Arsenal transfer news and gossip: Thomas Lemar plan, ‘next Kante’ wanted, Mkhitaryan for Kluivert swap

talkSPORT rounds up all the latest Arsenal transfer news and gossip…

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Ozil and Emery had a turbulent relationship at Arsenal
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Thomas Lemar

Arsenal could sign Thomas Lemar in a swap deal for Alexandre Lacazette with Atletico Madrid chasing the Gunners striker. 

Lacazette has struggled this season but is wanted in Spain, and AS claim Arsenal could make the most of Atleti’s interest by finally signing their long-term target Lemar. 

The north Londoners have wanted France international Lemar since he was a star for Monaco but missed out on his signing in 2017.

He has struggled in Spain so a swap deal could benefit all parties involved.

Ibrahima Diallo

Arsenal are interested in signing Brest midfielder Ibrahima Diallo, the Metro claim.

The 21-year-old has enjoyed a breakthrough season at the French club after joining from Monaco last summer. 

His performances have drawn comparisons to Chelsea star N’Golo Kante, who has won two Premier League titles. 

Leicester had a £16million bid rejected for Diallo in January, but Arsenal could win the race for his signature this summer.

Justin Kluivert

Arsenal could offer Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Roma in a bid to sign Justin Kluivert, the Mirror say.

Mkhitaryan is on a season-long loan with the Serie A club, with the Gunners keen to offload the playmaker on a permanent deal. 

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has placed his faith in youth by playing Eddie Nketiah and Bukayo Saka this season.

And 21-year-old Kluivert could benefit from this approach next.

Mesut Ozil 

Unai Emery has opened up on his hellish 18 months in charge Arsenal, highlighting Mesut Ozil among his biggest issues.

Emery’s difficult tenure in north London was brought to an end last November after Arsenal suffered their worst winless run since 1992.

Emery said: “I spoke a lot with Ozil. He has to be self‑critical too, analyse his attitude and commitment.

“I tried with all my might to help Ozil. Throughout my career, talented players have reached their best level with me. I was always positive, wanting him to play, be involved.

“In pre-season I told him I wanted to help recover the best Ozil. I wanted a high level of participation and commitment in the dressing room. I respected him and thought he could help.

“He could have been a captain but the dressing room didn’t want him to be. That’s not what I decided; that’s what the players decided.

“Captains are ones who have to keep defending the club, the coach, team-mates.”

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Arsenal midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan has spoken about his future plans.

The 31-year-old winger, who is currently on loan at Roma, said: “I do not have a lot of time left until the end of my football career, but I’m pretty sure that I’m doing my best to achieve more.

“At the end of your football career everyone will remember what you have done for the club, what titles you have won.

“It’s very important to leave a positive note by winning a trophy or doing something good for the club.

“I always had a dream to play in the best European Championships and the best European clubs. And I’ve fulfilled my dream.

“I’m working hard and mixing my talent with hard work. It’s not always easy, but sometimes you must make a sacrifice.”

Wilfried Zaha

Arsenal target Wilfried Zaha will reportedly be on Newcastle’s transfer wish-list if their £300million Saudi takeover goes through.

The Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), which is led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is close to buying the Magpies off incumbent owner Mike Ashley.

And The Sun say Crystal Palace star Zaha is one of the big names on their transfer wish list.

Zaha, who is valued at around £80m by Palace chiefs, can close to joining Arsenal last summer.

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Arsenal are interested in Thomas Partey
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Thomas Partey

Arsenal want Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey so much they could offer Alexandre Lacazette in a bid to get the deal done.

The Gunners are eager to sign a new holding midfielder this summer and £50million-rated Ghanaian Partey has become one of Europe’s best in that position.

But Arsenal have limited funds to spend and so The Sun claim they are prepared to offer Lacazette plus cash for the 26-year-old.

Partey still has three years remaining on his contract at Atletico and the La Liga club are looking to tie him down to a new deal.

Meanwhile, Partey’s father has confirmed the Atletico ace has held talks with Arsenal.

He said: “I called my son after hearing the rumours and he told me that the rumours are true.

“He told me they are holding talks between him and Arsenal. It all depends on the offer Atletico are demanding.

“If he goes to Arsenal fine, they have a lot supporters in Ghana. I will be happy if he decides to move to Arsenal.

“What they are discussing now is how Atletico will release him.”

Nabil Fekir

Arsenal are interested in signing Real Betis and France midfielder Nabil Fekir this summer.

Marca claim the Gunners are keen to take the 26-year-old on loan given their tight transfer budget.

But they reportedly face competition from AC Milan who are looking to complete a permanent deal.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Manchester City have joined the race to sign Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, The Express claim.

The 30-year-old is out of contract in the summer of 2021 and is attracting interest from Barcelona, Inter Milan and Real Madrid.

The Gabon international has been a standout performer for the Gunners since moving from Dortmund for £46million in 2018, netting 49 Premier League goals in just 75 appearances for the club.

Jack Wilshere

Jack Wilshere has admitted he had doubts over signing for Arsenal when they approached him as a youngster.

Speaking to The Lockdown Tactics podcast, he said: “I was playing for Luton and we were playing against Barnet and the ref was actually scouting for Arsenal.

“He came up to my dad afterwards and told him he wanted me to come along. He didn’t even say it was a trial. He just wanted to sign me for Arsenal.

“It was strange because there must have been some sort of transfer window where that sort of thing could happen but, I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t want to go.

“I was 15 minutes from Luton; to get to London every day my dad with his job would have to finish work early.

“My dad didn’t put any pressure on me but at the time, I didn’t know what to do. I remember it so clearly, I was nine and I was in the park with my mate.

“My dad pulled up in his little red van and said, ‘this is your last day you’ve got to make a decision’.

“I said to my mate, ‘I’m going to Arsenal’, and the rest is history. Fair play to my dad because we didn’t have much as a kid, he was a plumber.

“He used to finish work at 4pm, then we’d be out the door and it would take an hour to get to London from where I lived and that was like three times a week from when I was 10.”

Pablo Mari

Pablo Mari has told talkSPORT he wants to stay at Arsenal for ‘many more years’ to come – and hopes to emulate what defensive partner David Luiz has achieved in the Premier League.

The centre-back arrived on loan from Flamengo in January, with the Gunners expected to make the deal permanent in the summer for around £13.5million.

He said: “I’ve been at five clubs over the last four years. This is a footballer’s life. If you want to play football and you want to improve [to get to a big club] then every year you need to move.

“Maybe when you find a club that is good for you, then you can stay and improve with that club.

“I have found myself here at Arsenal. It is a really good option for me.

“I want to stay here and improve as a player and a person. I want to be here for many more years.”

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Pablo Mari is loving life at Arsenal
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Layvin Kurzawa

Arsenal are reportedly at risk of missing out on key transfer target Layvin Kurzawa.

The Paris St-Germain defender has been heavily touted with a move to the Gunners this summer.

The 27-year-old French left-back was set to leave PSG on a free but Sport claim the Ligue 1 club are now looking to extend his contract.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Arsenal’s star striker Aubameyang has been urged to join a ‘more ambitious club’ amid rumours concerning his future at the Emirates.

The president of the Gabon Football Association, Pierre Alain Mounguengui, told ESPN: “Right now, he’s at Arsenal, and he’s won nothing here, so it’s a collective failing,” Mounguengui

“I don’t want to say that Arsenal aren’t ambitious, but Arsenal don’t have ambitions as high as some other clubs as far as Europe is concerned.

“If Pierre could secure a contract with a more ambitious club, he’d definitely find his place there.

“All Gabonese people see Aubameyang at this level, where he can now end his career at a major club and, above all, beyond individual trophies, to bring home a major competition.”

David Luiz

Arsenal defender David Luiz has discussed his ‘emotional’ Chelsea exit.

He told ESPN Brazil: “I was always very happy at Chelsea and then the understanding of knowing that my cycle was over, even though I thought it wasn’t going to end that way, in a quick decision.

“I decided to leave Chelsea before I even had the door open at Arsenal. I know that Arsenal weren’t in a great moment, they had a weight on their defence.

“It wasn’t easy at first. Not only [in terms] of adaptation, but about taking the criticism, the sadness of many Chelsea fans for not understanding my personal decisions.

“My respect and love for Chelsea has always been true. It was difficult to deal with the emotional part. Then playing, things were not happening on the pitch, the results weren’t coming.

“Unai Emery is a great coach and a great person, but things weren’t happening for him either. So you get into a stir and try to stay upright and strong.

“And I often wondered why this decision was made. Why is this happening?”

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