ARSENAL were beaten in stoppage time by Premier League champions Man City on New Year's Day.

But fans and pundits have been fuming at the refereeing performance from Stuart Attwell, who sent off Gabriel and gave a contentious penalty against Granit Xhaka.

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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  • Justin Lawrence

    White slaps official's hand away

    Arsenal star Ben White let his frustration out by slapping an official's hand after defeat to Manchester City.

    The Gunners were undone in cruel fashion against the Premier League champions with a number of key decisions going against them.

    And defender White clearly felt aggrieved as he shook hands with the referees at full-time.

    A video taken from the stands posted on social media showed him give a frosty reception to assistant Simon Long and referee Stuart Attwell before taking a needless swipe at Neil Davies' outstretched hand.

    White, 24, then stormed off in a huff back to the dressing room.

  • Justin Lawrence

    Barca set for Morato transfer

    Alvaro Morata is on the cusp of becoming a Barcelona player – but cannot complete the transfer until the club reduce their wage bill.

    Spanish outlet AS are reporting that a deal taking the former Chelsea striker to Barca from LaLiga rivals Atletico Madrid is now '95 per cent done'.

    But Barca's sporting director Mateu Alemany will have to orchestrate some player sales first, with some big names seemingly set to leave the club.

    In order to register Morata and comply with financial fair play rules in Spain, the five-time Champions League winners will need to reduce their wage bill.

    And top earners Philippe Coutinho and Samuel Umtiti are the two players most likely to depart the club in January to allow them to complete the signing.

    Coutinho, 29, is a target for several Premier League clubs, including Spurs, Everton and Newcastle – but Arsenal is believed to be his preference.

  • Justin Lawrence

    Aubemayang 'could join Chelsea'

    Carlton Cole reckons Arsenal outcast Aubameyang could join Chelsea to replace Blues rebel Lukaku.

    Cole also reckons Tuchel and Aubameyang's Borussia Dortmund connection could help any negotiations.

    Although he can't see the Gunners wanting to sell to one of their main rivals.

    Cole said: "If you look at it, Chelsea is in need of a striker as well.

    "Imagine that, you never know, stranger things have happened. It's still London, do you know what I mean?

    "I doubt that will happen, they're not going to sell or loan to their rival club."

    "Look at the history. Dortmund, Tuchel, Aubameyang, they know each other and he knows what he gets out of him."

  • Justin Lawrence

    Arsenal eyeing Wijnaldum loan swoop

    Arsenal are reportedly set to make a loan swoop for PSG star Gini Wijnaldum this month.

    The Gunners need midfield reinforcements to cover the loss of Ghana star Thomas Partey and Eygptian ace Mohamed Elneny who will feature in the AFCON Cup for their nations.

    And the North London side allegedly see Wijnaldum as the right man to plug their gaping midfield void, FourFourTwo reported.

    The ex-Liverpool midfielder could be open to a move back to the Prem as he's struggled to get playing time at PSG this season.

  • Justin Lawrence

    Gunner help Coventry get Prem promotion

    Ben Sheaf was only three when Coventry were last in the Premier League.

    But the 23-year-old midfielder wants to be part of a new generation of Sky Blues to star on English football’s top stage.

    Sheaf signed for Coventry during the summer from Arsenal – having enjoyed a successful season on loan at the club.

    And while he was involved in a team fighting against the drop last term, this time around they are just one point behind the play-off spots and bidding to end the club’s 20-year exodus from the top flight.

    Sheaf said: “Coventry being back in the Premier League does sound really special and I’d like to play it one day so why not do it here."

  • Joshua Jones

    MORNING GUNNERS FANS

    SC Braga's Ricardo Horta and Real Sociedad striker Alexander Isak head this morning's speculation over Arsenal targets.

    Portugal winger Horta could reportedly be landed for £16.8million, despite Braga's £25.2m release clause.

    But Livepool are rated favourites to sign the ex-Malaga ace, 27, whose contract runs until 2026.

    Sweden superstar Isak now seems a far likelier Emirates recruit as Sociedad are said to have banned the 22-year-old from joining Barcelona.

    Arsenal chief Mikel Arteta is keen to find a long-term replacement for 30-something frontmen Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

    Meanwhile, Gunners starlet Folarin Balogun is expected to leave on loan in January.

    Middlesbrough and Saint-Etienne are leading contenders to recruit the 20-year-old. 

    Arsenal are preparing for Thursday's Carabao Cup semi-final first-leg at home to Liverpool

    But the fall-out continues after Arsenal were on the wrong end of two controversial penalty decisions in Saturday's 2-1 Prem defeat against Manchester City.

    Keeper Aaron Ramsdale joined assistant boss Albert Stuivenberg in blasting VAR 'inconsistency'. 

  • Ian Tuckey

    VAR'S cracking, says Ramsdale

    Aaron Ramsdale blasted VAR ‘inconsistency’ and a ‘soft’ Manchester City penalty in Arsenal’s agonising 2-1 defeat.

    The Gunners’ keeper was baffled why the leaders had a spot-kick appeal referred to the video assistant whereas Arsenal didn’t. 

    Riyad Mahrez’s penalty cancelled out Bukayo Saka’s opener, before Gabriel Magalhaes saw red and Rodri nicked City’s stoppage-time winner.

    And the Gunners were furious Martin Odegaard was denied a spot-kick despite City No1 Ederson sending him tumbling.

    Ramsdale told BT Sport: “I am basing it on both penalties – the inconsistency of going to the screen.

    “The referee might have ruled it out straight away when he looked at it. But it is the fact he went to look at it.

    ‘Both in real time he said no penalty, but only gets told to look at one. 

    “Theirs was soft for me but he gets told to look and has given it.

    ‘The goalkeeper comes out with his foot and he either catches him or the ball.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    Kop and Gunners in for Horta

    Arsenal and Liverpool are reportedly in a battle to sign SC Braga attacker Ricardo Horta.

    That’s according to Fichajes who claim that Liverpool are favourites in the race to sign the 27-year-old.

    However, Horta’s contract is up in 2026 meaning the Prem sides will have to spend to acquire the Portuguese midfielder.

    It’s reported that Braga will be willing to accept £16.8million for Horta, which is significantly lower than his release clause fee of £25.2m, according to Fichajes.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Laca's a leader

    Kevin Campbell has praised Arsenal star Lacazette for acting like a proper captain unlike the club’s former one Aubameyang.

    Campbell claims Lacazette gives his all for the Gunners but the same can’t be said for Aubameyang who was dropped from the role following a disciplinary issue.

    Campbell said: “He [Lacazette] is performing like a true captain, he really is. There has been some great displays in recent weeks. Long may it continue.

    “I know he only has six months left on his contract but he never shirks a challenge. He is always committed, unlike the previous captain. Lacazette is fully committed.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    Gunners 'close on Isak'

    Real Sociedad's Sweden striker Alexander Isak is tipped for Arsenal.

    Real will reportedly block the 22-year-old from joining fellow Spaniards Barcelona.

    And that leaves the Gunners favourites to sign the ex-Borussia Dortmund star.

    Emirates boss Mikel Arteta is keen to find a long-term replacement for 30-something frontmen Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

    Credit: Getty
  • Ian Tuckey

    Rio's rift of the Gab

    Rio Ferdinand has slammed Arsenal star Gabriel for getting sent off against Man City.

    Gabriel received two yellow cards in quick succession and Ferdinand thinks as a top player he should be able to control his emotions.

    The ex-Man United defender said, reported by 101 goals: “You get a yellow card and you automatically think you have to adjust the way you approach situations now.

    “He’s got red mist, he’s still thinking about the penalty, that’s the problem, he’s thinking about the penalty that happened previously, he doesn’t see the referee is only ten yards away and I’m half a pitch away from danger, there’s no danger.

    “If you’re going to be the top player here, and he’s got to be the leading centre-half at the moment, you’ve got to curve that and take the emotions out of situations.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    Boro and St Etienne eye Balogun

    Arsenal starlet Folarin Balogun is set to depart the Emirates on loan this month with Middlesbrough and Saint-Etienne pushing for his signing.

    SunSport exclusively revealed how Boro boss Chris Wilder had made bringing the 20-year-old to the Riverside Stadium in January his top priority.

    And we also told you how Ligue 1 outfit St-Etienne had sent scouts to watch the England youth international in action.

    Balogun has been limited to just four first-team appearances this term under Mikel Arteta, with his last outing coming in the 5-1 Carabao Cup quarter-final win over Sunderland.

    Though he has been in sparking form for the Under-23s, with the American-born centre-forward chipping in with 13 goals and three assists in 11 Premier League 2 matches.

    The youngster has also scored twice in each of his two EFL Trophy appearances this campaign.

    And Arteta is keen for the striker to depart in the winter transfer window as he looks for him to play regular first-team football.

    Arsenal's academy chief Per Mertesacker revealed last month how he is likely to be leaving North London to get himself ready for next term.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Ramsdale blasts VAR 'inconsistency'

    Aaron Ramsdale blasted VAR 'inconsistency' and a 'soft' Manchester City penalty in Arsenal's agonising 2-1 defeat.

    The Gunners' keeper was baffled why the leaders had a spot-kick appeal referred to the video assistant whereas Arsenal didn't. 

    Riyad Mahrez's penalty cancelled out Bukayo Saka's opener, before Gabriel Magalhaes saw red and Rodri nicked City's stoppage-time winner.

    And the Gunners were furious Martin Odegaard was denied a spot-kick despite City No1 Ederson sending him tumbling.

    Ramsdale told BT Sport: "I am basing it on both penalties – the inconsistency of going to the screen.

    "The referee might have ruled it out straight away when he looked at it. But it is the fact he went to look at it.

    'Both in real time he said no penalty, but only gets told to look at one. 

    "Theirs was soft for me but he gets told to look and has given it.

    'The goalkeeper comes out with his foot and he either catches him or the ball."

  • Justin Lawrence

    Carragher compares Tuchel to Arteta

    Jamie Carragher has likened Thomas Tuchel's handling of Romelu Lukaku to how Mikel Arteta dealt with Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang.

    Arteta dropped Aubemayang from Arsenal's squad for a disciplinary breach and Tuchel did the same to Lukaku going into Chelsea's game against Liverpool after he announced he wants to go back to Inter.

    Speaking on Sky Sports, Carragher said: "I admire what Mikel Arteta's done with Aubameyang, in some ways what Thomas Tuchel has done here."

  • Justin Lawrence

    Arsenal and Liverpool chase Horta

    Arsenal and Liverpool are reportedly in a battle to sign SC Braga attacker Ricardo Horta.

    That's according to Fichajes who claim that Liverpool are favourites in the race to sign the 27-year-old.

    However, Horta's contract is up in 2026 meaning the Prem sides will have to spend to acquire the Portuguese midfielder.

    It's reported that Braga will be willing to accept £16.8million for Horta, which is significantly lower than his release clause fee of £25.2m, according to Fichajes.

  • Justin Lawrence

    'Lacazette's behaving like a captain'

    Kevin Campbell has praised Arsenal star Lacazette for acting like a proper captain unlike the club's former one Aubameyang.

    Campbell claims Lacazette gives his all for the Gunners but the same can't be said for Aubameyang who was dropped from the role following a disciplinary issue.

    Campbell said: “He [Lacazette] is performing like a true captain, he really is. There has been some great displays in recent weeks. Long may it continue.

    “I know he only has six months left on his contract but he never shirks a challenge. He is always committed, unlike the previous captain. Lacazette is fully committed.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    Liverpool suffer Covid absences

    Liverpool have just announced the first team players that will be unavailable for this afternoon's fixture at Stamford Bridge due to testing positive for Covid-19.

    Goalkeeper Alisson, centre-back Joel Matip and forward Roberto Firmino have all been ruled out, and join manager Jurgen Klopp in having to spend a period in self-isolation.

  • Justin Lawrence

    Kevin Campbell praises Tomiyasu

    Arsenal legend Kevin Campbell has praised 'sensational' Takehiro Tomiyasu after the club's loss to Man City.

    Tomiyasu was one of the stand-out stars for the Gunners in the game and Campbell reckons he was a steal at just under £20million.

    He told Football Insider: “He has been absolutely sensational. He is solid as a rock at the back. He’s aggressive, rough and can defend. Listen, he has been OK going forward as well.

    “I just think he has been a really great signing. When you think about it, to get a player of his quality for below £20million was cheap money. A rock for that defence so far.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    'Gunners can challenge for title'

    Aaron Ramsdale reckons Arsenal can challenge for the title if they keep playing like they did against Man City.

    The Gunners lost the game 2-1 but dominated the clash for large periods.

    And Ramsdale's confident the Gunners can compete with the Prem's top sides for silverware if they continue to progress.

    He told Arsenal: “(There are) a huge amount of positives. Not too many teams have dominated Man City like that more in the first half than we did it.

    “We played really well in the second half and we need to try and get over the line in one of these big games, but at the start of the season when it’s 4-0, 5-0, Liverpool, City, this is a massive step in the right direction.

    “We need to win one of these games, but ultimately we know we’re not challenging with these guys at the moment, but on this basis, if we can put that in week in, week out, we can be.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    Sako urges Aubameyang to leave Arsenal

    Ex-Gunner Bakary Sako has urged Aubameyang to join him at Saint Etienne and leave his Arsenal nightmare.

    Aubameyang's been frozen out at Arsenal and dropped as club captain following a disciplinary breach and Sako wants the striker to relaunch his career in France.

    But although Aubameyang faces an uphill battle to get back into the Gunners squad, Sako admitted it hasn't been easy convincing the Gabon national to leave London.

    He said: “I am trying to attract him. “Wouldn’t you like to see Aubameyang back at St Étienne? We all feel the same. I am very serious when I tell him to come, even if it is in a joking tone.

    “I don’t know if it is possible, but I hope he will respond favourably. It is difficult because he has been at Arsenal for a long time, it is not easy to leave London.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    Ferdinand slams Gabriel for red card

    Rio Ferdinand has slammed Arsenal star Gabriel for getting sent off against Man City.

    Gabriel received two yellow cards in quick succession and Ferdinand thinks as a top player he should be able to control his emotions.

    The ex-Man United defender said, reported by 101 goals: "You get a yellow card and you automatically think you have to adjust the way you approach situations now.

    "He’s got red mist, he’s still thinking about the penalty, that’s the problem, he’s thinking about the penalty that happened previously, he doesn’t see the referee is only ten yards away and I’m half a pitch away from danger, there’s no danger.

    “If you’re going to be the top player here, and he’s got to be the leading centre-half at the moment, you’ve got to curve that and take the emotions out of situations.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    Andy Gray rips into Xhaka and Gabriel

    Footy Pundit Andy Gray ripped into Xhaka and Gabriel for their costly errors that led to Arsenal's defeat against Man City yesterday.

    The Gunners were 1-0 up when Xhaka brought down City star Bernado Silva in the penalty area.

    Mahrez converted from the spot to bring the scores even before Rodri scored a late winner for Pep Guardiola's side.

    Gunners defender Gabriel also added to Arsenal's problems when he got sent off and Gray thinks the Brazilian and Xhaka's 'crimes' cost the Gunners a victory.

    He told beIN SPORTS: "If you look at who committed the crimes here, it was two of the more senior players.

    “Certainly Xhaka at 30 plus has not got the excuse of youth and naivety. He’s just nuts at times, he really is.

    “You can’t rely on him. He’s given away a stupid penalty today with really poor defending.

    “Gabriel, he’s not old but he’s experienced as well. He should know better. Don’t give the referee an opportunity to send you off.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    Silva compares Partey to Vieira

    Gilberto Silva has compared Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey to former team-mate Patrick Vieira after his performance against Man City.

    Although the Gunners lost 2-1 in the end, Partey marshalled the midfield with a robust display – remniscent of Vieira in his prime.

    And Silva took to Twitter to praise the 28-year-old, writing: "He looked like Patrick Vieira. He was very good. I really like him."

    Silva also offered his support to Gunners defender and fellow countryman Gabriel who was sent off in the game.

    He said: "Lots of positives Gabriel. The team looks like it has lots of sprit, it’s great to see. Keep going!"

  • Justin Lawrence

    Dixon praises Arsenal's defence

    Lee Dixon is in awe of Arsenal's defence and reckons they deserve as much praise as Saka and Smith-Rowe receive.

    The Gunners have been in sensational form recently and Saka and Smith-Rowe have been hailed for playing a key role in the team's resurgence.

    But Dixon believes the Gunners backline and keeper Ramsdale have been just as influential as their attacking counterparts and should be commended too.

    He said to Premier League Productions: “I think that backline, with Ramsdale behind, has been sensational. That backline is really taking shape.

    “The partnerships that you create as a back four carry you through games like that. Carry a team through where you go ‘you know what, those four look pretty solid and we have a base to play from’.

    “I think the back four and the goalkeeper, for me, as much press as Saka and Smith Rowe get, and all of that lot, that back five unit deserve and have been the most impressive.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    Top four race excites Agbonlahor

    Gabby Agbonlahor is excited to see how the race for the top four pans out this season.

    The ex-Aston Villa star thinks the battle for the final Champions League spot will be obtained by either West Ham, Tottenham, Man United or Arsenal.

    But he reckons Tottenham may have the edge in the end because they’ve got the best manager out of the aforementioned sides in Antonio Conte.

    He told talkSPORT: “I’m so excited for this top four race. West Ham aren’t going anywhere. Arsenal are looking like a proper team now, Spurs are as well.

    “Manchester United can’t play any worse, so they are going to be fighting for that top four place as well.

    “I think the reason why Spurs are the favourites is because of the manager. They’ve got the best manager out of the other teams trying to get into the top four – West Ham, Manchester United, Arsenal.”

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