Arsenal news LIVE: Watkins & Calvert-Lewin EXCLUSIVE, Dusan Vlahovic boost, Daniel Ek takeover LATEST – updates

ARSENAL are targeting Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins and Everton star Dominic Calvert-Lewin, SunSport can exclusively reveal.

The two frontmen head up the Gunners' shortlist to replace Alexandre Lacazette, who Arsenal could look to sell in the January transfer window rather than losing him as a free agent at the end of the season.

Meanwhile, Arsenal are said to be interested in Real Betis' Nabil Fekir.

And talk of Daniel Ek potentially raising his bid to buy the north London club has intensified after comments from club legend Thierry Henry.

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Follow ALL of the latest updates below…

  • Sandra Brobbey

    WRIGHT CHOICE

    Ian Wright reportedly gave his opinion on the skills of Dominic Calvin-Lewin and Ollie Watkins when he was asked which of the players he would take to the Euros earlier this year.

    The Gunners icon is thought to be a huge fan of the pair who have both been linked with Arsenal.

    On May 1, Wright told Match of the Day: "You’d probably take Dominic Calvert-Lewin simply because of his experience at under-21 level and the fact he’s had a very good season, just like Ollie Watkins.

    Wright added: "It’s an unfair question because I wouldn’t mind taking them both."

  • Sandra Brobbey

    WAT A GEM

    Emiliano Martinez reckons Ollie Watkins is a 'nightmare' for defenders to deal with.

    The Aston Villa forward has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal, according to SunSport

    In November last year, the former Gunners keeper sang the praises of the highly-rated strikers.

    It is thought Emirates chiefs are eyeing the Villa ace as a possible replacement for Alexandre Lacazette.

    Martinez told Birmingham Mail: "He's been outstanding for us, not just the goal-scoring and the finishing but his work ethic.

    "He's a nightmare for defenders, we're so glad to have him."

     

  • Joshua Jones

    GOOD MORNING ARSENAL FANS

    Arsenal have been given a major boost in their hunt for Fiorentina star Dusan Vlahovic.

    The striker has turned down a new contract with the Serie A side which would’ve made him the highest-paid player in their history.

    The Serbian forward, 21, now has 21 months left on his contract, putting the Gunners and all other interested parties on high alert.

    Meanwhile, Bernd Leno’s omission from the Arsenal first-team is having a negative impact on his international career with Germany.

    German manager Hansi Flick is reportedly considering axing Leno from his squad due to his lack of games at domestic level.

    The 29-year-old has lost his place in the Gunners line-up to new signing Aaron Ramsdale.

    And to get himself back in Flick’s good books, the keeper may consider a move away from The Emirates in future.

    Another player reportedly eyeing a transfer away from North London is Gunners winger Gabriel Martinelli.

    The Brazilian may try and force through a transfer exit due to his lack of playing time under Mikel Arteta. The Mirror claim.

    Finally, in a show of good faith, Arsenal have deferred the payments that Derby County owe them for Polish star Krystian Bielik for the time-being.

    The Rams are in financial trouble after going into administration last month and still owed the Gunners £8million for Bielik.

    Wayne Rooney’s side were supposed to pay £1.4m of that sum this month, but Arsenal have waived the fee until next year, giving the Rams time to sort themselves out, The Telegraph reported.

  • Justin Lawrence

    GUNNER HEART

    Arsenal have shown Derby County a classy gesture amidst their financial troubles.

    The Rams went into administration last month but still owed the Gunners £8million for Polish star Krystian Bielik from when they brought him in 2019.

    £1.4m of that fee was due to be paid to the Gunners this month, but the North London side will allow the Rams to skip the payment, The Telegraph report.

    But it won't be forever, Wayne Rooney's team will have to restart payments to Arsenal next year.

     

     

  • Justin Lawrence

    S-MART MOVE?

    Gabriel Martinelli could reportedly force through an Arsenal transfer exit due to his lack of playing time.

    The Mirror claims Martinelli, 20, is becoming ‘anxious’ over his Gunners future after featuring just twice in the league this season.

    The Brazilian has been an unused sub in Arsenal’s last five games.

    And with stars including Bukayo Saka, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Emile Smith Rowe in good form, Martinelli may have to wait a while until he gets another shot.

    That could prompt the youngster to seek a solution in January.

  • Justin Lawrence

    FEELING BERND

    Bernd Leno's omission from the Arsenal first-team looks likely to affect his international career too.

    It's been reported that Leno is in danger of being ousted from the German national team by Hansi Flick due to his lack of games at The Emirates this season.

    The 29-year-old has lost his place in the Gunners line-up to new signing Aaron Ramsdale.

    And in order to win his place back in the German side, Leno is likely going to have to leave Mikel Arteta's side, according to the Daily Star.

  • Justin Lawrence

    FIOR SALE

    Arsenal and Manchester City target Dusan Vlahovic has rejected a new deal at Fiorentina which would have made him the highest-paid player in the club's history.

    The Serbian forward, 21, now has 21 months left on his contract and that is likely to put a number of Europe's top clubs on alert.

    Fiorentina were confident of tying their star striker down to a new deal but the club's billionaire owner Rocco B. Commisso says talks have broken down.

    In a statement on the club's website, he said: "As you know, Fiorentina made a very significant offer to the player.

    "Our proposal would have made him the highest-paid player in the history of the club.

    "We also improved our offer on a number of occasions in order to accommodate the requests of both Dusan and his entourage.

    "However, despite our efforts, those offers have not been accepted."

    Commisso added the club will now "acknowledge the wishes of the player and his entourage and quickly identify feasible, appropriate solutions."

     

  • Jake Lambourne

    AUBA AND OUT

    Arsenal legend Alan Smith criticised Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after the Gunners’ goalless draw with Brighton.

    Smith appeared disappointed with Aubameyang’s performance at the Amex Stadium.

    The pundit expected more from the star striker after he scored against rivals Tottenham the week before.

    Smith told Sky Sports: “Yeah, I mean, having got that goal against Spurs, you would have expected him to be looking a bit sharper.

    "But certainly hasn’t seen too much of the ball in the opposition’s box.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    SAL SEARCHING

    Arsenal are reportedly keeping close tabs on William Saliba during his loan spell at Marseille.

    Fans were left disappointed after the Gunners allowed the French centre-back to depart yet again on loan.

    But according to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, the defender still has a future at the Emirates.

    He tweeted: "Arsenal are following William Saliba's progress closely – they are really happy with the French centre-back.

    "Arsenal told Saliba weeks ago that they trust him 100 per cent for the future, he joined OM on loan to play all games as starter then he’ll be back."

  • Jake Lambourne

    MART MY WORDS

    Arsenal forward Gabriel Martinelli is reportedly considering his future at the club.

    The Brazilian has featured just twice in the Premier League this season, with the player an unused substitute in the last five games.

    And according to the Mirror, if his situation doesn't change, he will be open to leaving the Emirates.

    The news outlet states that a loan move could be on the cards while a permanent transfer cannot be ruled out.

  • Jake Lambourne

    GUNNER DO BETTER

    Arsenal have been criticised by ex-Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood for returning to “boring business” following their goalless draw with Brighton.

    Sherwood told via Football365: “Arsenal have no clue when to go long. They need to be more flexible in how they play.

    “They are hell-bent on playing out from the back – where as they [Brighton] mix it up. [They] know when to play through and they know when to go long.

    “It looked like that was after the Lord Mayor’s Show [for Arsenal]. That was the big game [Tottenham].

    "Now, we are back to the boring business and it looked boring.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    JANUARY SALES

    There is less than three months until the transfer window swings wide open again and clubs try and find some New Year deals.

    The likes of Luis Suarez, Bruno Fernandes and Pierre-Emerick Aubemayang arrived in the Premier League during previous winter windows.

    And there is already plenty of speculation surrounding who will be going where in the first few weeks of 2022.

    So SunSport rounds up some of the biggest transfers that could get over the line in January…

    Click HERE for more.

  • Jake Lambourne

    BELL RINGING

    Arsenal hero Kevin Campbell has advised his former club to sign Borussia Dortmund star and England international Jude Bellingham.

    Campbell told the Highbury Squad: “Why not?”

    “This young man was at Birmingham, just up the M6. Nobody took the chance and he had to go to Dortmund.

    “If we have to pay the money, and if we want somebody to be in there [midfield] for years to come, we’ve got to pay the money."

  • Jake Lambourne

    ALL OR NOTHING

    Arsenal fans will be given an up-close and personal insight into Granit Xhaka’s road to recovery.

    The midfielder, 29, limped off in last weekend’s 3-1 North London Derby win over Tottenham at the Emirates.

    He was then pictured with his daughter wearing a brace before the Gunners confirmed he is set to be sidelined until the New Year.

    Arsenal missed the tough tackler during Saturday’s goalless draw at Brighton but there is some optimism that the ace may return quicker than expected.

    Supporters look set to get a rare glimpse into Xhaka’s recovery.

    According to The Athletic, the star has ‘agreed to let the Amazon Prime cameras follow his recovery for its All or Nothing documentary on Arsenal’s season’.

    The doc is due to be released next year.

  • Jake Lambourne

    IN THE PAN

    Stuttgart sporting director Sven Mislintat has confirmed plans to sign forgotten Arsenal defender Konstantinos Mavropanos for just £2.5million.

    The 23-year-old joined the Gunners in January 2018, but only made seven first-team appearances.

    Mavropanos then spent some time on loan at FC Nurnberg, followed by a season at Stuttgart – but in the summer his temporary deal was extended and the Bundesliga club have plans to make the move permanent.

    The idea is valid as long as Stuttgart remain in the Bundesliga this season.

    Mislintat revealed: "We have a purchase obligation of three million euros (£2.5m) if we remain in the league."

    Football.london are reporting that Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has no plans to integrate Mavropanos into the first-team set-up, making a permanent exit more likely next summer.

  • Jake Lambourne

    RON TOP

    Mohamed Salah reportedly wants £300,000-A-WEEK to stay at Liverpool – making him one of the Premier League's highest earners.

    The Egyptian's existing deal runs out in June 2023 and is thought to be demanding a similar salary to Manchester City ace Raheem Sterling, 26.

    Salah, 29, currently earns £200,000-a-week at Anfield, nearly half of what the top earners in the Prem receive from their respective clubs.

    Manchester United legend Cristiano Ronaldo, 36, is the top earner in the division on £480,000-a-week.

    But there are seven other players receiving more than £300k every seven days and Salah reportedly wants a similar pay packet.

    Take a look at the highest earners in the top-flight below.

  • Jake Lambourne

    LAC QUALITY

    Arsenal are considering moves for Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Ollie Watkins to replace Alexandre Lacazette – but the stats prove they'd both be a downgrade on the French striker.

    The former Lyon striker has played 130 times in the Premier League for Arsenal, starting 97 times.

    Only Calvert-Lewin has played more (150), with Watkins comfortably the least experienced (42).

    Despite playing fewer games than the Everton man, Lacazette has scored MORE goals with 50 Prem strikes to his name. That's more than Calvert-Lewin (43) and Watkins (15).

    Lacazette also boasts more assists with 18 – TWICE as many as Calvert-Lewin (9) and miles ahead of Watkins (5).

    The Frenchman has the best minutes per goal ratio at just 171.4, with the England duo further back on 226.7 (Calvert-Lewin) and 246.7 (Watkins).

  • Jake Lambourne

    WAT TO DO?

    Arsenal have added Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Ollie Watkins to their striker shortlist as they prepare for life after Alexandre Lacazette.

    The French striker, 30, is set to leave the Emirates in 2022 with his £180,000-a-week contract expiring at the end of the season.

    SunSport have revealed Arsenal are keen on Everton striker Calvert-Lewin, 24, and 25-year-old Aston Villa ace Watkins.

    The two forwards have been in superb form in the last season or two and could be set for a big-money move.

    But how would Arsenal line up with Calvert-Lewin or Watkins? And who would be the better option?

    Here SunSport takes a look.

  • Jake Lambourne

    DONE AND DUS-TED

    Arsenal target Dusan Vlahovic has rejected Fiorentina's latest contract offer with club owner Rocco Benito Commisso stating that talks have collapsed.

    The striker, who has also been linked with Atletico Madrid, is tied down in Italy until 2023.

    Speaking of the 21-year-old, Commisson said: "Vlahovic has not accepted our huge contract extension proposal.

    "We’ve been trying for months, but it’s over."

    Vlahovic has four goals from seven Serie A games this season.

  • Jake Lambourne

    GOT IT GALL

    Roy Keane is full of praise for Crystal Palace loanee Conor Gallagher – and is backing old foe Patrick Vieira to get the best out of the midfielder.

    The ex-Manchester United captain relished his bitter rivalry when Vieira was at Arsenal.

    Keane said: "He has certainly got a goal in his locker.

    "He is still learning his trade, but he is working with Patrick, an ex-midfielder so that should be a big, big help. He has gone to a very good club in Crystal Palace.

    "But he’s also gone into a new club where there has been lots of changes, lots of new players obviously Roy Hodgson leaving.

    "So you have to give these players the chance to progress and learn the game."

  • Jake Lambourne

    GUNNER GO

    Arsenal have been dealt a transfer blow as long-term target Andre Onana has a verbal agreement to join Inter Milan in 2022, reports say.

    The Ajax goalkeeper has allegedly agreed to join the Serie A champions when his contract expires next summer.

    According to reputable Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, Inter have had the verbal agreement with Onana since July.

    And Gunners goalkeeper Bernd Leno – whose contract also expires next summer and is available on a free transfer – was never an option for Inter.

    Romano said on Twitter: "Inter have reached a verbal agreement with André Onana since last July. He’s ready to join as free agent in 2022.

    "Contract NOT signed yet but at final stages. That’s why OL and Nice talks collapsed.

    "Inter want Onana as new goalkeeper – Leno was never an option."

  • Jake Lambourne

    GUNNING FOR BARCA

    Jonas Eidevall reckons toppling Barcelona will NOT be Arsenal's season-defining moment if his side defeats Europe’s football queens.

    And the Gunners Women's boss warns his stars will not be showing the defending champions too much respect in their Champions League clash.

    The Arsenal chief told reporters: "I really think Barcelona is the best team with big capital letters. The way they are playing – especially in offence – is very structured.

    “We know it's a very, very big football team that we're playing against, but they're human just like we are. They will make mistakes just like we do.

    “They are a very good football team, but they are also beatable. It's 11 humans against 11 humans. In Sweden, we say 'a shovel is a shovel’.

    “We need to be our best version of ourselves and shouldn't overly respect them either. It's about us trying to be as good as possible.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    YOU'RE THE DOM

    EXCLUSIVE – Arsenal have already started drawing up a target list of strikers as they prepare for the exit of Alexandre Lacazette.

    And England internationals Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Ollie Watkins have both been mentioned as potential replacements.

    French international Lacazette, 30, is in the final year of his £180,000-a-week Emirates contract and has not been offered a new deal by the club.

    There is a chance that Arsenal could look to sell him in the January transfer window rather than losing him as a free agent at the end of the season.

    But manager Mikel Arteta will only allow that to happen if he is able to sign another striker to act as back-up to skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

    And after spending £148million on six new recruits this summer, the club are not looking to make another big investment in January.

    Read more HERE.

  • Justin Lawrence

    PLAYING THE LONG GAME

    Mikel Arteta has singled out Albert Sambi Lokonga as Arsenal's best player against Brighton on the weekend.

    The Spaniard thinks Lokonga's performance in a game that wasn't suited to his strengths, is evidence of the 21-year-old's progress at the club.

    Speaking after the Gunners 0-0 draw with the Seagulls, Arteta raved about the Belgian: "I think he did really well. I think he had one of the best performances from the players on the pitch.

    “He shows a lot of character and all the time good positions. I think his defensive work and understanding is getting better.

    "It was a really difficult game because it was all the time one v one duels all over the pitch and it’s not the game that really suits him the most, but I think under the circumstances, he did really well."

  • Justin Lawrence

    GUNNER GET HIM

    Arsenal are reportedly looking at PSV Eindhoven striker Eran Zahavi as a potential replacement for Alexandre Lacazette next season.

    Lacazette looks likely to leave The Emirates when his contract ends next summer, and the Gunners reckon Zahavi could fill his boots in their strike force, according to Fichajes.

    The 34-year-old Israeli veteran has been in fine form for PSV since joining them last summer, scoring 29 goals in all competitions.

    And his contract with the Dutch giants is also up at the end of next season, so the Gunners may be able to get him on the cheap.

     

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