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Arsenal transfer news and gossip: Emery criticises Ozil, Mkhitaryan speaks out, Zaha eyed by Newcastle

talkSPORT rounds up all the latest Arsenal transfer news and gossip…

Ozil and Emery had a turbulent relationship at Arsenal
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Mesut Ozil 

Unai Emery has opened up on his hellish 18 months in charge Arsenal, highlighting Mesut Ozil among his biggest issues.

Emery’s difficult tenure in north London was brought to an end last November after Arsenal suffered their worst winless run since 1992.

Emery said: “I spoke a lot with Ozil. He has to be self‑critical too, analyse his attitude and commitment.

“I tried with all my might to help Ozil. Throughout my career, talented players have reached their best level with me. I was always positive, wanting him to play, be involved.

“In pre-season I told him I wanted to help recover the best Ozil. I wanted a high level of participation and commitment in the dressing room. I respected him and thought he could help.

“He could have been a captain but the dressing room didn’t want him to be. That’s not what I decided; that’s what the players decided.

“Captains are ones who have to keep defending the club, the coach, team-mates.”


Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Arsenal midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan has spoken about his future plans.

The 31-year-old winger, who is currently on loan at Roma, said: “I do not have a lot of time left until the end of my football career, but I’m pretty sure that I’m doing my best to achieve more.

“At the end of your football career everyone will remember what you have done for the club, what titles you have won.

“It’s very important to leave a positive note by winning a trophy or doing something good for the club.

“I always had a dream to play in the best European Championships and the best European clubs. And I’ve fulfilled my dream.

“I’m working hard and mixing my talent with hard work. It’s not always easy, but sometimes you must make a sacrifice.”


Wilfried Zaha

Arsenal target Wilfried Zaha will reportedly be on Newcastle’s transfer wish-list if their £300million Saudi takeover goes through.

The Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), which is led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is close to buying the Magpies off incumbent owner Mike Ashley.

And The Sun say Crystal Palace star Zaha is one of the big names on their transfer wish list.

Zaha, who is valued at around £80m by Palace chiefs, can close to joining Arsenal last summer.


Arsenal are interested in Thomas Partey
Getty Images – Getty
Thomas Partey

Arsenal want Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey so much they could offer Alexandre Lacazette in a bid to get the deal done.

The Gunners are eager to sign a new holding midfielder this summer and £50million-rated Ghanaian Partey has become one of Europe’s best in that position.

But Arsenal have limited funds to spend and so The Sun claim they are prepared to offer Lacazette plus cash for the 26-year-old.

Partey still has three years remaining on his contract at Atletico and the La Liga club are looking to tie him down to a new deal.


Nabil Fekir

Arsenal are interested in signing Real Betis and France midfielder Nabil Fekir this summer.

Marca claim the Gunners are keen to take the 26-year-old on loan given their tight transfer budget.

But they reportedly face competition from AC Milan who are looking to complete a permanent deal.


Thomas Partey

Thomas Partey’s father has confirmed the Atletico ace has held talks with Arsenal.

He said: “I called my son after hearing the rumours and he told me that the rumours are true.

“He told me they are holding talks between him and Arsenal. It all depends on the offer Atletico are demanding.

“If he goes to Arsenal fine, they have a lot supporters in Ghana. I will be happy if he decides to move to Arsenal.

“What they are discussing now is how Atletico will release him.”


Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Manchester City have joined the race to sign Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, The Express claim.

The 30-year-old is out of contract in the summer of 2021 and is attracting interest from Barcelona, Inter Milan and Real Madrid.

The Gabon international has been a standout performer for the Gunners since moving from Dortmund for £46million in 2018, netting 49 Premier League goals in just 75 appearances for the club.


Jack Wilshere

Jack Wilshere has admitted he had doubts over signing for Arsenal when they approached him as a youngster.

Speaking to The Lockdown Tactics podcast, he said: “I was playing for Luton and we were playing against Barnet and the ref was actually scouting for Arsenal.

“He came up to my dad afterwards and told him he wanted me to come along. He didn’t even say it was a trial. He just wanted to sign me for Arsenal.

“It was strange because there must have been some sort of transfer window where that sort of thing could happen but, I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t want to go.

“I was 15 minutes from Luton; to get to London every day my dad with his job would have to finish work early.

“My dad didn’t put any pressure on me but at the time, I didn’t know what to do. I remember it so clearly, I was nine and I was in the park with my mate.

“My dad pulled up in his little red van and said, ‘this is your last day you’ve got to make a decision’.

“I said to my mate, ‘I’m going to Arsenal’, and the rest is history. Fair play to my dad because we didn’t have much as a kid, he was a plumber.

“He used to finish work at 4pm, then we’d be out the door and it would take an hour to get to London from where I lived and that was like three times a week from when I was 10.”


Pablo Mari

Pablo Mari has told talkSPORT he wants to stay at Arsenal for ‘many more years’ to come – and hopes to emulate what defensive partner David Luiz has achieved in the Premier League.

The centre-back arrived on loan from Flamengo in January, with the Gunners expected to make the deal permanent in the summer for around £13.5million.

He said: “I’ve been at five clubs over the last four years. This is a footballer’s life. If you want to play football and you want to improve [to get to a big club] then every year you need to move.

“Maybe when you find a club that is good for you, then you can stay and improve with that club.

“I have found myself here at Arsenal. It is a really good option for me.

“I want to stay here and improve as a player and a person. I want to be here for many more years.”

Pablo Mari is loving life at Arsenal
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Layvin Kurzawa

Arsenal are reportedly at risk of missing out on key transfer target Layvin Kurzawa.

The Paris St-Germain defender has been heavily touted with a move to the Gunners this summer.

The 27-year-old French left-back was set to leave PSG on a free but Sport claim the Ligue 1 club are now looking to extend his contract.


Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Arsenal’s star striker Aubameyang has been urged to join a ‘more ambitious club’ amid rumours concerning his future at the Emirates.

The president of the Gabon Football Association, Pierre Alain Mounguengui, told ESPN: “Right now, he’s at Arsenal, and he’s won nothing here, so it’s a collective failing,” Mounguengui

“I don’t want to say that Arsenal aren’t ambitious, but Arsenal don’t have ambitions as high as some other clubs as far as Europe is concerned.

“If Pierre could secure a contract with a more ambitious club, he’d definitely find his place there.

“All Gabonese people see Aubameyang at this level, where he can now end his career at a major club and, above all, beyond individual trophies, to bring home a major competition.”


Jesse Lingard

The Manchester United midfielder does NOT want to join Arsenal and instead wants to resurrect his career at Old Trafford.

Lingard, the England international, was linked with the Gunners earlier this month but it seems a possible transfer has already been ruled out.

According to the Metro, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was keen to cash in on Lingard with Arsenal interested in acquiring his services, but the 27-year-old hopes to remain with the Red Devils and fight for his place in the starting XI.

Lingard had played 35 times this season before football was suspended due to coronavirus, but he had only scored two goals and assisted a further two.

It’s been a tough season for Jesse Lingard
Getty Images – Getty

Odsonne Edouard

Arsenal and Everton are both interested in signing Celtic star striker Odsonne Edouard, Le10 Sport claim.

The 22-year-old has scored 28 goals in all competitions this season and has attracted interest from Premier League clubs.

Arsenal are said to be leading the race and see Edouard as a possible replacement for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.


Willian

London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham are reportedly keen on Willian amid news he wants to stay in the Premier League if he leaves Chelsea this summer.

The Brazil winger will see his Blues contract expire later this year and ESPN claim that he will not sign new terms in west London.

But the 31-year-old is looking to remain in the capital putting Arsenal and Tottenham on alert.

Willian has scored 59 goals in 329 appearances for Chelsea since joining from Anzhi Makhachkala for £30million in August 2013.


Dani Ceballos

On-loan Arsenal midfielder Dani Ceballos would rather move back to Real Betis than stay at Emirates Stadium.

Ceballos joined the Gunners from Real Madrid for the season and has impressed in glimpses this term.

But Estadio Deportivo report that he is not looking to stay in London and is keen on joining Real Betiss, where he started his professional career, should Los Blancos not want him back.

Ceballos starting the season well but his debut campaign in England has since been blighted by injuries.


A move to Chelsea appears on the cards for Gabriel
Gabriel Magalhaes

It’s a blow for the Gunners concerning their interest in signing Lille defender Gabriel, who has been linked with a big-money move consistently over the past few months.

Centre-back Gabriel is only 22 but has been one of the best in the French top flight this season, leading to interest from a number of top clubs.

Everton and Arsenal have been linked with him for quite a while, and the Gunners appeared quite confident of beating the Merseysiders to Gabriel’s signature.

However, ESPN say Chelsea have now entered the race with a £30m deal on the cards.

And, unfortunately for Arsenal, it appears the Blues will end up winning the race for Gabriel as the report claims ‘all parties are pretty optimistic’ concerning a transfer to Stamford Bridge.


David Luiz

Arsenal defender David Luiz has discussed his ‘emotional’ Chelsea exit.

He told ESPN Brazil: “I was always very happy at Chelsea and then the understanding of knowing that my cycle was over, even though I thought it wasn’t going to end that way, in a quick decision.

“I decided to leave Chelsea before I even had the door open at Arsenal. I know that Arsenal weren’t in a great moment, they had a weight on their defence.

“It wasn’t easy at first. Not only [in terms] of adaptation, but about taking the criticism, the sadness of many Chelsea fans for not understanding my personal decisions.

“My respect and love for Chelsea has always been true. It was difficult to deal with the emotional part. Then playing, things were not happening on the pitch, the results weren’t coming.

“Unai Emery is a great coach and a great person, but things weren’t happening for him either. So you get into a stir and try to stay upright and strong.

“And I often wondered why this decision was made. Why is this happening?”


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