Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Odegaard move 'back on', Ruben Neves talks EXCLUSIVE, Aouar latest, Hibs reaction

ARSENAL lost their first pre-season game of the summer 2-1 to Hibs – a game in which new signing Nuno Tavares didn't play a part in.

Meanwhile deals for Houssem Aouar and Albert Sambi Lokonga are edging closer.

And The Sun can reveal that Ruben Neves' agent Jorge Mendes is in talks with the Gunners over a £35m move from Wolves.

Finally Arsenal could yet have a chance of landing Martin Odegaard with Real Madrid reportedly plotting a fire sale in order to land Kylian Mbappe.

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Stay up to date with all the latest news from the Emirates in our rolling blog…

  • Joe Brophy

    LU KIDDING?

    David Luiz has been lined up to play alongside Mario Balotelli – for Turkish minnows Adana Demirspor.

    The Brazil international, 34, is a free agent after his Arsenal contract expired two weeks ago.

    And club president Murat Sancak revealed talks are underway with Luiz and his advisors.

    He told Turkish media: "The discussions with David Luiz are going to continue. I hope we can soon reach an agreement.

    "When salaries are very high, one needs to negotiate a little.

    "We are getting ready for the new season, and I urge our fans to get ready as well.

    "We have signed a world-class star in Balotelli, and added Younes Belhanda to our squad.

    "We will sign three or four more players before the season begins."

  • Joe Brophy

    ODE TO JOY

    Martin Odegaard's return to Arsenal could be back on with Real Madrid set to axe seven players in their pursuit of Kylian Mbappe.

    According to Goal, a number of star names have been earmarked for exits including Wales winger Gareth Bale.

    Experienced first-teamers Isco and Marcelo are also reportedly up for sale after a quiet season largely spent on the bench.

    Dominican striker Mariano Diaz, once linked with Arsenal, is the fourth player up for grabs having scored just once in 2020-21.

    And Raphael Varane joins the names who Real are ready to wave goodbye to, for the right price.

    Dani Ceballos and Odegaard, both back from loan spells at Arsenal, are set to join up with the squad for the new campaign but Madrid would listen to 'significant' offers for either.

  • Joe Brophy

    EALING PROCESS

    Leader of the West London borough's authority, Peter Mason, described the youngster's remarkable rise.

    He said: “Just a few short years ago, Bukayo Saka was playing football on the Brentside Playing Fields and on the pitches at Greenford High.

    “Everyone in Ealing shares an incredible sense of pride that one of our own represented England at Wembley on Sunday.

    “His is a remarkable story of talent and achievement that everyone can take hope, inspiration and encouragement from.

    “Neither he nor any of the England squad should be subjected to the intolerant, racist abuse as they have been in the last 48 hours.

    “We don’t boo our heroes. We honour them.

    “I’m delighted therefore to nominate him to be the youngest ever recipient of the Freedom of the Borough.

    “I hope this will send a clear message that Saka is Ealing’s own, that we are proud of him, and that is one of our heroes.”

  • Joe Brophy

    F-EALING THE LOVE

    Arsenal's Bukayo Saka is set to be rewarded for his courage in the Euro 2020 final by being given the Freedom of Ealing.

    Born in the London borough in 2001, the England star will become the youngest-ever person to receive the honour.

    Ealing Council are the latest to pay tribute to Saka's bravery in stepping up for his country.

  • Joe Brophy

    GUNNER LOVE HM

    A reminder of why Arsenal fans are so desperate for Emile Smith-Rowe to stay at the club.

  • Joe Brophy

    SPURS SPURNED

    Former Arsenal target Jules Kounde is reportedly snubbing Tottenham’s advances in the hope of securing a move to a Champions League club.

    Marca claim that the Sevilla ace is keen on a move to Manchester United with the Old Trafford side set to battle for Europe’s top club prize next season.

    And Football journalist Fabrizio Romano admitted that the Red Devils could be set to join the race for the defender’s signature with the club looking to strengthen their defensive options.

    Romano told the Here We Go Podcast: “We need to keep an eye on Manchester United for Kounde.

    “It’s true they want Varane but Kounde has always been on the list. The situation is open.”

  • Joe Brophy

    S-MART DECISION

    Former Arsenal star Emi Martinez has been named in the Copa America Team of the Tournament.

    Lionel Messi helped inspire Argentina to the trophy to end the country’s 28-year wait for silverware with a narrow 1-0 win over Brazil.

  • Joe Brophy

    OLIVER TWIST

    Former Arsenal star Olivier Giroud is reportedly set to undergo his AC Milan medical on Friday as he edges closer to departing Chelsea.

    The 34-year-old is understood to have agreed a deal until 2023 at the San Siro after falling out of favour at Stamford Bridge.

    And according to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the 2018 World Cup winner is close to joining Milan for a £850,000 fee.

    They state that he will earn around £50,000-a-week at the San Siro, with the Rossoneri having the option to keep him at the club until 2024.

    It has also been stated that Giroud is due to shortly arrive in Milan ahead of his proposed medical on Friday.

  • Joe Brophy

    ROWE YOUR BOAT

    Arsenal fans are desperate for the club to agree a new long-term deal with midfielder Emile Smith Rowe.

    The 20-year-old's existing contract runs out in 2023 and rumours suggest Premier League rivals Aston Villa are interested in signing him.

    Smith Rowe hit the headlines on Tuesday evening after scoring an excellent volley in the 2-1 friendly defeat to Scottish side Hibernian.

    And with Smith Rowe's new contract still to be signed, fans remain anxious about the player leaving for pastures new.

    Responding to a video of Smith Rowe's goal on Arsenal's official Twitter page, one fan wrote: "You know what to do. Announce his contract extension!"

    While another tweeted: "What a player, he will lead us to great things."

    And one replied: "Announce his new number and contract ASAP."

  • Joe Brophy

    POMPEY SHOCK

    Portsmouth have launched an investigation into claims academy players racially abused England stars in a sickening leaked group chat.

    A leaked group chat has been circulating on social media which appears to show Pompey youngsters sending vile messages to each other following England’s penalty shootout loss to Italy in the Euro 2020 final.

    Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka missed their spot-kicks at Wembley as the Italians lifted the trophy.

    A statement read: “Portsmouth Football Club are aware of images circulating on social media that allegedly originate from an academy Under-18 group chat and which are discriminatory in nature.

    “The club have launched an immediate investigation and will provide an update once this has been completed.”

  • Joe Brophy

    MORE FROM ARTETA ON SAKA

    Commenting on the racist abuse he was subject to, Arteta added: "Hopefully we can use this to make a strong statement and we have to stop racist abuse on social media.

    "And people using social media to hide and put people in really bad places. Hopefully the laws will be stronger.

    "We are all going to make a strong case out of that and it can make a big impact because I think it's the moment to put it right."

  • Joe Brophy

    CROWN JULES

    Arsenal target Jules Kounde has reportedly rejected the chance to move to rivals Spurs despite the club agreeing a £30million fee with Seville.

  • Joe Brophy

    ART DEALER

    Mikel Arteta believes Arsenal star Bukayo Saka's 'strong character' will help him withstand the racist abuse he has received online.

    Asked by Sky Sports whether he has been in contact with him, the Spanish gaffer said: "Yes, I have. We all have.

    "I have spoken to him and sent messages. He will be fine because he's such a strong character.

    "He has received a lot of love and support from the world of football, not only from Arsenal but with the national team and all the English fans because he doesn't deserve anything like he has been through.

    "He's had a phenomenal season and in football if you want to be part of the greatest you have to know at 19 that you will lose more than you win unfortunately in this game and there's no exception to that rule."

  • Joe Brophy

    MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

    Relive the action from Arsenal's first pre-season friendly.

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  • Joe Brophy

    LOK STOCK

    Arsenal still want Italian Euro 2020 star Manuel Locatelli – but they are reportedly only willing to pay £40million.

    The Sassuolo midfielder was one of the star performers as he helped his nation to win the European Championship for the first time since 1968.

    The 23-year-old has been linked with a transfer move to both Arsenal and Juventus.

    Mikel Arteta’s Gunners, who began their pre-season with a 2-1 defeat at Hibernian yesterday, are keen to get their hands on Locatelli.

    But Football Daily claims they are only willing to fork out £40m for him.

    Even if that fee is enough, they may face a tough task convincing the ace to choose them over Juventus.

    Locatelli is understood to prefer a move to the Serie A giants due to them being in the Champions League.

    But they are in dire straits financially and that could mean the Gunners are in a better position to secure his signature.

  • Gary Stonehouse

    GOOD MORNING GUNNERS FANS

    Arsenal’s pre-season got off to an awful start as they lost 2-1 at Hibernian.

    A defensive howler saw the Scots go ahead in Edinburgh.

    And Nicolas Pepe also missed a penalty as the Gunners struggled north of the border.

    Fans were not impressed with the display.

    And by half-time the phrase ‘#ArtetaOut’ was already trending on social media.

    Meanwhile, Jorge Mendes is still in contact with Arsenal technical director Edu over a move for Wolves star Ruben Neves.

    The Gunners are interested in the Portuguese midfielder as a potential new partner for Thomas Partey with Granit Xhaka linked to a switch to Roma this summer.

    And SunSport understands that Neves’ agent Mendes is in constant communication with Edu in an attempt to get a deal over the line as soon as possible. 

    However, the £35m price tag on Neves is still a stumbling block in the negotiations.

    Finally, Arsenal have reportedly approached Paris-Saint German about the availability of Thilo Kehrer.

    The Metro claims he is seen as an alternative option to £50million-rated Brighton star Ben White.

    Kehrer has struggled for minutes since joining PSG from Schalke in 2018.

    And with just two years left on his contract, the German could be allowed to leave this summer.

  • Anthony Chapman

    EXCLUSIVE BY JOSE MOURINHO

    The future is bright for English football — you only have to look at the number of excellent young players coming out of your academies to realise that.

    Sure, there is sadness and frustration at losing the Euro 2020 final to Italy.

    But if I compare the academies at Premier League clubs now to how they were when I first arrived in England in 2004, then the improvement is vast.

    I hope leading Premier League managers don’t just think of their own clubs but also the national team and that they give these young English guys more chances.

    READ THE REST OF JOSE’S THOUGHTS HERE

  • Anthony Chapman

    EXCLUSIVE BY CHARLIE WYETT

    Harry Maguire has paid tribute to England’s penalty takers — and admitted he would not have taken one for his country at such a young age.

    Maguire said: “When I was 19 or 20, I would have been standing there saying ‘I don’t want to take one’.

    "There is no chance I would have been putting my hand up at their age.

    “So look at the courage and bravery of these young lads, look at the age of Bukayo, Jadon and Marcus.

    “The things I have gone through have made me more confident and have given me belief.

    “I am able to handle those situations better, now I am happy to take one and I executed it well.

    “These people who are being abusive would not be able to handle the pressure.

    “It is the highest amount of pressure you will feel, so to do it at their age and to show such bravery should be applauded.

    “I spoke with the three lads afterwards. I have checked up with them and seen how they are but they are courageous lads.

    “They should be applauded rather than criticised.

    “I took a penalty in a play-off final shootout for Sheffield United when I was 19 but doing it for England is completely different.”

  • Anthony Chapman

    WORK OF ART

    Angry Gooners had #ArtetaOut trending by half-time as Arsenal lost their opening game of pre-season to Hibs.

    The Gunners lost 2-1 in Scotland on Tuesday, producing some woeful defending while also missing a penalty.

    And Arsenal supporters were quick to take to Twitter to voice their dissent.

  • Anthony Chapman

    STAND TOGETHER

    Hibernian showed solidarity with Bukayo Saka before beating Arsenal 2-1 tonight.

    The Gunners star received vile racist abuse after missing a penalty in England’s Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy.

    And Hibs made their support for Saka clear by presenting Arsenal with one of their club shirts adorned with the winger’s name on the back.

  • Anthony Chapman

    FT – HIBERNIAN 2 ARSENAL 1

    The Gunners were unable to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in Edinburgh tonight as they lost their first pre-season game of the summer.

    Having trailed 1-0 at the break, Arsenal went 2-0 down before Nicolas Pepe missed a penalty.

    Emile Smith Rowe netted a consolation goal at the death, but after an epic defensive howler for Hibernian's first goal, Mikel Arteta looks to have his work cut out.

  • Anthony Chapman

    KIT’S A MYSTERY

    Emile Smith Rowe sparked a social media frenzy by hiding his Arsenal shirt number – leaving fans trying to figure if he will be starting or parting.

    Supporters were split on whether last season's No32 – still a prime Aston Villa target – was covering up an 11, 10 or 8 top in a series of puzzling poses during pre-season training.

  • Anthony Chapman

    HT – HIBERNIAN 1 ARSENAL 0

    Not a great start for the Gunners in Scotland as they trail Hibs at the break.

    Martin Boyle put the hosts ahead after 21 minutes.

    And Arsenal have it all to do in the second half.

    FOLLOW THE ACTION HERE

  • Anthony Chapman

    EXCLUSIVE BY JORDAN DAVIES

    Jorge Mendes is still in contact with Arsenal technical director Edu over a move for Wolves star Ruben Neves.

    The Gunners are interested in the Portuguese midfielder as a potential new partner for Thomas Partey with Granit Xhaka linked to a switch to Roma this summer.

    And SunSport understands that Neves’ agent Mendes is in constant communication with Edu in an attempt to get a deal over the line as soon as possible. 

    However, the £35m price tag on Neves is still a stumbling block in the negotiations.

    And SunSport also understands that despite another of Mendes' clients Nuno Espirito Santo – former Wolves boss now at Tottenham – still being a huge fan of Neves, he is unlikely to join Arsenal's North London rivals.

  • Anthony Chapman

    ARSENAL TEAM NEWS

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leads the line for Arsenal's first pre-season friendly of the summer against Hibernian.

    Other first-team aces involved include Willian and Mo Elneny.

    Ainsley Maitland-Niles starts after his loan at West Brom, with Sead Kolasinac also featuring following his Schalke spell.

    And a number of youngsters including Eddie Nketiah have also been given the chance to impress.

    FOLLOW THE ACTION WITH OUR LIVE MATCH BLOG

    Source: Read Full Article