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Arsenal line up two Serie A midfielder to replace Aaron Ramsey

Arsenal are lining up Nicolo Barella and Franck Kessie as potential replacements for Juventus-bound Aaron Ramsey, according to a report in Italy.


Italian media outlet Calciomercato, as quoted by The Sun, is reporting that Gunners manager Unai Emery is looking at midfield recruits ahead of Ramsey’s move to Juventus on a free transfer at the end of the season.


The same article states that the Arsenal boss has been disappointed with Denis Suarez since the Spanish midfielder moved to Arsenal on loan from FC Barcelona in the January transfer window.


According to the same story, AC Milan star Kessie and 22-year-old Cagliari midfielder Barella are contenders to fill Ramsey’s void in the Arsenal squad in the summer.


The story goes on to suggest that Barella could also be on his way to AC Milan, which would free up Kessie to complete a switch to the north London side.


Arsenal are in fourth place in the Premier League table and two points ahead of Manchester United in the race to secure the final Champions League qualification spot.


The Gunners are in a strong position to qualify for the Champions League next term following their narrow aggregate victory over Ligue 1 side Rennes in the Europa League round of 16.


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No one knows what Suarez is doing at Arsenal

The Spain international is yet to start a game for the Gunners since joining on loan from Barcelona in January


There can be few more baffling January signings than Denis Suarez.


Why Arsenal fought so hard to sign Suarez from Barcelona on loan is anyone’s guess because it looks like he has been brought in to keep the bench warm.

Or put it this way. Mention Kim Kallstrom and many Arsenal fans laugh, poke fun at Arsene Wenger and think of him as one of the biggest duds they ever brought in.

But, actually, Kallstrom did something during his bizarre loan spell in 2014 that Suarez has yet to do. He started a game.

Kallstrom played more minutes than Suarez has managed so far - the Spaniard has played 95 minutes in six substitute appearances - and no-one can quite work out while he is even here.

Denis Suarez's arrival at Arsenal was baffling

The bizarre thing was that Suarez arrived on the strength of Unai Emery’s recommendation having worked with him at Sevilla and there was a feeling at Arsenal they would be taking up the £18m option to buy him permanently.

Obviously that’s just a ridiculous notion now and no-one could imagine they would be buying him on the strength of what he has done so far.

And if you compare it to Kallstrom, the medical team told Wenger not to do it as he was injured and the Swedish veteran actually took a penalty and scored in the FA Cup semi final with Wigan in 2014, a match which definitely kept Wenger in a job.

Kallstrom was back in the day a very classy player while Suarez has probably not changed. He is a versatile, diminutive player who can play in midfield, wide or even possibly as a No10.

Kim Kallstrom started a game for the Gunners AND scored a winning FA Cup penalty

Suarez has only had his chances from the bench

Suarez has won a full Spanish cap, been at Barcelona, Celta Viga, Villarreal, Sevilla and was at Manchester City when he was young.

If you have ever watched him play then you will know that he is small, energetic, bright and can make a difference. Does he have the physical power? Well, that’s the issue.

It is nothing in particular that he has done but it has become incredibly obvious that he lacks the physical power and strength to really make his mark in the Premier League.

Some players are made for English football and he is definitely not. The problem is that Arsenal need a player to fill Aaron Ramsey’s boots as he prepares to leave. They also need a powerful physical presence to play at the “front of the press.”

Suarez is on loan from Barcelona

This is crucial to Emery’s master plan and until he gets the players he wants he cannot implement the system to really stamp his authority on this team.

Blimey, he has been doing well enough to get them this far down the road without much of an identity. They are fourth, the squad needs an overhaul, has big injuries with Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin and yet they could still get into the Champions League.

If they do that without us really knowing what Emery is about - is his team a pressing team, possession or counter attack, we really don’t know - then he will have worked wonders.

Arsenal will have limited funds this summer to invest and a midfielder will be top of the list. A Ramsey replacement, a midfield powerhouse and one thing’s for sure, it will not be Suarez.

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Latest Arsenal transfer rumours: Project discussed with World Cup star, defender open to move

Arsenal transfer news includes links from across Europe ahead of the summer transfer window


The international break is in full swing, and that means that plenty rumours are flying around with quotes from those on duty with their national teams to help spark them.


There are only three and a half months until the summer window opens, and clubs will be forming their strategy and Arsenal said to be at an advanced stage already.

However with some prospective transfers the Gunners might already be falling behind but there is also plenty of hope around for the future.

Here are the latest updates and rumours for the players Arsenal have been linked with.

Hirving Lozano

Corriere dello sport  report that Napoli have taken the initiative in the race to sign PSV’s Hirving Lozano. The Mexican forward has drawn interest from the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal since his World Cup exploits but the 23-year-old’s agent Mina Raiola noted in January that the Dutch side had no intention to sell.

 

Though his appeal to Gunners fans certainly must have rocketed at the beginning of the season when he opened the scoring in his side's draw with Spurs.

Now a €40m fee has been mooted and a number of approaches have been made to the player’s entourage, which suggests that the Eindhoven outfit could be preparing to move the promising star on.

Napoli hope by moving for the transfer early they can convince the international of the project they have in place.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has made clear that he is interested in Lozano and Pablo Fornals in the past.

 

He said: "And it's true that I like both, but that's not enough, as you know. Every year new actors enter, who months before did not enjoy attention: we are at play, even if now the figures of the prosecutors make apparently simple situations more complicated."

Ramires

Sport Witness report that Arsenal have made no contact with the entourage of Bahia's Ramiers, who the club have been linked with repeatedly over the last six months.

Gazetto dello Sport - via Sport Witness  - reported that Arsenal and Atletico Madrid were locked in a battle to sign the Brazilan amid interest from AC Milan.

 

The 18-year-old is said to be Leonardo's shortlist for this summer but supposedly none of those clubs have made an approach despite Ramires having been scouted a number of times.

Brazil's Bahia player Ramires (L) vies for the ball with Uruguay's Liverpool player Nicolas Acevedo in their Copa Sudamericana football match at the Luis Franzini Stadium in Montevideo, Uruguay on February 21, 2019. (Photo credit: DANTE FERNANDEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

The player’s agent said in January: "No, no. There was no contact. There is speculation. What really happened was that they were here to see some players, and Ramires was among all these players. But there is nothing concrete, it’s just speculation.

"I wasn’t sought by anyone. There is talk of not only Arsenal, but several clubs in Brazil here too, several clubs in Europe, but nothing concrete.

"Today Bahia’s thinking is to have Ramires, not to sell now. I believe that. And Ramires, his thought is to just play here, too.”

 

The Brazilian side hope to retain Ramires' services for another season, and there is the suggestion his move may come in January 2020. One to keep an eye on. 

David Alaba

David Alaba has been speaking to Bild about his future and a potential exit from Bayern Munich.

The Austrian international admitted that he could be tempted by a move to England and even suggest that he had been an Arsenal fan since his youth.

He said: "I’m happy in Munich, but of course, I can imagine seeing something else. Spain, England. I was [an Arsenal fan as a child]. When you’ve been Arsenal fan as a kid, you will be one your whole life."

Could he be heading to the Emirates in the summer since a new left-back could be high up on Unai Emery’s list? It seems unlikely as the versatile defender's contract runs until 2021 and has made 34 appearances for the Bavarian side this season and remains a crucial member of their starting XI.

 

Having already won pretty much everything in Munich, and a still just 26 perhaps there is some hope for a move in the future.

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Blow for Unai Emery as midfielder reveals he is open to Arsenal exit



Unai Emery’s plan to transform Post-Arsene Wenger Arsenal to a dominant side to reckon with in the Premier League and Europe is about to suffer a major snag. The Spaniard replaced legendary long term manager Arsene Wenger at the North London club last summer and was charged with the role of transforming an underachieving Arsenal side to a dominant team.





The Arsenal boss started his North London career in mixed fashion with two losses in his first three games, followed by an impressive 22 games unbeaten streak in all competitions.




Summer arrivals Bernd Leno, Matteo Guendozi and Lucas Torreira were key to the gunners renaissance. Super Eagles star Alex Iwobi and strikers Alexander Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also played vital roles as Arsenal closed the gap on run away Premier League leaders Liverpool.




Lucas Torreira warmed his way into the hearts of Arsenal faithfuls with a beautiful volley against perennial North London rivals Tottenham Hotspurs.


Meanwhile, Lucas Torreira’s long-term future at Arsenal is in doubt after the midfielder’s dad suggested he may fancy a return to Italy.




The Uruguay midfielder has been a shining light at Unai Emery’s Gunners after joining from Serie A outfit Sampdoria last summer.


The 23-year-old’s no-nonsense style-of-play has immediately won under the Emirates faithful, who have been impressed by his performances, and he has featured in 29 of their 30 Premier League encounters this term.




However, his father has revealed that Torreira would have signed for Napoli but the move broke down at the last minute.


“It’s true, Lucas was very close to Napoli,” he told Radio Marte. “There were negotiations with Napoli, but something strange happened, and you know in the transfer market things can change from one moment to the next.




“Negotiations are long and complicated processes, so it can happen than they don’t go the way we expected. There was this opportunity to go to England and Lucas took it, so I have to say he is happy at Arsenal .”




And in a further blow to Arsenal fans, Torreira Snr suggested that his son may well consider a move to Napoli in the near future.




He added: “Obviously, Lucas is very fond of Italian football, where he grew up, and might return to Italy in future. You can never say never, so it’s possible he could come back to this marvelous country and, why not to Napoli or another club that makes an offer?”


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10 Arsenal youngsters called up by Unai Emery for mid-season trip to Dubai

The Gunners boss is without his international stars and has added some young stars to his squad


Arsenal have jetted out to Dubai for a warm weather training camp.


Unai Emery and his players will spend a fair chunk of the international break in Dubai with the trip also including a friendly.

The Gunners will face off against Al Nasr Club on Tuesday before heading back to the UK to prepare for the clash with Newcastle .

A host of international stars have missed the trip with the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Granit Xhaka in action for their respective countries.

That means Emery has called up as many as 10 youngsters to join Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Ozil and Laurent Koscielny.

Injured stars Danny Welbeck, Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding have also made the trip.

Here are the youngsters who will be looking to catch the boss' eye.

The Arsenal squad ahead of the trip

Arthur Okonkwo

The 17-year-old has been a regular with Arsenal's Under-23 side.

Okonkwo is already 6ft 5in and has appeared for England's youth teams.

Zech Medley

Medley has made a handful of appearances for the Gunners first-team this season.

He was handed his debut in the Europa League success over Vorskla in November.

Zech Medley in action

Jordi Osei-Tutu

The 20-year-old right-back made the bench for the first-team twice last season and was part of the squad for the trip to Singapore before the start of this campaign.

He is at the centre of an international tug-of-war with Ghana and England both watching his progress.

Julio Pleguezuelo

Pleguezuelo was given his Arsenal debut in the Carabo Cup against Blackpool back in October.

He has had two loan spells away from the club and will hope for another temporary move for next season,

Pleguezuelo on his debut

Ben Sheaf

Sheaf, 21, spent the second half of last season on loan at Stevenage in League Two.

He has been with Arsenal since 2014 but has made just two substitute appearances.

Dominic Thompson

The young left-back was called up for Europa League action for the clash with Vorskla but was an unused substitute.

Dominic Thompson of Arsenal

James Olayinka

Olayinka, 18, has likened his playing style to that of departing midfielder Aaron Ramsey.

He joined Arsenal at the age of seven and is now a regular in the Under-23 squad.

Charlie Gilmour

The Scotland youth international made his first team debut in the win over Vorskla.

Gilmour, 20, has come on considerably under Freddie Ljungberg.

Xavier Amaechi of Arsenal

Xavier Amaechi

Amaechi has attracted interest from Bayern Munich among others after some impressive performances for the club's Under-23 side.

The teenager was due to be part of the England Under-18 squad but was withdrawn by Arsenal to make the trip to Dubai.

Tyreece John-Jules

Like Amaechi, the Arsenal youngster was due to be away with the Young Lions this week.

The 18-year-old has been with the Gunners for a decade and admits he models his game on Arsenal legend Thierry Henry.

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