2pm Arsenal news LIVE: Saka to Liverpool, Partey to cost £43m as Lacazette swap not wanted, Icardi-Aubameyang swap – The Sun

ARSENAL have returned to individual training as the Premier League looks to get back up and running on June 12.

There looks to be a busy summer ahead at the Emirates with the future of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang still uncertain and Mauro Icardi reportedly offered in exchange, while Liverpool could capitalise on Bukayo Saka's contract situation.

Follow all the very latest updates from North London below…

  • ON YOUR MARTS…

    Bernd Leno has backed team-mate Gabriel Martinelli to become a world class player.

    Speaking in a bottle with Soccer AM, he said: “He can become a world-class player.

    “World class 100 per cent because he has talent, he has quality but I think his biggest strength is his mentality.

    “He is working unbelievably.”

  • SAK RACE

    Liverpool are set to test Arsenal's resolve with a bid for Bukayo Saka, reports Football Insider.

    The youngster's contract expires in 2021 and the Red Devils are hoping that will lead to a cut-price transfer.

    However, the report also says that Arsenal are so keen to keep Saka next year that they are willing to break their current transfer policy and force him to stay until his contract expires.

    The Gunnners had previously stated that it is club policy to sell any player who reaches the last year of their contract rather than losing them on a free transfer.

  • GIFT OF THE GAB

    Arsenal and Manchester United have some of the most talented teenagers on the planet, according to the latest rankings.

    Gunners trio Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and William Saliba made the top ten along with Red Devils forward Mason Greenwood.

    Football Talent Scout have released a list of the top 50 players in the world that were born after 1 January 2001.

    Olympique Lyon attacking midfielder Rayan Cherki has topped the pile despite only being 16 years old.

  • NEV-ER SAY NEVER

    Gary Neville was asked to pick who he preferred out Harry Kane and Thierry Henry.

    And the eagle-eyed pundit and Manchester United veteran opted for the Arsenal legend.

    When asked by a fan on Twitter, he simply replied: “Henry”.

  • IN FOR THE KYL

    Arsene Wenger has tipped Kylian Mbappe to become the best player in the world.

    The Gunners legend told talkSport: “Lionel Messi… we've never seen players like that who can absolutely be creative in any tight situation.

    “These players are now getting to an end – Ronaldo and Messi.

    “It's now about the next generation and the next generation may be French.

    “At the moment, the leader could be Mbappe. Of course Neymar, we know.”

  • CELL OUT

    Unai Emery has backed Dani Ceballos to be a key figure in Arsenal's squad when the league resumes.

    During an interview with AS, he said: “Dani is a player who has excellent qualities and an incredible mentality – he wants to succeed.

    “For Arsenal it was a great market opportunity.

    “He played with me, then he was injured and he was out for a long time.

    “When the league resumes, he will certainly demonstrate his qualities again.”

  • HOSPITAL PASS

    Premier League players are set to start being tested for coronavirus next Thursday – and will get the results in just 24 hours.

    This means footballers will receive their results quicker than NHS workers on the frontline.

    The Telegraph claim players will be given early tests during training sessions to ensure there are no mass outbreaks hitting one or two teams and wiping them out before the season can begin.

    NHS and social care workers, plus anyone over 65 who has symptoms, wait up to 72 hours for their results.

  • FED EXPRESS

    Arsenal are chasing Fiorentina star Federico Chiesa after his club revealed his future is “up in the air”.

    The son of former Italy national manager Enrico Chiesa has been attracting a wide range of interest after an impressive spell in Serie A.

    Radio Toscana revealed the Gunners, Manchester United and Chelsea are chasing the 22-year-old winger.

    He has scored eight goals in 30 appearances this season, including one for the Italy national side in a European Championships qualifier.

  • CAM OFF IT

    Sol Campbell has been slated for suggesting the coronavirus is a “designed mistake”.

    The ex-Arsenal defender took to Twitter with the wild conspiracy theory that the virus “deliberately attacks a certain blood type”.

    In his tweet, Southend manager Campbell referred to an article about the shocking ONS statistics which show that black Brits are four times more likely to die from Covid-19.

    Above this, he wrote: “Was this virus a natural mistake or a designed mistake…?

    “I wonder does this virus deliberately attacks a certain blood type….?”

  • PART WITH YOUR CASH

    Arsenal will have to pay Thomas Partey's £43.5m release clause in full to bring him to the Emirates as Alexandre Lacazette doesn't fit the profile of striker Atletico Madrid are looking for, believes Spanish football expert Graham Hunter.

    It had been reported that the Gunners could use Lacazette as a makeweight to sign the Ghanaian midfielder.

    But Hunter told Sky Sports: “Atleti are currently outside of the top four only by a point, but to not get into the Champions League next season would be very debilitating for the club financially.

    “There’s a need for goals, but whether Lacazette has all the requisites and the right age profile is questionable.

    “If you look at the majority of strikers they’ve purchased in their recent history, they tend to be in their very early 20s and they pick well.

    “Lacazette has got the talent and the pace, there’s no question about that, but whether he’s what Atleti need right now with his salary, I’d be a little unsure.”

  • GOODMORNING, ARSENAL FANS

    TWO 19-year-olds have been overshadowing Arsenal skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for Emirates transfer speculation.

    Norwegian winger George Lewis, 19, is reportedly edging close to a free transfer arrival after exiting Tromso, having impressed on trial.

     And the Gunners are said to be still “in contact” with AFC Eskilstuna's Kosovo wonderkid Ismet Lushaku,  despite the coronavirus pandemic putting paid to his planned Under-23 trial.

    The midfielder told Fotbollskanalen: “They had been looking at me for a while and wanted to see me in their environment.

    “Three days before I would go Mikel Arteta received corona. And after that I was told that no one could come in anymore for trial games. 

    “Then there was nothing right then. They still have contact with my agents.”

    Meanwhile, talk over striker Aubameyang's future eased up over the past 24 hours – after incredible reports the previous day from Italy.

    The 30-year-old, previously linked so much with Manchester United and Barcelona, was thought to be par tf a swap offer for Inter Milan frontman Mauro Icardi, who is currently on loan at PSG.

    And  Henrikh Mkhitaryan has denied telling the Gunners he intended to stay at loan club Roma beyond this season.

    The Armenia winger's agent Mino Raiola insisted: “Mkhitaryan did not send any message to Arsenal.”

    Three Arsenal youngsters made the top 10 of Talent Scout’s list of football’s best starlets born in 2001 or later.

    Gabriel Martinelli was rated sixth, Bukayo Saka ninth and William Saliba tenth.

  • LOVE AND HOYTE

    Over the pond, in the land of the American dream and celebrity soccer, livelihoods and careers are about to be crushed.

    The MLS, renowned across the globe for attracting the biggest names since its inception in 1994, has not been immune from the devastating fight against coronavirus.

    On March 12, the league was suspended immediately for a minimum of 30 days, before extending that to mid-May just a week later.And as that deadline inches closer, Justin Hoyte – now a Miami resident – has eagerly observed the reaction time of both the league and the country.

    The former Arsenal defender has built another life in the US, spending two years at FC Cincinnati before taking a step down to the UPSL this year with Miami Beach CF as a player-coach.

    Hoyte, 35, said: “It’s scary as no one knows what’s happening next.

    “It is a horrible and unthinkable time for players who are on short term contracts. If the season is called off come June are you still going to be paid or even be at the club?

    “This situation has never happened to anyone in sport so no one knows how to handle the situation. It is a guessing game. A lot of clubs in these divisions may not be able to survive. It is not something that will be fixed overnight and to make the money back will be impossible.”

  • MELLOW YELLOW?

    One Gunners fan has come up with a concept yellow second kit. What do we think, Arsenal supporters?

  • HENRIK GUNS DOWN EXIT TALK

    Henrikh Mkhitaryan has denied telling Arsenal he intended to stay at loan club Roma beyond this season.

    The Armenia winger shared on his Instagram page his agent Mino Raiola's strong rebuttals of claims Mkhitaryan is keen to avoid an Emirates return.

    Raiola said: “Mkhitaryan did not send any message to Arsenal.

    “Especially in times like these, fake news is completely unacceptable.”

    Ex-Manchester United man Mkhitaryan, 31, has shone in Italy with six goals and four assists in 20 games across all competitions.

  • SHOUT OF ORDER

    Premier League players will have their bad language blocked out to avoid upsetting TV fans during Project Restart.

    Sky Sports and BT Sport are as desperate as the League for the resumption of the season so they can screen the remaining 92 matches.

    But with games having to be played behind closed doors, there is no background crowd noise to cover up the obscenities regularly used on the pitch and in dugouts.

    With strict Ofcom regulations covering content televised before the 9pm watershed, TV bosses are having to plan how to stop expletives being heard by their viewers.

    And that means having to consider removing pitch-side microphones — taking away a vital element which helps deliver any atmosphere.

    The companies have experience of screening behind-closed-doors matches for European or international fixtures.

    But the prospect of two sets of players and dugouts both shouting in English presents a new challenge.

    Either they have their commentators continually apologising on air for any swear words heard or they control or even mute the sound levels.

  • TRIPLE GUN SALUTE

    Three Arsenal youngsters are in the top 10 of Talent Scout’s list of football’s best starlets.

    Gabriel Martinelli is sixth, Bukayo Saka at nine and William Saliba tenth in the ratings for players born in 2001 or later.

    Lyon’s Rayan Cherki, Rennes’ Eduart Camavinga and Manchester United’s Mason Greenwood make up the top three.

    Chelsea’s Billy Gilmour sits at No11.

  • ADAMS REVEALS 'HORRIFIC' REHAB

    Former Arsenal and England skipper Tony Adams has opened up on his battle with alcoholism in the build-up to Euro 1996.

    The ex-centre-back captained the Three Lions to the semi-finals in the tournament, as Terry Venables' side crashed out on penalties against Germany.

    Adams went into Euro 1996 on the back of a serious knee injury, with the 53-year-old claiming that football that summer was the only thing keeping him sober.

    Speaking in an interview with Mark Pougatch for the first episode of ITV's Euro 96 Relived podcast, Adams stated that his rehab was sitting in a bar.

    He said: “It was a horrific year for me emotionally and mentally off the pitch… I did my meniscus in the February, and because I kept getting drunk, the rehab was terrible.

    “My rehab was sitting in a bar. I don't imagine Harry Kane would do that now. Thank the Lord he's getting fit and healthy again, but my rehab was sitting there drinking too much…

    “Football had kept me sober down the years as well. I'd had long periods of abstinence playing football, so I kind of threw myself into the tournament, threw myself into the rehab come late April.

    “But yeah, I didn't play for Arsenal at all, was going through a really difficult period personally, but clawed my way back and held onto the tournament as a saving grace.”

  • BARCA WOULD BE FAB WINNERS

    Ex-Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has hit back at Thibaut Courtois' claims it would be “unjust” if Barcelona were made LaLiga champions without the season being played out.

    Barcelona were two points clear of keeper Courtois' Real Madrid side when the coronavirus pandemic halted sporting action in March.

    Courtois, Fabregas' former Stamford Bridge team-mate, declared: “I am sure we can still be champions.

    “It would be a shame if the season was stopped for good.

    “And if it was, I would find it unjust that Barcelona were crowned champions. In Barcelona they must find it logical, but I don’t.

    “They drew and lost to us, we showed that we were the better team even if they are two points ahead today.

    I wouldn’t find that fair. In England I can understand that Liverpool would be named champions, because they are 25 points ahead.

    “Either we play it all or we don't finish, but then we don't designate a champion.”

    ButFabregas told TVE, he said: “Everyone defends their own interests. At Monaco, we have been left without Europe next year.

    “But if [LaLiga] stopped, as it has done in France, Barcelona would be worthy winners. We are not stopping because we like it. We are doing it for an unavoidable cause.”

  • LEWIS GUNN

    Norwegian winger George Lewis is edging close to a free transfer move to Arsenal after exiting Tromso, reports say.

    The 19-year-old was said to have impressed on a two-week trial with the Gunners.

    The Metro say he has already started integrating himself with the Gunners after being their guest for the 1-0 win over West Ham in March.

    Mikel Arteta's side are said to be in advanced talks with the free agent, who has spent the past few years playing in Norway's lower leagues.

    Goal suggest that if the move is agreed then Lewis will go into Steve Bould's Under-23s squad.

  • WE NEVER 'MET

    Arsenal are reportedly still “in contact” with Kosovo wonderkid Ismet Lushaku, 19, despite his trial falling through due to the coronavirus crisis.

    The AFC Eskilstuna hotshot has revealed that he was invited to train with the Gunners’ U23s before head coach Mikel Arteta fell ill with the killer virus.

    The midfielder told Fotbollskanalen: “They had been looking at me for a while and wanted to see me in their environment,

    “I then received an invitation to go and train and play with the U23s team. Three days before I would go Mikel Arteta received corona.

    “And after that I was told that no one could come in anymore for trial games and those who were there for trial games should go home, as they did not want to risk me being infected or that I could be infected and infect people there.

    “Then there was nothing right then. They still have contact with my agents.”

  • FIELD OF DREAMS

    Gabriel Martinelli is desperate to get back out and play football.

    The Gunners star posted a heartfelt message on Instagram.

    He said: “I can’t wait to be back on the pitch again.”

    View this post on Instagram

    I can’t wait to be back on the pitch again ⏳❤️

    A post shared byGabriel Martinelli (@ga_martinelli01) on

  • SUPER SUBS

    IFAB has confirmed teams will be permitted to use a maximum of five substitutes during matches.

    Here's how it will work:

    • To reduce disruption to the match, each team will have a maximum of three opportunities to make substitutions during the game; substitutions may also be made at half-time.
    • If both teams make a substitution at the same time, this will count as one of the three opportunities for each team.
    • Unused substitutions and opportunities are carried forward into extra time.
    • Where competition rules allow an additional substitution in extra time, teams will each have one additional substitution opportunity; substitutions may also be made before the start of extra time and at half-time in extra time. The use of return substitutes is not an option for senior competitions.

    YOUNG GUNS ARE ALRIGHT

    Arsenal have three youngsters in the top 10 of Talent Scout’s list of football’s best starlets.

    Players born in 2001 and later make the list and Gabriel Martinelli is No6, Bukayo Saka No9 and William Saliba at No10.

    Lyon’s Rayan Cherki, Rennes’ Eduart Camavinga and Manchester United’s Mason Greenwood make up the top three.

    Chelsea’s Billy Gilmour sits at No11.

    KIT'S A BIT OF ALRIGHT

    One Gunners fan has come up with a concept yellow second kit.

    What do we think, Arsenal supporters?

    Source: Read Full Article