French publication L’Equipe has revealed that Spanish champions Real Madrid want to hijack the Houssem Aouar transfer.
It was disclosed that the Spaniards want to snatch the Lyon playmaker under the noses of Premier League giants Arsenal.
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has already initiated contact with Lyon over the player who has received an invitation to the French national team for the first time ahead of the upcoming games for France.
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Arsenal are in pole position to sign the 22-year-old but Real Madrid pose serious threat as they are able to offer Champions League football for this season.
Lyon president Jean Michel Aulas has already told clubs interested in his players that they have until this weekend to wrap up a deal for them and this applies to the Houssem Aouar situation.
Houssem Aouar has spent his career at Lyon and he’s ready to leave the club in the current window.
Lyon had slammed an asking price of €60m on him but that has been lowered to €50m in recent days. The Gunners have not been able to meet up with that transfer fee.
Widespread reports claimed that the player is still expected to leave Lyon in this transfer window.
EPL: Arteta given reasons to play William Saliba
French defender William Saliba is yet to get his competitive debut for Arsenal in the Premier League as he has also been omitted from the Europa League squad for the season.
Mikel Arteta insists that he is yet to be ready for the challenge, stressing that the young defender needs a year of transition, yet he is kept at the club without a loan move.
Now that Rob Holding has been declared injured and is joined by David Luiz on the treatment table, the Spanish boss is left with little options for the centre-back role and that makes it necessary to consider William Saliba for a role in the Premier League.
Shkodran Mustafi is also available for selection in the Premier League with his return from injury but the dream partnership of William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes will be a delight to the fans against Man United.
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William Saliba’s former manager Claude Puel has blasted Mikel Arteta for not making use of the French defender, insisting that he is a talent and would have remained with the French Ligue 1 outfit Saint Etienne.
Mikel Arteta has now been told that William Saliba will be a top signing by his old team-mate in the French Ligue 1 outfit.
Saint Etienne defender Hoard Moukoudi says the youngster has enormous potential can he can fulfill at the Emirates Stadium with the qualities he has. He, therefore, stressed that William Saliba needs the chance.
“With the qualities he has, I’m sure he will take the chance when he gets it.
“He has enormous potential and will succeed, I am sure of that” he told French outlet Football Transfer.
The decision is left for manager Mikel Arteta to make on the readiness of the player but from all indications, William Saliba is relaxed and ready to wait for his chance.
Arsenal would have signed this 25-year-old in the summer but were rejected
Reports by Calcio Mercato have revealed that the North London outfit made an attempt to sign Andrea Petagna from Italian Serie A outfit Napoli in the summer transfer window but their offer was turned down.
This would have been a surprise to the Gunners fans as the speculations and reports of Arsenal move for the 25-year-old striker was not in the news.
Andrea Petagna signed for the Italian Serie A outfit in the last January transfer window and was allowed to remain on loan at SPAL for the rest of the season. HE returned to the club in the last summer transfer window and the North London outfit made a failed shot at him.
The report claims that the Gunners manager was attracted to Andrea Petagna because of his form for SPAL and identified him as the type of striker that will strive in his team.
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The coming of Gennaro Gattuso as the new manager in charge of Naples was the reason Andrea Petagna did not join Arsenal as he insisted on working with the attacker.
This news did not come as a surprise as Mikel Aretta did not loan out Eddie Nketiah or sold French striker Alexandre Lacazette as speculated in the last summer transfer window. It would have been a different situation at the moment if he succeeded.
Meanwhile, the speculations linking Alexandre Lacazette away from the North London outfit are yet to end with claims that he might be having his last season at the club.
The former Lyon forward is yet to pay the faith invested in him by the Spanish boss with the Gunners struggling o score goals in the last games.
The loss of goalscoring form by Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has further exposed the French forward and his inability to be consistent with his duty at the club.
New Arsenal team is expected in predicted XI vs Dundalk
The English Premier League outfit will resume actions against Dundalk at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday for the Europa League clash and the target for Mikel Arteta is to get back to winning ways after suffering a defeat against Leicester City in the Premier League clash at the weekend.
Arsenal enjoyed a sweet 2-1 victory in their first Europa League game against Molde with goals coming from Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang which makes it important to continue on that note.
A number of players are have been confirmed by manager Mikel Arteta to be away as a result of injuries but that will not stop the Spanish boss from resting some of the big boys for the Premier League challenge against Man United at the weekend.
The likes of Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka, Bernd Leno could be rested for the game or handed bench roles to get them fresh for the weekend challenge. Special thanks to the fact that they will not have to travel away from England.
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However, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could get his own share of playing time in the game to be able to help his search for goal-scoring form but that could also happen with a bench role as he has been criticized for not scoring goals.
Runar Alex Runarsson’s wait for a debut could be over as an opportunity is to be handed to him on Thursday night while Shkodran Mustafi will be in line for action after the Injury of David Luiz and the absence of William Saliba from the Europa League team.
The likes of Mohamed Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Sead Kolasinac, Eddie Nketiah, and Joe Willock are available for selection for the Thursday encounter.
See predicted Arsenal XI
Runar Alex Runarsson, Maitland-Niles, Cedric Soares, Shkodran Musrafi, Sead Kolasinac, Joe Willock, Mohamed Elneny, Dani Ceballos, Willian, Eddie Nketiah, Nicolas Pepe.