Solskjaer message, Pepe price set, massive Ozil claim in Arsenal, Man United Monday
Here is the daily roundup of todays Arsenal and Manchester United news, gossip and transfer speculation.
Fresh reports have claimed Lille ‘are ready to open to talks’ with Arsenal about a January deal for highly-rated Nicolas Pepe, with the price now set.
The 23-year-old is earning plenty of admiring glances from some of the top clubs in Europe for his performances in Ligue 1 this season, as he already has 12 goals this season for the French giants.
And despite Unai Emery already having Pieree-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette up-front, it is believed the Spanish boss is still looking to bolster his attack, especially after Danny Welbeck picked up another injury that will keep him out for the season.
Although a transfer fee of around £40m had been mooted, Lille chief Luis Campos insists it could take closer to twice that figure, with the French clubs Chiefs telling Telefoot his value for the 23-year-old.
He said: ‘€80million. But [any club] will also have to convince the player.’
Barcelona are also keeping close tabs on the youngster, especially since Ousmane Dembele may be heading for the exit signs in the coming transfer windows after a disappointing time at the Camp Nou.
However, any Arsenal deal could depend on whether or not the north Londoners can offer Pepe Champions League football next campaign, as the young man has ambitions to test himself at the very top.
BBC Pundit Garth Crooks has claimed Unai Emery has no intention of selling Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil in the January transfer window.
Ozil has once again been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons over the last few weeks, having been dropped for a number of games by Emery, as the Spaniard looks to implement his high-pressure, high-energy tactics at the Emirates.
Many believe that Ozil will struggle to keep a regular spot in the Arsenal side, as he des not like doing the dirty side of the game for Arsenal and is pretty much useless when it comes to his defensive qualities. And that has led to much speculation that he could depart the club, with a number of clubs interested.
But after an impressive display against Burnley at the weekend which helped Arsenal to a 3-1 victory, Crooks has claimed Emery intends to keep the German world cup winner.
Crooks said: “All these media soothsayers who insist Ozil might be surplus to Unai Emery’s requirements must be mad.
“Why would Emery allow his only world-class midfield player to leave the club?
“No, Emery is much smarter than that.
“The manager may want a little more sweat from the former Germany international but as long as he keeps producing defence-splitting passes amid the rest of their midfield hectic mediocrity, Ozil is a must for Arsenal.”
Former Manchester United defender Wes Brown wants his ex-teammate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to get the job on a permanent basis.
After the Red Devils worst start to a new season in over 28-years, United finally decided to sack Jose Mourinho after 3 seasons with the club, with United nineteen points behind leaders Liverpool in the title race.
And despite some of the worlds very best bosses linked with a move, United decided to bring former player Solskjaer back to Old Trafford until the end of the season, and the club legend enjoyed a dream start as the Red Devils cruised to a 5-1 victory over Cardiff City in Wales.
It was a strikingly improved performance from a United side which had looked bereft of ideas under former boss Jose Mourinho, who was sacked last week.
Solskjaer was appointed as his replacement just for the rest of the season, with the club looking to appoint their next full-time boss in the summer.
But with rumours United are hoping to tempt Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino away at the end of the season, it is widely expected that Solskjaer will not be staying beyond this season.
However, Brown would prefer his old team-mate to stay on.
“I haven’t seen Man United play like that in a long time,” he was quoted on the TalkSport website:
“You could see everyone was enjoying it and obviously for the previous manager they weren’t doing that, so there was something wrong.
“Ole has gone in there, got the smiles back on and just said ‘go and play’.
“If Ole can keep this going then I can’t see a reason why we can’t make the top four. The lads will scare a few teams if they keep playing like that.
“Personally, I think it would be great if Ole gets the job full-time. I would like to see him stay if he did well.
“Obviously he’s been told it’s until the end of the season, but that could always change, you know how football is.”