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Arsenal transfer round-up: Martinez edge over Man Utd plus Raphinha Barcelona boost



Arsenal’s summer transfer window is looking increasingly likely to match last year’s in terms of money spent, while it would be no surprise to see an even higher calibre of player be moving to north London ahead of next season.

And with the Gunners continuing to be linked with a number of names, that may well happen.

The latest reports have revealed that Arsenal have an advantage over Manchester United in the race for Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez,

while Mikel Arteta has been given a huge boost in his pursuit of Leeds United winger Raphinha this week.



Arsenal handed Martinez advantage

Arsenal and Manchester United continue to battle it out for Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez this summer as both sides set about bolstering their defensive options ahead of next season,

but it has now been suggested that the Gunners could well have the upper hand on the Red Devils in their pursuit of the Argentine.

According to The Athletic’s David Ornstein on Hayters TV, via, United aren’t keen on signing a 5ft 9in centre back to fit their style of play, while Arsenal are and also have plans to use him in his secondary position at left back.

As well as this,United are also prioritising deals for Frenkie de Jong and Christian Eriksen before anything else.

Dembele provides Raphinha boost

Arsenal remain firmly interested in signing Leeds winger Raphinha this summer as Arteta looks to strengthen his attacking options,

and with plenty of top clubs said to be interested in the Brazilian, the Gunners may now have just been handed a huge boost in their chances of securing a deal.

According to Catalonian outlet araBarcelona forward Ousmane Dembele believes that staying at the Camp Nou and working under Xavi – who has always believed in his ability – is the best thing for his career.

The report adds that with the Frenchman set to remain in Catalonia, the club will no longer pursue Leeds United winger Raphinha.

That means less competition for Arsenal as they try to sign the Brazilian and is a huge turn of events for the club, given that Raphinha’s preference was to join the La Liga giants this summer.

Leeds value the 25-year-old at north of £50m, but with less interest on the table, the Gunners may be able to get him for less than expected.

Fofana interest revealed

Arsenal’s signing of Porto midfielder Fabio Vieira has not stopped the Gunners’ pursuit of signing another player for that same position,

with a host of other names continuing to be linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium this summer, including RC Lens midfielder Seko Fofana.

According to L’Equipe, the Gunners are eyeing up a move for the 27-year-old, alongside Newcastle United,

as an extra midfield option ahead of next season, with an increased number of games from European competition set to stretch Arsenal’s playing squad.

Fofana has English football experience having graduated from Manchester City ’s youth set-up in 2014, although he failed to make a single appearance before being sold to Udinese two years later.

He did, however, make 25 appearances whilst on loan at Fulham in the Championship during the 2014-15 campaign.


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




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




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




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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