9pm Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ozil future LATEST, Aouar interest update, fans return to Emirates

FANS have returned to the Emirates tonight as Arsenal welcomed Rapid Vienna

We've the very latest on matters in the transfer market, including the possibility of a January swoop for former Spurs midfielder Christian Eriksen.

Follow all of the latest Gunners news, gossip and updates below…

  • Jack Figg

    CHECK THE SCORE

    Arsenal are beating Rapid Wien 3-0 in the Europa League.

    Goals from Alexandre Lacazette, Pablo Mari and Eddie Nketiah give the Gunners a commanding lead.

  • Jack Figg

    PIERRE ASSESSMENT 

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang told his team-mates to make sure their crunch North London derby against Spurs is a 'turning point' in an underwhelming season.

    The Gabon striker wrote in Arsenal's matchday programme: "I can’t wait for the derby on Sunday.

    "I think this is the game that we have to make into a turning point for us this season.

    "There’s nothing better than this game to give you that opportunity to turn things around.

    "We have to understand that if we can win this game then everyone will change their mindset.

    "A big result in the derby can really lift the players, the fans – everyone.

    "We know it will be a tough game, they are playing well at the moment to tell the truth but we have to take care of our game, how we want to play the game, and make it all about us.

    "We are waiting for this game – we need to give everything to get the win and change our situation."

  • Jack Figg

    GUEN ALL OUT

    Matteo Guendouzi has been 'worth every penny' since joining Hertha Berlin, sporting director Arne Friedrich has enthused.

    He said: "He's a fantastic player.

    "We spoke to Arsenal before the transfer obviously, and I also spoke to Per Mertesacker, with whom I played in the national team.

    "Our relationship is very honest, very transparent, and he had already said that he has such good quality and he's showed it already.

    "From the first day when he came here to Germany onwards, he had to go into quarantine, I don't know what happened, I think either him or someone else tested positive so he had to sit in the hotel for the first two weeks here in a brand new city.

    "He was so professional and we brought him some gear, a bike to work on and he was really, really ambitious to get on the field as soon as possible.

    "Ever since, every day he shows in practice what a good player he is.

    "He's so calm. He wants every single ball, even under pressure. He has his own understanding that he wants to win games.

    "He has this intrinsic motivation to just show the world how good he is. This is what we need, this is what everybody needs and he is highly confident, which is also very important for our team because our team is still looking for structure.

    "We are very, very happy to have him here and he's worth every penny."

     

  • Jack Figg

    MASK THE ISSUE

    Premier League fans MUST wear masks in their seats when top flight turnstiles reopen tomorrow – in a bid to get up to 20,000 supporters in grounds by the end of the season.

    The 20 Prem clubs agreed new Covid regulations to cover the first crowd attendances in the League since March.

    They include urging fans to ‘moderate’ their singing and shouting, although chants will not – unlike hugging fellow supporters – be banned.

    But while Government guidelines indicated fans would only have to wear masks on entry and in concourses, the club chiefs agreed to enforce the tougher measures.

    By mandating mask wearing except when fans are eating or drinking, clubs would be able to seat supporters at 1m distance in the most modern grounds.

    And that could allow up to one third of total capacities – 20,000 or more for the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Newcastle, Spurs, Arsenal and West Ham – before the campaign finishes.

    Five clubs will open their gates this weekend, starting with West Ham’s game with United at the London Stadium and including Sunday’s North London derby at Tottenham.

  • Jack Figg

    SEAMS ODD

    Arsenal should sign Wilfried Zaha and recall outcast Mesut Ozil who the team are 'crying out for', according to David Seaman.

    The legendary Gunners keeper can't understand why Crystal Palace forward Zaha has not landed a move to the Emirates and believes the Ivorian would bolster Mikel Arteta's squad.

    Speaking on The Target Men Podcast, brought to you by Football Index, Seaman said: "I think Zaha would be a good addition to Arsenal because he’s a proven goalscorer.

    "I don’t know the reason why it hasn’t happened as he obviously wants to come.

    "Whether it’s the agents and clubs not agreeing certain things, that must be the reason, but he’s made it clear that he wants to come as he’s an Arsenal fan.

    "He would be a good addition to the squad, no doubt at all."

  • Joe Brophy

    DUN AND DUSTED

    Arsenal's Europa League opponents Dundalk have been slapped with a £45,000 fine by Uefa over coach Filippo Giovagnoli's involvement with the side.

    Italian boss Giovagnoli does not hold the necessary coaching badges to manage in the Europa League.

    Opposition analyst Shane Keegan, who does hold a Uefa Pro Licence, was given the green light to manage Dundalk's Group B matches.

    But the governing body have taken a dim view of Giovagnoli's 'shadow coaching' and fined the Irish club.

    Uefa rules stated that he may pick the team but must not 'carry out any function of a head coach' before or during the game.

    The 50-year-old is also banned from talking to his players until an hour after the upcoming games with Molde and Arsenal.

    The Gunners' opponents are already out of the Europa League after four defeats in a row.

  • Joe Brophy

    GUNNER REGRET THAT

    Arsenal chiefs have been left furious at their decision to let Ismael Bennacer leave in 2017.

    The midfielder had arrived in North London two years earlier as a prodigious 17-year-old from Arles.

    But he was allowed to depart with just one first-team game under his belt.

    Following two years with Empoli, that included a Serie B title winner's medal, Bennacer joined AC Milan for around £14million.

    This term the Algerian has stunned with his brilliant performances at the heart of Stefano Pioli's table-topping midfield.

    And according to Calciomercato, Gunners chiefs 'don’t understand how it was possible' to let him go without bringing back from Empoli – as they'd had the option to do so.

  • Joe Brophy

    AUBA THE TOP

    Ian Wright has admitted his surprise that Mikel Arteta caved to fan pressure to play Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in a central role.

    He told Ringer FC’s ‘Wrighty’s House’ podcast: "From an offensive point of view you’re thinking maybe you put Aubameyang back on the left.

    "Which is quite sad because I think one of the things that’s surprised me is that he’s had to bow a little bit to the pressure of putting him in the middle.

    "If other people were performing as well as they could do in the middle then he wouldn’t have had to do that."

  • Joe Brophy

    WILL I NEVER

    Arsenal legend David Seaman wants the Gunners to reignite their interest in Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha.

    He told the Target Men Podcast: “I think Zaha would be a good addition to Arsenal because he’s a proven goalscorer.

    “I don’t know the reason why it hasn’t happened as he obviously wants to come.

    "Whether it’s the agents and clubs not agreeing certain things, that must be the reason, but he’s made it clear that he wants to come as he’s an Arsenal fan.

    “He would be a good addition to the squad, no doubt at all.”

  • Joe Brophy

    SILVA LINING

    Gilberto Silva was asked to compare Arsenal’s “Invincibles” squad to the current team.

    Speaking to Ladbrokes at its launch of the 5-A-Side Bet, the Brazilian said: “It's a totally different team, now.

    “The mentality of the players we had around the squad, many of whom were very important players for their national teams. All of that experience they brought back to Arsenal was very important and made a huge impact to the club.

    “The players were all very well respected all over the world. Whenever we went to games, people respected us. When we went unbeaten, we'd stand in the tunnel and the way our opponents would look at us, you knew we were going to win that game.

    “But we earned that respect because of how we played, the way we respected the game, and the way we worked for each other on the pitch. We were all tall guys, big guys, strong physically, good technically and fast on the ball.

    “We worked together as a team, not just on the pitch but off it as well. And not just the players, but the guys behind the scenes. The backroom staff, the coaches, everyone worked together to make sure everything ran perfectly.”

  • Joe Brophy

    NO MOUR OF THAT

    Jose Mourinho has seemingly disagreed with Eric Dier's claim that Mikel Arteta is the 'most exciting young manager in Europe'.

    The Spurs boss said: "I don’t want to go in that direction.

    "I don’t know them all and it’s very hard to say that.

    "He won already an important competition in the first few months of his career, that we cannot deny.

    "And to be the Arsenal coach, you have to be good. If you are not good, you are not there.

    "So yes I think Mikel is a good coach, but I want to respect the others.

    "Especially the others that I don’t know well. And probably they are also very, very talented."

  • Joe Brophy

    NOT GUNNER HAPPEN

    Arsenal legend Ian Wright has admitted that this weekend's North London derby against Spurs is the most afraid he's been for a long time.

    He told Ringer FC’s ‘Wrighty’s House’ podcast: “Going into the north London derby, I’m always nervous about it simply because for me it is one of the best games, I enjoyed everything about it.

    “And when I went to Arsenal it was the game which meant the most to the fans and at the time to the players because we had a lot of players who came through that derby from the age of nine or 10. This is the first one I’m going to where I am afraid.

    “I’m afraid simply because of where Tottenham are at the moment and we can’t ignore where they are at the moment, they’re in the ascendency.

    “When you look at what we’re doing at the moment we’re still trying to be finding something – is he going to play four at the back or three? Who’s going to pick up their players.

    “This is as afraid as I’ve been for a north London derby as I’ve been for a while and they’ve got Mourinho managing them. He wants to embarrass us.”

  • Joe Brophy

    BAIL OUT

    Premier League clubs have finally agreed a bail out deal for the lower leagues.

    After months of wrangling, the 20 top flight clubs have unanimously agreed to change the terms of their initial £50m offer to Leagues One and Two.

    And they have also formally agreed to a £200m loan package for Championship clubs suffering financially as a result of the Covid crisis.

    EFL clubs turned down the first offer which was solely to the lower two tiers.

    They then agreed in principle to the full offer, which included the Championship money, but urged the Prem to alter the terms.

    And now that has happened, bringing to an end a long-running dispute which saw the Government turning on football and accusing the Prem of failing to do its duty.

  • Joe Brophy

    WILL I NEVER

    Arsenal legend Ian Wright thinks Reiss Nelson or Bukayo Saka should be given a chance over Willian.

    He told Ringer FC’s ‘Wrighty’s House’ podcast: “I’d try to throw something else into the mix, Reiss Nelson or even [Bukayo] Saka on the right.

    “But Saka’s going to be on the left so I’d put Reiss Nelson on the right instead of Willian because we know what Willian’s going to do.

    “For me he’s been a little bit negative with the way he’s been playing, a lot of backwards passing.

    “You need somebody who can at least get back and progress the ball.

    “If Saka can go and really put pressure on [Serge] Aurier, that’s where I think if we’re going to get any kind of joy then I think Saka’s got to go up there and put pressure on him, then [Granit] Xhaka can pull in on the left, just to put that body in there then [Mohamed] Elneny should hold.”

  • Joe Brophy

    ICYMI

    New Arsenal goalkeeper Alex Runarsson admits his Emirates transfer was a gamble.

    The Iceland ace, 25, signed for Mikel Arteta’s side from Dijon as a replacement for Aston Villa-bound Emi Martinez.

    The stopper said: “As a professional footballer, you improve when you are put in difficult conditions and playing in this kind of pressure will either make you or break you.

    “But I definitely like the challenge. It’s one of the big reasons that I joined because I knew it would help me improve as a football player.

    “It doesn’t matter what position you play. I think maybe as a goalkeeper it is a little bit different, but you definitely have to have the mentality that you want to push to become number one.

    “If it happens or not, if it happens in one week, one month or one year, that always has to be your mentality – because otherwise you’re in the wrong profession I think."

  • Joe Brophy

    GAEL FORCE

    Former Arsenal star Gael Clichy has signed an 18-month deal for Swiss side Servette to reunite him with ex-Gunners team-mate Philipe Senderos.

    The former French international had been showcasing his talent for Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir for the last three years.

    But now the ex-Arsenal left back is set for a new challenge in the Swiss Super League where Sendros is the club's sporting director.

  • Joe Brophy

    GET WELL SOON

    Mexican football players and fans have flooded social media with messages of support for Raul Jimenez after the Wolves striker was hospitalised with a fractured skull.

    The 29-year-old underwent surgery after clashing heads with Arsenal defender David Luiz during Sunday’s Premier League contest.

    "Stay strong Raul" (#fuerzaRaul) was a trending topic on social media as well-wishers sent messages to the injured forward.

    “You are not alone,” the Mexican national team tweeted. “Today there are no colours, teams or nationalities … The entire football world supports you!”

    National teammate Miguel Layun also sent his regards. "Brother Raul, get well soon, we all know you’re a machine," he wrote on Twitter. "We'll be checking up on you from here."

  • Joe Brophy

    SERGIO RAM-OFF

    Sergio Ramos is reportedly considering QUITTING Real Madrid and heading to the Premier League.

    The centre-half is out of contract at the end of the season with talks continuing over his future.

    But according to Onda Cero, Ramos is 'thinking about leaving' and has 'proposals from Italy and England'.

  • Joe Brophy

    ILL BEHAVIOUR

    The Premier League will reject any attempts to provide players with a coronavirus vaccine before the general population.

    It has been confirmed that the UK is the first country in the world to give a Covid vaccine the green light.

    Millions of Brits will soon receive it – in line with the Government's pledge to get the most vulnerable as soon as possible.

    But the Telegraph claim that Premier League bosses do not expect the players to skip the queue.

    The top-flight officials believe that the vaccine should be administered to people at risk first.

    Care home residents, those over 80 years old and health and social care staff will be among the first to receive the jab.

    League bosses would reportedly dismiss calls for players to have special access to the vacine.

  • Joe Brophy

    ROUD AWAKENING

    Former Arsenal star Olivier Giroud has only been outscored in Europe by Robert Lewandowski and Lionel Messi since the 2018/19 season.

    The 34-year-old has banged in 16 goals in just 21 games for the Blues in that time – with four of those strikes coming in the 4-0 win against Sevilla on Wednesday night.

    Five of Giroud's European goals have come this term, while his other 11 strikes came in Chelsea's victorious Europa League-winning season in 2019.

    Another impressive stat showing just how deadly Giroud has been in Europe is that he has the same tally of goals as he did for Arsenal.

    And he matched the number for Chelsea in 15 games less than what it took him for the Gunners in five-and-a-half-years.

  • Gary Stonehouse

    ‘RESPECT’

    Arsenal outcast Mesut Ozil sent a six-word message to his ex-Gunners team-mate Olivier Giroud after the Chelsea star’s heroics.

    The France international scored all four goals in the Blues’ 4-0 win over Sevilla last night.

    Giroud became the oldest player in Champions League history to achieve a hat-trick at the age of 34 years and 63 days, according to Opta.

    And Ozil used his Twitter account to congratulate his pal – despite them now being at rival clubs:

  • Gary Stonehouse

    MIND THE GAP

    Arsenal legend Paul Merson admits he cannot believe how far the club have ‘fallen behind’ Tottenham.

    The Gunners go into Sunday’s North London Derby 14th in the Premier League, while Jose Mourinho’s men sit top of the table.

    Speaking to Sky Sports, Merson said: “The saddest thing for me is how far, and how quickly, Arsenal have fallen behind Tottenham.

    “Tottenham have just built one of the best stadiums in the world. I thought they were going to be selling players left, right and centre. A bit like Arsenal after they built the Emirates. Every year a star player went.

    “Tottenham are spending more money than Arsenal! Tottenham have a team there, and are in that group where they can win the league. You look at Arsenal, and they’re in the group with Leicester, Southampton, Everton, West Ham, a few others.

    “People used to say ‘The Arsenal’… ‘How did The Arsenal do today?’ ‘Who have The Arsenal got today?’

    “That’s gone. They just say Arsenal now. It was such a top club. Some of the teams they’ve had over the years have been phenomenal.

    “I think it sums up the situation at Arsenal that Wolves can experiment in that game, and play a load of attacking players.

    “That fear isn’t there anymore with Arsenal. I know Wolves played a back four the previous week, but let’s get one thing straight: Conor Coady wasn’t available in that game. This was Wolves experimenting.”

  • Gary Stonehouse

    ‘SUCH A GREAT PLAYER’

    Chelsea legend Joe Cole believes Arsenal fans will be looking on enviously at Olivier Giroud.

    The French striker left the Gunners for Stamford Bridge in January 2018.

    He has struggled for match action at times, but he produced a brilliant four-goal display to thrash Sevilla in the Champions League last night.

    Meanwhile Arsenal are suffering in front of goal with both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette out of form.

    And Cole insists Gooners will have been wondering why they ever let Giroud go after witnessing his performance in Spain.

    He said: “If you are an Arsenal fan sitting at home, you will be thinking ‘how have we let him go?’.

    “He is such a great professional, such a great player.

    “He affects the game and he has given Frank a massive headache, a good headache.”

  • Gary Stonehouse

    WHERE THERE’S A WILL

    Arsenal legend Ian Wright has urged Mikel Arteta to drop Willian against Tottenham.

    The ex-Chelsea winger arrived at the Emirates this summer, but after a stunning debut, his form has nosedived.

    “I’d try to throw something else into the mix, Reiss Nelson or even Saka on the right,’ he said on Wrighty’s House podcast.

    “But Saka’s going to be on the left so I’d put Reiss Nelson on the right instead of Willian because we know what Willian’s going to do.

    “For me he’s been a little bit negative with the way he’s been playing, a lot of backwards passing. You need somebody who can at least get back and progress the ball.

    “If Saka can go and really put pressure on [Serge] Aurier, that’s where I think if we’re going to get any kind of joy then I think Saka’s got to go up there and put pressure on him.

    “Then [Granit] Xhaka can pull in on the left, just to put that body in there then [Mohamed] Elneny should hold.”

  • John Hutchinson

    GOOD MORNING ARSENAL FANS

    The Gunners host Rapid Vienna in the Europa League tonight in what is a dead rubber with Mikel Arteta’s men all but guaranteed to finish top of Group B.

    The Spaniard is almost certain to give the youngsters a run out again with the visitors needing a win to keep their hopes of qualifying ahead of Molde alive.

    Elsewhere it emerged Raul Jimenez is making ‘excellent progress’ from his surgery following the skull fracture he suffered against Arsenal.

    But the Wolves striker will remain in hospital until early next week to continue his recovery.

    Jimenez, 29, was rushed to hospital on Sunday evening after a horror clash of heads with Gunners defender David Luiz.

    Elsewhere, New Arsenal goalkeeper Alex Runarsson admitted his Emirates transfer was a gamble.

    And finally Arteta said Arsenal’s miserable form this season has been like ‘a stab to the chest’.

    The Premier League’s youngest boss is under growing pressure to stop the Emirates rot after his team slipped to 14th place in the table.

    And he admits that recent results have come as a shock to the system ahead of Sunday’s crunch North London derby away to top-of-the-table Spurs.

    He said: “When you lose three games in a row at home like we have done it’s like having a stab in your chest.

    “It’s not acceptable and we have to change it and not look for any excuses because I hate to do that. I am really worried with the results and with the margins that we are losing games by.

    “Sometimes it’s down to a lack of confidence in certain moments but we also need to concede that we’ve probably not hit our standards or scored the goals we need to win matches more consistently.”

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