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22-year-old midfielder was left ‘disappointed’ after his Spurs move collapsed, now Arsenal reportedly want him

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Tottenham missed out on signing Cheick Doucoure last summer, and the incredibly talented midfielder could now end up at Arsenal in the coming weeks.

The Gunners are in the market looking for a new central midfielder. Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey are the first-choice at the moment, while Mohamed Eleneny recently signed a new contract.

Albert Sambi Lokonga is also available and he’s a fine talent as well, but Mikel Arteta just wants to sign another man in the middle of the park.

The likes of Youri Tielemans, Ruben Neves and Arthur Melo have all been linked with a move to the Emirates in recent weeks, but the new name out of the rumour mill is Lens’ 22-year-old midfielder Doucoure.

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Arsenal want to sign Cheick Doucoure from Lens

Reports revealed this week that Arsenal have now set their sights on Doucoure, who has had a fantastic season for Lens alongside Seko Fofana in the middle of the park.

A part of Lens’ side since 2018, Doucoure has slowly but surely become a star for the club in Ligue 1. He played 37 times in all competitions in the recently-concluded campaign, and although Fofana earned the most plaudits, the 22-year-old was just as good.

Doucoure will enter the final two years of his contract soon. This would be the best time for Lens to cash in on him, and it looks like Arsenal are looking to take advantage of the situation.

See also  Report: Arsenal now on verge of making second signing of the summer, will pay £25m fee

The report claims that Brighton, Crystal Palace and Everton are all battling the Gunners to sign the talented Mali international.

Doucoure was disappointed after his move to Tottenham collapsed

Just last summer, Arsenal’s North London rivals Tottenham apparently made a move to sign Doucoure, and the midfielder was open to joining them. However, Lens refused to let him go and the deal collapsed, leaving the 22-year-old disappointed.

Zakaria Diallo, Doucoure’s teammate at the time at Lens, told Le Quotidien du Sport in February: “This summer

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(2021), Tottenham seriously approached the club and his agent. Finally, Lens closed the door. They don’t need the money and know they will sell it for even more in the future.

“Douc was disappointed but he’s not at all the type to go to the clash to leave. He remained wisely in his place and knows that it is only a postponement.”

Just a year later now, Doucoure could end up at Arsenal. If that happens and the Mali international succeeds at the Emirates, Tottenham will surely kick themselves.

Chelsea

Tuchel hands 22-year-old his first Chelsea start – predicted starting XI against Leeds this weekend

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Chelsea will look to get back to winning ways in Sunday’s game against Leeds United at Elland Road.

The Blues dominated proceedings in the London derby against Spurs last week, however only came out of things with a point following Harry Kane’s late equaliser.

Thomas Tuchel operated a fluid and unique system at Stamford Bridge, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount especially thriving in the new look system.

However, the Blues could turn back to the recognised back three this weekend, with our predicted lineup for the game against Leeds.

GK and Defence

Edouard Mendy made a brilliant save just before Spurs’ late equaliser at the end, and his position in the squad is more than secure for this one.

See also  Report: Arsenal's 'huge talent' could now replace free agent after Everton's £90k-a-week offer

With there still being no breakthrough on the Wesley Fofana front, Cesar Azpilicueta will return to the starting lineup as captain at Elland Road.

Fixtures are yet to pick up in the early stages of the season, so Thiago Silva should still be fresh and okay to participate again.

The centre-backs will be completed by Kalidou Koulibaly, who showed his quality again in an emphatic display against Spurs.

Midfield

Reece James scored almost instantly after being moved back to wing-back on Sunday, and the Blues will look to get the attacking best out of him on Sunday.

See also  Report: Arsenal have now made 'important' bid for defender with more league goals than Martinelli this term

Jorginho may have been at fault for the first conceded goal last week, although his great performance will still see him start again against Leeds.

Injuries have ruled N’golo Kante and likely Mateo Kovacic out of the game, there is a big choice to be made to partner the Italy internatonal. While Ruben Loftus-Cheek starred against Spurs, Conor Gallagher will be chosen to partner in midfield, being handed his first start for the club.

Marc Cucurella will look to build on his impressive performance last week with another start against Leeds, with Ben Chilwell still not quite at match fitness.

See also  Mikel Arteta continues to follow Pep Guardiola's ruthless streak as Arsenal plans emerge

Attack

The Chelsea attack will have a familiar look to the last two weeks, with Mason Mount occupying the free-roaming role in the attack against an opponent he has had a lot of success against before.

Raheem Sterling will try again in his quest to open his Chelsea league account, with him missing a glorious chance last week.

Kai Havertz is another man who missed a great opportunity to win the game for the Blues at the weekend, although his work in the front three was enough to see him start again.

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Atletico Madrid do not want to pay €40 million for Barcelona attacker

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Atletico Madrid are in a precarious situation in regards to their ownership of Antoine Griezmann.

The Spanish giants had signed the Barcelona forward on a two-year loan deal last summer. The contract included a mandatory purchase option worth €40 million if the player features in 50% of the matches with a minimum of 45 minutes between the games across two seasons.

Last season, Griezmann featured in 82.5% of the matches, meaning Atletico Madrid may have to virtually leave him out on the bench throughout the 2022/23 campaign if they are to avoid paying the fee for the Frenchman in 2023.

See also  Report: Arsenal's 'huge talent' could now replace free agent after Everton's £90k-a-week offer

However, with Luis Suarez leaving the club, Atletico Madrid consider Griezmann a viable part of the club’s attacking unit and Los Colchoneros must get the best out of him, if they are to regain their lost status in the title race in this new season.

At the same time, the club are not too keen on meeting the mandatory €40 million purchase clause set on Griezmann’s contract. This has been reported by Mundo Deportivo which suggests the club are looking to reduce the overall valuation of the clause.

While Barcelona are yet to respond to Atletico’s overtures, there is a clear indication that the capital club have no intention to pay anywhere near the €40 million for the services of Griezmann, who was barely even a starter for Diego Simeone’s men last season

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The Frenchman was even left out on the bench in Atletico’s opening game against Getafe. However, coming on as a substitute in the final half an hour, the attacker was able to break his scoring duck by netting the third goal in a 3-0 victory.

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It will be interesting to see whether the little cameo compels Simeone to start him in future matches, although his performances should not deter Atletico Madrid from their attempts to lower the price tag of the star striker.

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Chelsea

Barcelona star’s move to Chelsea is now ‘heating up’ – report

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could be close to securing a move to Chelsea from FC Barcelona, with the move now heating up, reports Victor Navarro on COPE.

Aubameyang joined Barça only eight months ago, arriving as a free agent from Arsenal in January. He helped the Catalans finish second in La Liga last season and finished the campaign as the club’s joint top scorer in all competitions along with Memphis Depay

And, Barcelona could now lose both their top scorers this summer. Depay is closing in on a move to Juventus, having reportedly agreed a two-year contract with the Italian giants.

See also  £21m player who's reportedly joining Arsenal given 4/10 for display last night

And now Aubameyang could be on his way to Chelsea imminently, with the move ‘heating up’ recently. The Blues have made the 33-year-old Gabonese striker their top target after losing both Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel enjoyed a successful relationship with Aubameyang during their time at Borussia Dortmund and is now pushing for a reunion.

Reports earlier on Thursday indicated that Chelsea were planning to submit a formal offer for the former Arsenal captain imminently.

See also  Report: Arsenal have now made 'important' bid for defender with more league goals than Martinelli this term

Now, Victor Navarro is claiming that the two clubs are negotiating over the transfer of the 33-year-old, with all parties intent on getting the move over the line.

Barcelona need to get rid of players so that they can register Jules Kounde and make more additions, with a new right-back and left-back on the club’s agenda.

The departure of Depay alone will not be enough to register Kounde. And with Frenkie de Jong unwilling to leave and no offers arriving for Sergino Dest yet, Aubameyang’s exit seems the best option for Barça.

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The ex-Arsenal superstar has fallen down the pecking order at Camp Nou this season following the arrival of Robert Lewandowski. A move to Stamford Bridge could see him become the first-choice striker and enjoy regular game-time.

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