Arsenal news LIVE: Kessie available in January, Vlahovic transfer battle, Kroenke says Gunners NOT for sale

EMILE SMITH ROWE has seen his fine form this season rewarded in his first England call up.

Gareth Southgate has picked the Gunners star for the internationals against Albania and San Marino.

Meanwhile, Gunners fans have been given the hairdryer treatment by former rival boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

Fergie has laid into the Wenger Out brigade, which he sees as having got the legendary Gunners boss sacked in 2018.

We've also the very latest on Dusan Vlahovic, with Arsenal reportedly battling with North London rivals Tottenham for his signature.

And in a boost for Arteta, Granix Xhaka has returned to training as he continues his comeback from a knee injury.

Follow ALL of the latest updates below…

  • William Pugh

    GOOD MORNING ARSENAL FANS

    Emile Smith Rowe has broken into the England squad after ditching Nando’s, chocolate bars — and his mum’s cooking.

    Arsenal have dispatched a personal chef to the home Smith Rowe shares with his mother Fiona, who has been elbowed out of her own kitchen to improve her son’s diet.

    Gunners boss Mikel Arteta claims his No10’s outstanding recent form — five goals in his last eight games — has been down to an improvement in his lifestyle.

    And Smith Rowe, 21, admitted: “I think he was talking about my diet. I didn’t used to eat that well. I used to get cramp after 60 minutes.

    “I wasn’t eating great, I wasn’t drinking that well, before games I wasn’t really that hydrated but since then I’ve tried to focus so much on it.

    “There’s loads of stuff we should be drinking before a game but before I was a bit too lazy.

    “It was mainly my diet, nutrition and stuff like that. That’s really helped me. The club have sorted me out a chef, Chris, and he comes to my house every day.

    In transfer news, there are currently no talks ongoing between Dušan Vlahovic's agents and Arsenal's board, according to Fabrizio Romano.

    The Gunners are believed to be one of several clubs chasing the Serbian.

    Vlahovic is out of contract in 2023 and Fiorentina reportedly want between £65-75million to let him go.

    Elsewhere, Mikel Arteta has explained how Arsene Wenger inspired him to become a manager.

    “He was incredible. What he built for the football club, he’s gone down in history.

    “He completely transformed the club and gave it a different dimension.

    “And for me personally I have so much gratitude because if not for him I would not be in the position I am in today.

    “I was still young and had my ideas but he was a different level of inspiration on how I look at the game.

    “He put different questions marks on me and after that I started to study and take coaching much more seriously.”

  • Kealan Hughes

    FOOD FOR THOUGHT

    Emile Smith Rowe has broken into the England squad after ditching Nando’s, chocolate bars — and his mum’s cooking.

    Arsenal have dispatched a personal chef to the home Smith Rowe shares with his mother Fiona, who has been elbowed out of her own kitchen to improve her son’s diet.

    Gunners boss Mikel Arteta claims his No10’s outstanding recent form — five goals in his last eight games — has been down to an improvement in his lifestyle.

    And Smith Rowe, 21, admitted: “I think he was talking about my diet. I didn’t used to eat that well. I used to get cramp after 60 minutes.

    “I wasn’t eating great, I wasn’t drinking that well, before games I wasn’t really that hydrated but since then I’ve tried to focus so much on it.

    “There’s loads of stuff we should be drinking before a game but before I was a bit too lazy.

    “It was mainly my diet, nutrition and stuff like that. That’s really helped me. The club have sorted me out a chef, Chris, and he comes to my house every day.

    “He’s got a couple of pasta dishes and that’s good for carbs. I didn’t used to like fish but now I am into it — salmon and stuff."

  • Kealan Hughes

    GUNNER GO FOR HIM?

    Franck Kessie could be available for a discount in January, with a standoff over a potential new deal in Italy, with Arsenal also thought to be keen.

    With time running out on his deal, Kessie's reported demands are some way north of what Milan are believed to have offered so far.

    According to reports in Italy, the Ivory Coast international is holding out for €9m per year (around £150,000 per week), with his club offering €6.5m.

    This would make him one of the club's highest earners, though Ibrahimovic would retain the number one spot.

  • Kealan Hughes

    RAM RAID

    Arsenal could reportedly make a move for former midfielder Aaron Ramsey.

    His time in Italy didn’t go as expected and now the club are open to terminating his contract, according to Calciomercato.

    The 30-year-old has played just 112 minutes of football for the Old Lady this season and isn’t in the plans for Massimilano Allegri’s squad.

    Ramsey could potentially be a short-term fix to Arsenal’s looming central midfield problems in January.

    The club is already dealing with Xhaka’s absence from the side following a knee problem suffered in the North London Derby victory over Spurs late in September.

  • Kealan Hughes

    'WE CAN BEAT ANY OPPONENT'

    Jonas Eidevall believes Arsenal Women have a strong enough squad to fight on all fronts this season, but admitted it is hard work to keep the focus from game to game.

    The Gunners have enjoyed a terrific start to life under their new Swedish boss and maintained their perfect Women’s Super League record on Saturday with a 4-0 win over West Ham to stay at the summit with a three-point advantage.

    Arsenal have already played 14 matches since the season started, including the quarter and semi-finals of the still to be completed 2020-21 FA Cup campaign, but the 38-year-old is positive his players can cope.

    “I think so, that’s the belief I have in the squad,” Eidevall replied when asked if the group can compete on all fronts.

    "So far in the season we have shown that we are able to win with a lot of different players on the pitch which has been a strength as well.

    “It is one game at a time but I have a big belief in this squad and I feel we can beat any opponent we are playing, so that is a nice feeling to have going into the games.”

  • Kealan Hughes

    GUNNER MOVE?

    There are currently no talks ongoing between Dušan Vlahovic agents and Arsenal board, according to Fabrizio Romano.

    The Gunners are believed to be one of several clubs chasing the Serbian.

    Vlahovic is out of contract in 2023 and Fiorentina reportedly want between £65-75million to let him go.

  • Kealan Hughes

    'COMMANDING'

    Alan Shearer has raved about Arsenal star Ben White after his performance in Sunday’s win over Watford.

    Shearer was impressed with the youngster at the weekend and named White in his Premier League Team of the Week.

    And he said: “White was commanding in defence, building play from the back and not giving the Watford attack much of a sniff.

    "His mazy run was also key to Emile Smith Rowe’s goal that sealed the win.”

  • Kealan Hughes

    MAV'S BACK

    Konstantinos Mavropanos is back in individual training after his recent injury.

    Stuttgarter Nachrichten report that Mavropanos was diagnosed with a torn muscle fibre in the pelvic area ahead of the recent Augsburg game. He missed that match and the subsequent fixture against Arminia Bielefeld – both defeats.

    There was initially no word on how long the Arsenal loanee would be out, but the good news is that he’s already returned to individual training.

    VfB Stuttgart posted on their Instagram page this week to confirm Mavropanos was back in light training.

  • Kealan Hughes

    'HE WAS INCREDIBLE'

    Mikel Arteta has explained how Arsene Wenger inspired him to become a manager.

    "He was incredible. What he built for the football club, he's gone down in history.

    "He completely transformed the club and gave it a different dimension.

    "And for me personally I have so much gratitude because if not for him I would not be in the position I am in today.

    "I was still young and had my ideas but he was a different level of inspiration on how I look at the game.

    "He put different questions marks on me and after that I started to study and take coaching much more seriously."

    Credit: Getty
  • Kealan Hughes

    EDD-ING OFF?

    Borussia Monchengladbach are hoping to sign Eddie Nketiah on a pre-contract agreement in January, according to The Mirror.

    Nketiah has a deal until 2022, so he’ll be a free agent by the summer. Foreign clubs can start to talk to him in January, which is less than eight weeks away now, and English clubs will be free to pick him up just a few more months after that.

    And to strike a deal Gladbach could be willing to let midfielder Dennis Zakaria move the other way.

  • Kealan Hughes

    PLAY FOR KEEPS

    Arsenal U16s keeper Alexei Rojas Fedorushchenko has been promoted to first-team training during the international break.

    The youngster, 16, revealed on Instagram that Mikel Arteta has called him up to play with the seniors at London Colney.

    And it appears to be a just reward for a stopper who is already making waves throughout Arsenal’s impressive youth sides.

    Fedorushchenko posted a picture of his training top on Instagram.

    And a caption attached read: “Incredible experience training with the first team today.”

  • Kealan Hughes

    TRANSFER SETBACK

    Arsenal’s reported interest in Barcelona midfielder Riqui Puig has been dealt a serious blow with the announcement that Xavi Hernandez has taken over at Barcelona.

    The links with Arsenal arose due to former boss Ronald Koeman not being the biggest admirer of the 22-year-old central midfielder.

    But Xavi is a big fan of the youngster, saying of him previously: "The truth is that he is a boy who breathes talent and plays simply.

    "He has self-confidence, personality, he does not hide and asks for the ball. I am very happy because when I see him play, you can see a total Barcelona school (player), something that we like so much.

    "In a way, he brings back to our memory that football we experienced years ago at the Barcelona academy. That DNA that is so particular to our game and is so complex to find in specific players. And Riqui has it."

    The boy described previously as a possible ‘Santi Cazorla’ replacement looks very much set to remain in Catalonia now and the Gunners will need to search elsewhere for depth in the middle.

  • Kealan Hughes

    BYE BYE LACA?

    Newcastle United have their eye on Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette, according to journalist Ekrem Konur.

    According to Konur on Twitter, Newcastle are ‘closely monitoring the situation’ of Lacazette at the Emirates Stadium.

    They aren’t the only club keeping tabs, though, with his former employers Lyon also lurking as the Ligue 1 outfit have plans to bring him back when the January transfer window rolls around.

    According to The Athletic last month, the writing is seemingly on the wall for the 30-year-old at Arsenal as he approaches the end of his contract in June.

    He could be available on a cut-price deal in January if the Gunners want to avoid losing him for free.

  • Kealan Hughes

    ARSENAL TAKEOVER

    Arsenal's Hale End graduates Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe have been called-up to England together for the first-time in their senior careers.

    And Saka is delighted to have another Arsenal star with the Three Lions.

    "You spoken to Emile [Smith Rowe] today?" Saka was asked by a cameraman, as shown on England's official YouTube account.

    "I spoke to him last night."

    "Is he gassed [excited/happy]?"

    "Of course he is. He messaged me last night and I was just so happy for him. So, make sure you say hello to him when he comes."

    The short discussion ended with a slight joke from the cameraman who asked whether there will be an 'Arsenal takeover' in the England camp.

    "Arsenal takeover?"

    "Yeah, slowly," Saka replied.

  • Kealan Hughes

    TIERNEY UPDATE

    Kieran Tierney should be fit for Scotland's World Cup qualifying visit to Moldova on Friday, says assistant coach John Carver.

    The defender has missed four games for Arsenal, last playing on 18 October.

    However, he was an unused substitute for Sunday's 1-0 win at home to Watford after recovering from an ankle problem.

    Carver said: "He has come into the camp and trained exceptionally well, so we don't see any problems with him.

    "He looked great this morning, full of running. He has been out some time now but he was on the bench at the weekend."

  • Kealan Hughes

    'HE IS A TOP PLAYER'

    Emile Smith Rowe impressed Chelsea's youngsters while trialling with the club many years ago – but Stamford Bridge academy staff feared he was not "big enough".

    Blues right-back Reece James witnessed Smith Rowe's trial in person and has since been reunited with the Arsenal playmaker in the England set-up.

    The pair, both 21, have been selected in Gareth Southgate's squad to face Albania and San Marino in World Cup qualifiers over the next week.

    And James said of Smith Rowe: "I've always known he is a top player. He came to Chelsea when he was quite young, actually, on trial.

    "I remember playing with him and playing against him.

    "Even when he moved to Arsenal, I always knew he was a top player and I think this season he's shown how good he is and why he's been selected.

    "He's what he's like in games, you know. Everyone can see how well he is and how well he's been doing."

  • Kealan Hughes

    WEN-GRR

    Arsene Wenger 'rattled' Sir Alex Ferguson when he first took over at Arsenal with the Manchester United legend unable to cope, according to Lee Dixon.

    Dixon told Coral: "The Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson rivalry was brilliant for the players.

    "In the week building up to a game, they deflected everything off us and onto themselves.

    "They would be at loggerheads every day that week with the papers full of it and it took the heat off us.

    Sir Alex could not deal with Arsene at the beginning when he first took over at Arsenal.

    "He had a completely new way, the way he would flippantly just say things, was unlike anything Ferguson had come across before.

    "There is nobody better than Sir Alex at mind games and using the right words at the right time to put pressure on somebody.

    "But Arsene just didn't care and it didn't work.

    "You could tell Sir Alex was a bit rattled by Wenger in those early days."

  • Jake Lambourne

    CRIS CROSS

    Ben White has revealed he is relishing the prospect of coming up against Cristiano Ronaldo.

    Arsenal face Manchester United at Old Trafford on December 2.

    Asked what trip he is most looking forward to this season, White said: "I think probably the United game. I want to play against Cristiano Ronaldo.

    "I’ve played at Old Trafford before, but not when it was full. It would be a great experience.

    "In fact I’ve been there to watch a game, when they played Chelsea a few years ago, because my uncle is a United fan so he took me along.

    "But playing there in front of a big crowd is what I really want to do.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    WHITE NOISE

    Arsenal defender Ben White has declared that the 3-1 win over Tottenham this season was the best atmosphere he has played in.

    Speaking to the club's website, the England international also commented on what it was like playing at Elland Road during his loan spell at Leeds.

    He said: "When I was at Leeds on loan playing in a full Elland Road was always great – a really big atmosphere. In fact I played against Arsenal that year at the Emirates, in the FA Cup. 

    “It was 1-0 to Arsenal, but I think Leeds probably deserved to win on the day, so it is a bittersweet memory for me. We lost the game but playing at the Emirates for the first time was great.

    "You always want to play in front of big crowds and that’s what being on loan is about as well, being introduced to these big games slowly. 

    “I have to say though that the best atmosphere I’ve ever played in was the Tottenham game here this season. 

    “That’s the best. The Euros was pretty crazy too. I didn’t play of course, but being part of it was great, it was unbelievable to be part of those games at Wembley.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    VLAH FIGHT

    Arsenal and Tottenham are just two clubs looking to prise Dusan Vlahovic away from Fioretnina.

    He is refusing to sign a new contract and will become a free agent in the summer of 2023 but Fiorentina want to keep the star until at least June.

    Juventus want him – but they are more interested in getting him in January.

    However, AS claim that renowned journalist Alfredo Pedulla believes his departure is much more likely to occur at the end of the campaign.

    And they also state that the 21-year-old prefers a move away from Italy for a new adventure abroad.

    Both Arsenal and Tottenham are keen and will fight it out to secure his services, along with Liverpool.

    And Atletico Madrid hope to bring the forward to LaLiga in Spain.

  • Jake Lambourne

    ARSENE SUPPORT

    Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed he will support the club forever despite not returning to The Emirates since his exit.

    Speaking to The Guardian, the Frenchman said: “I will support the club until the end of my life, because I think I contributed a lot to what the club is today.

    “I suffered a lot. I sweat a lot for every stone that is in the stadium and I sacrificed the best years of my life to do that. So I won’t renege on that. I will support this club for ever.”

    But despite his adulation for the Gunners, Wenger doubts he’ll get time to visit the stadium this season due to his hectic schedule.

    However, he does plan head to North London at some point in the future.

    Wenger added: “This season? I don’t know. Because I travel a lot, you know, and I have a very, very busy schedule. But at some stage, why not?”

  • Jake Lambourne

    NO BANTER

    Ex-Tottenham star Jamie O’Hara has eaten humble pie and praised Arsenal for their remarkable turn-around this season.

    The Gunners started the campaign dismally and O’Hara slammed Mikel Arteta’s side, labelling them ‘Banter FC’.

    But since then, Arsenal have gone on an incredible 10-game unbeaten run

    And O’Hara said to talkSPORT: “I was critical of Arsenal at the start of the season by calling them ‘Banter FC’.

    “Now, all of a sudden, the tide has turned.

    “They are playing with confidence and playing with belief and they’re getting results.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    TO BE FRANK

    Former Arsenal ace and scout Frank Stapleton has waxed lyrcial over academy ace Charlie Patino.

    He told Goal: "Of all the years I’ve been scouting, he’s the best kid I’ve ever seen."

    Before adding: "There is a pathway that Arsenal have got for him and he’s probably going down the same pathway as Phil Foden at Manchester City.

    “Charlie has an amazing awareness of where he is on the pitch and where other players are on the pitch. His vision is so good, he can split a defence with a pass.

    “And he has that desire to do well. When he’s on that pitch he can be an animal, he’s a winner.

    “If Charlie keeps going the way he’s going, the world is his oyster."

  • Jake Lambourne

    EMILE SMITH WHOA

    Rio Ferdinand  has likened red-hot Arsenal star Emile Smith Rowe to Robert Pires and Alexander Hleb amid his incredible run of form.

    Speaking about Arsenal on his FIVE YouTube channel, Ferdinand said: "There’s a team, there’s a united team.

    "There’s a togetherness that I haven’t seen at Arsenal for a long time. There’s nobody doing more right now than Emile Smith Rowe.

    "He reminds me, with more end product it seems right now and I think he’ll go onto levels, his style is a little bit [Alexander] Hleb.

    "He plays low, socks similar, the way he moves and manipulates the ball, can keep people off balance all game.

    "He’s got a bit of Hleb about him. He’s got a Robert Pires vibe a little bit."

  • Jake Lambourne

    WRIGHT CHOICE

    Arsenal legend Ian Wright has dismissed Claudio Ranieri's claims that the Gunners were not respectful by throwing the ball back to Watford on Sunday.

    Emile Smith Rowe fired home the controversial winner after the Hornets had kicked the ball out for Ozan Tufan, who had feigned injury.

    Speaking on Premier League Productions, Wright said: "There’s nothing wrong with him in the end.

    "I’m sorry and people will say I’m being biased because it’s Arsenal, but if there’s something wrong with you then you stay down and go through what you normally do. Look how far it’s gone.

    "I think I saw Ranieri complaining and that’s just nitpicking because I don’t believe they should give that ball back.

    There’s nothing wrong with the player. If there’s something wrong then stay down and go through the protocols.

    "But there’s nothing wrong with him. He got back up and they had three or four opportunities to be able to clear that so I think it’s just Ranieri making an excuse really."

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