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

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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 football.london, 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.

Chelsea

Charlie McNeill called up to Manchester United first team training

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Erik ten Hag has called up Charlie McNeill to first team training, with the young striker pictured in training on Wednesday.

The call up is a great way for McNeill to make an impression on the Manchester United manager, amid a tricky start to the season.

McNeill was an unused substitute in Manchester United’s final pre-season friendly in at Old Trafford against Rayo Vallecano.

This was the closest the young striker has come to the first team, and he was back with the under-21s to start the season

McNeill was a substitute in United’s most recent under-21 fixture, with Spanish striker Mateo Mejia preferred.

But it was McNeill who got the nod to join Erik ten Hag’s most recent training session, where he was pictured alongsie Christian Eriksen, James Garner, Scott McTominay and Tyrell Malacia

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Football

Man United facing two-way transfer problems as Erik ten Hag looks to offload six stars

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Manchester United are focused on trying to bring in at least three new signings before deadline day to halt a season already mired in crisis.

But offloading existing players has become just as problematic for United as persuading new names to join Erik ten Hag’s abject side, which currently sits rock-bottom of the Premier League.

United want to get rid of at least six players – Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Axel Tuanzebe, James Garner and Brandon Williams – before deadline day in a fortnight’s time.

But so far there have been no takers for United’s cast-offs, with many on such exorbitant wages or simply not considered good enough for other clubs to decide to take them on.

Although United managed to sell Andreas Pereira to Fulham for £8.5million and send Alex Telles out on loan to Sevilla for the season, shifting other players to raise funds is proving tricky.

Bailly, who failed to even make the nine-man bench for ten Hag’s first two United games, has been told he can leave, but no club has so far made a firm move for the 28-year-old defender.

West Ham, Marseille and Monaco have all expressed interest in the Ivory Coast international, but with two years left on a deal worth £100,000-a-week, Bailly’s wages are proving a stumbling block.

Those clubs interested in Bailly want to take him on loan, with United continuing to pay a significant chunk of his wages. It is a similar story with most of the players United want to jettison.

United, in contrast, want a permanent sale, to raise revenue to reinvest in the players ten Hag needs to bolster his squad after beginning his tenure with defeats to Brighton and Brentford.

Bailly’s situation is indicative of the lack of effective leadership at United, which has seen the club hand lucrative, long-term contracts to players who have barely featured in recent seasons.

In the case of Bailly, he signed a contract extension in April 2021, keeping him at United until 2023, with the option for a further year. Yet since signing that new deal, Bailly has made just eight Premier League appearances and has not made a competitive appearance for United since December last year.

It is a familiar story with Jones, who in February 2019 penned a new deal until 2023, with an option for an extra year, but in that time has made just 21 appearances. There has been little interest in Wan-Bissaka, bought from Crystal Palace for £50m in 2019 under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but who has been told by ten Hag to find a new club.

Yet while United are struggling to persuade players to come to Old Trafford, getting them out of the door is proving just as taxing, symbolic of a club in decline and without any coherent strategy.

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Chelsea

Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante: Chelsea injury news and expected return dates before Leeds United

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Chelsea take on Leeds United on Sunday afternoon in a highly-anticipated Premier League bout at Elland Road.

The Blues have endured a turbulent start to the Premier League season; Thomas Tuchel’s side kicked off the new campaign with a 1-0 win over Everton despite a somewhat unconvincing performance,

before welcoming Tottenham Hotspur to Stamford Bridge, where an impressive display was dampened by a controversial stoppage-time equaliser.

Now, the west Londoners will be looking to translate a good performance into three points. So, with that in mind, here’s all the latest Chelsea injury news for Tuchel to contend with.

Now, the west Londoners will be looking to translate a good performance into three points. So, with that in mind, here’s all the latest Chelsea injury news for Tuchel to contend with.

Mateo Kovacic

One player that Tuchel won’t have at his disposal is central midfielder Kovacic, who is suffering from a slight knee issue at this moment in time

What Tuchel said: “[Kovacic] has issues with his knee, always a little bit of a reaction. We decided to take a step back and increase treatment time to reduce the stress that comes from training to have a normal reaction before we start again. Everybody else is available

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