8am Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Vinicius Jr loan interest, Garcia targeted in defence, Ozil to Fenerbahce talks

ARSENAL could soon be without Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Mesut Ozil as the January transfer window edges ever closer.

Atletico Madrid are keen on Maitland-Niles while outcast Ozil is said to have had secret talks with Turkish side Fenerbahce..

Follow all the latest below…

  • James Orr

    NIGHT-MYRHH

    MIKEL ARTETA admits Arsenal ARE in a relegation scrap.

    And the under-fire Gunners boss, 38, has warned his flops they must pick up points over the crucial festive period.

    Arsenal start the day in 15th, four points above the drop zone.

    They host rivals Chelsea this evening, desperately chasing their first Prem win since November 1, before massive games against fellow strugglers Brighton and West Brom.

    And Arteta declared: “The next seven or eight days are going to be crucial to where we’re heading to in the Premier League. We have a crucial week, we have to stand up and we have to pick up points.”

    And when asked if he and his players now accept they are in a relegation dogfight, Spaniard Arteta replied:  “Yes, absolutely.”

    Arsenal have enjoyed an uninterrupted 101 YEARS in the top flight, after being elected to the old First Division in 1919.

  • Alex Terrell

    OUT THE DOOR

    Arsenal have sold some stellar players over the years – some going on to bigger things and other staying in North London.

    But you wouldn't imagine their record sale remains a player who left 20 years ago!

    That's right – Dutch legend Marc Overmars, who transformed the Gunners in the 1997-98 season, scoring the winner at Old Trafford in a huge title decider, was flogged for £36million to Barcelona.

  • Alex Terrell

    LONDON RIVALS

    Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-0 at Highbury 64 years ago today.

    This picture is taken from a snowy North London on Boxing Day in 1956, when Jack Crayston enjoyed the end of the second month of his tenure with a victory.

    The Gunners would go on to finish fifth that season behind First Division winners Manchester United.

    Credit: Getty Images – Getty
  • Alex Terrell

    SIGN OF THE TIMES

    Can Arsenal break their transfer record this upcoming window?

    Here is how their list of highest-paid-for signings is shaping up.

  • Alex Terrell

    WINGING IT

    Arsenal are reportedly lining up a move for Real Madrid star Rodrygo.

    But Mikel Arteta may have to put plans on hold after the winger was stretchered off injured on Wednesday.

    El Confidencial claims Arsenal and Inter Milan are both big fans of Rodrygo.

    The Brazilian, 19, has already clocked up 43 appearances for Real, scoring nine goals in the process.

    He played 11 times in last season’s LaLiga title triumph.

    And Rodrygo has also earned three senior caps for Brazil.

  • Alex Terrell

    BIG SPENDERS

    Here is what the biggest Premier League clubs drpped on transfers in the summer of 2020.

    And remember that is despite the fact that there was a global pandemic, hitting the pockets of so many top flight clubs.

  • Alex Terrell

    BOXING DAY BONANZA

    The Premier League's biggest clubs get back into action tomorrow as Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea all play on Boxing Day.

    Liverpool and Tottenham are in action on Sunday.

  • Alex Terrell

    WILL ARTETA END THE SEASON?

    The young Spanish manager began so well but, in this campaign, to date has been found wanting and whilst there is no indication that the powers that be are close to losing patience he needs to engineer a change in fortune swiftly.

    In the short-term he needs to inject impetus by finding a formation that elicits the best from the resources he has at his disposal and that MUST mean selecting players on form and attributes not reputation and experience.

    Arteta spoke eloquently about the non-negotiables for players to pull on the Arsenal shirt but he has, for some reason, waivered from these high standards.

    As I suggested last week, I would like him to play Ainsley Maitland-Niles in midfield while Thomas Partey is out and if he thrives, then perhaps with the Ghanaian when he returns, and Emile-Smith Rowe at No 10.

    The older, slower players, who do not need to be named have had their chances and I hope he will give the younger players with Arsenal in their heart an opportunity.

    READ MORE OF SUPER FAN DAVE SEAGER’S PREDICTIONS HERE

  • Alex Terrell

    PREDICTIONS FOR 2021

    I feel we must be realistic as we sit 15th in the Premier League.

    Of course, this question is inextricably linked to the future of Arteta.

    Success in the league for a club the size of Arsenal should mean Champions League qualification and yet we are miles from this aspiration.

    Words: Dave Seager

  • Alex Terrell

    ARSENAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR – AUBAMEYANG

    While it would be simple to dwell on his slow start to the 2020/21 season, having signed a lucrative contract extension, we must not forget Aubameyang’s remarkable contribution to the end to a disrupted campaign.

    The Gabon marksman took over the captaincy, served three coaches, played in at least three formations, and saw numerous partners and creators come and go, and yet he simply never stopped scoring.

    His form on the run-in and his part in defeating both Manchester City and Chelsea to win Arsenal the FA Cup, was the stuff of legend, which makes his current slump even more remarkable.

    He earned the bumper new deal he was offered and signed and surely as soon as the manager finds the correct blend Aubameyang will find his shooting boots once more.

    Without a doubt, Auba is Arsenal’s player of 2020 and we need him to rise again in 2021.

    Words: Dave Seager

  • Alex Terrell

    STEP ON THE GARC’

    Arsenal are reportedly plotting a swoop for Manchester City defender Eric Garcia.

    The Spaniard, 19, has snubbed several new contracts at the Etihad, where he previously worked under Mikel Arteta.

    Cityzens chief Pep Guardiola has already confirmed the centre-back has rejected offers of an extension with the ace believed to be eyeing a return to La Liga.

    Barcelona, who trained Garcia at their famed La Masia academy, have been favourites to sign him.

    They failed with an attempt last summer and are likely to renew their interest again when his contract expires.

    However, Arsenal news source AFC Bell claims Garcia is one of 'several options' the club are considering to strengthen the defence at the Emirates.

  • Joe Miles

    GUNNER SPEND BIG?

    As we prepare for the January transfer window, here's Arsenal's most expensive signings so far.

  • Joe Miles

    GAR BLIMEY

    Arsenal are reportedly plotting a swoop for Manchester City defender Eric Garcia.

    The Spaniard, 19, has snubbed several new contracts at the Etihad, where he previously worked under Mikel Arteta.

    Pep Guardiola has already confirmed the centre-back has rejected offers of an extension with the ace believed to be eyeing a return to La Liga.

    Barcelona, who trained Garcia at their famed La Masia academy, have been favourites to sign him.

    They failed with an attempt last summer and are likely to renew their interest again when his contract expires.

    However, Arsenal news source AFC Bell claims Garcia is one of 'several options' the club are considering to strengthen the defence at the Emirates. 

  • Joe Miles

    NIC OF TIME

    Why not spend your Christmas day watching clips of Nicolas Pepe?

    Especially this one…

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Arsenal Official (@arsenal)

  • sstreet

    'ONE OF THE BEST'

    Thomas Tuchel has been sacked as manager of PSG, piling pressure on Mikel Arteta.

    The German, who would be a viable alternative as Arsenal boss, has earned praise from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who played under him at Dortmund.

    In 2018, the Gabonese star said of Tuchel: "He’s one of the best coaches that I’ve had. I can’t deny his talent.

    "He’s someone a bit crazy, a little like me. You could say that his style is a bit like that of Guardiola. In any case, they play with the same spirit."

    "He likes to keep the ball with a style of play that likes to see the ball move forward, no matter what happens.

    "I think he’s got the stuff. Now, it’ll be up to him to prove it."

  • sstreet

    GIFT OF THE GAB

    Gabriel Martinelli has suggested he will be fit to play Chelsea in a huge boost to Gunners fans.

    The returning Brazilian was arguably Arsenal's best player in the 4-1 defeat against Man City before he was forced off injured.

    And he took to Instagram to write: "Feeling fine and ready to go again"

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Gabriel Martinelli (@ga_martinelli01)

  • sstreet

    WILL I AIN'T

    Paul Merson believes Arsenal could drop Willian for their game against his former club Chelsea tomorrow, following a "shocking" run of form.

    The Gunners legend told Sky Sports: “He’s been shocking.

    “I’m a big fan of Willian and at Chelsea he was unbelievable. At times, he was unplayable but he is a shadow of his former self and I don’t know what it is.

    “He’s the only one you can ask and again it must come down to confidence.

    "I’m not sure he will play. He’s had enough chances to play, more than the other younger players.”

  • William Pugh

    HAPPY CHRISTMAS GUNNERS!

    Arsenal took to Twitter to wish their millions of fans around the world a happy Christmas.

    Gooners will hope the festive feelings extend into Boxing Day when they face Chelsea in a bid to haul themselves out of relegation trouble.

  • William Pugh

    THE YEAR IS NEARLY AUBA!

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang got in the festive spirit with a Christmas upload on Xmas eve.

    The Gabonese striker posted a snap with his wife Alysha and their kids.

    And he wrote: "We wish you a merry Christmas."

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Aubameyang Pierre-Emerick (@auba)

  • William Pugh

    TIDYING HIS MES

    Arsenal outcast Mesut Ozil has reportedly held secret talks with Turkish side Fenerbahce.

    The German is said to have had a covert meeting in London about a move which would see his wages drop by £200,000-A-WEEK.

    The playmaker has been linked with a return to Mikel Arteta's struggling squad in January.

    But the deal to Fenerbahce would not take place until next summer, according to German outlet Bild.

    Ozil currently pockets £350k-a-week at the Emirates.

    But he will drop to a weekly wage of £150k if he moves to the Super Lig side.

  • William Pugh

    MERRY CHRISTMAS ARSENAL FANS!

    Not even transfer talk over Mesut Ozil and Ainsley Maitland-Niles can distract from the importance of Arsenal's Boxing Day derby at home to Chelsea.

    Boss Mikel Arteta will be under more pressure than any Gunners boss for decades if they slump to a ninth defeat in 15 Premier League games.

    So it is not surprising Arsenal defender Rob Holding is banking on Arsenal's impressive last few years against the Blues.

    He said: “The past recent history of playing Chelsea have been very good games – a few draws and a few wins so hopefully we can keep that run going.

    “We know how exciting they are with the strike force and the players they’ve brought in.

    “Frank Lampard has… got a real project to what he’s building to… and it’ll be an exciting game. We have to respect them and play our game.”

    Away from the crammed festive period, sixth-bottom Arsenal have been linked with two possible high-profile departures.

    New England wideman Maitland-Niles, 23, is said to have caught the eye of LaLiga leaders Atletico Madrid.

    And German newspaper Bild claim midfield outcast Ozil, 32, has held secret talks with Turkish giants Fenerbahce.

    But Arsenal are reportedly keen on Real Madrid's Brazil winger Rodrygo, 19, although he was carried off injured on Wednesday.

    It's also claimed Barcelona have rejected the chance to sign Gunners' centre-back Shkodran Mustafi.

  • Ian Tuckey

    LAMPARD WARNS BLUES FOR DERBY

    Frank Lampard has warned Chelsea that Arsenal will be as tricky derby opponents ad ever at the Emirates on Boxing Day.

    The fifth-placed Blues aim to inflict the lowly Gunners’ ninth defeat in 15 Premier League games.

    But Lampard said: “When you play a derby, form does go out the window.

    “‘Sometimes the idea of playing a derby is the spur the team needs to try and get a result.

    “We have to expect the best Arsenal which is a really good footballing team with really good players, well-coached with rotations in their team and threats in attacking areas.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    WE CAN HOLD OFF THE BLUES

    Rob Holding is hoping to keep Arsenal’s recent record against Chelsea going when the two sides meet on Saturday.

    Holding has been given the captain’s armband in Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang’s absence.

    He expects a tough game against an ‘exciting strike force’.

    He told TalkSPORT: “The past recent history of playing Chelsea have been very good games – a few draws and a few wins so hopefully we can keep that run going.

    “We know how exciting they are with the strike force and the players they’ve brought in.

    “What Frank Lampard has done for them over this season and last season, he’s got a real project to what he’s building to what I think they’re aiming to be and it’ll be an exciting game and we have to respect them and play our game.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    OZIL IN 'SECRET FENERBAHCE TALKS'

    Mesut Ozil has held secret talks with Fenerbahce, German newspaper Bild claims.

    Arsenal's frozen-out playmaker, 32, has publicly stated his desire to win back boss Mikel Artetata's faith.

    Mesut Ozil is currently out of Mikel Arteta's Arsenal plansCredit: PA:Press Association

    But Turkish giants Fenerbahce are among the clubs to have been linked with the midfielder over the past 12 months.

  • Ian Tuckey

    BARCA 'REJECT MUSTAFI'

    Barcelona have reportedly rejected the chance to sign Arsenal centre-back Shkodran Mustafi.

    Shkodran Mustafi has been linked with a possible January move away from the Emirates but Barcelona are said to have turned down the opportunityCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    The former Valencia and Sampdoria star, 28, who has 20 Germany caps, has failed to fully win over Gunners boss Mikel Arteta, especially this season.

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