
And the Daily Star says that Arsenal "will open talks" with a number of Championship clubs next week in the hope of farming out Serge Gnabry on loan. The paper reports that Brighton, Charlton and Fulham all expressed an interest in the 20-year-old midfielder before the transfer deadline but have so far failed to follow through.
The loan window for Football League clubs opens on Tuesday and the Star says the Gunners "will resume negotiations as they are looking to get Gnabry regular minutes" after his loan deal to West Brom flopped. In all, the winger played just 12 minutes of Premier League football. That came as a surprise to Arsenal who believe that the German has much untapped potential.
Arsenal transfer news: Bazoer blow as teen picks Barcelona
Having failed to get past inspired Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster last night at the Emirates Arsenal have another tough obstacle to overcome if they're to land Riechedly Bazoer in the summer.
The Gunners have been tailing the Ajax midfielder for months, reports the Daily Star after the 19-year-old's impressive displays for the Dutch side this season.
The paper adds that the Gunners "were keen to add him to their squad in the January transfer window" but failed in their attempt to lure him to London. And that might be because the teenage playmaker has his heart set on a move to Barcelona this summer.
The Holland international told the Dutch media that he has only one ambition when it comes to football: "I hope I can leave in two or three years to my join dream club Barcelona," he explained. "At the moment, I am not scoring enough goals, but I'm working on that... my ultimate dream is to pull my car up at Barcelona in five years and win trophies."
One glimmer of hope for Arsenal, however, is the possibility that Wenger may be able to persuade Bazoer to come to London in the interim and fine tune his game under his tutelage.
And the Star has more bad news for the Gunners with the disclosure that Jackson Martinez has "completed a shock £32m transfer" to Chinese Super League side Guangzhou Evergrande.
Both Arsenal and Spurs were linked with a summer move for the Atletico Madrid frontman but the Star says the 29-year-old Colombia international has signed a four-year deal to head to the Far East just seven months after arriving in Madrid.
Arsenal transfer news: Sanogo follows Coquelin Charlton path
Eighteen months after arriving at the Emirates with much fanfare, Mathieu Debuchy has joined Bordeaux on loan for the rest of the season. The Daily Mirror reports that the French defender, strongly linked to Aston Villa early last month, has returned home after failing to nail down a regular spot in the Arsenal starting XI.
And another of Arsenal's French flops has also been farmed out. The official Charlton Athletic website confirmed that Yaya Sanogo has joined the club on loan for the rest of the season. The 23-year-old striker, once hailed by Arsene Wenger as a star in the making, spent the first half of the season on loan at Ajax, but will now spend the next four months as the Valley.
Sanogo becomes the second Arsenal player in recent times to join Charlton on loan, following in the footsteps of Francis Coquelin who headed to The Valley in 2014-15 and returned as the answer to Arsenal's midfield problem.
Meanwhile the Mirror reports that though Arsenal offloaded a couple of players on deadline day they failed in a bid to sign "Fulham wonder kid Ryan Sessegnon". Apparently the Gunners sounded out the Cottagers about the availability of the England under-16s captain," but Fulham refused to sell Sessegnon in the window as he is regarded as one of the best left sided prospects in youth football since Gareth Bale".
Finally the Daily Express claims Arsenal have been given a boost in their hopes of signing Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the summer. The paper says the sharpshooter "attracted serious interest" from Arsenal this month and Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke had this message for the Gunners ahead of the summer window: “If an offer comes, then we need to discuss it. If it should go into the hundreds of millions, then we also need to talk to the player."
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