Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Pepe red card REACTION, Balogun new contract talks, Xhaka rejects Inter, Eriksen latest

ARSENAL held on to draw with Leeds at Elland Road during the weekend.

And the Gunners were lucky not to suffer defeat with Nicolas Pepe sent off for a headbutt and United hitting the woodwork three times.

Follow all of the latest Gunners news, gossip and updates below…

  • Joshua Jones


    FOOTBALL fans might be ordered not to drink alcohol or sing songs when they return to stadiums from next week.Clubs were given the green light to reopen turnstiles on December 2 by the Government yesterday.

    Up to 4,000 fans can return in low-risk areas from next week with 2,000 in tier two areas.

    Clubs in tier three regions – including Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool – won't be allowed to open their turnstiles just yet.

    And the Daily Mail report that the Premier League outlined their Covid Code of Conduct in a letter to clubs on Saturday.

    They claim the document said: "This may include singing, shouting and alcohol consumption."

    Fans will be asked to sign up to the Code of Conduct when they buy a ticket, the report adds.

    Other measures expected include filling in a health questionnaire, wearing a mask and following signs about social distancing within the stadium.

  • Joshua Jones


    Nicolas Pepe has apologised for getting sent off against Leeds on Sunday night.

    After headbutting Ezgjan Alioski, the Ivorian wrote on Instagram: “Yesterday I have let my team down at a crucial time of the game and there is no excuse for my behaviour.

    “I am deeply sorry and would like to apologise to the fans, my team-mates, my coach and everyone else at the club.”

    Both Pepe and North Macedonia international Alioski were subjected to vile racist abuse online after the incident, with the two clubs vowing to work with the authorities in their inquiries.

    In the transfer world, Granit Xhaka has reportedly rejected a move to Inter Milan.

    The Swiss midfielder was said to be part of a deal to take Christian Eriksen to Emirates Stadium.

    Inter are still thought to be waiting on an ‘attractive’ offer for the wantaway Dane, with PSG also linked.

    Another reported target also fancies a switch to the Gunners, in Yusuf Yazici and club Lille.

    The 23-year-old's representative Adem Cebeci told Turkey's Demiroren News Agency: “It is really an honour for the big clubs to take care of Yusuf because Yusuf has goals and is moving towards this goal.

    “When Yusuf reaches his true potential, they want to sell him to very good clubs for a very good price, and that doesn’t seem too far.”

  • Marc Mayo


    Arsenal are only now finding their way after a pair of controversial managerial exits.

    That is the view of Nacho Monreal, who believes Mikel Arteta would be a great coach to play under.

    The Real Sociedad defender told the Guardian: “Wenger’s departure was controversial. There was a big divide among the fans, we saw it every game.

    "After 22 years, the first post-Wenger coach was always going to have a difficult role. Maybe Unai didn’t get the time he needed but he did a good job.

    “I would have loved to have played under Arteta. I spoke to Hector about that. I had him as a teammate and I would have loved to see him as a coach; there’s that curiosity in me.

    "But I chose another path and came to San Sebastián. I’m happy for me and him because things are going well."

  • Marc Mayo


    Arsenal keeping patience with Mikel Arteta could give the Spaniard the chance to replicate Frank Lampard.

    That is according to Simon Jordan, who feels the Gunners boss deserves time despite his slow start to the season.

    Ex-Crystal Palace chief Jordan said on talkSPORT: "Ultimately you've got a manager in place that I had reticence about.

    "I had reticence about Frank Lampard because I do think experience is something that you simply can't buy, and when you're taking on Premier League teams it's very difficult to manage in that league.

    "But I like a lot more that I hear from Arteta than I dislike."

  • Marc Mayo


    Arsenal fall another place after Wolves snatched a 1-1 draw at home to Southampton.

    Pedro Neto's goal means the Gunners are back to 12th in the table, albeit a point and place above Manchester City.

  • Marc Mayo


    Leaving Arsenal was a tough decision, Freddie Ljungberg has admitted.

    The Swede took temporary charge after Unai Emery’s sacking and decided to leave the club altogether in August.

    He said on Sky Sports: “Everybody knows how much I love that club and I have a lot of good relationships.

    “I felt that I am ready to manage myself and to be able to do that I felt I had to leave and stand on my own two feet. 

    “It wasn’t an easy decision but I needed to do it.”

  • Marc Mayo


    Arsenal target Yusuf Yazici and his club Lille want a lucrative transfer for the midfielder hailed by Mesut Ozil as "amazing", his agent claims.

    Turkey superstar Yazici is again looming large on the Gunners' radar after two hat-tricks in three Europa League games.

    And the 23-year-old's representative Adem Cebeci believes an eventual switch to the Premier League would suit Yazici and his Ligue 1 side.

    Cebeci told Turkey's Demiroren News Agency: "It is really an honour for the big clubs to take care of Yusuf because Yusuf has goals and is moving towards this goal. 

    "(Lille) Sporting director (Luis) Campos likes Yusuf’s game very much. That’s why he worked hard for his transfer.

    “When Yusuf reaches his true potential, they want to sell him to very good clubs for a very good price, and that doesn’t seem too far."

  • Marc Mayo


    The Premier League has released a statement expressing the ‘welcome’ news of fans returning to grounds next month.

    Arsenal are expected to be in Tier 2 when stadiums re-open, allowing 2,000 supporters in to witness clashes with Burnley and Southampton.

    The league wrote: “Our ambition remains to work with Government to increase attendance to more substantial levels. Until this can be done, many fans will be unable to attend games and our clubs will continue to operate matches at a financial loss.

    “Our priority continues to be the agreement of a roadmap, with DCMS and the Sports Technology and Innovation Group, for pilot events that can help our clubs quickly scale up to larger capacities in line with the Sports Ground Safety Authority’s COVID-secure guidelines and beyond.  

    “Premier League clubs have a proven track record of achieving high-biosecurity standards and we believe we can play a significant role in the Government’s rapid turnaround testing initiative. We look forward to working with Government on their next steps.”

  • Marc Mayo


    Troy Deeney has hit back at Ezgjan Alioski for his role in Nicolas Pepe’s sending off – saying he would be too embarrassed to go down like that himself.

    The Watford star told talkSPORT: “The embarrassment of going down like that is not necessarily the same any more. 

    “We’re all saying, ‘He did get touched so he’s gone down’ – it’s kind of what we’re doing with the diving now, defending them. 

    “Whereas, me personally, if I would have got brushed with a head like that and went down, my mates would be hammering me for the next six months. 

    “It would be anything, like a gust of wind – ‘oh, watch Troy, he’s going to fall’.”

  • Marc Mayo


    Arsenal fans online appear happy to accept Nicolas Pepe’s apology but want the winger to up his game after his suspension.

    Pepe has posted a statement after his red card versus Leeds.

    In reply, one fan wrote: “What a load of rubbish sell him ASAP.”

    Another Gooner stated: “All's forgiven. Dust yourself off and put in good performances in your next games. We move.”

    A Twitter user added: “Just want him to be successful here.”

    While one Arsenal fan said: “Now do us a favour Nico and up your game and discipline, from there, we will be good to go.”

  • Marc Mayo


    The Premier League have confirmed eight positive tests for coronavirus from 1,530 players and staff tested.

    Tests were carried out between November 16 and 22.

  • Marc Mayo


    A 1-0 win for Burnley over Crystal Palace knocks the Eagles back level with Arsenal on goal difference, as well points.

    Roy Hodgson's side are tied on 13 points with the Gunners but now have the same goal difference – but are three goals better off in 'goals scored'.

    Four teams, including Wolves and Manchester United, are now level on 13 points with -1 goal difference.

    Wolves take on Southampton at 8pm, hoping to leapfrog Arsenal by avoiding defeat.

  • Marc Mayo


    Nicolas Pepe has apologised for his sending off against Leeds in the 0-0 draw last night.

    The Ivorian winger headbutted Ezgjan Alioski off the ball, with VAR picking up the clash.

    He wrote: "Yesterday I have let my team down at a crucial time of the game and there is no excuse for my behaviour.

    "I am deeply sorry and would like to apologise to the fans, my team-mates, my coach and everyone else at the club."

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Nicolas Pepe (@nicolas.pepe19)

  • Marc Mayo


    Inter Milan are waiting on an ‘attractive offer’ from Arsenal for Christian Eriksen.

    Corriere dello Sport claim that Nerazzurri are determined to sell the wantaway midfielder in January.

    And the ‘foundations’ of a sale are there, it is claimed, with the Gunners and Paris Saint-Germain expected to be the most interested in the former Tottenham star.

    Credit: Getty Images – Getty
  • Marc Mayo


    This season’s FA Cup will be used as an official trial for concussion substitutes.

    Wembley chiefs have agreed managers will be able to use an extra “permanent” sub if a player is concussed during ties from the third round onwards.

    The trial, which will also be extended to the Women’s FA Cup, was agreed after being signed off by the game’s Law-making body Ifab today.

    Fifa has backed the plan, ahead of a likely Law global Law change for the 2022-23 season.

    An FA spokesperson said Wembley “welcomed” the move, adding: “The FA will support the proposal with a view to implementing the trials at the earliest possible stages of the 2020/21 Emirates FA Cup and Vitality Women’s FA Cup."

  • Marc Mayo


    Arsenal have been outscored by Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin – highlighting the Gunners' misfiring attack.

    Mikel Arteta's side have only mustered nine goals in as many Premier League games this campaign. And their failure to find the net on a regular basis has left them languishing in the bottom half of the table in 11th spot.

    England and Toffees striker Calvert-Lewin has singlehandedly outscored all of Arsenal's talented forwards  – averaging more than a goal a game with ten in nine outings.

    In stats provided by Opta, the Gunners are 13th for total expected goals across all Prem sides.

    Arsenal are 15th for total shots and 14th for shots on target – underpinning their difficulties up top.

    Champions Liverpool have had more than DOUBLE the 30 shots Arsenal have registered on target with Jurgen Klopp's side firing off 62 accurate efforts.

    Credit: Reuters
  • Marc Mayo


    Nicolas Pepe has been backed to succeed at Arsenal by agent Samir Khiat.

    The representative defended his man last night following his red card versus Leeds.

    He said on L’Equipe’s live show: “We are always expecting more from Nicolas Pepe which is normal because he has been transferred to Arsenal for a consequent transfer fee.

    "He is still adapting and he is being asked to perform better, which is normal.

    “He has been transferred for an important fee and he knows it.

    “Nicolas is not cheating, he is not a cheater. He maybe needs more time to adapt, but it will eventually work well.”

  • Marc Mayo


    Ian Wright wants to see Bukayo Saka start more Arsenal games after being benched last night.

    The 19-year-old has been taken out of the line-up three times this league season – with the Gunners winning only one of those games.

    Wright told Premier League Productions: “You like to think with the time he had, you think, ‘Can he take it there?’ 

    “That was his opportunity but we’re talking about an 18-year-old that we’re putting a lot on in terms of expectation for Arsenal.

    “He’s come off the bench and was arguably our best creative player that we had on the pitch. As time goes on he’ll learn he could have maybe taken that a bit quicker but it was a chance that if Arsenal could have won the game with that you’d have said we got away with one. 

    “Hopefully he’s not too bad with the injury because we need him. You can see that. We need that guy.”

  • Marc Mayo


    Arsenal are joined by Manchester City and Liverpool in keeping a close eye on Sander Berge, according to reports.

    The Sheffield United midfielder has impressed despite his side's poor start to the campaign and could become available if the Blades go down.

    Norwegian outlet VG state the Gunners were keen on Berge in January and retain their interest to this day.

    Credit: PA:Press Association
  • Marc Mayo


    More on that news of football fans' return to grounds…

    Boris Johnson said: "In Tiers 1 and 2 spectator sports and business events will be free to resume inside and outside with capacity limits and social distancing, providing more consistency with indoor performances in theatres and concert halls.

    "We'll also strengthen the enforcement ability of local authorities, including specially trained officers and new powers to close down premises that pose a risk to public health."

  • Jake Lambourne

    BY HEC

    Hector Bellerin claims that Arsenal are “learning how to suffer” after dropping into the bottom half of the Premier League table.

    The Spanish international full-back is growing increasingly concerned by his team’s recent results and lack of goals.

    Yet he still took heart from Sunday’s goalless draw at Leeds, when Arsenal clung on for a point despite being reduced to ten men for most of the second-half.

    Bellerin said: “I am happy with the character the team has shown. We have solidified our defence throughout this season and that’s something we have proved in many games.

    “We are learning how to suffer and that is really important nowadays when we don’t have control of the ball and it becomes vital that we don’t concede.

    “But I can’t say that I feel happy with the draw because even when we were down to ten men on Sunday we still had chances to score and that’s what makes the difference in the long run.”

  • Jake Lambourne


    Sport fans in Britain can return to stadiums from December 2 onwards as the PM plans a relaxation of the sport coronavirus rules for Christmas.

    In a huge boost for the nation, fans in Tier 1 and 2 are expected to be allowed to watch Premier League games and other sporting events in the flesh after the lockdown ends.

    A set number of fans will be allowed into stadiums to cheer on their teams.However, those in Tier 3 will continue to be locked out.

    Tier 1 is expected to be allow up to 4,000 fans to watch, with just 2,000 in Tier 2.

    Only two Premier League clubs – Brighton and Southampton, which are expected to remain under Tier 1 covid restrictions after the lockdown ends on December 2 – will be allowed to let in the maximum amount.

  • Jake Lambourne


    Tony Adams has stated Arsenal are an average side without Thomas Partey as he questioned the club's transfer policy.

    He told Stadium Astro: "Bringing Partey in is amazing recruitment. Arteta is doing a fantastic job but I question recruitment.

    "Willian, [Nicolas] Pepe, do we need them? Do we add in the right areas? Do we need a right-back?

    "I think Gabriel has been another inclusion that has been brilliant, but I question [Emi] Martinez – the goalkeeper – that we let go. Recruitment is so important."

    He added: "We really missed Partey [vs Leeds]. Against Man United, we had some quality and stature in that central midfield area.

    "It gave other players license to go and play. We didn’t have that, we looked very average."

  • Jake Lambourne


    Arsenal have reportedly restarted talks over a new contract for young Gunner Folarin Balogun.

    The Athletic reports the North London side have reopened negotiations with the 19-year-old striker with boss Mikel Arteta keen for him to stay.

    Balogun had looked set to quit the Emirates after a previous breakdown in talks over a new deal.

    His current contract is due to run out in June 2021.The club rejected a bid in the region of £5million from Brentford in January.

    But many believed he would be sold in the summer – 12 months out from becoming a free agent – as a number of clubs had shown an interest in the forward.

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