News, views and rumours relating to Arsenal in the past 24 hours.
Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey has insisted the Gunners must ‘fly out the blocks’ if they are to win the Premier League next term.
"We need to get off to a good start, put ourselves right into contention early on. We've always had to play catch up and hopefully we can make a better start this time,” explained the Welshman.
Following the Gunners 3-1 victory in Japan against Nagoya Grampus on Monday, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott ‘hijacked’ Aaron Ramsey video interview and joked about his lack of pace during the pre-season friendly.
Walcott also believes his achievement as Arsenal’s top scorer last term ‘went unnoticed’ but insisted it will help him build confidence ahead of next term.
"I was very proud of being top scorer, but it sort of went unnoticed, really," Walcott told the club's official website.
"I was very proud of myself last season - not just the goals, but the assists and what I contributed to the team itself. That has come from me believing in myself a bit more. “
Walcott echoed Ramsey’s sentiment that the Gunners must ‘hit the ground running’ when the new season kicks off in August.
“We know what we need to do this season. Everyone knows their jobs,” he explained.
“I think we can just take the positives out of the last 11 games of the season when we were undefeated. If we take that form into the start of the new season, we'll be in good stead. Everyone is at the top of their game at the moment. Everyone's very fit and come the start of the season, we'll be flying and hopefully I will be a part of that.”
In team news, fullback Nacho Monreal picked up a back injury while on holiday and will likely miss the start of the season as he recovers. That leaves manager Arsene Wenger with just Kieran Gibbs as his only option at left back as captain Thomas Vermaelen is also sidelined through injury and isn’t expected back for three months.
In transfer news, ESPN claims Arsenal are ‘preparing’ a new and improved £40 million bid for Liverpool’s Luis Suarez, despite his boss Brendan Rodgers insistence the club were not prepared to sell the Uruguayan striker unless a bid met Liverpool’s valuation of the player which, he claims, they have not yet received.
The Evening Standard asserts that Napoli’s bid could ‘derail’ Wenger’s transfer plans as Real Madrid will likely look to replace the Argentine with Luis Suarez if the transfer goes ahead.
The Independent reports that Arsenal are in ‘advanced negotiations’ over Bernard with a fee believed to have been agreed with the Brazilian youngster’s club Athletico Miner of £21 million with reports in France claiming the 20-year-old has signed a five-year contract with Arsenal worth £50,000 a week.
Arsene Wenger dismissed that Arsenal were interest in Bernard, however. Yet, The Express believes that this is a clear indication the rumours of Bernard’s imminent arrival could indeed be true.
As for the player himself, Bernard refused to ‘rule out’ a move to Arsenal.
"In a week as important as this one, I do not wanna talk about it. I want to talk about the game," he said.
"I do not want to be rude or ignorant to anyone. I want to talk about the game. What will happen after Wednesday, I do not know."
Meanwhile, the Gunners are also linked with a £30 million bid for Salvio of Benfica.
Elsewhere, Manchester United manager David Moyes has reiterated that Wayne Rooney is not for sale and will remain with the Red Devils next term, despite confirmed interest from Arsenal and London rivals Chelsea.
Finally, The Express reports that Athletico Madrid remain ‘hopeful’ of signing Santi Cazorla after Diego Simeone refuses to dismiss rumours the Spanish side were chasing the Arsenal midfielder.
“Until the window is closed, anything is possible,” he is reported to have said.
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