10pm Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Rekik CONFIRMED, Ozil may SNUB move away, Sabitzer UPDATE, Lacazette contract talks

ARSENAL return to action this weekend against Newcastle in the FA Cup.

Mesut Ozil's future is the big talking point at the Emirates, while we've the very latest on Marcel Sabitzer and Alexandre Lacazette.

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Follow all the latest from the Emirates below…

  • Joe Brophy

    GUNNER SIGN ANYONE?

    Arsenal have been linked to Lyon's Houssem Aouar and Marcel Sabitzer – will Mikel Arteta either of those two names onto this list?

  • Joe Brophy

    GUNNERS STARBOY

    A reminder of Alexandre Lacazette's winner against Brighton following a stunning assist from one of Arsenal's own…

  • Joe Brophy

    WIL POWER

    Former Arsenal target Wilfried Zaha later admitted his feeling that players from abroad are often favoured for big money transfers.

    He told Jamie Carragher’s The Greatest Game Podcast:: "You’re seeing a player come from Brazil or another league – they’re always going to attract more attention.

    "But, I just think if there’s a player that plays in the Premier League, you see him week in, week out. You know what he does.

    "I feel like it’s a no-brainer. The other leagues are totally different."

  • Joe Brophy

    NIC OF TIME

    Wilfried Zaha has accepted that Arsenal chose Nicolas Pepe 'over him' following a failed move to the club.

    He told Jamie Carragher's The Greatest Game Podcast: "I had a conversation with the manager actually.

    "[Unai] Emery was just like, 'We don’t really need to go through much'. "He said he’d seen me play, he knows I can change games at any time and stuff like that.

    "He was like, 'Yeah we’d love to have you' and I was just like, 'Yeah I’d love to come'.

    "The conversation was rather straightforward because I played against him when he was manager of Arsenal.

    "He saw what I could do, saw my work-rate, and what I could add to the team."

    He added: "Obviously, it was up to the club who they chose.

    "And they chose Pepe over me."

  • Joe Brophy

    GAME ON

    Sean Dyche says footballers should be fast-tracked for coronavirus vaccination, to prevent the game being forced into another shutdown.

    He explained: “I think vaccination throughout the game is the way forward for football.

    “I appreciate some people will be surprised by that comment, but if you think about it, we’re all going to get vaccinated.

    "And we all wanted football back, for the cash it generates through tax, and the well-being it generates has been seen.

    “The obvious most high-profile example is Marcus Rashford and what he achieved. There’s a lot of good come through football,

    “I am not trying to step in front of key workers, the vulnerable or anyone who needs it. But if there is a window to fast track football, then you would keep it on the TV in a really tough period.

    “I appreciate there will be people who disagree with me wholeheartedly. But I just feel the balance between getting vaccinations to footballers quicker, the payback would be enormous by comparison.”

  • Joe Brophy

    POT LUCK

    This season's FA Cup winners will bank just half what Arsenal received last year – at £3.4million.

    The Gunners scooped a total £6.8m for beating Chelsea at Wembley in May.

  • Joe Brophy

    PEP TALK

    Lionel Messi is now the world's 97th most valuable footballer.

    Incredibly, Cristiano Ronaldo finds himself 131th with two of the greatest players of all time both trailing Arsenal star Nicolas Pepe.

    That is according to the latest CIES Football Observatory, whose algorithm uses such factors as performance, age and contract length, as well as club and country represented to determine an individual's worth.

  • Joe Brophy

    COR BLIMEY

    Arsenal have confirmed their WSL game with Aston Villa has been called off after a player tested positive for Covid after visiting Dubai.

    The club says the match postponement, which has provoked fury within the women’s game, is due to safety reasons.

    The Gunners squad member who tested positive has not been named.

    In a statement an Arsenal spokeswoman said: “Although initially all of our first team players tested negative on return from the Christmas break, one player has subsequently tested positive for Covid-19 this week.

    “As a result, several first team players are now observing a period of self-isolation as a precaution in accordance with FA and UK Government protocol.

    “Our FA WSL fixture against Aston Villa Women that was due to be played this weekend has been postponed due to health and safety concerns.”

  • Joe Brophy

    TEENAGE KICKS

    Arsenal have confirmed the signing of teenage talent Omar Rekik from Hertha Berlin.

    The Gunners have made the 19-year-old defender their first signing of the January transfer window for a fee reportedly worth around £500,000.

  • Joe Brophy

    CASH INJECTION

    Arsenal have taken out a £120million loan from the Bank of England due to the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis.

    A club statement read: "As we continue to work through the implications of the global pandemic on our finances, we can confirm today that the club has met the criteria set by the Bank of England for the Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF).

    "As a result, we are taking a short-term £120 million loan through this facility to partially assist in managing the impact of the revenue losses attributable to the pandemic.

    "This is a similar approach to that taken by a wide variety of major organisations across many industries including sport, and is repayable in May 2021.

    "The CCFF is designed to provide short-term finance at commercial rates during the pandemic to companies that have strong investment ratings and which make significant contributions to the British economy.

    "The CCFF is in addition to the loan provided by our owners Kroenke, Sports & Entertainment that enabled us to refinance the debt on Emirates Stadium in August last year."

  • Joe Brophy

    ON THE REK-ORD

    Arsenal are set to confirm the signing of teenage talent Omar Rekik from Hertha Berlin.

    The Gunners will make the 19-year-old defender their first signing of the January transfer window for a fee reportedly worth around £500,000.

    Emirates Stadium bigwigs attempted to recruit Rekik last summer but could not get a deal over the line before the October deadline.

    Rekik is expected to initially link up with Arsenal's Under-23s and was spotted training with that group on Wednesday.

     

  • Josh Graham

    COVID CHAOS

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta had his say on the Covid chaos engulfing football.

    Mikel Arteta has spoken about the ongoing pandemic and the impact on footballCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    He told reporters: "It is worrying because we see every day what is happening in the country and the level of infections. That is increasing. You can sense not the panic but the worry around everybody.

    "We are suffering for all the people that are involved in different and difficult circumstances. We cannot isolate from that.

    "What we try to do is try to maintain the infections as low as possible, follow all the protocols and the doctors are doing an incredible job to try to maintain a safe environment for us.

    "We have to try to keep insisting, not just to our players but also to all the staff and everybody involved around the place, to be very conscious of how difficult the situation that we are in is and how lucky we are to still do what we do.

    "Yeah they [the players] are worried but they know that in this environment they are really well protected. Obviously this virus is touching everybody now personally.

    "You always have a relative, a parent, a friend that has been hit with the virus in many different ways. We are now very educated about it and have a history related to it. Then it becomes more worrying of course."

  • Josh Graham

    O-MAR TO COME

    Mikel Arteta has revealed Arsenal are set to confirm the signing of teenage talent Omar Rekik from Hertha Berlin.

    The Gunners will make the 19-year-old defender their first signing of the January transfer window for a fee reportedly worth around £500,000.

    Arteta said: "We will announce it when we possibly can, he is a young talent that we have been following for a while that has a really bright future, but we will give more details when we can."

    When asked whether he expects an announcement soon, Arteta added: "Yes. I don’t know [whether it could be today]! Very soon."

  • Josh Graham

    YOUNG GUNS

    With Mesut Ozil finally set to leave North London, Mikel Arteta has spoken about the young Gunners that can take the side forward.

    He said: "We need every player that is involved in our squad. The fact that the youngsters are involved in the squad means that they have the level to compete with any player in that squad.

    "The young players have moments through the season. It's really difficult for them to be constantly at the level for ten months, but sometimes players develop, players have moments and you have to take those moments.

    "If that means that they're pushing somebody else, I think it's really healthy competition for the team.

    "The team always gets better when something like that happens so I think it's really positive news."

  • Josh Graham

    FOL'S GOLD

    Folarin Balogun is reportedly close to signing for a team abroad despite Mikel Arteta's plea for the Arsenal striker to sign a new contract.

    With his deal up at the end of the season, the 19-year-old is free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with clubs outside of England.

    According to The Athletic, Balogun is on the verge of agreeing a move away from the Gunners in the summer.

    Playing time is thought to be the youngster's reason for leaving North London, and the club he first joined at the age of eight.

    Arteta is yet to hand Balogun his full debut in the senior team, with just five outings off the bench in cup competitions this season.

    Arteta told reporters: "You need three parties to make a deal. For sure, the club wants to make a deal, the manager wants to make a deal, the player wants to stay and I'm not sure about the agent.

    ""I'm not saying he's stopping [the deal]. I'm saying that we need to find an agreement with him. I'm telling you that we are doing everything we can to keep him here and hopefully from the other part they are doing the same."

  • Josh Graham

    ART ATTACK

    Mikel Arteta has slammed the constant rule changing in cup competitions but thinks all tournaments have become more important.

    The Arsenal boss was asked about the FA Cup fourth and fifth round draws taking place at the same time and said: "It seems like every year we're changing some rules in every competition, every cup. Something needs to be different, I don't know why it is.

    "I think we are doing something good in the country in that every cup is becoming more and more important.

    "For example you saw in the Carabao Cup that the teams involved in the semi-finals and final compared to the last 18 years has improved. 

    "Everybody wants to win a trophy, everybody knows how difficult it is to win a trophy, so you have to stick to every competition.

    That is raising the levels, certainly, but we can do things a little bit simpler sometimes."

  • Josh Graham

    TURKISH DELIGHT

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says Mesut Ozil's future could be decided in a matter of days amid reports he is set to sign for Fenerbahce.

    Reports emerged on Wednesday that the 32-year-old was closing in on a three-and-a-half-year deal to make the move to the Turkish giants.

    Mesut Ozil's Arsenal future could finally be resolved this monthCredit: PA:Press Association/PA Images

    Ahead of the club's FA Cup third round clash against Newcastle on Saturday, Arteta was asked about the German World Cup winner in his pre-match press conference.

    Commenting on his future, he said: "I don't know what is going to happen. Obviously now he's free to negotiate with other clubs.

    "We will discuss internally what the best situation for him is for the near future, obviously with the player and the agent too, and try to find the best solution for everyone."

    Pressed on whether Ozil could stay beyond January, he added: "I'm saying we will decide what's happening in the next few days."

  • Josh Graham

    ART DEALER

    Folarin Balogun is reportedly one of 11 players that have been made 'dispensable' by Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta.

    The Independent claims that Arteta is planning a huge overhaul, with 11 players on the chopping block.

    Mikel Arteta could offload youngster Folarin BalogunCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    And they state that the former Arsenal skipper wants up to eight players gone over the January and summer transfer windows.

    Mesut Ozil, Sokratis, Sead Kolasinac and Shkodran Mustafi are all said to be facing the axe.

    Konstantinos Mavropanos and Lucas Torreira – out on loan at Stuttgart and Atletico Madrid respectively – may have also played their last game for the Gunners.

    It has also been suggested that Calum Chambers could be shown the door, along with Mohamed Elneny – though the club are keen to keep hold of the Egyptian this month.

    To the surprise of many, academy graduates Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson and teenage striker Balogun are three the club are said to be prepared to let go.

  • Josh Graham

    MATT'S ALL FOLKS

    Arsenal ace Matt Macey is set to join Hibernian until the end of the season.

    The 26-year-old goalkeeper will undergo a medical with the Scottish Premiership club later today, according to the Daily Mail.

    Arsenal keeper Matt Macey is set to join HibernianCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    Macey will solve the goalkeeping crisis at Easter Road after Dillon Barnes, who had been covering for injured No1 Ofir Marciano, was recalled by QPR.

    The switch to Hibs signals the end of Macey's career at Arsenal as his contract was due to expire in the summer.

    He slipped to third in the Emirates Stadium pecking order when Runar Alex Runarsson was signed from Dijon last year.

    Macey joined Arsenal from Bristol Rovers for a compensation fee worth around £100,000 in 2013.

    The Bath-born stopper had brief loan spells in League Two with Accrington Stanley and Luton Town before making his only two appearances for the Gunners in 2017.

  • Josh Graham

    WIL WOE

    William Saliba's debut for Nice last night turned into a nightmare.

    The Arsenal flop joined the French club on loan for the rest of the season on Monday.

    William Saliba made his Nice debut after leaving Arsenal on loanCredit: AFP or licensors

    He was immediately named in Adrian Ursea's starting XI for the Ligue 1 clash against Brest.

    But Saliba was under pressure early doors as he received a booking after just 11 minutes for a foul after a heavy touch.

    It went from bad to worse as Nice conceded twice before the half-time break, although the teenager was not at fault for either goal.

    Saliba played the full 90 minutes and the game ended 2-0.

  • Josh Graham

    END OF AN ERA

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said it is better for both parties if outcast Mesut Ozil's future is resolved this month.

    Mikel Arteta wants Mesut Ozil's future resolved this monthCredit: PA:Press Association

    Speaking to the press ahead of Saturday's FA Cup tie against Newcastle, the Spanish manager said: "I think every player wants to play football, that is why we pick this profession and we are so lucky to be doing what we do. For every player that is not playing it is hard.

    “I don’t know what is going to happen, obviously now he is free to negotiate with other clubs. We will discuss internally what is the best situation for him in the near future, with the player and the agent, and try and find the best solution for everyone.

    "If something is sorted this month, it is because it is good for both parties – for Mesut and his future and good for the club.

    “If that is the case we will move forward, if it is not the case then he will continue here. He has been training with us, but he had some days [off] because we decided to give him some days for something personal. But he has been training with us.

    “We know we have a really important player that is one of the key players in the past few seasons for this football club.

    “We had to make a decision, I made it, I knew the consequences of it and now are going to have to make another one in January and we will put in the balance what is good for the club, the best thing for the team and what the intension of the player are and try and find the right solutions.”

  • Josh Graham

    DON'T STOP THE PARTEY

    Arsenal have confirmed summer signing Thomas Partey is back in training.

    The Ghanaian midfielder joined on deadline day in the previous transfer window for £45million from Atletico Madrid.

    Thomas Partey is back in Arsenal trainingCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    And after hobbling off in the North London derby on December 6, he appears to have recovered from a thigh injury.

    Partey could feature against Newcastle in the FA Cup on Saturday.

    The club said: "Thomas will continue to work hard to establish match fitness after being out of action for a month.

    "He will be assessed regarding his availability ahead of Saturday’s match."

  • Josh Graham

    GET REK-T

    Arsenal are close to signing teenage defender Omar Rekik from Hertha Berlin.

    The Standard reports the Gunners are close to signing the centre-back who will join the Gunners' Under-23s.

    Omar Rekik is on the verge of a move to North LondonCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    Mikel Arteta's side ran out of time to secure a deal in the summer.

    And German press suggest the fee is in the region of £500,000.

    The player has already been spotted in images of Arsenal's youth side training.

  • Josh Graham

    NO GO FOR MO

    Arsenal ‘have NO intentions’ of allowing Mohamed Elneny to leave this month.

    The Egyptian midfielder, 28, has struggled for match action in recent weeks despite being a regular under Mikel Arteta earlier in the campaign.

    He has been pushed down the pecking order after the arrival of Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid and Besiktas have been linked with a loan swoop for the star.

    Elneny played 36 times for them on loan last season, becoming a firm fan favourite.

    Despite making 19 appearances in all competitions, Partey’s imminent return to action is likely to see Elneny fall even further down the pecking order at Arsenal.

    And Besiktas are thought to be ready to return and offer him an escape from the Emirates.

    But according to football.london, the Gunners will not let Elneny leave while they are still challenging for a European places in the Premier League, Europa League and FA Cup.

  • Gary Stonehouse

    MORNING, ARSENAL FANS

    Arsenal fear Fenerbahce target Mesut Ozil will sit out the last 25 weeks of his £350,000-a-week contract.

    The outcast ex-Germany midfielder, 32, is due to get £8.75MILLION by the end of June – as his agreement includes a hefty ‘loyalty bonus’.

    Yet reports in Turkey claim Fenerbahce have agreed a three-and-a-half-year contract worth £90k each week.

    DC United have also been linked with Ozil for the new MLS season in March.

    Meanwhile, the Gunners are said to be upset with Atletico Madrid using loanee Lucas Torreira so sparingly.

    The Uruguay midfielder, 24, has played just 11 games this term, with just two La Liga starts.

    And Libertad Digital even suggest Arsenal are wondering if Atletico are playing Torreira infrequently in the hope of a lower transfer fee.

    Gunners and Spurs target Marcel Sabitzer could reportedly be available for “£30million or less” in the summer.

    But The Athletic say RB Leipzig are highly unlikely to sell heir skipper and midfielder, 26, before the end of the campaign.

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