Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Arteta tests positive for Covid-19 AGAIN, Schick targeted, Gunners 'lead Coutinho race'

PATRIK SCHICK is reportedly a target for a number of Premier League clubs, including Arsenal.

The Czech star has 16 goals for Bayer Leverkusen this year after a superb showing at the Euros.

And Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has tested positive for Covid-19 AGAIN.

It is the second time the Arsenal chief has returned a positive test during the pandemic and as a result he'll miss the Premier League showdown with Man City.

Meanwile, the club are still keeping their eyes on a move for Philippe Coutinho.

The Barcelona star is on some of the highest wages at the Nou Camp and the Catalan giants are keen to get him off the books.

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  • Justin Lawrence

    COR BLIMEY

    Mikel Arteta will miss Arsenal’s crucial home game against Manchester City on Saturday after testing positive for Covid.

    The 39-year-old Spaniard has gone into isolation after Tuesday’s test and will be absent from the club for the next seven days.

    Arteta was the first person in British football to contract coronavirus when his positive test in March 2020 led to the game being completely closed down.

    Yet though it is believed he has had both vaccinations and the booster.

    However he has still gone down with the virus for a second time.

    Assistants Steve Round and Albert Stuivenberg will now take charge for the Saturday lunchtime meeting with League leaders City.

  • Justin Lawrence

    Prem clubs battle over Schick

    Arsenal are part of the bidding war for Bayer Leverkusen star Patrik Schick ahead of the January transfer window, reports suggest.

    According to 90min, Manchester City, Tottenham, West Ham, Everton and the Gunners have been keeping tabs on Schick for months.

    Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick is also a well-known fan of the striker, whom he signed at RB Leipzig on loan from Roma in 2019.

    However, Leverkusen are in no hurry to sell and have little interest to hear offers for the Czech Republic international next month.

    The 25-year-old is enjoying a stunning campaign as he is the second highest goalscorer in the Bundesliga and has netted more times than Borussia Dortmund superstar Erling Haaland.

  • Justin Lawrence

    Wilshere chooses Sanchez over Van Persie

    Jack Wilshere reckons Alexis Sanchez was a better team-mate than Robin Van Persie at Arsenal.

    Wilshere played alongside both the former Gunners but gave Sanchez the nod over Van Persie as the Chile star was faster and able to win games single-handedly for the club.

    When asked by talkSPORT who was better out of the pair by talkSPORT, Wilshere said: “This is tough, this is the toughest one because they were both unbelievable.

    “I am probably going to have to say Alexis because I played with him for longer.

    “As good as Robin was, he didn’t have the pace of Alexis. He was that one player that didn’t give us much defensively, but it didn’t really matter because we trusted him when we got the ball.

    “He could beat someone and win a game for us.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    Gunners preserve Invincibles record

    Liverpool's loss at Leicester has preserved a remarkable record owned by Arsenal since 2002.

    According to Opta, that means Arsenal's squad from the 2001-2002 campaign remains the only team in Premier League history to score in every single game in an entire season.

    Arsene Wenger's men won 26 out of 38 league matches and only lost a mere three matches.

    Arsenal also amassed a staggering total of 79 goals in the top flight that season.

    Iconic goalkeeper David Seaman enjoyed an impressive campaign as he only conceded 36 times.

  • Justin Lawrence

    Jon the move

    Jonathan David may have just dropped a huge hint on who his next club will be… by wearing a Thierry Henry top.

    The Arsenal transfer target has been spotted at an airport dressed in a black T-shirt sporting a picture of Henry in an Arsenal kit.

    And Gunners fans are convinced it means the 21-year-old Lille star is heading to the Emirates.

    One excited supporter wrote on Twitter: "That’s enough for me welcome to Arsenal @JonathanDavid."

    Meanwhile, another joked: "Is it too early to start tracking his private plane?"

  • Justin Lawrence

    Dixon is happy with Tomiyasu's impact

    Lee Dixon is delighted with Takehiro Tomiyasu's contribution at Arsenal since joining the club this summer.

    Gunners legend Dixon has been impressed with how the Japanese right-back has combined with Arsenal's midfield and attack.

    But Dixon still thinks Tomiyasu has alot of work to do to improve defensively.

    He said: "He [Tomiyasu] has certainly caught the eye, there is no doubt about that.

    “He’s done brilliantly. He has not got the stature of a typical full back.

    "Very good at coming out with the ball. His link-up play with the midfield and forwards is great.

    "He is an athlete who gets up and down brilliantly well, great in the air. He has still got some work to do as far as defending.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    They toot…they score

    Footy thugs high on cocaine are fuelling a terrifying surge in violence at stadiums, a Sun investigation has found.

    Every ground we swabbed had traces of the class A drug, which sparked the shameful scenes at Wembley in July’s showpiece Euro 2020 final.

    We discovered lines had been racked up on top of loo roll holders at Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, while our reporter was offered “charlie” outside a Brighton match earlier this month.

    At The Etihad — home of Premier League champions Manchester City — empty drug bags and one containing cocaine were found on a cubicle floor.

    Traces of the drug were also found on top of toilets at Arsenal’s Emirates stadium.

  • Justin Lawrence

    Warnock impressed by Arteta's big decisions

    Stephen Warnock has praised Mikel Arteta for making big decisions such as bringing Xhaka back into the Arsenal squad.

    Arteta recently dropped Gunners captain Aubameyang but has roped Xhaka back in despite risking the wrath of Arsenal fans.

    And Warnock thinks being able to make those difficult choices shows Arteta's quality as a manager.

    He said, reported by HITC: “The one that standouts out to me, it’s not the Aubameyang one. It’s the Xhaka.

    “I mean, he was gone. The crowd against him. The way he reacted to the situation. He took him out at certain points, just to bed him back him.

    “He allowed him to come back into the team. And he has been really good for Arsenal. He is a good character to have in the centre of the pitch. I think that shows the quality of the manager because it shows what he needs on a football pitch.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    Maitland-Niles agrees loan fee with Roma

    Maitland-Niles has reportedly agreed terms with Roma to join them on loan in January.

    Roma will pay the Gunners midfielder a net salary of £2.1m after tax, according to Corriere Della Sera.

    If true, it's now down to Arsenal and Jose Mourinho's side to work out a fee to seal the deal next month.

    And if the two clubs come to an agreement on Maitland-Niles valuation, he'll likely head to the Serie A for the rest of the season.

    However, the deal may be made permanent if the 24-year-old impresses during his proposed loan spell.

  • Joshua Jones

    GOOD MORNING GUNNERS FANS

    Granit Xhaka has revealed he’s unlikely to be best friends with Arsenal fans, but has welcomed their love after winning his place back.

    The Swiss international had an altercation with fans on the pitch, after being booed off.

    It was an incident that cost Xhaka the captain’s armband and saw him dropped from the squad.

    But now, the midfielder feels he’s on the right track with supporters.

    Xhaka also said he believes out-of-favour Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang can fight his way back into Arsenal's first team after being frozen out.

    “I have been in this situation and know how Auba is feeling," Xhaka revealed.

    “Mine is a different story with different problems but maybe sometimes this is not a step back but a step forward.

    “I think Auba is strong enough and has enough experience to come back and be better than before.

    “It doesn’t have to bring you down. You have to be positive and believe you can turn it around. And I believe Auba can do that.”

    Meanwhile, Arsenal have been linked with a move for Real Madrid forward Luka Jovic.

    Los Blancos boss Carlo Ancelotti is willing to let the Serb leave the club on loan in January.

  • Jon Boon

    Coutinho transfer hope

    Arsenal appear to be frontrunners to land Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona next month.

    The Brazil international has been the subject of interest for a host of Premier League clubs after falling out of favour at the Nou Camp.

    But the player himself is reportedly leaning towards the Gunners after signalling to Barca bosses he would prefer a move to the Emirates.

    Tottenham, Everton and Newcastle are other top flight clubs in the mix for his signature.

    But Sport reports Coutinho and his representatives reckon Arsenal can match both his ambition and wage demands.

  • Jon Boon

    Dixon wants Calvert-Lewin

    Arsenal legend Lee Dixon believes the Gunners should move for Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

    The Everton striker could be set for a move to a bigger club in the near future.

    And while Dixon understands the club can't compete for the signature of someone like Erling Haaland, Calvert-Lewin would be an achievable signing.

    ‘Would I like to see Calvert-Lewin at Arsenal? I think yes. I think you’d struggle to get one of the top, top strikers like [Erling] Haaland,’ Dixon told MailOnline.

    ‘It would be a step up for Calvert-Lewin, no disrespect to Everton.

    ‘I like him, I think he’s got potential to be as good as he wants to be. He is fit and athletic, he is strong and good in the air and a good finisher. I would take him.’

  • Jon Boon

    Smith Rowe praised

    Mikel Arteta has been waxing lyrical about Emile Smith Rowe.

    The Arsenal youngster has been in inspirational form, leading the Gunners charge up the table while earning his first England call-up.

    And Arteta told Arsenal's website: "He works extremely hard, he’s an extremely humble boy and he has a really special connection with this football club."

  • Jon Boon

    Gunners in for Schick

    Arsenal are one of a number of clubs looking at bringing Patrik Schick to the Premier League.

    The Gunners have joined the race alongside West Ham, Everton and Spurs for the Czech Republic ace, who starred in last summer's Euros, according to the Mirror.

    Schick, 25, has continued on from a stellar tournament to star in the Bundesliga this term.

    He has 16 goals in 13 games for Bayer Leverkusen.

  • Jon Boon

    Jovic linked

    Real Madrid outcast Luka Jovic is being linked to a move to Arsenal again, if reports are to be believed.

    According to Defensa Central, Los Blancos are open to allowing the Serb striker leave on loan in January.

    Jovic has played second fiddle to Karim Benzema again this term, and has been starved of first team action.

    Manager Carlo Ancelotti is ready to sanction a temporary move, but doesn't want to sell his asset.

  • Jon Boon

    Tattooed Gunners

    Arsenal fans are the most tattooed in the country, a study has found.

    Gunners supporters topped a table drawn up by analysing the number of footie-inspired inkings on show on social media.

    In just 14 days, they shared 2,101 photos of their tats — almost double that of Liverpool fans in second place.

  • Jon Boon

    Happy birthday Frank

    Arsenal legend Frank McLintock turns 82 today.

    The famous captain of the Gunners won the Double for the club in the 1970-71 season.

    He played 403 times for the North London giants, winning the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup the season before lifting the title and FA Cup.

    NINTCHDBPICT000000878678Credit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
  • Jon Boon

    Arteta salutes Odegaard

    Martin Odegaard was the star of the show when Arsenal battered Norwich 5-0 at Carrow Road.

    In his last six games, he's been involved in six goal involvements for the Gunners, who have moved to fourth in the league.

    Arteta told Arsenal's website:"Martin has got a tremendous quality and the capacity to unlock situations and put players through to generate open spaces in tight areas.

    “I’m really happy [with him] and now he's improving in his goal threat as well so we have a big player there that is very willing to become one of the best, but it's still very early.”

  • Jon Boon

    NOT SO BESTIES

    Granit Xhaka has revealed he's unlikely to be best friends with Arsenal fans, but has welcomed their love after winning his place back.

    The Swiss international had an altercation with fans on the pitch, after being booed off.

    It was an incident that cost Xhaka the captain's armband and saw him dropped from the squad.

    But now, the midfielder feels he's on the right track with supporters.

    "People were good with me," he told The Athletic. "Of course they might say something – that is part of our life.

    "But after what happened two years ago we were very far from each other.

    "I think we are step by step coming closer and closer. I don't believe we will be best friends. 

    "But what I can tell people is from the first day until the last day I am here I will do everything for the football club."

    He added: 'I will make mistakes because everyone does. We are not perfect. 

    "But I will give 100 per cent in every training session and every game. This is my message to the fans.

    "Sometimes you have misunderstandings and I believe this was the only reason for the problem we had between us. 

    "I feel much more love than one or two years ago but it is a slow process we have to do with each other."

  • Jon Boon

    AUBA AND OUT

    Granit Xhaka is confident that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang still has a future at Arsenal despite the striker’s bust-up with manager Mikel Arteta.

    Aubameyang has been banished from the squad and stripped of the captaincy for returning late from a visit to France two weeks ago.

    Now his Emirates future is up in the air after the Gunners won five successive games without their absent superstar.

    But Xhaka insists it is not the end of the road for the out of favour striker and knows exactly how Aubameyang is feeling right now.

    The Swiss midfielder was all set to quit Arsenal when he had the armband taken from him by former boss Unai Emery following a bust-up with the Emirates fans in October 2019.

    Now he says: “I have been in this situation and know how Auba is feeling. 

    “Mine is a different story with different problems but maybe sometimes this is not a step back but a step forward.

    “I think Auba is strong enough and has enough experience to come back and be better than before.

    “It doesn’t have to bring you down. You have to be positive and believe you can turn it around. And I believe Auba can do that.”

  • Jon Boon

    DONE AND DUSTED

    Arsenal have been ruled out of signing Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic.

    Well-respected Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio believes moving to the Gunners isn't on his or his agent's agenda.

    Di Marzio revealed: "It depends on which project, how much money he is being given.

    "Arsenal, for example, his agents do not want to speak to them. They think Arsenal is not enough for him and his career."

    Vlahovic already has 16 goals in Serie A this season.

    The centre forward, 21, is also a target for Manchester City, Manchester United and Spurs.

  • Etienne Fermie

    Arsenal ace like David Silva?

    Gunners boss Mikel Arteta was asked if Martin Odegaard reminds him of David Silva, having worked with his Spanish compatriot at Manchester City.

    Arteta said: “That’s a big name. My opinion is David is the best I’ve seen playing between the lines for the last 20 years.

    “Martin has got a tremendous quality and the capacity to unlock situations and put players through to generate open spaces in tight areas.

    “I’m really happy [with him] and now he’s improving in his goal threat as well so we have a big player there that is very willing to become one of the best, but it’s still very early.”

  • Etienne Fermie

    Arsenal ace 'signing of season'

    Aaron Ramsdale has been picked as the signing of the season by Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher.

    The 23-year-old's £30million transfer from Sheffield United was branded a 'mess' by fans and ex-pros.

    But speaking on Sky Sports, Carragher said: "I went for Ramsdale because it was almost the biggest surprise to me.

    "When they brought him in I thought they were bringing him in as back up and because he was an English player for the quota.

    "He hadn’t impressed me in his Premier League time at Sheffield United and Bournemouth.

    “But it’s not just the saves he’s made. He’s a personality, he’s a character.

    "Already, to go into that dressing room – yes, there’s young players in there but it’s still a huge club, going into Arsenal as a young lad, a young goalkeeper.

    "He’s got a presence about him that I didn’t see that he had and he’s had a big impact on the team.”

  • Etienne Fermie

    Alexandre Lacazette to leave Gunners

    French striker Alexandre Lacazette is set to leave Arsenal at the end of the season, according to reports.

    Lacazette, 30, has six months remaining on his current deal.

    With the forward having worn the captain's armband in recent matches, there has been optimism that an agreement can be reached over an extension.

    But according to L'Equipe, he has decided to see out the final six months of his deal before pursuing other opportunities.

  • Etienne Fermie

    No game today for Arsenal

    The Gunners had been due to take on Wolves in the Premier League this afternoon.

    But an outbreak of cases in Wolves' squad, combined with several injuries to their players, saw the fixture pushed back to the new year.

    Arsenal said: "We are disappointed to announce our Premier League fixture against Wolves on Tuesday December 28 has been postponed due to a number of the Wolves squad testing positive for Covid-19.

    "This game will be rescheduled in due course and any tickets and/or hospitality packages purchased for this fixture will be valid for the rescheduled date.

    "We apologise to our fans for any disappointment and inconvenience caused.

    "Thank you for your support."

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