9am Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Aouar still top target, Lacazette to Atletico back on, Neto and Ozil LATEST

ARSENAL are still keen on signing Houssem Aouar from Lyon.

The Gunners are also reportedly eyeing up a swoop for Barcelona keeper Neto, while we've the very latest on the Mesut Ozil saga.

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Follow all the latest from the Emirates below…

  • sstreet

    COMETH THE AOUAR

    Arsenal are still very much in the hunt for Houssem Aouar, with the Lyon man remaining their top transfer target, according to Fabrizio Romano.

    But the Italian transfer expert stated that a move for the midfielder is now less likely than in summer due to Lyon's success in Ligue 1.

    Romano commented: “They are still looking for this kind of player, they were also trying for Szoboszlai who then joined Leipzig, but they were trying really for Dominik Szoboszlai.

    “And also Aouar has always been the first target for Arsenal. They love him and they are convinced he would be perfect in their midfield.

    “The problem is that Lyon are asking for €60 million (£53.3m) they are having an amazing season, they want to be back in the Champions League.

    "So at the moment with the president of Lyon it’s really hard to negotiate in January for this kind of player.”

    Lyon are currently chasing a shock title as they sit top of the French table, a point ahead of PSG and Lille.

  • Joshua Jones

    GOOD MORNING ARSENAL FANS

    Ray Parlour still dreams Arsenal will sign Wilfried Zaha – but more realistic transfer speculation surrounds Barcelona reserve keeper Neto.

    Ex-Gunners midfielder Parlour hailed Crystal Palace's "special talent" Zaha – just as Arsenal prepare for outcast Mesut Ozil's exit.

    The Gunners and Ozil are said to share a “willingness” for Fernerbahce to finally sign the former Germany midfielder, 32.

    But while Ozil's exit saga drags on, Brazilian stopper Neto has suddenly emerged on the Emirates' radar.

    The 31-year-old has reportedly asked Barca for a move after becoming fed-up with his lack of first-team chances.

    Meanwhile, as Arsenal prepare for Monday's home clash with Newcastle, Mikel Arteta admitted centre-back Pablo Mari is out crocked.

    Boss Arteta said: “He had a calf injury in training. I think he will miss a few matches.

    “He’s another one we will lose but we’ve got Gabi [Magalhaes] back after Covid, which is good news, we’ve got Thomas [Partey] back as well. Let’s focus on the positives.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    PREM CHIEFS CONFIDENT SEASON WILL BE FINISHED

    Prem chiefs believe the new Covid-19 measures are already working to keep football on track to finish the season.

    But League bosses do not expect fans will be back in grounds before the start of next term.

    SunSport understands League leaders expect the number of positive tests from samples this week will show a significant drop from the past fortnight which saw 40 and then 36 players with the virus.

    That is seen as proof that the enhanced protocols that have been brought in have already had an effect.

    But while chief executive Richards Masters remains “cautiously optimistic” the season can be played to a finish without a break, he has admitted he is not planning to see turnstiles reopen this term.

    Masters said: “We had fans back in small numbers before Christmas and it was great to have that, a real boost for the game. 

    “But the national situation has changed. I am hopeful and optimistic we can have them back for the start of next season. If it happens before then, we will be ready.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    NETO 'TRANSFER REQUEST'

    Barcelona reserve keeper Neto has reportedly asked to leave – amid rumoured interest from Arsenal.

    The one-cap Brazil stopper, 31, who moved to the Nou Camp from Valencia in 2019, is said to be fed-up with his lack of first-team chances.

  • Ian Tuckey

    ARTETA RELISH OVER GARLICK

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has hailed Richard Garlick as his first choice to be new director of football operations and a "really exciting" arrival.

    Arteta said: “He is certainly the candidate we wanted and now we have to respect the process. 

    "He is at the Premier League at the moment and we will see when we can get him.

    “It’s not about the pressure, it’s contribution, it’s to bring people into our team that are better than us in certain things. That’s going to make us better."

  • Ian Tuckey

    OZIL AND ARSENAL 'WILLING' FOR FENERBAHCE EXIT

    Mesut Ozil and Arsenal share a "willingness" for Fernerhabce to sign the outcast Gunners' legend.

    That's the verdict of Sky Sports' Dharmesh Sheth as the Turkish giants continue talks over the ex-Germany midfielder.

    Ozil, 32, has already reportedly suggested he would he happy for the rest of his huge Arsenal contract to be paid over a longer period.

    And Fernerhabce insist they can cope financially with recruiting the ex-Real Madrid playmaker.

  • Ian Tuckey

    XHAK BACK TO HIS BEST

    Mikel Arteta has praised the performance of Granit Xhaka for his performance against Crystal Palace.

    Speaking of the Swiss star immediately after the match, the Arsenal gaffer said: “He’s progressing really well.

    “He’s played a lot of minutes, he’s evolving the right way and he’s one of our leaders for sure.

    “He had some really important moments today.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    TIERNEY MORE IMPORTANT THAN AUBAMEYANG

    Ian Wright claims Arsenal are too reliant on Kieran Tierney as the Gunners struggled without the left-back in Thursday night's 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace.

    Quoted by the Mirror, Gunners' legend Wright said: “One player does make such a difference and I think it’s a bit of a worry because you take him out the team and that side doesn’t function.

    “And when we are talking about the way Kieran Tierney gets up and down, and we are talking about for the full 90 minutes, he never stops and this is why.

    “You look at someone like [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang today, didn’t quite get the chances he normally gets because Kieran Tierney is normally flashing things in and around the box.

    “It didn’t happen today really on either side with the same amount of crosses when Kieran Tierney is playing. It has to come from somewhere else.

    “I think the set-pieces today, when you consider Arsenal have a set-piece coach, the balls that were coming in were very good balls – they weren’t being attacked very well.

    “Those are the things when it’s not quite going for you when you are trying to play your game you’ve got to find another way.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    END THIS MES NOW

    Arsenal are reportedly ready to terminate Mesut Ozil’s contract.

    The midfielder remains well out of the first-team picture, with boss Mikel Arteta unlikely to add him to his squad list for the second half of the season.

    Now, according to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, the Gunners are ready to cut their losses six months early.

    Romano posted on Twitter that ‘negotiations are still on’ but that there has been no agreement to rip up his contract yet.

    Turkish giants Fenerbahce are the favourites to sign the 32-year-old, and they are prepared to wait until the end of the transfer window to get him.

  • Jake Lambourne

    MORE WIL POWER NEEDED

    Ray Parlour still dreams Arsenal will sign "special talent" Wilfried Zaha.

    He told Stadium Astro: "I’m sure (Unai) Emery would have loved to have someone like Zaha but again it’s down to the board and money available."

    Before adding: "When he’s running at you full pelt… I wouldn’t like to play against him as a defender! 

    "You know he makes things happen, he goes down, he gets freekicks in good areas, he can get penalties at times. 

    "He’s a real talent. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see him in an Arsenal shirt."

  • Jake Lambourne

    MAR BAD NEWS

    Mikel Arteta has stated that centre-back Pablo Mari is set to miss a few games with a calf injury.

    Commenting on the Spaniard, he said: "He had a calf injury in training [on Wednesday.

    "I think he will miss a few matches.

    "He's another one we will lose but we've got Gabi [Magalhaes] back after COVID, which is good news, we've got Thomas back as well. Let's focus on the positives."

  • Jake Lambourne

    EUR JOKING

    EXCLUSIVE – Arsenal face having to play both their Europa League ties with Benfica on a neutral venue as a result of strict new travel restrictions in the UK.

    The Gunners are due to travel to Lisbon for the first-league of their last-32 clash on February 18 with the Portuguese team visiting London a week later.

    But tough new laws to prevent the new Brazilian strain of Covid-19 from entering Britain mean travel is now banned from Portugal as well.

    And unlike other restrictions in the past, SunSport has learnt the elite sport exemption does NOT apply in this case – meaning neither Arsenal or Benfica are able to travel for the games.

    Government officials are refusing to take any chances with the newly-mutated form of the coronavirus, clamping down on anyone traveling to or from Portugal for the foreseeable future.

  • Jake Lambourne

    AUBA AND OUT

    Arsenal icon Ray Parlour believes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is too easy to defend as his struggles in front og goal continues.

    Speaking to Stadium Astro, he said: "I just think he’s going through a bad spell, he’s doing the best he can. Maybe he just has to roam a little bit more as a player.

    "At times he’s always on that left-hand side. I’d like to see him do what Eze did in the first half, go across into the middle at times and get into areas where he can be dangerous.

    "That might really upset the defenders you’re playing against. At the moment, he’s pretty straightforward to play against, Aubameyang because you know exactly where he’s going to run, you know where he’s going to go.

    "He’s going to cut inside on his right foot and he’s probably easy to mark at the moment for defenders. I’d like to see the movement a little bit better. I can see exactly where he’s going to run."

  • Jake Lambourne

    XHAK ATTACK

    Granit Xhaka starred during the draw against Crystal Palace.

    And the Gunners can have him to thank for not losing after these two crucial interventions.

  • Jake Lambourne

    WRIGHT NOISE

    Arsenal legend Ian Wright has stated Arsenal are too reliant on Kieran Tierney as the Gunners struggled in the Scotsman's absence against Crystal Palce.

    Quoted by the Mirror, Wright said: "One player does make such a difference and I think it's a bit of a worry because you take him out the team and that side doesn't function.

    "And when we are talking about the way Kieran Tierney gets up and down, and we are talking about for the full 90 minutes, he never stops and this is why.

    "You look at someone like [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang today, didn't quite get the chances he normally gets because Kieran Tierney is normally flashing things in and around the box.

    "It didn't happen today really on either side with the same amount of crosses when Kieran Tierney is playing. It has to come from somewhere else.

    "I think the set-pieces today, when you consider Arsenal have a set-piece coach, the balls that were coming in were very good balls – they weren't being attacked very well.

    "Those are the things when it's not quite going for you when you are trying to play your game you've got to find another way."

  • Jake Lambourne

    TAKE XHAK

    Mikel Arteta has praised the performance of Granit Xhaka for his performance against Crystal Palace.

    Speaking of the Swiss star immediately after the match, the Arsenal gaffer said: "He’s progressing really well.

    "He’s played a lot of minutes, he’s evolving the right way and he’s one of our leaders for sure.

    "He had some really important moments today."

  • Jake Lambourne

    FEEL THE BURN

    Some fans argued Arsenal sold the wrong goalkeeper at the start of the season after allowing Emiliano Martinez to join Aston Villa.

    But Bernd Leno is proving the doubters wrong.

  • Jake Lambourne

    SHRED OF DETAIL

    Arsenal are reportedly ready to terminate Mesut Ozil's contract.

    The midfielder remains well out of the first-team picture, with boss Mikel Arteta unlikely to add him to his squad list for the second half of the season.

    Now, according to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, the Gunners are ready to cut their losses six months early.

    Romano posted on Twitter that 'negotiations are still on' but that there has been no agreement to rip up his contract yet.

    Turkish giants Fenerbahce are the favourites to sign the 32-year-old, and they are prepared to wait until the end of the transfer window to get him.

  • Jake Lambourne

    BROKEN ARTED

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta claimed the club lacked 'freshness' in their draw against Crystal Palace that ended their three-game winning run in the Premier League.

    He told the club's website: "After a great run we wanted to come here today and win the match, but I think we lacked some freshness.

    “We lacked some quality and end product in the final third to win the game. We took a point, another clean sheet which is really positive, but disappointing not to get the three points.

    “I think the spirit – and we did have some difficulties in the game where we started to give  some difficult balls away without any pressure – and the attitude the team showed in tracking back.

    "I think the boys were terrific there but we lacked that freshness today and that spark in the final third."

  • Jake Lambourne

    GUNNED DOWN

    David Luiz has stated he would swap the clean sheet against Crystal Palace for a win following Thursday night's 0-0 draw,

    Speaking of the match, he told Arsenal's website: "I think we could have scored some goals and that's frustrating.

    "In these kinds of games, if you score one, you can score two or three but until you break the low block of the opponent, it's going to be difficult.

    "It's up to us to try to find some new solutions and that's frustrating because I think we could do it in that game.

    "OK, I'm happy [with the clean sheet] but I prefer to win rather than just keeping a clean sheet.

    "Of course for the long process it's always good to continue to keep clean sheets and improve our defensive side, but I will always trade a clean sheet for a victory because I prefer the collective."

  • Jake Lambourne

    TIER WE GO

    Kieran Tierney has revealed how one chat with Hector Bellerin 'changed everything' for him at Arsenal.

    Speaking in a documentary about Bellerin called 'Unseen Journey', he said: "I think he could see when I came that I was pretty nervous. I had the young boy look about me.

    "You don’t have much time to settle in [at Arsenal]. You are playing with big players and big names, so you have to hit the ground running. I remember that I probably overthought every mistake I made.

    "I went home and was like, 'I could have done better, I could have done this'. Whereas I wish I had just relaxed a little bit more and enjoyed it.

    "And that was the time Hector said to me, 'you’re good enough to play here, just believe in yourself'.

    "That helped me so much. Just that little talk. It was after training in the changing room.

    "Me and him had just done a gym session and after it we sat down for an hour and spoke. I think that changed everything."

  • Jake Lambourne

    END THIS MES

    Mesut Ozil should QUIT Arsenal this month or face being 'physically in trouble', according to former defender William Gallas.

    When asked if Ozil leaving this month would be in the interests of both player and club, Gallas told PlayOJO: "Maybe…

    "It’s been a long time since he last played and I’m sure he’s frustrated.

    "When you don’t play, physically you’ll be in trouble when you come back. If he can leave, he should leave."

    The Frenchman added: "I don’t think the board want Ozil so right now they need to find a solution and let him go to another club."

  • Jake Lambourne

    DON'T BANK ON IT

    Premier League sides have reportedly accepted that pre-season tours around the world won't happen this summer due to coronavirus.

    It will be the second summer in a row that the money-spinners are shelved as the pandemic rages on.

    MailOnline reports that 'tours are already off the agenda', with there even being concerns around trips within the UK.

    The government is rolling out a huge vaccination programme with it hoped that by mid-July 'huge numbers of the UK population will be vaccinated'.

    But there are still worries that travel restrictions will remain in place.

    Premier League clubs are set to miss out on millions in merchandise and TV deals from games around the globe.

    And Mailonline adds that they could be hit with 'penalty payments' for being unable to honour deals with sponsors.

  • Marc Mayo

    MORNING, ARSENAL FANS

    Mikel Arteta admitted "fatigued" Arsenal "lacked the quality" of their three-game win run in last night's 0-0 home Premier League draw with Crystal Palace.

    The Eagles actually had more of the chances, although Alexandre Lacazette shot into the Palace side-netting and Vicente Guaita foiled Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's drive.

    After the Gunners remained 11th, boss Arteta said: "We created a lot of situations against the low block but lacked the final quality. We probably didn't do enough to win the game.

    "We are playing a lot of games and you can see fatigue is paying a price, many players aren't fresh.

    "We had a period that was fatigue-related where we kept giving the ball away."

    Meanwhile, Fenerbahce sporting director Emre Belozoglu claims Arsenal outcast Mesut Ozil is "closer than ever" to joining the Turkish giants.

    Belozoglu insists Fenerbahce can handle signing such a big earner but admitted talks are only edging forward "slowly"

    Barcelona reserve keeper Neto is the latest name mentioned as a possible incoming new deputy for Bernd Leno at the Emirates.

    And the Gunners are tipped to delay any bid for Norwich midfielder Emiliano Buendia until later this month, as they wait to see how the hunt for Lyon star Houssem Aouar pans out. 

  • Ian Tuckey

    LAMP STILL BRIGHT

    Tariq Lamptey is on the brink of signing a bumper new long-term Brighton contract.

    Lamptey, 20, will net a big pay hike from the £14,000-a-week deal he agreed when joining from Chelsea for an initial £4m this time last year.

    Ex-Chelsea defender Tariq Lamptey could still be targeted by Arsenal

    The rampaging right-back has been Brighton’s standout player this season with a string of eye-catching displays.

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is understood to be a huge fan as he looks to overhaul his squad.

    German giants Bayern Munich are also watching him closely.

    So Amex chiefs are keen to get Lamptey — currently crocked — to extend a deal that runs out in summer 2023.

    Arsenal are reportedly ready to make a move if they lose Hector Bellerin to Barcelona.

    And with the Gunners enduring a torrid first half of the season, it would be no surprise if Arteta shakes things up this month.

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