7.30pm Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Aouar 'refuses to train', Szoboszlai UPDATE, Saliba set for Saint-Etienne loan

ARSENAL swept aside Molde as they continued their excellent form in the Europa League.

And they've had a boost on the transfer front with long-term target Houssem Aouar reportedly refusing to train with Lyon.

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

  • Etienne Fermie


    Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has paid tribute to the late Diego Maradona.

    He said: "It is a really sad moment, I was big fan of him.

    "I know a lot of people who were very close with him as well and he was someone who inspired a whole city wherever he played.

    "He had this attraction, a capacity to generate different emotions to any other football player and I think we all, as kids, were attached to him and now he is gone.

    "Thank you so much for what he has done for this sport and I think a lot of young kids at the time wanted to become a footballer because of players like him."

  • Etienne Fermie


    Arsenal have named a strong side for their under-23s' clash with Derby County this evening.

    The Gunners' back three is brimming with experience, with Calum Chambers and Pablo Mari both stepping up their respective returns from injury.

    William Saliba also joins them in defence.

  • Etienne Fermie


    Football chiefs are ready to agree ANOTHER change in the handball Law.

    But it will not come into effect until next season.

    The alteration, set to be approved by the International FA Board, will mean the penalty controversially conceded by Spurs’ Eric Dier against Newcastle at the start of the season will no longer be an automatic spot kick.

    Under current Laws, if the ball strikes the arm or hand above the shoulder, referees have no option but to punish the offence.

    But the change, set to be endorsed next month and confirmed in March – and to take effect from June 1 – will hand back discretion when the defender’s action is judged to be 'part of the natural movement'.

  • Etienne Fermie


    William Saliba is set to leave Arsenal to re-join Saint Etienne in January.

    The 19-year-old spent last season at the French club after signing a deal to join the Gunners in the summer of 2019.

    But the transfer move has not worked out, and his Emirates misery appears to be coming to an end.

    That is according to But Football Club, who state a switch back to his old team is on the cards.

    And they state the defender has not even been allowed to train with the Arsenal first-team this term under Mikel Arteta.

    Saliba finds himself on the fringes at ArsenalCredit: Getty Images – Getty
  • Etienne Fermie


    Arsenal take on Wolves this weekend, with boss Mikel Arteta facing a few selection dilemmas.

    Nicolas Pepe is set to miss out through suspension, while Bukayo Saka and Thomas Partey both have knocks.

    Here is how SunSport's Will Pugh thinks that the Spaniard will set his side up this weekend.

    How Arsenal could line up this weekend
  • Etienne Fermie


    Inter Milan have slapped a £27million price tag on Christian Eriksen, according to reports.

    The Dane has fallen out of favour under Antonio Conte and was humiliated by his six minute cameo against Real Madrid on Wednesday.

    Eriksen, 28, only joined Inter from Tottenham in a £17m move in January but has struggled for game time since.

    He signed a four-and-a-half-year deal at the Serie A club but is yet to register a goal or assist in seven outings this season.

    Manchester United and Arsenal have both been linked with moves for the playmaker.

    Eriksen made a brief cameo against Real MadridCredit: Getty Images – Getty
  • Josh Graham


    Bukayo Saka has recovered from the dead leg he got against Leeds and is fit for Arsenal's game at home to Wolves on Sunday.

    Nicolas Pepe is suspended after his red card against Leeds and Willian is doubtful with a calf injury.

    It is not yet known if Mohamed Elneny and Sead Kolasianc are permitted to return after testing positive for Covid-19.

    The Gunners have a great record against Wolves – only losing of their last 23 meetings in all competitions.

  • Josh Graham

    NU WAY

    Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo denied his side will have an advantage over Arsenal ahead of Sunday's Premier League clash at the Emirates.

    The Gunners had to spend an extra night in Norway after their 3-0 win over Molde on Thursday and flew back this morning.

    But Nuno said: "There’s no advantage, the schedule of the teams who compete in Europe is very demanding.

    "There’s no advantage, the schedule of the teams who compete in Europe is very demanding.

    "I’m expecting a very tough game against very good players and a manager. We have been able to compete well against Arsenal and we have to do it again."

  • Josh Graham


    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has reportedly urged the club to make a move for Real Madrid midfielder Isco in January.

    Defensa Central reports the Spaniard is keen on a loan move with the option to buy in the summer.

    Los Blancos are open to negotations but are not keen on a loan move, preferring to sell in the summer after the season has finished.

    Isco has struggled for game time at the Bernabeu and looks set to be moved on.

    The Gunners may count on current midfielder and Madrid loanee Dani Ceballos to help get a deal over the line.

  • Josh Graham

    BUY & SAL

    Arsenal's William Saliba is reportedly close to leaving the club on loan in January.

    French outlet But Football Club reports the centre-back is expected to rejoin former club Saint Etienne on loan for the second time in the New Year.

    Saliba, 19, signed for the Gunners for £27million in July 2019 but was sent straight back on loan.

    But after a frustrating few months with no first-team action, Saliba could be heading back to continue the transition boss Mikel Arteta believes he needs.

    Arteta said he was 'fed up' at Saliba's situation earlier this month and the Spaniard added: "I explained that he needed that transition year when we decided to buy him and send him on loan to Saint-Etienne.

    "For many reasons, that didn't happen – he didn't have that transition year and he needs to go through that."

  • Josh Graham


    Arsenal star Joe Willock escaped unhurt after crashing his £140,000 Mercedes G-Wagon on the way to training.

    The 21-year-old midfielder smashed into a barrier on the M25 slip road on the way to London Colney.

    Joe Willock's Mercedes lost a wheel on the M25 slip road
    Willock escaped unhurt from the car accident

    The Gunners prospect lost control at the wheel and his car somehow stayed upright as dash cam footage shows the vehicle ended up in the bushes after losing a wheel.

    The smash reportedly took place on Saturday afternoon when Willock was on his way to training.

    And he went on to play in Arsenal's 0-0 draw at Leeds the following day before being subbed off just before the hour mark.

  • Josh Graham


    Arsenal's Reiss Nelson hopes his electric Europa League form will get him a run in the Gunners' Premier League side.

    The 20-year-old bagged the second goal in Mikel Arteta's side's 3-0 win over Molde on Thursday.

    Nelson has played just 45 minutes of Prem football this season but when asked if the Europa League is a competition that can make Arteta take notice, he replied: "Of course.

    "Joe [Willock] is in excellent form and it just shows that if you do your business on the pitch the manager is not afraid to throw you in like he has with Joe and with everyone else.

    “You see young Balogun got a goal as well and it is nice to see young prospects coming through and getting the goals.”

  • Josh Graham


    Arsenal welcome Wolves to the Emirates in the Premier League on Sunday with Mikel Arteta facing a selection dilemma.

    Nicolas Pepe is suspended while Bukayo Saka and Thomas Partey look set to miss out with knee and thigh problems respectively.

    How Arsenal could line up against Wolves

    The Spaniard will likely stick with his 5-3-2 system to ensure he is well protected against Wolves' potent attack.

    Bernd Leno will start in goal with Rob Holding, Gabriel and David Luiz his three centre-backs.

    Luiz was subbed off against Molde with Arteta confirming it was just a precautionary measure.

    The Brazilian is rated 50/50 to play against Wolves but should be fresh if he does having missed the 0-0 draw at Leeds to be at the birth of his child.

  • Josh Graham


    Arsenal legend Ray Parlour called for Nicolas Pepe to do more in the Premier League after his Europa League man of the match display.

    Pepe saw red against Leeds before scoring the Gunners' opening goal in the 3-0 win against Molde on Thursday which sealed Mikel Arteta's side's place in the last 32.

    Parlour told talkSPORT: "He’s shown it in patches, but he was much better last night, I must admit. He’s better when he runs at players and commits players.

    “He takes the easy option usually in the Premier League. Run at full-backs, make them commit… when he does get on his left foot he’s got a good strike on him.

    “The reason he’s out on the right hand side is so he can cut inside and shoot with his left foot. We’ve always had left wingers who were right footed, Pires and Overmars, who would cut inside and score you 20 goals a season.

    “But it’s alright doing it against smaller sides like Molde, you’ve got to do it against the big sides, he’s got to make the impact he made last night against teams in the Premier League.

    “He’s shown glimpses he can do it in the Premier League, but he hasn’t done it on a regular basis. It’s consistency, you’ve got to do it week-in week-out, you’ve got to be a seven or eight out of ten every week, and that’s where you’re going to be real success at your club."

  • Josh Graham


    Arsenal skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang lauded goalscorer Folarin Bolagun even before their Europa League win over Molde.

    Auba said: "For sure he’s very, very talented and shows every time he trains with us that he is a really great talents and works a lot. A humble guy as well.

    “I like his style as well it’s like an American rapper.

    “I don’t see him a lot but he’s a cool guy. We sometimes have a laugh with him and Laca (Alexandre Lacazette).”

  • Josh Graham


    Folarin Balogun, 19, announced himself to Arsenal fans by scoring his first Gunners goal within 60 seconds of coming on against Molde.

    The New York-born forward, recognised as one of the academy's top talents, is reportedly stalling on a new contract and wants to leave the club on a free transfer for a new challenge, after he found chances in Mikel Arteta's team limited.

    Folarin Balogun scores for Arsenal against Molde in the Europa LeagueCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    He joined Arsenal at ten, and says he plays in a similar vein to skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – who gave his backing to the youngster by saying: "This young boy is [fire emoji]".

    Balogun played for England through the age groups but also qualifies for the USA and Nigeria.

  • Josh Graham


    Nicolas Pepe scored for Arsenal against Molde to put himself back in Mikel Arteta's good books.

    The Ivorian – who was sent off for a crazy headbutt against Leeds last weekend – took to Instagram after the game with a four-word offering.

    He said: "Goal. Great success tonight."

    Cheeky Joe Willock commented: "You’re welcome for the assist."

    View this post on Instagram

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

  • Josh Graham


    Arsenal were forced to spend a third night in Norway after their flight back to England was cancelled due to fog in the UK.

    The Gunners were scheduled to return back to London immediately after their 3-0 win against Molde that secured their passage into the Europa League Round of 32.

    Mikel Arteta's side arrived to Norway on Tuesday rather than Wednesday to comply with the country's coronavirus testing regulations.

    And according to the Telegraph, the North London giants' clash against Wolves on Sunday has been disrupted after their flight home was pushed back.

    Arsenal made the decision to return back on Friday morning instead of flying out to an airport outside of the capital.

    This meant they had to head back to their hotel, though it allowed them to get in a full night's sleep.

    They will now train in the afternoon at London Colney ahead of their fixture at the Emirates against Nuno Espirito Santo's men.

  • Josh Graham


    Arsenal are reportedly set to launch a bid for Dominik Szoboszlai in January before immediately loaning him back to RB Salzburg.

    The Gunners are heavily linked with the playmaker who many see as their No1 transfer target.

    And according to Football Insider, Mikel Arteta's side are set to broker a deal in the New Year but allow the player to remain with his club until the summer.

    The tactic is one regularly used by London rivals Chelsea – as they did with Christian Pulisic and Borussia Dortmund in 2018 – and Arsenal themselves did something similar with centre-back William Saliba.

    But the North Londoners could face competition from RB Leipzig.

  • Josh Graham


    Arsenal target Houssem Aouar has been axed from the Lyon squad after refusing to train, according to reports in France.

    L'Equipe claims the 22-year-old's relationship with club chiefs is under strain after he was left unhappy at being an unused sub in the club's 1-0 win over Angers on Sunday.

    Aouar is said to have ducked the post-game warm down, citing the poor state of the pitch as the reason he headed back to the dressing room before the final whistle.

    But the Ligue 1 side's staff are understood to be 'annoyed' and the development could help facilitate a move to North London after SunSport revealed Mikel Arteta is expected to launch another bid after failing in the summer.

  • Joe Brophy


    Mikel Arteta’s side sealed Europa League round of 32 qualification with two games to spare last night, with some of the Spaniard’s young guns coming to the fore.

    But it was Nicolas Pepe that grabbed the headlines, however, as he redeemed himself for Sunday’s red card against Leeds with a wonderful performance and well-taken opening goal to boot.

    On his mercurial Ivorian, Arteta said: “We all know what his level is.

    "All the time the question is how often can he get to that level and how often can he contribute to other aspects of the game. 

    “Today's the example. It has to be the level he has to hit and from then on he has to keep improving because he's capable of doing it.

    "You can see every time he gets in those positions and in the final third he's a really threat and a really difficult player to control. He can come on his feet, he can go in behind as well. That's what he expect from him."

    Reiss Nelson and Folarin Balogun also got their names on the scoresheet.

    Arsenal were given another boost earlier in the day, with a change in government regulations meaning that 2,000 fans will be admitted to next Thursday’s clash with Rapid Vienna at the Emirates.

    The club confirmed that tickets will be sold to members on a first come, first served basis.

  • Etienne Fermie


    Jack Wilshere has revealed it would be a ‘dream’ to return to Arsenal – but he is not holding out much hope.

    The 28-year-old was released by West Ham this summer just two years after joining them from the Gunners.

    Wilshere told the ITV Football Football Show: “Listen, you never know. I’m an Arsenal man.

    “I’ve not spoken to anyone or anything but that would be the dream.

    “I’m not stupid to know that there’s probably no chance of it happening but I’m an Arsenal man, I love the club and want to see the club do well.”

    Jack Wilshere is an 'Arsenal man'Credit: REUTERS
  • Etienne Fermie


    Following his excellent, goal-scoring display against Molde, Nicolas Pepe has been praised by boss Mikel Arteta.

    The Spaniard said: "We all know what his level is.

    "All the time the question is how often can he get to that level and how often can he contribute to other aspects of the game.

    "Today's the example. It has to be the level he has to hit and from then on he has to keep improving because he's capable of doing it.

    "You can see every time he gets in those positions and in the final third he's a really threat and a really difficult player to control. He can come on his feet, he can go in behind as well. That's what he expect from him."

    Arteta had some positive words for Nicolas PepeCredit: Reuters
  • Etienne Fermie


    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was asked whether Gunners fans could see more youngsters featuring in the Premier League, after good performances from the likes of Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock and Folarin Balogun against Molde.

    He replied: "Yeah, but they're having chances from the first game. We have to give them real opportunities.

    "To play them in friendly games is not really a chance. You have to give them the right competition and surround them as well with senior players and big players around them.

    "Then you can assess whether they have the level, the personality to play for this club. How they react to good and bad moments – this is what we're trying to do.

    "To play the next game you have to earn it. We are having a good use of our young players in the competition."

    Mikel Arteta gave his verdict on his youngstersCredit: Getty Images – Getty
  • Etienne Fermie


    Click here for SunSport's John Hutchinson's verdict on the Gunners' brilliant 3-0 win over Molde in the Europa League, with a particular focus on stand-in skipper Alex Lacazette.

    Alex Lacazette underwhelmed despite his side's victoryCredit: Getty Images – Getty

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