Unai Emery has been Arsenal manager for less than a month, but that’s evidently long enough for him to realise that his players aren’t very good. According to the Mirror, the Spaniard has decided he’d happily sell everyone in the Gunners’ squad with the exception of five players.
Annoyingly, the Mirror only knows who one of these players is: Hector Bellerin. But it’s never been a publication to let the absence of facts get in the way of a good story. So it helpfully tells us who it reckons the other four are too: Alexandre Lacazette, Granit Xhaka, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
That would essentially leave the likes of Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Laurent Koscielny and, well, there’s no point listing them all – everyone else! – on the transfer list. Even poor old Stephan Lichsteiner who only joined two weeks ago.
Although the same article states that Emery wants to tie down Ramsey to a new contract, which is confusing.
Either way, it would make sense for the Gunners to buy some new players to replace the ones Emery doesn’t like – and they are. The Telegraph says the club are “closing in” on a £48m double swoop for Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno and Sampdoria’s Uruguayan midfielder Lucas Torreira.
Arsenal also continue to be linked with Sevilla midfielder Steven Nzonzi (Mirror) but it seems unlikely they would sign the former Blackburn man if they get Torreira, who plays a similar role. Then again, if Emery is selling 80 percent of his squad he’ll need all the new players he can get.
Among the first to leave the Emirates will be Jack Wilshere, who can now count Southampton among the clubs trying to sign him for free when his contract expires on 1 July (Mirror).
Eden Hazard keen on Real Madrid transfer
Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard has spoken out on speculation linking him with a transfer to Real Madrid, admitting that a move to the Bernabeu “would interest” him, especially if the Blues are “less good” than they were last season (which would take some doing).
“I will wait and see whether the manager stays or goes,” Hazard added, and he probably won’t have to wait long because the Mail says Antonio Conte’s contract will be terminated this week after the club agreed a £9.5m compensation package for the Italian and his staff.
Replacing him will be the Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri, for whom Chelsea have similarly reached a £3.5m compensation agreement. It’s an expensive business, sacking managers all the time.
Among Sarri’s first Stamford Bridge targets, says the Express, will be Russia’s star midfielder Aleksandr Golovin, who is also allegedly wanted by Manchester United, Juventus and Arsenal.
READ MORE: Hazard hints at Real Madrid move
Meanwhile, Liverpool’s collapsed move for the Lyon midfielder Nabil Fekir could yet be revived, with the player’s agent telling French TV channel La Chaine Info, “It is not over! This is not the end of the story.” Sounds like the man who stood to make millions from the deal is struggling to let it go.
Elsewhere, West Ham have beaten Sevilla to the £22m signing of 21-year-old Toulouse centre-back Issa Diop (Star), Everton want to sign Sporting Lisbon winger Gelson Martins and Ajax’s 18-year-old defender Matthijs de Ligt (Telegraph) and Manchester City are “closing in” on a £46.5m deal for the Napoli midfielder Jorginho (Sky Sports). Just as they have been for the past 67 days.