Juventus and Inter are reportedly ready to do battle for Roma star Nicolo Zaniolo.

Zaniolo, 21, made his return from a serious knee injury this month and has repeatedly been linked with a move away from Roma.

A pair of Serie A giants may be ready to fight for the midfielder's services.

 

TOP STORY – INTER, JUVE TO BATTLE FOR ZANIOLO

Inter are ready to challenge Juventus to sign Roma star Zaniolo, according to CalcioMercato.

Zaniolo is considered one of Europe's best young talents, and left Inter for Roma in 2018.

Roma reportedly want at least €50million for the five-time Italy international.

 

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- Contracted at Manchester City until 2021, Sergio Aguero may yet stay at the Etihad Stadium a little longer. The Mirror reports City have not ruled out giving the star forward, 32, a one-year extension.

- With Neymar repeatedly linked with a return to Barcelona, it seems the LaLiga giants are wanting to distance themselves from the Paris Saint-Germain star. Marca says Barca are keen to see the rumours of a potential return for Neymar stop.

- Staying at Camp Nou and Barcelona apparently have interest in two players from Tottenham. The Daily Star says Barca want Ryan Sessegnon and Tanguy Ndombele. However, it reports Spurs will reject all offers for Sessegnon this close season.

- Philippe Coutinho's future remains unclear. Mundo Deportivo reports the playmaker, who is on loan at Bayern Munich from Barcelona until the end of the season, will not decide his future until after the Champions League next month.

- Plenty of talk continues to surround Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who is coming out of contract at the Premier League club next year. The Daily Star reports the forward will sign a contract extension with Arsenal – if no other club makes an official approach.

- After just two goals in 25 games for Real Madrid, Luka Jovic seems set for an exit. According to Mundo Deportivo, Juventus, Inter, Chelsea, Leicester City, Milan and Napoli are all considering moves for the forward.

Real Madrid are planning to make a splash in the transfer market.

Reports claim three of Europe's finest – Kylian Mbappe, Kai Havertz and Eduardo Camavinga – are waiting to make the move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Could it happen?

 

TOP STORY – TRIO WAITING ON LOS BLANCOS

Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe, Bayer Leverkusen's Kai Havertz and Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga are holding off contract talks as they wait for Real Madrid, according to the frontpage of Wednesday's edition of Marca.

Mbappe is highly coveted by Zinedine Zidane and Madrid, Havertz has been linked to Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, while Camavinga is reportedly a Madrid target.

However, the trio may have to wait beyond this year to make the move to the Spanish capital, though Sport Bild claims Havertz has asked to leave Leverkusen before 2020-21.

 

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- Sport reports Barcelona still want to sign Inter star Lautaro Martinez, despite his release clause expiring.

Borussia Dortmund have issued an ultimatum to United. Sport Bild claims United have been told if they want to bid for Jadon Sancho, the deal must be done by August 10. Sancho has been heavily tipped to move to Old Trafford.

Arsenal want to sign Lyon's Moussa Dembele if they lose Alexandre Lacazette or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, reports Foot Mercato. Lacazette has been linked to Atletico Madrid and Inter, while Barca, PSG and other clubs are reportedly interested in Aubameyang.

Inter are not David Alaba's first choice should he leave Bayern, says Sport Bild. Alaba has been linked to Madrid, Barca, PSG, Chelsea and Manchester City.

Sevilla are leading Juventus and Inter in the pursuit of Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin, says the Express.

- According to the Express, Tottenham are confident of signing Kurt Zouma from London rivals Chelsea at the end of the season.

- Could Inter be about to hijack Napoli's bid for Lille forward Victor Osimhen? The Nigeria international has been tipped to join Napoli in a €80million deal, however, Le10Sport says Inter are making a last-ditch attempt to sign Osimhen.

- Chelsea full-back Emerson Palmieri has handed in a transfer request as he looks to reunite with Antonio Conte at Inter, reports Gazzetta journalist Nicolo Schira.

Milan are trying to hijack Inter's move for Brescia star Sandro Tonali, according to Gianluca Di Marzio. Inter have been favourites to land Tonali but Ralf Rangnick – who is tipped to become Milan's head coach in 2020-21 – has reportedly made the Italy international his top target.

Eddie Nketiah's red card proved costly for Arsenal as Jamie Vardy's late goal salvaged a 1-1 draw for Leicester City in the Premier League.

Mikel Arteta's side looked set to make it four league wins on the spin on Tuesday, thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's 21st-minute goal.

Yet, just four minutes after coming on, substitute Nketiah received his marching orders for a rash tackle on James Justin – referee Chris Kavanagh consulting VAR to deem the youngster's tackle worthy of a straight red.

And Leicester made their numerical advantage count with six minutes remaining – Vardy's goal standing after a long VAR check for offside as the Foxes claimed a valuable point.

 

 

Jadon Sancho still wants a move to Manchester United, while Inter could be ready to buy Alexis Sanchez.

Sancho, 20, has been linked with numerous European giants after starring for Borussia Dortmund.

While he could be set for Old Trafford, United may opt to get rid of Sanchez permanently.

 

TOP STORY – SANCHO STILL WANTS MAN UTD MOVE

Sancho wants a move to Manchester United but the Premier League giants must still find an agreement with Dortmund, according to Fabrizio Romano.

The England international has been linked to the likes of United, Liverpool and Chelsea.

Sancho is contracted at Dortmund, where he arrived in 2017, until 2022.

 

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- On loan at Inter this season, Sanchez could stay at San Siro even longer. Goal reports the Serie A giants are looking to sign the Chile international permanently from Manchester United, for a cut-price deal of €20million (£18m).

- Eric Garcia could be getting closer to a Barcelona return. Sport reports the LaLiga giants have started talks with Manchester City regarding the defender, who left Barca for the Premier League side in 2017.

- Amid uncertainty over his future, it seems Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is looking for a new deal at Arsenal, where his contract expires in 2021. ESPN reports the forward wants a minimum three-year contract worth £250,000 per week.

- Tottenham reportedly had a chance to move Tanguy Ndombele on. The Telegraph reports Spurs rejected an offer to send Ndombele to Juventus, with Aaron Ramsey heading in the opposite direction. Meanwhile, Goal says Tottenham are trying to sign Napoli forward Arkadiusz Milik, but are facing competition from Juve.

- Daniele De Rossi only retired earlier this year, but the former Italy international is seemingly already attracting interest to be a coach. According to Gianluca Di Marzio, Fiorentina are ready to offer the former midfielder the chance to take the helm.

Mikel Arteta believes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is as important to Arsenal as Robin van Persie was during his playing days in north London.

Aubameyang became the fastest Arsenal player to 50 Premier League goals on Wednesday, passing the landmark on his 79th appearance in England's top flight as the Gunners thrashed relegation-haunted Norwich City 4-0.

After the match, Arteta claimed he was "very positive" that the 31-year-old would sign a contract extension at Emirates Stadium, with his current deal set to expire at the end of next season.

Speaking at a news conference to preview the crunch weekend trip to Wolves, the Arsenal boss reiterated his stance.

"I don't know, it's the way I feel," he said. "The way I communicate with him, the conversations that I have with him, with the people around him. It's the energy that I sense

"It's just my opinion. Things change very quickly in football but when you ask me what I feel about Auba's future in this moment, I feel that he wants to continue with us and keep developing and helping us to be a better team."

Arteta was pulling the strings in Arsenal's midfield when Van Persie was named PFA and Football Writers' Player of the Year in 2011-12, only for him to leave and inspire Manchester United to the Premier League title the following season.

"When we played with Robin he used to make the difference for us every week," Arteta recalled.

"I always say that he was one of the strikers I most enjoyed playing with because of his intelligence and overall quality to play in any position, any area of the field. Also the quality of his finishing and movement.

"Now we have the luck of having another player who can do that in any moment of the game.

"We have to feed him and put him in the right position as much as possible to win as many [as possible]."

Failure to beat Wolves, who are six points ahead of the Gunners in sixth with six matches remaining this season, would effectively end Arsenal's top-four hopes.

Arteta acknowledges progress on the field must be clear if Aubameyang is not to be tempted by admirers elsewhere.

"He needs to feel he belongs somewhere where we can achieve the goals that he has," he added.

"He's really settled in the city, his family are really happy. And he's loved, respected and admired by his team-mates, which is a huge thing to have in any football club.

"That's what gives me positivity. As well, I see the enjoyment that happens, the work rate he puts in all the time. That's where my feelings are coming from."

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane was more deserving of the Best FIFA Men's Player award in 2019 than Barcelona star Lionel Messi, according to France great Alain Giresse.

After guiding Barca to LaLiga glory and the semi-finals of the Champions League last season, Messi won the accolade for a sixth time back in September – he was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 2009 and claimed four Ballons d'Or while it was backed by world football's governing body.

Mane finished fifth in the voting, behind Liverpool team-mates Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah, and Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

But Giresse, who coached Mane during his time in charge of Senegal between 2013 and 2015, insists the 28-year-old should have finished top after starring for Liverpool on their way to Champions League success.

"I definitely would have put Sadio Mane ahead of Messi, in terms of the season they had last season," he told ESPN.

"When I was head coach of Senegal, Sadio was still young but he had ahead of him an enormous potential, a technical potential, and a moral potential to go on to become a great player, as he has become today."

Giresse, named French Player of the Year three times in the 1980s, was Tunisia head coach until August and should have been eligible to vote.

"I didn't receive the ballot sheet, so it wasn't me who voted [on Tunisia's behalf]. I can't say who did, but it wasn't me," he said. The top pick credited to Giresse was Ronaldo, with Van Dijk second and Messi third.

Former Bordeaux and Marseille midfielder Giresse also managed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at international level with Gabon. 

Aubameyang shared the Premier League Golden Boot with Mane and Salah last season and Giresse believes the Arsenal striker is now among the world's best.

"I launched Pierre-Emerick with the Gabon national team, at the start of his development, his expansion and his progression," he said.

"We can all see his pathway and the level he's reached now. We're talking about [him moving to] Real Madrid, so it shows how this player has reached a world-class level, and you could say the same about Sadio."

Mikel Arteta is positive Arsenal can keep Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang "for many years" after he brought up a half-century of Premier League goals for the Gunners.

Aubameyang robbed Norwich City goalkeeper Tim Krul of the ball to roll home his 50th goal in the English top flight and put Arsenal on course for a 4-0 win.

The Gabon international is the fastest Arsenal player to reach 50 goals in the Premier League.

He teed up Granit Xhaka to make it 2-0 and doubled his tally for the game in the second half before Cedric Soares rounded things off with a debut strike.

Aubameyang's contract expires at the end of next season and afterwards he told BT Sport of the possibility of a new deal: "We'll talk with the club and see what happens.

"I'm really focused on the games. Since Mikel is in, we're doing well. We're working well. We have signs we're improving."

Arteta, when asked how many more goals Aubameyang can score for Arsenal, told a post-match media conference: "Hopefully at least another 100. I don't know, I'm not a magician.

"What he's achieved today to be the fastest in the history of this football club shows everything about his mentality and the way he works every day on his finishing, on trying to help the team and his desire to be better and better every day. Hopefully we can keep him here for a longer period.

"He's willing to stay with us, I think he's really happy where he is, and he can see what we are trying to do.

"Hopefully he can evolve some parts of his game and he can improve. We are pushing him every day towards that."

On the progression of talks over a new contract, Arteta said: "I don't know, I leave that to the football club.

"Auba knows really well what my thoughts are towards him, the project that I want to create and how much he's part of that, and after that, it's not in my hands.

"I'm positive and I can remain positive that we can keep him here for many years, but things have to progress."

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the 50th goal of his Premier League career against Norwich City on Wednesday.

Aubameyang was presented a gift by Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul, who lost possession as he attempted to clear the ball, allowing the Gabon striker to roll into an empty net and reach a half-century in 79 appearances in the competition.

He is the 38th different Arsenal player to score 50 league goals, having joined the club from Borussia Dortmund for €63.8m (£56m) in January 2018.

Aubameyang is the fastest Arsenal player to reach 50 Premier League goals and is the sixth-fastest to a half-century in the competition's history, behind Andy Cole (65 games), Alan Shearer (66), Ruud van Nistelrooy (68), Fernando Torres and Mohamed Salah (both 72).

The former Milan forward has consistently been Arsenal's star performer, but his future in Mikel Arteta's side is uncertain.

Having turned 31, the forward previously said he has reached "a turning point in my career" and has not decided whether he wants to extend his contract with the club.

Aubameyang's deal is due to expire at the end of next season.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's achievement of scoring 50 goals in 77 Premier League games for Arsenal makes him the sixth fastest player in the competition's history to hit the half-century milestone.

That Aubameyang arrived at 50 goals in fewer league matches than the likes of Sergio Aguero and Thierry Henry tells you just how prolific the Gabon international has been since his arrival from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018.

Aubameyang's landmark goal, which arrived for Arsenal against Norwich City on Wednesday, is made all the more remarkable by the fact that he has not been playing in a particularly successful team during his time at Emirates Stadium, with the Gunners finishing sixth in his first season, fifth in his second, and starting the day in 10th as they faced the Canaries.

The five players to have reached 50 Premier League goals in fewer matches than Aubameyang all did so in teams challenging at the top end of the table, and all with very distinct goal-scoring styles.
 

Andy Cole – 65 games

After scoring 12 goals when Newcastle United were promoted as Division One champions in 1992-93, Andy Cole plundered 34 in 40 top flight games to help Kevin Keegan's side finish third in the table the following season.

A real six-yard box striker who could also finish from distance and beat defenders for pace, he netted another nine Premier League goals for the Magpies before joining Manchester United, where he took his top-flight tally to 50 before the end of the 1994-95 season.

Alan Shearer – 66 games

Alan Shearer reached 50 Premier League goals during Blackburn Rovers' title-winning campaign in 1994-95, having netted 47 goals in 62 games in the two seasons prior.

Shearer's matchless eye for goal and thunderously powerful shot helped him to 34 goals in 42 matches as Rovers became champions, and he passed the 100 mark just a year later.

Ruud van Nistelrooy – 68 games

Ruud van Nistelrooy cost Manchester United £19million when he joined the club from PSV ahead of the 2001-02 season and he quickly set about repaying their faith in him.

The Netherlands international netted 23 Premier League goals in 32 games in his first season, followed by a further 25 in 34 games in 2002-03.

He then passed 50 in the 2003-04 season on his way to scoring 20 goals in 32 matches as United were beaten to the title by Arsenal.

Fernando Torres – 72

More similar to Aubameyang in terms of playing style than any of the players listed above, Fernando Torres scored his 50th Premier League goal during his third season as a Liverpool player.

It was a season that would end with Torres becoming a World Cup winner with Spain, but it was not a happy one for the Reds, who finished seventh in the table despite Torres' 18 goals in 22 games, and the striker left the club to join Chelsea part way through the following campaign.

Mohamed Salah – 72

Mohamed Salah scored his 50th Premier League goal during a 4-3 victory over Crystal Palace in April 2019, becoming the second-fastest player to reach the milestone in terms of minutes played.

Only Shearer, who netted a half-century in 5,337 minutes for Blackburn, reached the landmark in a shorter on-pitch timespan than free-scoring Reds forward Salah, who did so in 5,374 minutes of play following his £34m transfer from Roma.

Kalidou Koulibaly has been a man in demand for quite some time.

Clubs in Europe have reportedly queued up to sign the Napoli centre-back.

Koulibaly could finally get his move, with a Premier League giant reportedly working on a deal.

 

TOP STORY – CITY FRONTRUNNERS FOR KOULIBALY

Manchester City are favourites to prise Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli, according to Duncan Castles of the Sunday Times.

Koulibaly has long been linked with a Napoli exit – City, Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham, Real Madrid and Barcelona all reported admirers.

But it seems the star defender is more likely to join Pep Guardiola's City than Premier League leaders Liverpool.

 

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Edinson Cavani is among the alternatives to Inter's Lautaro Martinez for Barcelona, says Sky Sport Italia. Barca want to sign Martinez but the LaLiga champions are struggling to meet Inter's demands. Now Cavani, who will not sign a new contract with Paris Saint-Germain and is a free agent, could end up at Camp Nou. The Uruguayan forward has also been linked to Inter and Atletico Madrid. Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is also on the list, though Juventus are reportedly eyeing the disgruntled Gabon international.

Juve and Barca have reached an agreement over a swap deal involving Arthur and Miralem Pjanic, reports Goal. Arthur had been reluctant to leave Barca for Juve but the Spanish giants could receive a fee of €70million.

Liverpool are frontrunners to sign Bayern Munich star Thiago Alcantara, says Bild. The Spanish midfielder had been set to extend his contract but he has apparently backed out of a new deal.

Borussia Dortmund may keep Jadon Sancho after all. The England international has been tipped to join United at the end of the season. Unless Dortmund receive £117m (€130m), they will continue with Sancho, reports Sport Bild, which also claims the Bundesliga club could offer a bumper new deal.

- Gianluca Di Marzio says Lazio and Inter are battling over the signing of Hellas Verona defender Marash Kumbulla. Inter have reportedly made a €25milion offer for Kumbulla, who has also been linked to Juve.

Chelsea and Real Madrid are going head-to-head for Bayer Leverkusen's Kai Havertz, claims WinSports. Chelsea are believed to have submitted an offer worth £8m (€8.8m) more than Madrid's bid.

Fred is ready to discuss a new long-term contract with United, the Sun reports. After a difficult start to life at Old Trafford, the Brazilian has established himself as a key member of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.

- According to Le10 Sport, Madrid and Barca are interested in Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi.

The queue to sign Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho is long.

Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid are all reportedly eyeing the England international.

United, though, are prepared to wait.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED TO BIDE TIME OVER SANCHO

Manchester United are waiting for Jadon Sancho's price to drop before making a move for the Borussia Dortmund star, according to the Daily Mail.

Sancho has been tipped to join Premier League giants United at the end of the season, though Liverpool, Chelsea, former club Manchester City and Real Madrid are also believed to be interested.

However, United are hoping to drive down the £100million (€110m) price tag.

 

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Dortmund, meanwhile, have beaten United to the signing of Birmingham City teenager Jude Bellingham. That is according to ESPN, with the Bundesliga side set to announce the 16-year-old's arrival in the coming days.

- Could Arsenal and Roma be involved in a swap deal? The Daily Star says Arsenal are hoping for Henrikh Mkhitaryan to join Roma on a permanent basis, in exchange for Justin Kluivert.

Barcelona are desperate to sell before the end of the month to balance their accounts, claims Sport. The LaLiga giants are working hard on moving Jean-Clair Todibo and Philippe Coutinho out the door. Barca are willing to accept €70m (£63m) for Coutinho, who has been linked to Chelsea, Tottenham and Newcastle United.

- Il Mattino and Calciomercato.com report Arkadiusz Milik is discussing a new contract with Napoli. The Poland international has been linked to Serie A champions Juventus, Inter, Milan, Tottenham and Arsenal.

- Italian journalist Nicolo Schira says Inter are looking to sign Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang if Lautaro Martinez joins BarcaParis Saint-Germain have also emerged as a possible destination for Aubameyang.

Mikel Arteta must be wishing the Premier League's return had been put off by another week as this has been about as bad a restart as he could have feared to endure.

Two games, two defeats, five goals conceded and three more injuries, two of them serious, to add to a growing treatment list. It has all made for a miserable few days.

The Gunners are six points behind fifth-placed Manchester United and will be 11 adrift of the top four if Chelsea win at Aston Villa on Sunday. Victories for Burnley and Crystal Palace will see them drop to 11th in the Premier League table.

As a Champions League return slips further from their grasp, Arteta can be under no illusions: his team are a long way short of the quality required to compete at Europe's highest level.

The injuries to Granit Xhaka and Pablo Mari against Manchester City, and David Luiz's red card, were misfortunes Arteta could not have seen coming but the performance at the Etihad Stadium was still alarmingly meek for a team with aspirations of competing with the champions sooner rather than later.

Similarly, no amount of preparation from the Gunners head coach could have softened the blow of seeing Bernd Leno carried off on a stretcher in the first half against Brighton and Hove Albion, the goalkeeper having apparently done some serious knee damage after colliding with Neal Maupay.

The trouble is Arsenal's inability to respond to setbacks. They were accused of having a soft underbelly long before Arteta replaced Unai Emery in December, but the former Man City assistant has not yet managed to address the problem.

Brighton started the day as the only team without a Premier League win in 2020 and with just two in all competitions since early November, one of which came at Emirates Stadium, but they were a match for Arsenal throughout.

The visitors threatened fleetingly through Nicolas Pepe, Bukayo Saka, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but Mat Ryan kept at bay anything they threw his way.

Aubameyang's one and only clear chance was finished with aplomb but chalked off for offside, his resigned expression as he jogged back into position a fitting one for a top-class forward who is wondering whether his remaining peak years would be better spent elsewhere.

Arsenal finally produced a moment of genuine quality when Saka found Pepe, who cut onto his left foot and curled a sublime shot over Ryan's head. It was his seventh Gunners goal – his first outside London – and brought Saka to 11 assists for the season. These two, at least, appear to be getting better as the 2019-20 campaign stretches onwards.

But few consider a win to be safely in Arsenal's hands when the scoreline reads 1-0, and so it proved again. They fell asleep at a corner and Lewis Dunk squirmed the ball over the line for the 13th goal Arteta's men have conceded from set-pieces in the league this season.

As a draw seemed safe, Maupay completed his villainous turn, dummying a pass to Aaron Connolly, collecting the return and finishing past Emiliano Martinez as the clock reached 94 minutes and 26 seconds.

Arsenal were furious when the final whistle went just after they had won a corner, probably showing more determination in those fruitless appeals to referee Martin Atkinson than at any stage of the match. Their season is fizzling out fast and it is hard to see any quick fix that will let them close the gap to the best in England and Europe.

Lionel Messi is reportedly set to re-sign with Barcelona.

The Argentina star is out of contract at Camp Nou next year, but is seemingly set to extend his stay with the LaLiga giants a little longer.

Messi, 32, has spent his entire professional career at Barcelona – and he may yet end up a one-club player.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI TO EXTEND BARCELONA CONTRACT UNTIL 2023

Messi will extend his contract at Barcelona until 2023, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The report says the forward will get to decide if he wants to leave the club before then.

Messi is enjoying another fine season with Barcelona, scoring 26 goals in 33 games in all competitions.

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- Tottenham want to hold onto their stars. The Telegraph reports chairman Daniel Levy is eager to keep Spurs' best players, including Harry Kane – who has been linked to Real Madrid – and Dele Alli and Son Heung-min.

- It remains to be seen if Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will stay at Arsenal. CalcioMercato reports the forward – out of contract until 2021 – is open to a move to Inter, but the Gabon international is not among the Serie A club's top choices if they need to replace Lautaro Martinez, who is wanted by Barcelona.

- Madrid are reportedly eager to sign Rennes midfielder Eduardo Camavinga. But Sport says the Ligue 1 club are working to extend the the 17-year-old's contract, with his deal running until 2022.

- Liverpool could be set to make changes. The Sun reports Xherdan Shaqiri, Divock Origi and Dejan Lovren could make exits, while Marko Grujic and Harry Wilson may leave on permanent deals. It also says Liverpool are set to give Naby Keita one more season to prove his worth.

- Borussia Dortmund seem some way off landing Birmingham City teenager Jude Bellingham. Bild reports the Bundesliga club have offered just a little more than €20million (£17.9m) for Bellingham, who reportedly has a release clause of €35m (£31.4m).

- Empoli midfielder Samuele Ricci is reportedly catching the eye. CalcioMercato says Milan have kept an eye on the 18-year-old, while Napoli and Borussia Dortmund are also said to be interested.

Mikel Arteta is confident Arsenal can persuade star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to extend his stay with the club.

The 30-year-old's current deal at Emirates Stadium expires in June 2021 and he told French football programme Telefoot his next move represented a "turning point in my career".

Aubameyang also expressed frustration over the lack of progress on extension talks with Arsenal, where he has scored 61 goals in 97 appearances since joining from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018.

"We have many discussions with Pierre, his family and his agent. I'm pretty positive we can find the right agreement with all parties," Arteta told a virtual news conference ahead of the Gunners' Premier League return at Manchester City on Wednesday.

"It's our responsibility to make him feel that this is the right next step in his career.

"For us to do that he needs to feel valued. I think he needs to feel that he belongs to us and we want him. and then he really needs to believe that we can take this club forward the way we want to do.

"He's going to be a key player to do that. At the moment I am extremely happy with how he's been performing and behaving.

"I have a really good relationship with him where we can discuss a lot of things face to face. So far, as far as I'm aware, I think he is happy at the club."

In terms of Aubameyang's frustrations over a delay in negotiations, Arteta suggested this could simply be an inevitable consequence of the coronavirus lockdown that made its presence felt throughout elite sport.

"In a different context we would have liked to do things much quicker," he added.

"We were really tight with time and communications as well.

"Obviously these unpreceded times bring a lot of uncertainty. Things are getting clearer and clearer every day that we are getting a step closer to playing football. I'm looking forward to it."

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has challenged Arsenal to prove why he should sign a new contract, saying the Gunners "hold the keys" over his future.

The Arsenal captain is set to enter the final year of his deal at the Emirates Stadium with talks about renewed terms at an impasse.

Aubameyang has been prolific for Arsenal since signing from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018, scoring 49 Premier League goals in 75 top-flight appearances.

But the Gabon striker is yet to lift silverware with Arsenal and Aubameyang, who has been linked with the likes of Manchester United, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, hinted that his ambitions for trophies must be matched before he commits to a new contract.

"Recently I have not received an offer to extend," he told Telefoot. "But, of course, we have had exchanges with the club for a fair few months now.

"They know very well why so far nothing has happened. They have the keys. It is up to them to do their work and, after that, we will see how things go.

"It is a turning point in my career, and I will be very frank with everyone. It will certainly be a very difficult decision to make. I still haven't decided and we will see. It will maybe be the most important decision of my career.

"All players want to win titles. Everyone is going to ask the question 'does he want to win them at Arsenal or somewhere else?'

"But, as I said, the future will tell us. As I have said already, the club has the keys to this. I am hungry to win titles, and whatever my decision, I intend to fight to win titles. To be clear, nothing has been decided."

Arsenal return to Premier League action after a three-month enforced hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic with a trip to Manchester City on Wednesday.

Mikel Arteta's men are ninth in the table, eight points adrift of fourth place and the Champions League places.

The Gunners can still win the FA Cup this term, though, and face Sheffield United in the quarter-finals later this month.

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