ARSENAL are on the verge of sending Ainsley Maitland-Niles to Roma on a loan deal this January.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is reportedly set to be offloaded, with Europe's top clubs urged to sign the Gabon star.
Meanwhile, Bayer Leverkusen are eyeing Eddie Nketiah for free on a pre-contract, SunSport can exclusively reveal.
Leverkusen would like Nketiah to commit now and may push him to sign this week to head off interest from rivals, led by Crystal Palace.
Elsewhere, the Gunners could reportedly miss out on Philippe Coutinho – as the Brazilian wants move to a club 'he loves'.
The Barcelona star could be therefore set for a return to Brazil, with Flamengo the apparent frontrunners.
And reports suggest that Arsenal are monitoring Brighton full-back Tariq Lamptey who has shined in recent weeks after returning from long-term injury.
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- Dylan Terry
Patten joins Villa on loan
Arsenal player Anna Patten has joined Aston Villa Women on loan until the end of the season.
A club statement read: "Anna Patten has joined Barclays FA Women's Super League club Aston Villa on loan until the end of the season.
"Anna first joined the club aged 12, working her way up through the academy ranks before making her first-team debut in 2016.
"She then spent four years in the USA, where she played football while working towards a degree.
"Anna re-joined us in January 2021 and has now made a total of 31 appearances and scored two goals for the club, including her first in the UEFA Women’s Champions League against HB Koge earlier this season
"Everybody at the club wishes Anna well during this next stage in her development."
- Dylan Terry
Details on Maitland-Niles deal
Ainsley Maitland-Niles looks set to leave Arsenal on loan as he prepares to join Jose Mourinho's Roma in Serie A.
Journalist Fabrizio Romano said: "More on Maitland-Niles deal. Arsenal will receive €500k loan fee plus €500k bonuses from AS Roma, no buy option.
"Full salary to be paid, paperworks to be signed tonight. #ASRoma
He then added: "Balogun has also chances to leave Arsenal in January. Middlesbrough asked for him on loan #AFC."
- Dylan Terry
Arteta assessment of City defeat
Assistant manager Albert Stuivenberg has revealed what Mikel Arteta thought of Arsenal's defeat to Man City.
When asked whether or not he had spoken to the Spaniard, he said: "Yes, I was in touch with him [Arteta] at the end.
"He’s very proud of the performance of the players, he really enjoyed the game, but of course also he’s very frustrated that we don’t end up with three points because at the end it’s all about that."
- Dylan Terry
Nketiah receives Carabao Cup accolade
- Dylan Terry
Wilshere ready for new chapter
Jack Wilshere has starred in Paddy Power's new spoof video where he stated he is ready to sign for any club… except for Tottenham.
The 30-year-old has teamed up with bookmakers Paddy Power where he featured in a plea video for a team to secure his services.
In the hilarious video, Wilshere can be seen sitting at a table while two marketing executives kick-off their presentation by presenting their 'Retirement plans for Jack Wilshere'.
He was then tasked with channelling his inner Bruno Fernandes to write the perfect apology message. To which he said: "Sorry I forgot to take the bins out this week. Wasn't good enough, and not what the house deserves." Before adding: "We go again next week."
After eating a sandwich to symbolise his 'hunger' to find a new club, Wilshere finally snapped as he declared he wants to keep things simple.
He remarked: "Jack Wilshere. Fit, ready and available for offers." The two-time FA Cup winner continued: "Just not from Tottenham."
- Dylan Terry
Arsenal make Dusan Vlahovic bid
Arsenal have reportedly tabled a £46million offer PLUS Lucas Torreira to bring Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic to the Emirates.
The 21-year-old, who has banged in 18 goals in 22 games this campaign, is reportedly the Gunners' top target.
And with the Serbia international refusing to sign a new deal in Florence, the Italian outfit are desperate to cash in on him in January.
Mikel Arteta is known to be desperate to bring in a new centre-forward having axed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as skipper due to disciplinary issues.
Meanwhile Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nkeitah are facing uncertain futures as they approach the end of their time in North London.
Even fourth-choice striker Folarin Balogun looks poised to depart this month as Middlesbrough and Saint-Etienne fight to sign him on loan.
- Dylan Terry
League Cup outright winner odds
Betfair have released the odds for the winner of this year's Carabao Cup:
- Chelsea 21/10
- Liverpool 21/10
- Arsenal 16/5
- Tottenham 7/2
Liverpool call for Arsenal postponement
Liverpool are in talks with the EFL with Thursday’s Carabao Cup clash with Arsenal in growing danger of being called off due to a new Covid attack at Anfield.
Training scheduled for 4pm on Tuesday was cancelled amid reports that as many as 14 new cases had emerged within the club.
Should the Football League ruling body decide to postpone the semi with the Gunners then it is almost certain that Sunday’s FA Cup third round tie with Shrewsbury will also be postponed.
Boss Jurgen Klopp missed Sunday’s thrilling 2 – 2 Prem clash at Stamford Bridge after testing positive.
Joining him were Alisson, Joel Matip and Roberto Firmino.
Before Christmas Virgil Van Dijk, Fabinho and Curtis Jones were also forced out by the virus.
Arsenal miss out on top four?
Manchester United have incredibly still been backed to finish in the top four ahead of Arsenal this season by a boffin Supercomputer.
The Red Devils were beaten 1-0 at Old Trafford on Monday as Joao Moutinho fired home in the 82nd minute to put a dent in their Champions League qualification hopes.
The result leaves Ralf Rangnick's side in seventh spot in the Premier League – four points behind fourth-placed Arsenal.
But according to bettingexpert.com, United are poised to pick up a run of form under the interim German gaffer to claim the final European Cup spot.
- Dylan Terry
Partey's coming of age performance
The Arsenal community, whist bitter at the refereeing and VAR calls in the narrow defeat to Man City, are still revelling in the performance of their young team, writes Dave Seager.
Without their manager to cajole and instruct them from the touchline, Mikel Arteta’s boys outthought, outfought and with 11 men outplayed the champions.
It was a coming-of-age performance in so many ways, proving that this Arsenal side can go toe-to-toe with the best teams in the league, but it was also a coming-of-age performance by one individual.
On Saturday lunchtime we finally saw the Thomas Partey we all thought we had signed from Atletico, who until now we had only seen glimpses of.
- Dylan Terry
Player of the month nominees
Arsenal's Player of the Month nominees have been revealed for December.
- Dylan Terry
Arsenal's next five games
- Dylan Terry
Brighton and Palace eye Nketiah
Brighton and Crystal Palace remain keen on Eddie Nketiah – and would like to sign him in this window if possible.
Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen are also interested in the Arsenal forward, who is out of contract in the summer.
Nketiah, 22, showed his class with a hat-trick against Sunderland in the Gunners’ 5-1 EFL Cup quarter-final win last month.
He is expected to start Thursday’s semi-final clash with Liverpool and Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has spoken of his desire to keep the forward.
But Nketiah is keen for more game-time and with his league minutes restricted, the likelihood is he will move on.
Palace and Brighton wanted to sign him in the summer and are still very much in the hunt during this window, as they would likely be in the summer if a deal cannot be struck now.
- The Sun
Maitland-Niles To Wait for Loan Move
Ainsley Maitland-Niles may have to wait until the end of the month before sealing a loan move to Jose Mourinho's Roma.
The former Chelsea, Man Utd and Spurs boss wants the unsettled Arsenal midfielder immediately and is pushing to get a deal done quickly.
But with Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny both away at the African Cup of Nations, Mikel Arteta wants to keep him as cover in the event of an injury to Granit Xhaka or Albert Sambi Lokonga.
As a consequence, Arsenal have yet to respond to Roma’s request and no loan fee has yet been agreed.
The Serie A giants are also proposing a fee of £8.4million should they decide to keep Maitland-Niles on a permanent basis at the end of the season.
But that figure is below Arsenal’s valuation of a player who was the subject of a £15million enquiry from Everton last summer.
- The Sun
Arsenal's EFL Cup Clash with Liverpool at Risk
Liverpool are reportedly fearful they will be unable to face Arsenal in Thursday's Carabao Cup semi-final first leg due to a Covid outbreak.
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp missed their dramatic 2-2 draw with Chelsea on Sunday after testing positive for coronavirus.
Meanwhile first-team stars Roberto Firmino, Joel Matip and Alisson were also unavailable for the clash after also returning suspected positive tests.
With Brazilian ace Alisson unavailable for selection, their semi-final with Arsenal is danger of being called off if another of their keepers is ruled out.
Rules state that a Carabao Cup game can be postponed if clubs are unable to submit a team consisting of 13 outfield players and one shot-stopper.
Along with Covid cases, Liverpool are also without Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita with the trio to feature at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Meanwhile Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara is out of action due to a hip problem, with winger Takumi Minamino nursing a muscle injury.
And Belgian centre-forward Divock Origi remains on the treatment table with a knee injury.
Mikel Arteta was absent from his side's 2-1 defeat against Manchester City on New Year's Day, but he will be back in the dugout on Thursday.
- The Sun
South Coast Scramble
Despite reportedly being close to an agreement with Bayer Leverkusen, Eddie Nketiah is also being chased by both Crystal Palace and Brighton.
The 22-year-old striker is out of contract in the summer and appears set on a move away from the club he joined almost seven years ago.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has spoken of his desire to keep the forward, but Nketiah is keen for regular first-team football, which Arteta cannot promise.
Palace and Brighton both wanted to sign him in the summer and are still very much in the hunt this window, despite being available for free in the summer.
Patrick Vieira is keen to sign another forward, with Jean-Philippe Mateta’s loan from German club Mainz unlikely to be made permanent.
While the Seagulls have had a new striker on their shopping list for some time and have a spot available having just loaned Aaron Connolly to Middlesbrough.
- The Sun
Player of the Month Nominees
Arsenal's Player of the Month nominees for December have been announced and are as follows:
- Gabriel Martinelli (3G, 2A)
- Bukayo Saka (3G, 2A)
- Martin Odegaard (3G, 3A)
- Alexandre Lacazette (2G, 3A)
The Gunners lost their first two league games of December, but went on to win the next four to climb into fourth place in the league.
They also thrashed Sunderland 5-1 to earn their spot in the EFL Cup semi-final against Liverpool.
Who do you think deserves to win?
Nketiah Close to Quitting Gunners for Free
According to the Mail, Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah is close to signing a pre-contract agreement with German side Bayer Leverkusen.
The 22-year-old, who has previously been linked with Crystal Palace and West Ham, looks set to leave Arsenal after nearly seven years at the club.
The England under-21 has struggled to break into the Arsenal first team under Mikel Arteta and has played just 38 minutes in the Premier League this season.
Nketiah is thought to be keen to follow the example of the likes of Jadon Sancho and Fikayo Tomori who have thrived abroad after quitting the Premier League.
And Leverkusen have a strong track record of developing youngsters into stars, with the likes of Kai Havertz and Son Heung-Min making their names there.
Nketiah made his Arsenal debut in 2017 and was once thought to be the future focal point of the Gunners' frontline.
But he has failed to fulfil his promise after receiving limited first team opportunities at the Emirates and looks set to leave for free in the summer.
Arsenal Submit Vlahovic Bid to Fiorentina
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport in Italy, Arsenal have submitted an offer of £46m + Lucas Torreira to Fiorentina for goalscoring wonderkid Dusan Vlahovic.
Fiorentina are known to want to sign Torreira on a permanent basis and are prepared to activate a buyout clause in his contract worth £13m to seal the deal.
But the Gunners would reportedly prefer to use the Uruguayan as a makeweight to reduce the fee for Serbian striker Vlahovic, who has scored 18 goals this season.
Vlahovic is in high demand and is rumoured to also be on the wish lists of Chelsea, Man Utd, Tottenham and Newcastle.
The 21-year-old is the Serie A top scorer and has already almost matched his tally from last season of 21 goals in just 20 games.
With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang seemingly on his way out of the club and Alexandre Lacazette's contract expiring at the end of the season, a new striker is Mikel Arteta's priority.
And aside from Vlahovic, other targets reportedly include Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins, Sweden forward Alexander Isak and Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Aubameyang Made Available for Transfer
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's Arsenal career appears to be all but over, having been stripped of the captaincy and frozen out by boss Mikel Arteta after his latest disciplinary breach.
He hasn't featured for the Gunners in any of their last six games and has now reportedly been offered to a host of Europe's top clubs according to the Mail.
Arsenal are keen to get his massive wages off their books and are hoping that either Barcelona, Juventus or Newcastle will take the striker off their hands.
Aubameyang is currently representing Gabon in the African Cup of Nations, but looks likely to seal a move away from North London before the end of the month.
A loan deal looks to be most likely for Aubameyang in the short term, but it looks increasingly likely that the ex-Dortmund man has already played his last game for the Gunners.
Arteta Back in the Dugout
Mikel Arteta will return to the Arsenal dugout for their EFL semi-final clash with Liverpool on Thursday, while Jurgen Klopp is still sidelined due to covid.
The Spaniard was unable to attend Saturday’s agonising 2-1 home defeat by Manchester City after catching coronavirus for the second time last week.
Arteta was forced to relay messages to coaching assistant Carlos Cuesta from home while assistant manager Albert Stuivenberg took charge of the team.
But his mandatory seven-day isolation period expires on Tuesday evening, meaning he could be free to return to the club’s London Colney training ground on Wednesday as long as he provides a negative PCR test.
Liverpool will likely be without goalkeeper Alisson, striker Roberto Firmino and Joel Matip after the trio tested positive for Covid before their 2-2 draw with Chelsea on Sunday
Klopp’s number two Pep Lijnders will take charge again for the semi-final first leg, with the return game at Anfield scheduled for next Thursday.
And the team will also be without star forwards Mo Salah and Sadio Mane and midfielder Naby Keita, with the trio competing in the African Cup of Nations.
- The Sun
Clarke Recalled and Loaned Out to Hibs
Arsenal centre-back Harry Clarke has been recalled from Ross County and has been sent on loan to Hibernian for the rest of the season.
The 20-year-old impressed during his time at Victoria Park where he chipped in with three goals and two assists from his 17 matches.
But the Gunners have activated his recall clause with the Staggies sitting 10th out of 12th in the Scottish Premiership.
And SunSport understands that an agreement has been reached with Hibernian, who are currently in fifth spot in the Scottish top-flight.
Hibs made a swoop to bring the defender to Easter Road on loan until the end of the campaign on Sunday night, with new boss Shaun Maloney a huge admirer.
Clarke spent last campaign on loan at League Two outfit Oldham, where he featured in 35 matches in all competitions.
- The Sun
Torreir-Out: Uruguayan set to quit Gunners
Lucas Torreira is set to join Fiorentina on a permanent deal after the Italian club have reportedly decided to trigger his £13m release clause.
The 25-year-old has not played for the Gunners since July 2020 and spent last season on loan at both Atletico Madrid, making 26 appearances.
He has made 15 appearances in Serie A this season and his performances have done enough to persuade the club to keep him for the long term.
Torreira joined Arsenal from Sampdoria in 2018 and made a total of 89 appearances before falling out of favour under Mikel Arteta.
- The Sun
The Athletic are reporting that Roma have submitted an official bid to take Ainsley Maitland-Niles on loan for the rest of the season.
It is believed they have also asked for an option to buy him for £10m in the summer, should the loan move be a success.
Arsenal have so far not responded to Roma's proposal and the Italian club are believed to want to get a deal done swiftly.
Jose Mourinho is a keen admirer of Maitland-Niles, but will move on to other targets if Arsenal stall any further.
Maitland-Niles is thought to only be interested in a move to Roma and will stay with the Gunners if the move does not materialise.
The versatile midfielder has not featured in any of Arsenal's last nine league games after falling out of favour under Mikel Arteta.
- Joshua Jones
Good morning Gunners fans
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has a shortlist of strikers to replace unsettled Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, according to reports.
ESPN say Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak, Juventus’ Dusan Vlahovic, Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins are the Spaniard’s preferred options.
The Watkins link is a recent development but Arteta is said to be a big admirer of the forward's style and ability to play in a number of different roles.
Another new Gunners recruit might be Juventus winger Dejan Kulusevski.
It sounds like Spurs’ interest in Kulusevski is a complicated matter – and that might pave the way for Arsenal to steal a march and seal a deal.
Tottenham manager Antonio Conte would rather have Juve’s Weston McKennie than Kulusevski, according to reports in Italy.
Sweden star Kulusevski is valued at about £29.5million and his versatility could be a good option for the Gunners.
Arteta, meanwhile, is set to return to the Emirates dugout for Thursday’s Carabao Cup semi-final against Liverpool.
He missed Saturday’s home defeat to Manchester City after catching coronavirus but his mandatory seven-day isolation period expires on Tuesday evening.
And Arsenal’s forgotten man Lucas Torreira could complete his permanent transfer to Fiorentina by the end of the month.
La Nazione report that the Serie A side will pay Torreira’s £13m release clause to make the midfielder’s loan move a full-time switch.
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