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Arsenal ‘consider move’ for £25m-rated Ligue 1 star as Star now ‘one step way’ from Arsenal

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According to reports, Arsenal are ‘considering making a move’ for RC Lens star Seko Fofana this summer.

The midfielder previously had a spell at Man City as an academy player. After a loan spell at Fulham, he joined Udinese on a permanent deal in 2016.

Fofana made the move to RC Lens in 2020 following four seasons in Serie A.

The27-year-old performed brilliantly for RC Lens last season. He grabbed ten goals and two assists in 41 appearances.

His contract is due to expire in 2024 and Arsenal are being linked with him.

L’Equipe via (Caught Offside) are reporting that the Gunners are ‘considering making a move’ for Fofana.

It is understood that the French club are ‘willing’ to sell the centre-midfielder for a fee in the region of £25m.

As well as Arsenal, Newcastle United and PSG are interested in ‘acquiring his services’.

Meanwhile, Paul Merson thinks “everything would go out of the window” if Arsenal do not get the deal for Gabriel Jesus over the line:

“Arsenal must get Gabriel Jesus if they are serious about getting back into the top four,” Merson wrote for the Daily Star.

“They have got to get him. It’s that simple. Everything goes out of the window if they don’t. It doesn’t matter what else they do. All they’ve got right now up front is Eddie Nketiah, who recently signed a new contract when it looked like he might leave.

“And no disrespect to Nketiah but Mikel Arteta must realise won’t get you into the top four. Absolutely no chance. That’s a fact. So they need Jesus. They don’t need young players with potential like Fabio Vieira. They need experience. And Jesus has plenty of that.

“If they don’t get him they are sitting there with one centre forward, and let’s be honest if not for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alex Lacazette’s contract situations, he wouldn’t be there. They need to sort the Jesus signing out very quickly.

“I think he is good enough to transform Arsenal. He doesn’t get the credit he deserves. Yes, he does miss chances but he never goes hiding and he’s a centre forward who is desperate to score goals. He has that hunger and a little bit of a selfish streak and you need that.”

Gabriel Jesus now one step away from joining Arsenal.

So after literally months of negotiations with Man City, the Gunners have finally agreed a £45 million price for Gabriel Jesus, and now it only remains to dot the i’s and cross the t’s on his personal terms before the move is done and dusted.

So now Edu and Arteta can concentrate on the next target on the list, and according to Fabrizio Romano the Gunners new priority is Raphinha from Leeds United, who has been pulling up trees in his two seasons in the Premier League.

Speaking on his YouTube channel yesterday, Romano said: “Gabriel Jesus, after a long negotiation, Arsenal have been very good in reaching an agreement – a full verbal agreement, it’s not signed yet. He’s one step away from joining Arsenal.”

Speaking about Arsenal’s reported interest in Raphinha, he said: “It seems really unlikely for Barcelona to match the price tag that Leeds are asking – £65 million, this is the price tag.

“Arsenal’s opening bid has been turned down, but Arsenal are still working on Raphinha. It’s not only Gabriel Jesus, it’s also Raphinha on Arsenal’s list.

“So, they are trying and pushing and trying to find a solution. I expect them to push & push again next week.”

Romano also said last week that “Arteta is in love with Raphinha” and despite interest from other big clubs, I think that Arsenal could be become even more appealing to the winger as our Brazilian contingent grows every week, it seems.

As far as I’m concerned, Raphinha would be the icing on the cake in this excellent transfer window, as long as Pepe is moved on as soon as possible…

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Rio Ferdinand issues major warning about Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag

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Former centre-back Rio Ferdinand believes it is still too early to judge whether Erik ten Hag is the right man to lead Manchester United back to the top, despite their unquestionable improvement under him this season.

United head into tomorrow’s Manchester derby against City at Old Trafford with the knowledge that a win will lift them to within a point and place of their neighbours in the Premier League table.

The Reds have lost just one of their last 18 matches since being battered 6-3 by City back in October, featuring a current run of eight wins on the bounce.

The Reds, such is the level of progress they have made under Ten Hag this season, are now considered as one of the favourites to qualify for the Champions League for next season.

They have made significant strides in a relatively short space of time and victories over the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur already this season have proven that they are capable of competing in the upper echelons of the table again.

However, despite heading into the second half of the campaign with form in their sails, Ferdinand insists the jury is still out on Ten Hag, despite him reaching 20 wins as United manager quick than any of his predecessors.

“I think it’s too early to say,” said Ferdinand to the Mirror. “We’ve been here with previous managers when it looks like we are onto something.

“We’ve got to be patient and give the man time. I think all the signs are very positive at the moment. He’s come in and seen what is happening, assessed how things are, looked at individuals and looked at the shape of the team.

“These were a bunch of players that were quite low. They were shot to pieces and he’s had to build, not only footballers, but men back up again. He’s had to build a lot of human beings back up and that takes time.

“The fact he’s now talking about qualifying for the Champions League so positively, he can sense a confidence coming back into this team. There’s a consistency of performance from the team that wasn’t there before and the signals and signs are all very promising.

“But they’re still not where they want to be. City are way ahead of where United are. The distance is a bit closer, but it’s still not anywhere near where we want it to be. There’s still work to be done.”

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Manchester United takeover bids ‘expected imminently’ with serious interest in Club

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Manchester United are expecting takeover offers from across the world as they are set to invite bids ahead of ‘mid-February deadline’.

The Telegraph have reported that the club have received ‘serious interest’ from consortiums based in the Middle East, Asia and the United States.

British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe is also weighing up an offer, as the Glazers hope to the sell one of the biggest clubs in the world for over £5billion.

The report also adds that parties who had been interested in taking over Chelsea, before Todd Boehly’s £4.25bn takeover, are set to return with approaches for the Red Devils.

It’s expected that potential investors will go public with their attempts to buy United in the coming weeks with the clock ‘now ticking on a deal’.

Senior United figures will issue a mid February deadline for formal offers in order to help get get the takeover completed before the end of the season.

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Confirmed: Chelsea ready to make late bid to hijack another Arsenal transfer

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Chelsea will make a late attempt to scupper Arsenal’s hopes of finally signing Mikhailo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk.

The Gunners have submitted their third bid for the Ukraine international winger and hope an offer of £62m before add-ons, which take the deal closer to £70m, will be enough to break the deadlock between the two clubs.

Chelsea’s interest in the 21-year-old winger was earlier this week described only as ‘exploratory’ but ESPN now claim that Todd Boehly will test the waters and attempt to throw a spanner in the works for the Premier League leaders.

Shakhtar’s technical director Darijo Srna was pictured at Stamford Bridge last week as he watched Chelsea’s defeat against Manchester City and Boehly would have little issue with meeting an asking price which is closer to £88million.

Arsenal are said to be confident that their latest bid for Mudryk will be enough to finally secure the services of their No.1 January target, but have already been beaten to the punch once this month by their west London rivals.

Chelsea won the race to sign Joao Felix on loan from Atletico Madrid amid competition from Arsenal and Manchester United, but the Portugal international’s promising debut ended in devastating fashion when he was sent off just shy of the hour mark for a dangerous challenge on Fulham’s Kenny Tete.

Felix will now miss the next three games through suspension as the problems mount for Chelsea’s under-fire manager Graham Potter.

‘It sums up where we are at the moment – everything that can go wrong, is going wrong,’ Potter said after Chelsea’s 2-1 west London derby defeat.

‘It was a forward’s tackle from Joao, there was no malice in it but I understand why it was a red. It is another blow the hits keep coming at the moment.

‘He was really good you could see his quality in the game so it is doubly disappointing for us because he was looking dangerous throughout.

‘I don’t think there was too much malice in it and it is an unfortunate action and we are going to lose him now for three games.’

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