7am Arsenal news LIVE: Lingard and Smalling transfer targets, Coutinho £70m tag, club statement on Premier League return – The Sun

MIKEL ARTETA is plotting an overhaul at Arsenal after winning his own personal battle with coronavirus.

We have the latest transfer talk as the Gunners are targeting shock moves for Man Utd duo Jesse Lingard and Chris Smalling, while former Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho is available for £70m from Barcelona.

But fans will have to wait even longer to see their beloved Arsenal after Premier League chiefs revealed the season will not return until at least JUNE.

Follow all the latest Arsenal news and gossip with our blog below…


    With talk of Jesse Lingard joining Arsenal hotting up, the chances of Philippe Coutinho moving to the Gunners have slightly cooled, even though Barcelona have slashed their asking price to £70million.

    Mounting speculation suggests England midfielder Lingard could be the victim of a summer shake-up by Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with the Gunners rated as his most likely potential suitor.

    Lingard would certainly come far cheaper than his fellow 27-year-old, Brazil and ex-Liverpool playmaker Coutinho

    Chelsea, Spurs and even old club Liverpool have also been linked with a player who was the Reds' main man in the Premier League but disappointed enough in LaLiga to be loaned out to Bayern Munich.

     And although Coutinho’s wages would be huge, a glimmer of hope is that Barca have reportedly dropped their £142m buy's transfer tag dramatically below nine figures.

    The Gunners are also said to be vying with Chelsea for Real Madrid's Morocco  full-back Achraf Hakimi, 21, who has shone on loan for Borussia Dortmund this season . 

    And Arsenal's status as frontrunners to sign Bournemouth winger Ryan Frsser in the next transfer window seems to have been cemented.

    Meanwhile, left-back Kieran Tierney has named Gabriel Martinelli, 18, as both the Gunners' best young talent and a sure-fire tip to become world-class.

    Tierney said:  “I think his hunger and drive and his talent together as one is more than enough to be a world-class player for many years.”


    Premier League players are refusing to bail out their clubs as English football heads towards civil war.

    Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne, Watford captain Troy Deeney and West Ham skipper Mark Noble led the fightback in a video conference that served only to deepen divisions in the game.

    Premier League chiefs and club executives thought the players were ready to buy into their proposal for a wage cut or deferral of up to 30 per cent designed to stave off financial meltdown caused by the coronavirus crisis.

    But the message they got back was: ‘We’d rather give our cash to the NHS than help out our rich owners’.

    And the PFA  supported the hardline stance with a strong statement that hit back at criticism of players from politicians.

    The players’ union claimed such a big cut in stars’ wages would actually damage the public services that were fighting the pandemic.

    The PFA said: “The proposed 30 per cent salary deduction over a 12-month period equates to over £500million in wage reductions and a loss in tax contributions of over £200m to the Government.

    “What effect does this loss of earning to the Government mean to the NHS? 

    “Was this considered in the Premier League proposal and did the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, factor this in when asking players to take a salary cut?”


    Gabriel Martinelli has been tipped by Arsenal team-mate Kieran Tierney to become world class.

    .Asked which young Gunner could go on to be the biggest superstar in a Q&A with the Gunners' website, the Scot said: “I would say Martinelli.

    “I think his hunger and drive and his talent together as one is more than enough to be a world-class player for many years.

    “When I first did a full training session with the team I was put up against Martinelli and the intensity of his play was honestly mind-blowing and I thought to myself, 'this is the standard I need to be at to play for Arsenal'.”


    Former Arsenal and Manchester United striker Robin van Persie has labelled the No20 shirt he donned at Old Trafford as more special than his Gunners No10 jersey.

    Speaking to Star Sports Football, he said: ” I have to make a decision?

    “The number 10, the number itself is nicer than 20, it's just the story with it that makes it special, so I will have to go with 20, because that story has more impact.”

    Van Persie incurred the rage of Gunners fans when he left for United in 2012 – but went on to secure the Premier League title in his first season at the Theatre of Dreams.


    The Premier League has rammed home their plea for players to take a 30% pay cut by warning them their clubs face a £762m penalty if the season finishes early.

    Prem chiefs told the Professional Footballers' Association that broadcasters could demand a huge refund for unplayed games.

    Players and clubs will discuss the wage reduction plan in the next few days – as the Prem does not have the power to force such a change.

    The League Managers' Association also took part in the video conference, which lasted less than an hour.  

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