Kovacic open yo move, Tagliafico opens up, Lichsteiner confirms talks, Shock Hudson-Odoi move in Arsenal, Liverpool Friday
Here is the daily roundup of Arsenal and Liverpool news, gossip and transfer talk from icfootballnews.
Nicolas Tagliafico insists he’s happy at Ajax amid speculation that Arsenal are lining up a big summer move.
Despite spending over £70 million on new players last season, mostly on his back-line, Unai Emery is desperate to improve the defence at the end of the season after struggling to keep pace with the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and Spurs in the chase for a Premier League title.
And with Nacho Monreal coming towards the back-end of his top-level playing days, Emery has identified the 26-year-old Ajax left-back as a possible long-term replacement for the Spaniard, with reports suggesting the Gunners are ‘best positioned’ to sign Tagliafico ahead of the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Now, amid all the transfer speculation surrounding his future, the talented left-back has admitted that he is just enjoying his football right now and is just trying to do his job for Ajax until the end of the season.
Asked about being linked to Arsenal, Real Madrid, Atleti and Barca, Tagliafico told El Mundo Deportivo: ‘I am enjoying life and football. We are privileged as footballers.
‘Our work is something fascinating and something we love to do. I enjoy playing for the national team and my club. I can’t think of what’s coming, that’s disrespectful to my club.’
Stephan Lichtsteiner is unsure whether he will still be at Arsenal next season, although he has admitted that talks are in progress.
After the arrival of Unai Emery in the summer transfer window, the Spaniard soon got to work adding a few more experience stars to his squad and managed to secure a deal for Lichsteiner on a one-year deal after the right-back decided to leave Italian Champions Juventus.
He has gone on to make 21 appearances in all competitions this season for Emery, but has been relatively unimpressive and that has led to talk that he would leave the club as he simply could not agree terms with the club.
But despite admitting that talks have taken place, Lichtsteiner admits he may seek regular first-team football elsewhere to give him the best possible chance of remaining in the Switzerland squad ahead of a potential appearance at Euro 2020.
“This will need time. The fact that I play at a top club at the age of 35 says enough. There have been talks [with Arsenal]. We have to see if it suits both sides,” he told Neue Zurcher Zeitung.
“Arsenal is a big club, I feel very happy. But I want to play regularly with regard to the European Championships. It was okay this year. But if the coach says that he no longer counts on me, I have to worry.”
Reports have claimed Liverpool are still eyeing up a possible summer deal for Chelsea star Callum Hudson-odoi.
Hudson-Odoi has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons for Chelsea this season and has constantly been linked with a mega money move away to German Champions Bayern Munich, who reportedly made three offers in the January window to try and tempt the winger away from the club.
He has only made four Premier League appearances this season under Maurizio Sarri, with the Italian preferring to use the Englishman in cup competitions and the Europa League, where he has netted four goals so far this year.
But with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp still eager to strengthen his wings area, there has been some reports on the SportBild website which have claimed Liverpool are ready to swoop in and try to take him to Anfield in a deal that could break the £50 million mark.
Liverpool were monitoring Hudson-Odoi before Bayern firmed up their interest, but decided against entering into a bidding war with the Germans during the winter window.
Reports have claimed Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic is keen to remain in the Premier League beyond this season even if the Blues cant complete a deal.
After ending months of speculation last summer, Chelsea managed to secure a 12 month loan deal for Kovaci which runs out at the end of the season and there has been talk that Kovacic would like to sign a permanent deal at the Blues, after becoming a key member of Maurizio Sarri’s squad.
However, FIFA has prevented Chelsea from signing players for the next two transfer windows for breaching rules relating to overseas players under the age of 18, meaning that they may not be able to complete a possible deal for Kovacic.
According to Marca, the Croatia international is keen to stay at Chelsea as they have given him more playing opportunities than he received under Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid, but will be open to the idea of joining one of their rivals in a bid to stay in the Premier League.
The likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United were all linked with a move while Tottenham remain long-term admirers of the player, especially since they could lose star midfielder Christian Eriksen to Real Madrid at the end of the current season.
Kovacic has no intention of returning to Madrid at the end of the season after failing to make the kind of impact that he had hoped over the past few seasons.