Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Aubameyang to talk with Chelsea manager Tuchel after being stripped of captaincy

ARSENAL saw off West Ham at the Emirates to go into the Premier League top-four.

But former captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looks to be heading for an Emirates exit.

The striker has been stripped of his Arsenal captaincy and has now been frozen out of the squad indefinitely.

However, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has offered the striker a sympathetic ear if he needs one.

Tuchel, who coached Aubameyang at Dortmund, said: "I will [speak to him] at some point. I feel sorry that he is in trouble.

"I believe in his positive character but I am not involved in this situation or his club. It is just about my picture & relationship".

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  • Kostas Lianos

    GETTING IN TUCH

    Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel says he will contact Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after he was stripped of the captain's armband by boss Mikel Arteta.

    Tuchel, who worked with Aubameyang at Borussia Dortmund, said after being asked whether he is planning to get in contact with the player: "I will at some point.

    "I feel sorry that he is in trouble.

    "I believe in his positive character but I am not involved in this situation or his club. It is just about my picture and relationship"

  • Kostas Lianos

    "NEXT IN LINE"

    Arsenal stand-in captain Alexandre Lacazette was hailed by manager Mikel Arteta after his display against West Ham, which saw him wearing the armband following the drama surrounding Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

    Arteta said: "Alexandre is the next in line and he is taking it the way everybody saw, with such pride and commitment.

    "I am really happy with the way he played. Absolutely he has embraced the captaincy, but Laca has always been like that in the dressing room.

    "You see the way he acts with the young players, his willingness to help. It’s in his nature, he is not a selfish player, he is happy to make the rest better"

  • Kostas Lianos

    WORK OF ART

    Former Chelsea star Joe Cole has backed Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta's decision to strip Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the captain's armband.

    Cole told BT Sport: "I think it's a brave decision but I think it's the right decision.

    "This wouldn't have been the first incident and when I look at [Patrick] Vieira, [Tony] Adams, etc, they had problems, which were well documented, but they were leaders.

    "I was never comfortable with Aubameyang in that leadership group.

    "There are a lot of people in this stadium that would go through walls to wear that Arsenal shirt. I think it's sacrilege for players to be late, I really do"

  • Kostas Lianos

    ARSENAL 2-0 WEST HAM

    Arsenal leapfroged West Ham to move into the top four of the Premier League table for the first time in 14 months thanks to a 2-0 victory at the Emirates.

    The Gunners picked up an enormous victory despite all the drama surrounding Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's demotion as captain.

    Second half goals from 20-year-old Gabriel Martinelli and 21-year-old substitute Emile Smith Rowe gave the Gunners a deserved victory.

    It could have been worse for the Hammers had it not been for Lukasz Fabianski's spotkick save to deny Alexandre Lacazette, who wore the armband, and a number of heroic blocks from stand-in centre-backs Craig Dawson and Issa Diop.

    Vladimir Coufal was shown a controversial red card for his part in the penalty decision

    GETTY IMAGES
  • Joshua Mbu

    MORNING, ARSENAL FANS

    Mikel Arteta's Arsenal vision is zooming into focus faster than anyone dreamed of just three months ago.

    The stylish Gunners overhauled West Ham to go fourth as next-generation leaders Gabriel Martinelli and sub Emile Smith Rowe sunk David Moyes' men 2-0 at the Emirates.

    Skipper Alexandre Lacazette had a penalty saved by ex-Arsenal keeper Lukasz Fabianski inbetween those two second-half goals.

    And Hammers' defender Vladimir Coufal saw red for picking up a second booking when he fouled Lacazette for the penalty.

    Kieran Tierney hit the bar, while Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel also went close for Arteta's youthful and improving side.

     Meanwhile, Lacazette has pushed his credentials for permanently replacing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as captain.

    The French frontman said: "For me a leader is one who wants to help his team-mates, not just when everything is fine but as well when something goes wrong for them and they have issues.

    "I just want to help my team-mates sometimes and be there for them, to remind them what's important.

    "I want to help the young players because I used to be the same as them and I know what it means to play for a club that you love. For me there are different aspects to being a leader."

    But former Arsenal and England forward Tony Woodcock believes Arteta should bring disciplinary outcast Aubameyang back – as his annual £250,000 wages are too costly to waste.

    Woodcock told SunSport: “I would like to think things might quieten down, and I would like to think he might learn from it and apologise.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    XMAS FOOTBALL IN DOUBT

    Football's Covid crisis is spiralling out of control.

    Burnley’s Premier League home match against Watford was called off last night less than THREE hours before kick-off — following an outbreak in the Hornets’ squad.

    Three Championship games scheduled for Saturday — Reading v Luton, Millwall against Preston and Swansea’s trip to QPR — have already been postponed.

    And Prem chiefs also turned down requests from other top-flight clubs to scrap fixtures this week.

    Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers is fuming that tonight’s home clash against Tottenham has NOT been called off — even accusing League bosses of showing bias towards the bigger clubs.

    On the day the UK recorded its highest number of daily Covid cases — 78,610 — since the beginning of the pandemic, several more Prem matches this weekend were under threat.

    And there are serious fears this could wipe out the festive programme, leaving the sport in crisis.

    Watford’s home clash against Crystal Palace on Saturday is in doubt as a result of last night’s Turf Moor cancellation — due to the high number of first-team players involved.

  • Ian Tuckey

    'ARTETA MUST RECALL AUBA'

    EXCLUSIVE: Ex-Arsenal favourite Tony Woodcock believes Mikel Arteta will have no choice but to bring Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in from the cold, writes OSCAR PAUL.

    The ex-Gunners forward hit out at Aubameyang – who was stripped of the captaincy by Arteta – for 'disrespecting' the club’s history and traditions.

    The Gabon forward has been dropped for the last two games after arriving back late from an authorised trip to France.

    He only signed a three-year contract extension last September on around £250,000 per year.

    And Woodcock, who was Arsenal’s top league scorer in each of his four seasons at Arsenal from 1983-86, reckons an olive branch will have to be extended if the north Londoners can't sell him.

    Speaking to SunSport, the 42-capped England striker said: “Aubameyang is costing the club a lot of money, so to get a return on that he’s got to score goals.

    “That’s the only way he can repay Arsenal for giving him this extended contract.

    “I would like to think things might quieten down, and I would like to think he might learn from it and apologise."

  • Ian Tuckey

    F/T:ARSENAL 2 WEST HAM 0

    Impressive Arsenal leapfrogged West Ham into fourth place.

    Gabriel Martinelli and sub Emile Smith Rowe bagged neat second-half goals.

    And inbetween times Hammers' defender Vladimir Coufal saw red for his second booking when he conceded an Alexandre Lacazette penalty that ex-Gunners' stopper Lukasz Fabianski kept out.

    Click on our match blog HERE for all the reaction as West Ham dropped down to fifth.

  • Ian Tuckey

    GOAL! ARSENAL 2 WEST HAM 0

    Emile Smith Rowe underlined the Gunners' excellent display by firing home their second goal on 87 minutes.

    Takehiro Tomiyasu's tackle set up Bukayo Saka to surge clear for a sharp counter-attacking strike.

    Click on our match blog HERE for all the action and reaction.

  • Ian Tuckey

    GUNNERS’ PENALTY SAVED

    LATEST – ARSENAL 1 WEST HAM 0: Ex-Gunners’ keeper Lukasz Fabianski guessed correctly to keep out an Alexandre Lacazette’s penalty and stop Arsenal doubling their lead against the ten-man Hammers.

    Czech defender Vladimír Coufal saw red for West Ham as their bid to hold onto fourth place seems to be fading.

    Click on our match blog HERE for all the action and reaction.

  • Ian Tuckey

    GOAL! ARSENAL 1 WEST HAM 0

    Gabriel Martinelli latched onto Alexandre Lacazette’s sweet pass to angle the Gunners’ clinical opener on 48 minutes.

    Click on our match blog HERE for all the action and reaction.

  • Ian Tuckey

    VIRUS BLOW TO GUNNERS' TV SERIES

    THE latest 'All or Nothing' series on Arsenal is under threat from coronavirus with TV cameras set to be banned from Premier League dressing rooms.

    Several clubs have reported hikes in positive Covid tests throughout their squad, causing some matches to be postponed.

    According to the Daily Mail, Premier League sides have been sent notice of changes to their broadcasting and media operations restrictions.

    Cameras were formerly allowed into dressing rooms for five minutes before kick off. 

    That was then axed due to the pandemic but has since started to be reintroduced as broadcasting operations edged back to normality.

    But the latest report suggests the filming will once again be prohibited on a match day.

    And that could have implications on Arsenal's 'All or Nothing' series, which Amazon are currently filming.

    Manager Mikel Arteta admitted at the start of the season that he was powerless to stop Amazon from filming Arsenal.

  • Ian Tuckey

    H/T: ARSENAL 0 WEST HAM 0

    The Gunners nearly bagged an opener just before the break.

    Lukasz Fabianski foiled Alexandre Lacazette, with Gabriel Martinelli firing the rebound wide.

    Click on our match blog HERE for all the action and reaction.

  • Ian Tuckey

    LACA: I'M A LEADER

    Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette has thrown his hat into the ring to replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as Arsenal captain.

    And the Frenchman, 30, has admitted that Tottenham skipper Hugo Lloris would be one of his biggest influences in the role.

    In a glossy feature for the Gunners' matchday programme produced ahead of their clash with West Ham on Wednesday night, Lacazette outlined the skills that he feels make him a good leader.

    He said: "For me a leader is one who wants to help his team-mates, not just when everything is fine but as well when something goes wrong for them and they have issues.

    "I just want to help my team-mates sometimes and be there for them, to remind them what's important.

    "I want to help the young players because I used to be the same as them and I know what it means to play for a club that you love. For me there are different aspects to being a leader."

  • Ian Tuckey

    COMPUTER PREDICTS UTD SURGE

    A Premier League supercomputer predicts Manchester United will claw a top four finish this season.

    But fierce rivals Manchester City will end up as Premier League champions for the second year running.

    According to bettingexpert.com, City are 1/2 favourites to take the title after demolishing Leeds 7-0 last night.

    And the supercomputer predicts Pep Guardiola’s men will indeed finish in top spot come the end of the season.

    City will apparently come in ahead of Liverpool, who end in second but are still in with a shot at 3/1 to be eventual champions.

    Chelsea are a bit behind at 6/1, and the supercomputer believes they will fall short with a third-place finish.

    As for the top four battle, it’s a four-horse race between United, Spurs, West Ham and Arsenal.

    But it’s the Red Devils set to come out on top after sacking Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and replacing him with Ralf Rangnick.

  • Ian Tuckey

    UEFA BACK ENGLISH FOOTBALL

    UEFA have given a public show of backing for the FA by announcing a glamour showdown fixture in London in June, writes MARTIN LIPTON.

    Euro chief Aleksander Ceferin has publicly dismissed any long-term consequences for the Euro 2020 Final chaos despite England being ordered to play their next Nations League home match behind closed doors.

    Ceferin’s words were backed up by deeds as Uefa announced London will host a “Finalissima” clash between European champions Italy and South American counterparts Argentina on June 1.

    The ground was not confirmed, although Wembley would be a front-runner alongside the Emirates and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

    And in a further signal, Uefa also said it was opening a shared office with the South American confederation Conmebol in London early next year.

    Ceferin said: “It is with great pride that we are relaunching such a prestigious national team trophy to the delight of football lovers across the globe.

    “We are very much looking forward to explore new opportunities together and we are eagerly awaiting the Finalissima in London in June 2022.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    TOON URGED TO TARGET LINGARD, TIERNEY & RAMSEY

    Joe Cole wants Newcastle to players target proven Premier League performers like Jesse Lingard, Kieran Tierney and Aaron Ramsey.

    Former England and Chelsea midfielder Cole believes the Toon’s best route to survival is to splash out on experience in January.

    Manchester United midfielder Lingard has been linked with a return to last season’s loan club West Ham, as well as Newcastle and Everton.

    Scotland left-back Tierney has only just regained his Arsenal place after stand-in Nuno Tavares shone in recent weeks.

    And ex-Gunners’ midfielder Ramsey is tipped for a Prem reunion following two stuttering years with Juventus.

  • Ian Tuckey

    PREM CLUBS THREATEN AFCON BOYCOTT

    Premier League clubs are threatening to boycott the Africa Cup of Nations – with the tournament on the brink of collapse.

    AFCON is due to take place between January 9 and February 6 in Cameroon leaving the majority of the top flight without key stars for over a month.

    But the current Covid-19 situation – including the recent spread of the Omicron variant – has left the competition in tatters, in danger of being postponed for a THIRD time.

    The European Club Association has written to the Confederation of African Football and Fifa over their concerns for player safety following a recent board meeting.

    They have also suggested teams could REFUSE to release their players if certain principles were not seen to be followed.

    The letter read: “The pandemic and its associated implications raised three fundamental concerns for clubs when it comes to the release of players to national teams.

    “First and foremost, the clubs’ duty to ensure each and every player’s wellbeing is properly protected. Second, that clubs are not forced to be without players for club competition matches.

    “Third, that all players resume their activities with their clubs following national duty in a timely fashion, as per the applicable rules.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    NO-GO JOAO

    Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has dismissed rumours suggesting Joao Felix is leaving the club.

    That poses as a transfer blow for both Arsenal and Manchester United, who have been linked with Felix.

    Cerezo told Mundo Deportivo: “He is a magnificent player.

    “I think he does not want to go. For us he is non-transferable. We bet on him as in his day we bet with Sergio Aguero”

  • Ian Tuckey

    ARTETA’S 4 PROBLEMS

    4 – JANUARY SIGNINGS: If there's one thing that Arsenal need to add to their team, it's goals.

    Only Smith Rowe, Aubameyang and Odegaard have scored more than twice in the top-flight this term.

    And with Aubameyang to potentially leave in January, while fellow striker Alexandre Lacazette has found the back of the net twice, the need for a centre-forward is high.

    The Gunners are understood to be desperate to bolster their frontline next month, with Fiorentina's Dusan Vlahovic a top priority.

    Meanwhile Everton star Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been heavily linked with a move to the capital as a replacement for Lacazette.

    A midfielder is also believed to be on the radar with Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny set to feature at the Africa Cup of Nations.

    Paris Saint-Germain ace Georginio Wijnaldum is said to be a loan target for Arsenal, meanwhile Lille's Renato Sanches could be brought in to provide cover.

  • Ian Tuckey

    ARTETA’S 4 PROBLEMS

    3 – NICOLAS PEPE: The Ivorian winger is facing an uncertain future at Arsenal following the emergence of academy graduates Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe.

    And even Brazilian starlet Gabriel Martinelli is ahead of the £72million club-record signing in a sign that Pepe has fallen down the pecking order.

    Pepe has been limited to just 12 minutes of Premier League football spread across the last seven fixtures.

    He is yet to get on the score sheet in the top-flight this season, with his only strike coming in the Carabao Cup against West Brom.

    Failure to be named in the starting XI against the Hammers would only add to the claims that he isn't favoured by Arteta.

    And if that's the case, the Spaniard will have to look to offload the ex-Lille star in the New Year.

  • Ian Tuckey

    ARTETA’S 4 PROBLEMS

    2 – AWAY FORM: Arsenal have picked up an impressive 19 points out of a possible 24 from their home matches this campaign – conceding just six goals.

    But their form on the road is a stark contrast from their matches at the Emirates, with the Gunners losing their last three away games.

    In total, Arsenal have lost five Premier League games outside of North London this term, with the club tasting just one away victory since the September 18 win over Burnley.

    With trips to struggling Leeds and Norwich to follow after the clash against West Ham, Arteta will be targeting two victories to keep the pressure on their top four rivals.

  • Ian Tuckey

    ARTETA'S 4 PROBLEMS

    1 – CAPTAINCY: Drama continues to surround Arsenal, and this week is no different as it was announced on Tuesday that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been stripped of his captaincy.

    The centre-forward, 32, had the armband taken off him due to disciplinary issues after arriving back from an authorised trip to France a day late.

    Arteta now has a big task on his hands over who he entrusts next, with fans split over whether former captain Granit Xhaka should be reinstated.

    Other players in contention to succeed Aubameyang include Kieran Tierney, Martin Odegaard, Ben White, Gabriel, Alexandre Lacazette and Aaron Ramsdale.

    With Arteta favouring to start youthful teams, it remains to be seen whether one of the squad's younger players will inherit the captain's armband.

  • Ian Tuckey

    ARTETA'S 4 KEY PROBLEMS

    Mikel Arteta has four key problems he must sort out at Arsenal if he wishes to guide the club back into the Champions League.

    The Gunners can leapfrog London rivals West Ham into the top four should they beat David Moyes' side at the Emirates on Wednesday.

    But failure to pick up the three points will see their chances take a huge hit as they will remain behind fifth-placed Manchester United.

    Here SunSport's JAKE LAMBOURNE takes a look at what Arteta must address if he looks to secure Champions League football for the first time since the 2016-17 season.

    CAPTAINCY
    AWAY FORM
    NICOLAS PEPE
    JANUARY SIGNINGS

  • Ian Tuckey

    VLAHOVIC LINKED TO UTD AND ARSENAL

    Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham have received a major transfer boost after January target Dusan Vlahovic rejected a record Fiorentina contract offer.

    Vlahovic has registered a staggering total of 17 goals and two assists in 18 matches across all competitions.

    The Viola’s chief exec Joe Barone told Repubblica: “We’ve offered Vlahovic the highest contract ever in the history of Fiorentina, several times.

    “Both Dusan and his agent made us realise that they do not want to accept. Our bid is still on the table”

    Source: Read Full Article