Arsenal morning news: Mertesacker on opponent; Sagna exit would be 'wrong decision'

All the latest news and gossip from The Emirates stadium this morning.

Arsenal take on Liverpool in the early afternoon kick off today at Anfield - as they look to block out Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge once again.

A reminder of team news now - and the likes of Mathieu Flamini, Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, Kim Kallstrom and Yaya Sanogo remain out with suspension and injury respectively.

However Jack Wilshere and Mikel Arteta - who were both carrying knocks are expected to be fit.

Ahead of attempting to stop Liverpool star striker Luis Suarez, Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has admitted he, and many team-mates wanted the player to join in the summer.

Arsenal made a £40,000,001 million bid for Suarez in the summer - in what was one of 2013’s biggest transfer sagas.

And Mertesacker said of the transfer talk:

“He is just a pure striker and that is what comes out after the transfer requests and him saying: ‘It’s better for me to leave because I want to play Champions League.’ When we heard that Arsenal might be interested in him, obviously we were up for it and we thought, ‘Yeah, he would fit in.’ But after, we got [Mesut] Özil.”

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has warned right-back and contract rebel Bacary Sagna that he would be wrong to leave the club this summer.

The Frenchman’s contract expires at the end of the current season and he has so far failed to negotiate a new deal with the club - despite two previous rounds of talks.

With teams in Turkey, France and the Middle East said to be keen - Wenger has warned:

“I believe that his future is here and any other decision would be wrong. He is fantastic, not only a great player, but a fantastic attitude…I hope that, in the end, I am right. We are not close at the moment. Because he is a defender, we are ready to give him more than one year…I would like him to sign just now, but I have to accept it. It is his freedom, the decision belongs to him.”

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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