7am Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Eric Garcia targeted, Ozil and Balogun LATEST, Chelsea win reaction

ARSENAL could soon be without Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Mesut Ozil as the January transfer window edges ever closer.

Atletico Madrid are keen on Maitland-Niles while outcast Ozil is said to have had secret talks with Turkish side Fenerbahce.

And, of course, we've got plenty of reaction to THAT thumping win over Chelsea.

Follow all the latest below…

  • James Orr

    TIER JERKER

    Gary Neville has claimed that Reece James was 'done' by Kieran Tierney over Arsenal's penalty in their 3-1 win over Chelsea.

    Alexandre Lacazette's spot-kick set the Gunners on their way to a stunning victory over their London rivals to ease their relegation fears.

    He told Sky Sports: "Reece James has been done and to be fair, he should never have made the challenge.

    "But he's been played by Tierney whose played well down that left-hand side."

    He later added: “Arsenal had one of the very best, Robert Pires brought it to the Premier League. He was a master at it – and it was very clever from Tierney.”

  • Marc Mayo

    GOOD MORNING ARSENAL FANS

    I bet you’re still buzzing from last night’s 3-1 win over London rivals Chelsea!

    Goals from Alexander Lacazette, Granit Xhaka and Bukayo Saka was enough to secure Arsenal’s first win in the league in over 10 games.

    Arsenal are considering a move for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Julian Brandt, according to reports.

    The Gunners are believed to have ‘reservations’ over signing Houssem Aouar and are considering a move for the German instead.

    Brighton boss Graham Potter has confirmed that he has received no bids for in-demand midfielder Yves Bissouma.

    Potter said: “There have been no approaches.

    “As I’ve said before, just because it’s in the newspaper, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true.

    “My focus on Yves is how I can help him improve and I think he’s still got some improvement to do.”

    Arsenal defender Gabriel will miss the next three games after coming into contact with someone with coronavirus.

    The Brazilian is now self-isolating and will be unavailable for the Gunners’ matches against Chelsea, Brighton and West Brom.

  • Joshua Mbu

    BIG WIN

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta described today's result over Chelsea as a "big win".

    Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Arteta said: "It’s a really big win for us.

    "We were really disappointed with the results – not so much the performances. Our players were suffering, our fans were suffering.

    “It doesn’t get any better than winning a London derby against Chelsea on Boxing Day.

    "Hopefully this is a turning point. I know they can play at this level. We know how good Chelsea are but big moments in the game we were the better team.

    “The injuries, the Covid, playing 10 men…you start to think what do we need to win a match.

    “It’s nice to give something back to fans because I can imagine they have been really disappointed. We started well and we were dominant. That gives the team confidence.”

  • Joshua Mbu

    HIGHLIGHTS

  • Joshua Mbu

    TIERNEY'S THOUGHTS

    Kieran Tierney gave his thoughts after today's win at home against Chelsea: "It’s a start, isn’t it? We needed that today and we needed to give the fans something to be positive about.

    "We’ve had a few bad results this season, so it’s a start.

    "I think we started better today. We didn’t wait until we went 1-0 down to start playing or creating chances because it’s always hard when you’re 1-0 down, but we started on the front foot today.

    "That’s been the message in the last few weeks of training and we did that."
     

  • Joshua Mbu

    BRANDT DEAL

    Arsenal reportedly have 'reservations' over signing Houssem Aouar but are considering a move for Borussia Dortmund star Julian Brandt.

    The Athletic reports Lyon ace Aouar was a previous Gunners target but has now slipped down the scouting pecking order.

    The Gunners are set to dip into the January transfer window to add some creativity to the ranks after a horror start to the Premier League season left them hovering above the relegation zone.

    Mikel Arteta's side had reportedly 'weighed up' a move for Dominik Szoboszlai but the player opted to swap RB Salzburg for RB Leipzig.

    And now after chasing £55million-rated Aouar in the summer, the club appear to have had a change of heart after developing 'reservations' over signing the players.

    The report states Dortmund's Brandt is on their radar – despite only starting six league games this season.

  • Joshua Mbu

    YOUNG GUNS

  • Joshua Mbu

    XHAK, LAC AND SAK ARSENAL 3-1 CHELSEA

    We Came to bury Mikel Arteta not to praise him.

    But just when it looked as though the Spaniard could be heading for the Emirates exit, he conjured up the kind of result which might just save his neck and Arsenal’s season.

    So instead of heading into the New Year talking about relegation, Gunners fans are suddenly believing that their struggling team has finally turned the corner.

    And it is Chelsea supporters who are now wondering where their team is heading as they threaten to lose contact with the title race.

    For this was a performance which absolutely nobody had seen coming from an Arsenal team without a win in their previous seven Premier League games.

    READ MORE

  • Daniel Brookes

    NO BIDS FOR BISSOUMA

    Brighton boss Graham Potter has said the club have yet to receive any offers for midfielder Yves Bissouma.

    Both Arsenal and Liverpool have been credited with interest in the Mali international in the past few months.

    Potter said: “There have been no approaches.

    “As I’ve said before, just because it’s in the newspaper, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true.

    "My focus on Yves is how I can help him improve and I think he’s still got some improvement to do.”

  • Daniel Brookes

    HT: ARSENAL 2-0 CHELSEA

    A controversial penalty from Alexandre Lacazette and a stunning free-kick from Granit Xhaka have the Gunners ahead at the break.

    You can follow all the action right here:

  • Daniel Brookes

    COVID SHOCK

    Arsenal defender Gabriel will miss the next three games after coming into contact with someone with coronavirus.

    The Brazilian is now self-isolating and will be unavailable for the Gunners' matches against Chelsea, Brighton and West Brom.

    And a positive test for the 23-year-old could see him miss further fixtures.

    Willian and David Luiz have also come down with an illness, but both have tested negative for Covid-19.

  • Daniel Brookes

    BALO-GONE?

    Arsenal fear losing youngster Folarin Balogun on a free transfer, according to The Athletic.

    The 19-year-old striker has come off the bench to score twice in the Europa League this season.

    Talks are ongoing over a new contract for the England youth international, but the two parties have yet to reach an agreement.

    Liverpool are among the clubs interested in the USA-born teenager, while foreign clubs will be able to negotiate pre-contract terms with Balogun from January.

  • Daniel Brookes

    ARSENAL LINEUP

    Here's how Mikel Arteta's side will line up against Chelsea in this evening's clash at the Emirates.

  • Daniel Brookes

    AUBA PRAISE FOR TUCHEL

    Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is a big fan of departed PSG coach Thomas Tuchel.

    The pair worked together at Borussia Dortmund and Tuchel has been linked with the Emirates hot seat in recent days as pressure continues to mount on boss Mikel Arteta.

    Aubameyang said of Tuchel in 2018: "He’s one of the best coaches that I’ve had.

    "I can’t deny his talent. He’s someone a bit crazy, a little like me.

    "You could say that his style is a bit like that of Guardiola. In any case, they play with the same spirit.

    "He likes to keep the ball with a style of play that likes to see the ball move forward, no matter what happens.

    "I think he’s got the stuff. Now, it’ll be up to him to prove it."

  • Daniel Brookes

    GUNNER BLAST

    Emmanuel Frimpong thinks the players are to blame for the current woe – not Mikel Arteta.

    Frimpong told PlayOJO: “I don’t think the problem is Arteta, I think it’s the players and the investment the club has made in the players.

    “To be fair, when you look at the Arsenal squad – it’s not the best of squads.

    “Of course, we are all thinking Arsenal should be in the top four, based on the history of the club, not based on the current players or where the club is at the moment.

    “The fact of the matter is Arsenal is not a top four team at the moment, with the players we have, the structures in place, the club’s investments just haven’t been good enough.

    “Sometimes they do pay a lot of money for players but unfortunately when they join, they do not perform.

    “For example, players like Pepe and Xhaka haven’t performed to the standard that we thought they would.

    “I’m not happy with the way the club is being run, but at the same time we have to be honest and say they have put money into the club, it’s just that the players that they’ve been bringing in haven’t worked.

    “It’s down to a lack of competition in the squad. The players are not good enough.”

  • Daniel Brookes

    PSG IN FOR ERIKSEN

    Arsenal have been locked in talks with Inter Milan regardinga deal for Christian Eriksen, according to CalcioMercato.

    The former Tottenham midfielder has endured a torrid time at the San Siro since his transfer in January of last year and looks set to move on in January.

    However, the Gunners could be beaten to the 28-year-old's signature by Paris Saint-Germain, who look set to appoint Eriksen's former Spurs coach Mauricio Pochettino to replace Thomas Tuchel.

  • Daniel Brookes

    OZIL ON HIS WAY?

    Mesut Ozil could finally be on his way out of Arsenal, according to Bild.

    A report from the German outlet suggests the frozen-out playmaker has held talks with Turkish side Fenerbahce regarding a transfer.

    A source close to Fenerbahce believes the club are '90 per cent certain' to sign Ozil when the transfer window re-opens.

    Ozil would be able to leave the Gunners for free next summer as his £350k-a-week contract expires at the end of the season.

    The 32-year-old was left out of Arsenal's Premier League and Europa League squads at the start of the season.

  • Daniel Brookes

    BRANDT NEW TARGET

    Arsenal could target Julian Brandt after missing out on Dominik Szoboszlai, according to The Athletic.

    Szoboszlai is set to join RB Leipzig for £18million when the transfer window opens in a week's time.

    And reports suggest the Gunners will turn their attention to Borussia Dortmund midfielder Brandt to solve their creative problems.

    The 24-year-old has lost his place in the Dortmund starting XI and could be allowed to leave the club this winter.

  • Daniel Brookes

    MIND GAMES

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta believes Chelsea have the best squad in the Premier League.

    Ahead of Arsenal's clash with Chelsea on Saturday, Arteta told reporters he feels the Blues' £200m summer outlay has made Frank Lampard's side title contenders.

    Arteta said: “Obviously Chelsea always have a great squad of great players.

    “The team that we faced a few months ago was a top one.

    "In this moment, you’re probably talking about the strongest squad in the Premier League.  

    “They’re doing a really good job, Frank is doing a really good job.

    “He’s got a team full of belief and confidence, and even though they had some defeats, they got back to winning on Monday and it’s a team that is going to be fighting for the top spot in the league for sure.”

  • Daniel Brookes

    ATLETICO EYE AINSLEY

    Atletico Madrid could make a January move for Arsenal star Ainsley Maitland-Niles, according to Sky Sports.

    The La Liga leaders will be without right-back Keiran Trippier for 13 gamesfollowing the England international's 10-week ban for breaching betting rules.

    As a result, Atletico could make an offer for Maitland-Niles, who can play at full-back as well as in midfield.

    The 23-year-old came close to joining Wolves for £20m over the summer but the deal fell through.

     

  • Jack Figg

    CHANGE OF ART

    Ian Wright is urging Mikel Arteta to ditch three big-name Gunners and wants Mesut Ozil paid off unless he earns a January recall.

    Wright told Optus Sport’s The Kelly and Wrighty Show: "With the manager and the players he’s picking now, I think people like Emile Smith Rowe and Joe Willock and those guys, I’d like to see them have a chance.

    "That’s simply because you’re looking at the Willians, it’s not happening and he’s not playing well.

    "Why are you playing people like Kolasinac? Why are you playing someone like Mustafi?

    "I’d rather see Saliba who is playing in the Under-23s, I’d rather see Smith Rowe and I’d rather see something different."

  • Jack Figg

    GUNNER BLAST

    Emmanuel Frimpong thinks the players are to blame for the current woe – not Mikel Arteta.

    Frimpong told PlayOJO: "I don’t think the problem is Arteta, I think it’s the players and the investment the club has made in the players.

    "To be fair, when you look at the Arsenal squad – it’s not the best of squads.

    "Of course, we are all thinking Arsenal should be in the top four, based on the history of the club, not based on the current players or where the club is at the moment.

    "The fact of the matter is Arsenal is not a top four team at the moment, with the players we have, the structures in place, the club’s investments just haven’t been good enough.

    "Sometimes they do pay a lot of money for players but unfortunately when they join, they do not perform.

    "For example, players like Pepe and Xhaka haven’t performed to the standard that we thought they would.

    "I’m not happy with the way the club is being run, but at the same time we have to be honest and say they have put money into the club, it’s just that the players that they’ve been bringing in haven’t worked.

    "It’s down to a lack of competition in the squad. The players are not good enough."

  • James Orr

    TEAM NEWS

    Gabriel Martinelli is set to hand Mikel Arteta a fitness boost before they face Chelsea TONIGHT.

    The Arsenal winger limped off in the 4-1 Carabao Cup defeat with Manchester City on Tuesday with a shin injury.

    Martinelli, 19, was making his first start in nine months after overcoming a serious knee injury.

    Despite his lengthy absence, the talented Brazilian showed his class with a fine run and cross to set up Alexandre Lacazette for the equaliser.

    But his latest knock is not thought to be serious and he told fans on Twitter: "Feeling fine and ready to go again.”

    Martinelli is expected to start if fit in an attack that could feature Alexandre Lacazatte and Nicolas Pepe.

    Youngster Eddie Nketiah is pushing for a start but Lacazette's goal against City is likely to give him the nod.

    Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang is expected to miss out again as he battles to overcome a calf injury.

  • James Orr

    MES TOGETHER

    Mesut Ozil admits it's a "difficult time for everyone" at Arsenal – but promised he would never join big rivals Tottenham.

    The "frustrated" midfielder, 32, insists he is itching to return for the Gunners, despite reports of secret talks over moving to Fenerbahce.

    The 92-cap ex-Germany playmaker tweeted: "It’s a very difficult time for everyone around the club – not just for me.

    "The situation is frustrating for everyone.

    "Of course I would wish I could help the team especially right now, but as long as I don’t get the chance I just hope that we get better results very soon again."

    And Ozil underlined to fans where his loyalties lie by posting a clip of Spiderman flipping through "NO" answers, above the words: #Askmesut would you leave Arsenal for Tottenham Hotspur if there's Chance."

    He has again been linked with Turkish giants Fenerbahce, with claims varying between a loan exit in January and a permanent move in the summer.

  • James Orr

    NIGHT-MYRHH

    Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal ARE in a relegation scrap.

    And the under-fire Gunners boss, 38, has warned his flops they must pick up points over the crucial festive period.

    Arsenal start the day in 15th, four points above the drop zone.

    They host rivals Chelsea this evening, desperately chasing their first Prem win since November 1, before massive games against fellow strugglers Brighton and West Brom.

    And Arteta declared: “The next seven or eight days are going to be crucial to where we’re heading to in the Premier League. We have a crucial week, we have to stand up and we have to pick up points.”

    And when asked if he and his players now accept they are in a relegation dogfight, Spaniard Arteta replied:  “Yes, absolutely.”

    Arsenal have enjoyed an uninterrupted 101 YEARS in the top flight, after being elected to the old First Division in 1919.

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