Sport

Jovic and Isak lined up as Vlahovic alternatives, Aubameyang ‘to reject Saudi Arabia’

ARSENAL have entered talks with Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic.

And the Gunners have set a DEADLINE for the in-demand 21-year-old striker to decide if he wants to join them, with Juventus also interested.

Arsenal are reported to have had a £66m offer accepted, with the fee rising up to £88m with add-ons.

Should Vlahovic not commit to joining Arsenal, they are said to be ready to move for Real Madrid’s Luka Jovic or Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak.

Meanwhile the North Londoners are looking to sell former captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but the striker is ready to reject an offer from Saudi Arabia as he demands to stay in Europe.

And Gunners manager Mikel Arteta is reportedly set to be handed a new two-year deal by Arsenal with the club determined to fend off interest from Manchester City.

The 39-year-old, who spent time as Pep Guardiola’s No2 at the Etihad, is tied down at the Emirates until 2023.

That means his contract ends the same time as Guardiola’s at City.

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  • Vlahovic to Juventus

    Fiorentina are resigned to Dusan Vlahovic joining Juventus, journalist James Horncastle reports.

    The Viola would rather have sold the Arsenal target abroad, believing they would receive more money that way.

    However, the Serb is said to have had a verbal agreement in place to join Juve since September, and has already confirmed he will leave the club on a free transfer when his contract expires in 18 months.

  • Who’ll be the next Arsenal captain?

    Arsenal have had a cursed record when it comes to their captains.

    Who will be the next club captain after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was booted from the squad?

  • More Piers Morgan

    To be an Arsenal fan this season has felt like being Robert De Niro’s character Leonard Lowe in the movie Awakenings.

    For those who haven’t seen it, it’s about a group of catatonic patients brought back to functioning life again by a brilliant doctor named Malcolm Sayer (played by Robin Williams) only for his miracle drug of hope to then wear off and send them back to catatonia.

    Last August, after three disastrous straight opening Premier League losses, culminating in a humiliating 5-0 thrashing by Manchester City, I found myself in similar state of Zombie-like helplessness – sitting silently in a chair, open-mouthed and staring blankly at the ceiling.

    It had been 17 years since the all-conquering Invincibles made football history, and now, after so much endless failure and false-dawn hope had reduced us to a team that couldn’t even qualify for Europe let alone compete for the league, came this new crushing nadir.

    But manager Mikel Arteta kept telling us to “trust the process” and, to be fair to him, I’ve tried.

  • Piers Morgan uncensored

    It wasn’t just the fact Arsenal couldn’t beat the worst team in the league at home that sank my spirit on Sunday.

    It was the way we played that was so finger-gnawingly depressing.

    Burnley parked the bus, as was entirely predictable, but despite having human greyhounds like Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka – two of many very talented but also very young and inexperienced players in the team – we inexplicably never found a way to get around it.

    Our tactics were shocking, our creativity non-existent, and there were frequent moments when we just stopped running and sloped around like energy-devoid sloths, endlessly tip-tapping the ball from side to side as if too fearful of Arteta’s permanent touchline wrath to try anything more adventurous.

    What the situation cried out for was a proper world class striker to take charge and bully Burnley into submission – but Alexandre Lacazette is never going to be that guy.

    He’s too nice and not good enough.

  • Toon ‘to break bank’ for Bissouma

    Newcastle have reportedly joined the race to lure Yves Bissouma away from Brighton as they eye up a club-record £50million move.

    Eddie Howe has been desperate for new recruits this month as he looks to assemble a squad capable of beating the drop.

    The Magpies have already brought in Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood during the winter transfer window, and they are expected to make more signings in January.

    And the Daily Mail state that the Toon are exploring the possibility of securing the services of the Seagulls star.

    Brighton will part ways with the 25-year-old should they receive a fee of £50m.

    As well as Newcastle, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United have been linked with a move for the midfielder.

  • Up next

    High-flying Wolves are up next for Arsenal.

  • Gunner cost to much…

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s £350k-a-week Arsenal salary is scaring off Juventus… and even mega-rich Paris Saint-Germain.

    The outcast striker, 32, is reportedly unwilling to join Saudi top dogs Al Hilal on loan and wants to stay in Europe.

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang wants to stay in Europe if he leaves Arsenal
    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang wants to stay in Europe if he leaves ArsenalCredit: Reuters

    But it appears admirers like Barcelona, Sevilla, AC Milan and Marseille have ruled out paying all his huge wages.

    In contrast, Al Hilal were said to be happy to maintain his current salary, with an option to buy the Gabon superstar in the summer.

    It leaves Gunners’ boss Mikel Arteta pondering his next step after stripping Aubameyang of the captaincy and dropping him for disciplinary breaches.

  • Dusan turns to Turin

    Arsenal have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of hot property Dusan Vlahovic.

    The striker has reportedly agreed personal terms with Serie A giants Juventus instead.

    Juventus-target Dusan Vlahovic is also wanted at the Emirates
    Juventus-target Dusan Vlahovic is also wanted at the Emirates

    The Gunners are on the hunt for a new goalscorer, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah all set to leave by the summer.

    And Fiorentina ace Vlahovic – who scored 41 goals in 2021 – found himself top of boss Mikel Arteta’s shortlist.

    But according to Italian paper Gazzetta dello Sport, the £60million man has agreed terms with Italian heavyweights Juve.

  • All to play for

    Arsenal haven’t found the net in four games – their longest goal drought in 16 years.

    But a glance at their upcoming fixture list might give boss Mikel Arteta cause for optimism.

    Although the likes of Wolves, Leicester and Aston Villa are liable to take points off anyone, the Gunners don’t have one of their traditional ‘Big Six’ rivals in their next five games.

    But that doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story.

    Arsenal are set to have two games rescheduled due to clashes in the fixture list among their upcoming games.

    Those opponents? Champions League rivals Liverpool and Chelsea, of course.

  • Aareas of improvement

    Aaron Ramsdale needs to stop breaking David Seaman’s ‘code’, according to the former Arsenal goalkeeper.

    The legendary stopper has been very impressed by Ramsdale in his debut season at the Emirates with ten clean sheets and 56 saves in the Premier League.

    Aaron Ramsdale moved to the Emirates last summer
    Aaron Ramsdale moved to the Emirates last summer

    But one area of his game Seaman wants the current No1 to cut out is berating his defenders – with 23-year-old Ramsdale regularly letting rip at his back line.

    Two-time title winner Seaman, 58, said: “I had this code with my defence, we don’t shout at each other.

    “If you make a mistake, we talk about it afterwards. He does need to be just a little bit aware.”

  • Sign of the times

    Time is running out for Premier League clubs to make signings with just ONE WEEK remaining in the transfer window.

    That leaves Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta with little time to improve his creaking squad as they chase struggle to locate the back of the net.

    The Gunners have made Fiorentina star Dusan Vlahovic their number one target this January.

    But should they fail to sign the striker they could be stuck playing Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah.

    Here SunSport takes a look at the key areas Arsenal need to address before the transfer window slams shut.

  • Adebayor has Auba feels

    Emmanuel Adebayor believes there is no way back for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at Arsenal because Gunners fans don’t know how to “forgive”.

    Adebayor, 37, left the Emirates for Manchester City in 2009 after scoring 62 goals in 142 games for the North London outfit.

    Both Aubameyang and Adebayor fell out of favour at Arsenal
    Both Aubameyang and Adebayor fell out of favour at Arsenal

    Arsenal supporters chastised him for leaving to join a fellow Premier League rival.

    And Adebayor infamously hit back by running the length of the field to celebrate in front of the travelling Gunners fans when he scored against them for Man City at the Etihad.

    Now Aubameyang is having his own battle with the Gunners faithful after being stripped of the captaincy for a disciplinary matter in December.

    And Adebayor says he knows how his fellow striker feels.

    He said: “They never learn or they never knew how to forgive. So, I know he will go through a lot.”

  • Gunners take fresh Luk at Real star

    Arsenal could seek a short-term loan for Real Madrid striker Luka Jovic if they cannot persuade Dusan Vlahovic to join them this month.

    Mikel Arteta is desperate to bring in another striker before the transfer window closes next Monday.

    Luka Jovic could head to Arsenal in Dusan Vlahovic's place
    Luka Jovic could head to Arsenal in Dusan Vlahovic’s place

    But hopes of signing Fiorentina star Vlahovic are looking increasingly remote in spite of repeated attempts to secure a deal.

    And now they are considering a last-ditch move for Vlahovic’s Serbian international striker partner Jovic.

    Fiorentina are ready to cash in on their 21-year-old superstar, with Arsenal indicating that they are willing to pay £50million plus on-loan Lucas Torreira to get the deal over the line.

    But the Serie A club believe that Vlahovic has set his heart on a move to Juventus – leaving the Gunners to plump for Jovic instead.

  • Arsenal deals that could still happen…

    THERE is just a week to go in the January transfer window – but plenty of deals could still get done across the Premier League big boys.

    Arsenal and their fellow clubs chasing Champions League qualification want to do all they can to get an advantage over their rivals as the race hots up.

    Here SunSport rounds up 16 of the major transfers that may get over the line before next Monday – including two major moves in and one move out of the Emirates…

  • Stats enough

    Arsenal haven’t scored a goal in all competitions since New Year’s Day.

    That strike came in the 2-1 defeat by the Premier League’s runaway leaders Manchester City.

    Since then the Gunners have gone four games without hitting the back of the net – their worst goalless streak since 2005.

    Here SunSport takes a look at some of the key stats from Arsenal’s season so far, showing that flying wingers Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe provide the bulk of creative firepower at the Emirates.

  • Vlahovic to scratch

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has had one name at the top of his shopping list this month.

    Dusan Vlahovic is the man tipped to solve the Gunners’ yips in front of goal.

    On Sunday Arteta saw his side break an unwanted 16-year record when they failed to score for a fourth game in a row.

    Arsenal have reportedly tabled a bid of just over £50million for the 21-year-old, who has scored 20 goals in 23 appearances so far this season.

    And the Serbia striker is now said to be IGNORING Fiorentina’s calls as he tries to force a move to the Emirates.

    This comes after reports of the Gunners’ latest offer for the highly-rated youngster, which also includes a permanent move for Lucas Torreira at the Artemio Franchi where he currently plays on loan.

  • Gunner need some reinforcements

    Arsenal are in desperate need of reinforcements in two critical areas this month.

    Boss Mikel Arteta has watched in horror as his side have failed to find the net in four games on the bounce.

    Alexandre Lacazette failed to score against Burnley on Sunday
    Alexandre Lacazette failed to score against Burnley on Sunday

    It’s the first time in 16 years they’ve drawn a blank in four in a row.

    With Alexandre Lacazette off target and ex-captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang nowhere near the starting line-up, a new striker is top of Arteta’s shopping list.

    But the Spanish tactician has problems further back on the pitch.

    His midfield is creaking amid suspensions and Africa Cup of Nations duty.

    Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny and Nicolas Pepe have been away on Afcon duty with Ghana and Egypt respectively.

    Granit Xhaka was unavailable for the 0-0 draw against Burnley on Sunday, having been sent off against Liverpool.

    That has left Arteta relying on just Albert Sambi Lokonga to hold the fort in the middle of the park – hence the interest in Brighton’s Yves Bissouma.

  • Midfield engine room

    Arsenal face a transfer battle for Brighton’s Yves Bissouma, with mega-rich Newcastle entering the race for the Brighton man’s signature.

    Reports suggest the fee could rise as high as £50MILLION – but what’s all the fuss about?

    SunSport takes a look at some of Bissouma’s key stats that have been turning heads as we head towards the transfer window’s final few days.

  • Toon ‘to break bank’ for Bissouma

    Newcastle have reportedly joined the race to lure Yves Bissouma away from Brighton as they eye up a club-record £50million move.

    Eddie Howe has been desperate for new recruits this month as he looks to assemble a squad capable of beating the drop.

    The Magpies have already brought in Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood during the winter transfer window, and they are expected to make more signings in January.

    And the Daily Mail state that the Toon are exploring the possibility of securing the services of the Seagulls star.

    Brighton will part ways with the 25-year-old should they receive a fee of £50m.

    As well as Newcastle, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United have been linked with a move for the midfielder.

  • Gunners ‘want Isak price reduced’

    Arsenal hope to sign Real Sociedad star Alexander Isak for less than his £76million asking price, reports suggest.

    Isak is considered as an alternative to Fiorentina star Dusan Vlhaovic, who is the Gunners’ top target during the January transfer window.

    According to The Athletic, the north Londoners are having doubts about their pursuit of Vlahovic as although they are confident they can reach a deal with the Viola the same doesn’t apply with the striker and his representatives.

    That is why Arsenal are also keeping tabs on Isak but would only be willing to negotiate a lower price.

  • Ramsdale blasts Gunners team-mates

    Aaron Ramsdale tore into his Arsenal team-mates for their performance against Burnley.

    He fumed to Arsenal’s media: “We didn’t really take the game to them, I’ll give credit to Burnley, they defended well,’ Ramsdale told Arsenal.com.

    “We put balls in the box and that’s meat and drink to Burnley, so it’s a difficult one.

    “It’s definitely a missed opportunity for three points and to gain places back in the league but I’ll take the positive of a clean sheet, with the defending of the whole team. But definitely a frustrating day.”

  • Arteta intent on Arsenal transfers

    Mikel Arteta insists Arsenal are trying to make moves in this month’s transfer window.

    But the Spaniard admitted it’s not been an easy task as the market is difficult at the moment.

    He said to Arsenal’s media: “It’s what we planned, but the market is difficult, it’s complicated.

    “We knew that, but it’s a lot to manage and we have to make the right decisions with players that we believe are going to really help us and try to bring in ones that can take us to the next level.”

    And speaking on if the Gunners will succeed in their attempts before the deadline, Arteta added: “Well, we are certainly trying, but I don’t know if we’re going to be able to do it.

    “Let’s see, it’s not only our intention, but a lot of facts that are needed to happen.”

  • Keane takes swipe at Vieira

    Roy Keane poked fun at an angry Patrick Vieira at the end of Crystal Palace’s defeat to Liverpool.

    The Eagles boss looked fed up as walked off the pitch next to the officials – who controversially awarded Liverpool a late penalty which sealed the win.

    The Sky Sports team noticed his sour mood and Keane took the opportunity to make light of the situation by joking about his former nemesis.

    Presenter David Jones said: “I’m not sure Patrick’s had enough…We know how scary he can be in the tunnel.”

    And Keane replied jokingly: “I’ve always said he’s got a bit of a temper.”

  • Arteta praises Lokonga

    Mikel Arteta has been impressed with the development of Gunners youngster Albert Sambi Lokonga.

    He said: “I think he is growing, he is playing better and better.

    “I think he had a really good game the other day against Liverpool, his understanding of the game, he is managing the physicality much better, he is maturing.

    “It’s a lot to ask. When we signed him, the expectation that we had for him in the first year was to start adapting but he has had to play many more minutes than we expected and the kid is trying his best, and I think he’s doing pretty well.”

  • Aubameyang Al Hilal snub

    Pierre Emerick Aubameyang is set to snub a loan transfer to Al Hilal because he wants to stay in Europe, according to reports.

    Saudi Arabian side Al Hilal offered to take him for the rest of the season with an option to buy in the summer.

    But according to The Athletic, the Gabon international remains motivated to continue playing at an elite level in one of Europe’s top leagues.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/17047903/arsenal-transfer-news-live-vlahovic-jovic-isak-aubameyang/ Jovic and Isak lined up as Vlahovic alternatives, Aubameyang ‘to reject Saudi Arabia’

Caroline Bleakley

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