2pm Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Aubameyang contract announcement LATEST, Partey UPDATE, Martinez set for Aston Villa – The Sun

ARSENAL are all set to confirm star man Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has signed a new three-year contract with the club.

Plus we've got the very latest on the Thomas Partey saga as Mike Arteta looks to get his side in order ahead of the Premier League restart this weekend.

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Get all the latest news and transfer gossip from North London here…

  • BACK SEAT DRIVING

    The Premier League has slammed the government for restricting the number of fans allowed to watch matches, with a statement saying:

    With test events now capped at 1,000 supporters, we believe they will not provide any opportunity to properly test and evaluate measures designed to maximise fan safety.

    Therefore, Premier League clubs will defer holding test events until a sufficient number of fans are allowed back to enable thorough trials to take place.

    At 1,000 supporters, not only would there be little to learn from a test event, but each match would be heavily loss-making.

    For each month of the season without fans, more than £100 million is lost to football across the leagues, with consequent damage to the local and national economy.

    It also harms the employment prospects of more than 100,000 people whose jobs depend on matchday activities.

  • GET YOUR FIX

    Missed Premier League football?

    It's been the shortest wait in top flight history between seasons… unless you're a Leeds fan, in which case it's been 16 years!

    Time to schedule your weekend around these fixtures.

  • AUBA PARKED

    Barcelona have “started contact” to try and sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but have hit a brick wall.

    The Gabon star's new deal at the Emirates, which will keep him in North London till2023, appears to have put the brakes on Ronald Koeman's side's bid.

    Fabrizio Romano tweeted: “Barca also started contacts to sign Aubameyang weeks ago, but Koeman wants Depay and Auba decided to extend his contract with Arsenal [agreed until 2023 and official soon].”

  • OZIL TO START?

    Mesut Ozil could make his long-awaited return for Arsenal against Fulham.

    The Gunners will kick off the 2020-21 campaign with a trip to Craven Cottage on Saturday.

    Here is how SunSport predict the Gunners teamsheet will look:

  • MONUMENTAL PROBLEMS

    Arsenal chiefs have conceded the Covid-19 crisis has been the toughest spell in the club’s 134-year history.

    Vinai Venkatesham said: “This has been the toughest nine months of Arsenal’s 134-year history and we have had to take hard decisions for the long-term health of the club.

    “We are looking at a different economy post-coronavirus and nobody really thinks this is going away in the next six months.

    “And the Government announcement this week means it’s possible we won’t get fans back in the stadium in October.

    “We’ve already seen the Premier League’s TV deal with China terminated.

    “I would hope we can find a solution that would get fans back in a safe way.”

  • DON'T PUT YOUR HOUSS ON IT

    Houssem Auoar remains Arsenal's biggest transfer target for the remainder of the window.

    According to ESPN, the Lyon ace is the one signing the Gunners boss wants to re-shape his midfield.

    Julien Laurens claims Arteta wants to use Aouar to tweak his formation to 4-3-3, but the North London club don't have the £55.7million to be able to drop on the Frenchman, 22.

    Arteta has reportedly been told he has to fund his chase for Aouar through player sales, with Sokratis and Torreira top of the list to be flogged to Italian clubs.

  • INJURY UPDATES

    Arsenal have provided updates for Pablo Mari and Gabriel Martinelli.

    Mari, 27, is now running after picking up an ankle ligament injury against Manchester City in June.

    He is aiming to return to full training by the end of September.

    Gabriel sustained a left knee injury during training in June and has now returned from Brazil after having surgery.

    Martinelli's return to full training will take longer though, with the Brazilian likely to be back on the grass at the end of the calendar year.

  • FACE FOR TV

    Sky Sports have revealed that Patrice Evra, Roy Keane and Micah Richards will be regular pundits on the sofa this year.

    They will join Gary Neville, Graeme Souness, Jamie Redknapp and Jamie Carragher during matches throughout the season.

    Soccer Saturday will retain regular faces Paul Merson, Chris Kamara, Sue Smith, Clinton Morrison, Alan McInally and Glen Johnson.

    They have also announced studio guests will include Adebayo Akinfenwa, Tim Sherwood, Robbie Fowler and Joleon Lescott.

  • ON YOUR MARTS

    Arsenal star Emiliano Martinez is reportedly set to join Aston Villa after agreeing personal terms.

    The Gunners are prepared to sell the 28-year-old as first-choice goalkeeper Bernd Leno is back from injury.

    According to The Independent, Martinez will join the club on a four-year deal worth £60,000-per-week.

    Villa are set to launch an improved offer after their initial £15million bid was rejected.

    Arsenal value the goalkeeper, who joined them from Independiente in 2010, at £20million.

    A final transfer fee is yet to be agreed between the two clubs.

  • BOSSING IT

    Mikel Arteta role at Arsenal has been changed from head coach to first-team manager to highlight his growing influence in the side.

    As part of a structural shake-up at the Emirates, the 28-year-old has been handed more responsibility after winning the FA Cup and Community Shield.

    He will now work closely with technical director Edu, where he will have a greater say in recruitment, analysis and high performance.

    He said: “Mikel’s been here since the end of December and the last nine months have probably been the most challenging nine months in Arsenal’s history – and we’ve been around for 134 years.

    “Despite all of those challenges, Mikel has been driving this football club forward.

    “He has lifted the spirits and lifted the energy here at London Colney and with Arsenal fans all across the world. He is doing an absolutely phenomenal job.”

  • JACK HAMMERED

    West Ham are reportedly in discussions to terminate Jack Wilshere's contract.

    The England midfielder signed for the club in 2018 but has failed to get over the injury problems that plagued his time at Arsenal.

    A groin injury derailed Wilshere's 2019/20 campaign yet, when finally fit after the coronavirus shutdown, he struggled to break into David Moyes' team.

    Now, according to the Mail, talks are underway between player and club over an early end to his contract.

    Wilshere still has ten months to run on his £100,000-a-week deal but he could soon leave by mutual consent.

    It follows reports of West Ham being willing to pay a portion of the 28-year-old's wages should a club want to sign him during the autumn window.

  • PARIS DREAMS BURNED

    Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel ruled out a move for Arsenal star Matteo Guendouzi in the aftermath of his side's 1-0 loss to Lens.

    The German was asked about transfers after his side's disappointing Ligue 1 opener.

    And Tuchel, 47, was open with his responses.

    He said, as reported by Fabrizio Romano: “I'm confident over Alessandro Florenzi signing from AS Roma.

    “We're also in talks to keep [Eric Maxim] Choupo-Moting here.

    “Matteo Guendouzi from Arsenal? No”

    PSG had been linked with the 21-year-old, but are evidently not interested in the fiery midfielder.

  • BADGE SCRAPPED

    Prem players have agreed to dump the Black Lives Matter slogan in favour of a new anti-racism message.

    The 20 clubs’ skippers confirmed SunSport’s report that the Black Lives Matters logo worn during last season’s restarted campaign will be replaced by the sleeve badge declaring “No Room For Racism”.

    The badge will feature on all players’ and officials’ shirts throughout the season to “act as a constant reminder of the commitment by the Premier League, its clubs, players and PGMOL to eradicate racism”.

    Players will continue to “take a knee” in support of the anti-racism movement, a gesture inspired by the death of American George Floyd at the hands of police in Minnesota earlier this summer.

    Prem bosses met with the club skippers on Thursday afternoon to get their full backing for the change.

    In a statement the League reported: “This initiative will build on the momentum created last season when, in consultation with the players, ‘Black Lives Matter’ appeared on kits for all the games following the restart.”

  • TRAIN HARDER

    Mesut Ozil simply needs to perform better in training and matches to win back his spot, according to Edu.

    The £350,000-per-week star has been frozen out of Arsenal's squad since the restart after lockdown.

    But Edu has told Ozil exactly where to improve to get back into Mikel Arteta's squad.

    The club's technical director said: “Here, we are talking of course about performance.

    “Players with performance in training, the game, they are going to have the opportunities because Mikel already showed that.

    “It is for everyone. We know how important everybody is.

    “I know how important and how big the player is when you mention Mesut but in the end we are talking about performance here.”

  • GOOD MORNING GUNNERS FANS

    Mikel Arteta's Arsenal job title has changed from ‘head coach’ to ‘first-team manager’.

    CEO Vinai Venkatesham confirmed: “Going forward Mikel will join a really strong team with Edu and they'll be working really, really closely together to manage all the other elements of our football operations that are so important.

    “Whether that is analysis, recruitment, high performance or medical, they'll be looking after those areas together.

    “And they'll also together be responsible for our technical recommendations, whether that's players that we're going to buy, whether that's players that we're going to sell, whether that's players that we're going to loan.

    “Of course, working closely with me and the board and working closely with the owners on the financial elements to make final decisions.”

    Meanwhile, Thomas Tuchel has sensationally ruled out making a £30million move for Matteo Guendouzi.

    Paris Saint-Germain were reported to be frontrunners for the unwanted Arsenal midfielder.

    But Tuchel insists he is not interested as the French side close in on versatile Roma ace Alessandro Florenzi.

    Tuchel said: “I'm confident over the Alessandro Florenzi signing from AS Roma.

    “We're also in talks to keep Eric Choupo-Moting here. Matteo Guendouzi from Arsenal? No.”

    Finally, William Saliba will make his Arsenal debut against Fulham this weekend.

    David Luiz is out for around a month after picking up a neck injury.

    And it means £27million man Saliba will be thrust straight into Arteta's defence against the Cottagers.

  • COVID CATASTROPHE

    Arsenal chiefs have conceded the Covid-19 crisis has been the toughest spell in the club’s 134-year history.

    Managing director Vinai Venkatesham said: “This has been the toughest nine months of Arsenal’s 134-year history and we have had to take hard decisions for the long-term health of the club.

    “We are looking at a different economy post-coronavirus and nobody really thinks this is going away in the next six months.

    “And the Government announcement this week means it’s possible we won’t get fans back in the stadium in October.

    “I would hope we can find a solution that would get fans back in a safe way.

    “But our matchday, commercial and broadcast revenue streams will be impacted for a long time and we needed to restructure to deal with that.”

  • NO TO MATTEO

    Thomas Tuchel has sensationally ruled out making a £30million move for Matteo Guendouzi.

    Paris Saint-Germain were reported to be frontrunners for the unwanted Arsenal midfielder.

    But Tuchel insists he is not interested as the French side close in on versatile Roma ace Alessandro Florenzi.

    Tuchel said: “I'm confident over the Alessandro Florenzi signing from AS Roma.

    “We're also in talks to keep Eric Choupo-Moting here. Matteo Guendouzi from Arsenal? No.”

  • ART OF WAR

    Mikel Arteta's Arsenal job title has changed from ‘head coach’ to ‘first-team manager’.

    CEO Vinai Venkatesham confirmed: “Going forward Mikel will join a really strong team with Edu and they'll be working really, really closely together to manage all the other elements of our football operations that are so important, whether that is analysis, recruitment, high performance or medical, they'll be looking after those areas together.

    “And they'll also together be responsible for our technical recommendations, whether that's players that we're going to buy, whether that's players that we're going to sell, whether that's players that we're going to loan.

    “Of course, working closely with me and the board and working closely with the owners on the financial elements to make final decisions.

    “But those are going to be their responsibilities and I think we're going to have a really dynamic team to drive this club forward.”

  • TV GLEE

    The Premier League have adjusted their fixture schedule for week three of the new season – following the news that all games in September will be televised.

    PL chiefs had initially angered fans by revealing that 160 games would NOT be shown on TV in the 2020-21 season – despite no fans yet being allowed into grounds.

    These included 11 in September, meaning that even diehard regulars wouldn't be able to watch their teams in action live.

    But following pressure from supporters and the government, the Premier League performed a swift U-turn on September's games.

    And the schedule has now been fully amended accordingly, with the PL having now updated their week three fixture list.

    READ THE FULL CHANGES HERE

  • LACA SENSE

    Lyon admit they tried making an audacious loan move for Alexandre Lacazette in January.

    Sporting director Juninho revealed: “In January I called Alexandre Lacazette to chat a bit with him because he was having problems at Arsenal.

    “I said to myself, 'Why not do a loan for six months with us where you will enjoy yourself, play all the games and score the goals like you know how to? And then you go back to Arsenal or somewhere else'.”

  • GUEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH

    Arsenal are ready to sell Matteo Guendouzi to Paris Saint-Germain.

    Football London claims the midfielder has no future under Mikel Arteta.

    And Arsenal believe they can get £30million from PSG for the Frenchman this summer.

  • NO FREE RIDE

    The Premier League have launched a crackdown on illegal streaming services and IPTV ahead of the new season.

    England's top flight aims to put a stop to ALL illegal online match viewing in a bitter blow to freeloading armchair fans everywhere.

    The Prem have thrown money at the problem in a bid to finally quash the money sapping issue.

    And Scottish tech firm Visualworks have developed cutting edge software to help them in their fight, according to the Daily Record.

    The tool will warn users of the dangers of signing up to free or low price IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) services.

  • SHAAR THING

    Arsenal have joined the race for Stephan El Shaarawy.

    Di Marzio claims the Italian forward is desperate to quit Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua after just one year.

    And he has his sights set on a return to old side Roma.

    However, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are also keen.

    And all three have apparently made contact with El Shaarawy's agent.

  • SAL BY DATE

    William Saliba will make his Arsenal debut against Fulham this weekend.

    David Luiz is out for around a month after picking up a neck injury.

    And it means £27million man Saliba will be thrust straight into Mikel Arteta's defence against the Cottagers.

  • FROM SUNSPORT'S MARTIN LIPTON

    Prem players have agreed to dump the Black Lives Matter slogan in favour of a new anti-racism message.

    The 20 club skippers confirmed SunSport’s report that the Black Lives Matters logo worn during last season’s restarted campaign will be replaced by the sleeve badge declaring “No Room For Racism”.

    The badge will feature on all player and officials’ shirts throughout the season to “act as a constant reminder of the commitment by the Premier League, its clubs, players and PGMOL to eradicate racism”.

    Players will continue to “take a knee” in support of the anti-racism movement, a gesture inspired by the death of American George Floyd at the hands of police in Minnesota earlier this summer.

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