Arsenal morning news: Team news, Marica snub and Cazorla for Napoli

News and gossip from The Emirates including Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta, Nicklas Bendtner, Ciprian Marica, Julian Draxler, Marco Reus and Santi Cazorla.

Let’s start with team news for the game with Stoke City this afternoon, and there have not been many new developments. It does however appear increasingly likely that Mikel Arteta has been declared fit to start from the bench against The Potters - as rumours on Twitter circulate he came through his medical unscathed.

There also rumours that Nicklas Bendtner could be on the bench for the game - if he played it would be his first game for Arsenal since August 2011.

Otherwise, the likes of Santi Cazorla, Yaya Sanogo, Tomas Rosicky, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Abou Diaby and Lukas Podolski are all out of the game with respective injury problems.

Kick-off is at 13:00.

Reported free agent striker target Ciprian Marica is going to turn down Arsenal for North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

Arsenal have been strongly linked with a move for the former Schalke 04 striker this summer, as they seek striker options to act as back up for Olivier Giroud.

But Spurs are also after a new striker as Emmanuel Adebayor is forced to train with the development squad by Andre Villas-Boas - and it is now reported that he has chosen Tottenham over Arsenal, West Ham and Fiorentina.

Arsenal free agent striker target 'punches' paparazzo at his apartment

Aaron Ramsey has been speaking ahead of the game with Stoke City - about how he will greet Ryan Shawcross.

The Potters centre back broke Ramsey’s leg in two places with a horror challenge in 2010 but the in-form Welshman admits the memories of the incident are now gone.

But while he will shake hands with Shawcross this afternoon he was quick to point out the pair are far from friends.

Arsenal are being tentatively linked with January moves in excess of £30 million each for German internationals Julian Draxler and Marco Reus of Schalke 04 and Borussia Dortmund respectively.

Finally, and it is reported that Santi Cazorla could return from his injury a lot earlier than expected. The Spaniard was supposed to be out until after the international break but it is reported he could actually return in time for the game with Napoli in the Champions League on the 1st October.

Thomas Vermaelen is set to start against West Brom in the Carling Cup this week, in another injury boost.


image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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