Connect with us


Mikel Arteta’s latest transfer target highlights his vision for Arsenal



Arsenal fans are growing increasingly excited by reports that the Gunners have as many as four established names in their sights – three of which already boast Premier League experience.

Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus is on the cusp of a reunion with Mikel Arteta, while Leeds United star Raphinha is also a primary target. Leicester’s Youri Tielemans is less of a priority but could still make the switch by the time the window nears its end.

The one figure who is different from the rest comes in the form of Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez, but his lack of English top-flight experience is not a deterrent for the club’s top brass hoping he joins.

The Argentine is being monitored by a host of Premier League clubs, with fellow North London outfit and fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur included in that list.

So too are Manchester United. New Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag knows all about the player’s qualities given his recent exit from the Amsterdam Arena where Martinez was one of his charges in a record-breaking Ajax defence last term.

With that being said, the early consensus is that the defender affectionately dubbed as ‘The Beast’ by adoring supporters would favour a move to the Emirates. If Arsenal could seal his signing, it would present the chance for perfect symmetry across the Gunners’ back-line.

That Martinez is a target indicates exactly what Arteta is aiming to achieve within his defence. Plenty of the Ajax stars traits balance perfectly with that of Benjamin White on the other side, a £50million signing last summer lest we forget.

Both are seen as ball-playing defenders, often praised for their technical ability and passing range, able to build play from the back and breaking lines into midfield and beyond. Neither minds the odd saunter out into midfield either, challenging opponents to come to them and thus breaking down opposing defensive schemes.

While White favours operating on the right of a back-four, left-footed Martinez does similar on the other side. They also share the ability to be deployed at full-back if needed, something that could come in handy where Martinez is concerned, considering the somewhat injury-prone nature of Kieran Tierney.

The Emirates faithful are well-versed by now in what White can do, with his pinpoint accurate passes providing the perfect foundation for attacks down the right-hand side with Bukayo Saka on the receiving end.

Signing Martinez would make Arsenal far less dependent on the right attacking channel and would offer some balance and variation to the way the Gunners build from the back using both flanks.

The Gunners have already had a £25million enquiry dismissed and in meetings this week, were told what it will take to get Martinez out of Amsterdam and into the Emirates, with £42million the number required to land the Amsterdammers’ reigning player of the year.


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.”

Continue Reading


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.

Continue Reading


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.’

Continue Reading