‘It is a special moment’ – £50m target appears to confirm move to Man City

Manchester City could be on the verge of making another signing after one of their proposed targets dropped a huge hint.

The Daily Mirror suggest that Pep Guardiola’s side are closing in on a £50m deal for Benfica defender, Ruben Dias.

That move was given credence by journalist, Fabrizio Romano, who announced via his Twitter account that City’s Nicolas Otamendi is likely to be included as part of the deal.

After scoring for Benfica against Moreirense, Dias left the pitch in tears according to the Daily Mirror, with his post-match words, cited by the outlet, virtually confirming his next destination.

“It was very important … Read the rest

Double Mugsmashers week incoming + the tumbleweeds of the transfer window

It’s Friday and later on Mikel Arteta will meet the press ahead of our trip to Anfield on Monday. That’s a very difficult game as we know, and we’ll be playing the Mugsmashers twice next week because last night they beat Lincoln City 7-2 in their third round Carabao Cup tie.

The dates of the fourth round fixtures haven’t been announced yet, but the games are scheduled to be played ‘in the week commencing September 28th’. Which is the very date we play them in the Premier League. Jurgen Klopp said last night, “Thank God we have two home games. Sorry, Mikel. You have to come to Liverpool twice!”

So, that certainly gives the manager something to think about for a fixture sandwiched between a game against the Champions and a home fixture against Sheffield United – who we know fine well are a good team after our encounters with … Read the rest

International nightmare could continue for Man United star after this weekend because of this

With international fixtures on the horizon again, it’s time for national team managers to bed down their squad for upcoming games.

Gareth Southgate has matches against Wales, Denmark and Belgium to come, and must select the players to represent the Three Lions by next Thursday.

After a short summer break where he was arrested for allegedly assaulting police officers in Greece, Harry Maguire was left out of England’s last games.

The Man United captain comes back into contention for the triple header, but it’s possible that his national team nightmare could continue.

According to the Daily Mail, Southgate’s right-hand man, Steve Holland, will be in attendance at the AMEX Stadium this weekend, when Brighton and Hove Albion will host the Red Devils.

Who are you?

The transfer market dominates football discourse and analysis to the point that the shark has been jumped and football matches are, essentially, considered 90-minute exercises to see what a team needs to buy. It gives me pause for thought when I attribute so much weight to Arsenal’s pursuit of a new central midfielder.

However, I do consider this a glaring requirement for Arsenal before the window closes next month and I think the difference between Arteta’s side being a top six team and a top four team probably rests on whether they are able to recruit in … Read the rest

“Special talent” – Liverpool ace earns huge praise from these Reds fans after performance vs Lincoln

Liverpool midfielder Curtis Jones is earning big praise from fans as they react to his performance against Lincoln on Twitter.

The 19-year-old is yet to fully establish himself as a regular for the Liverpool first-team, but he announced himself with a memorable solo goal against Everton in the FA Cup last season.

MORE: Video: Jones’ sublime finishes take Liverpool clear at Lincoln

Since then, Jones has continued to impress when he’s managed to get on the pitch, and he had another eye-catching performance for Liverpool as they thrashed Lincoln City 7-2 in the Carabao Cup this evening.

The teenager scored twice, with both goals well-taken efforts to show once again why he’s such a big prospect and should have a very bright future at Anfield.

Carabao Cup rotation likely + Covid worries delay return of fans

Arsenal are in Carabao Cup action tonight, as we face Leicester City at the King Power Stadium later on.

With Liverpool coming up next in the Premier League, it’s an interesting one for Mikel Arteta. If the trip to Anfield were at the weekend, I suspect we’d see a side with no risks taken whatsoever. The fact that it’s Monday night means we have a couple of extra days to recover, so we might see some players involved who normally might sit this out – even if they’re on the bench.

There are players who could use this game to get some match fitness into their legs; there are players who haven’t featured at all this season, or indeed for some time, who will be looking at this game as some kind of signal regarding their own futures. If, for example, Matteo Guendouzi and Mesut Ozil don’t feature in this … Read the rest

“He’s a pressing monster” – Liverpool’s new signing earns big praise from Pep Lijnders

Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders has spoken about summer signing Diogo Jota and what role he can have in this squad after his move from Wolves.

The Portugal international has shone in his time in the Premier League and should be a useful purchase for the Reds, even if it’s not immediately clear that he’s likely to see much playing time.

MORE: Talks held: Liverpool discussing selling midfielder to Premier League club

There is huge competition for places in this Liverpool squad due to the quality in every area of the pitch, and Jota could have a hard time seeing as many starting opportunities as he’s used to.

Lijnders, however, has talked up his qualities and backed him to play a key role quite quickly, as he feels he’s already well suited to Liverpool’s style of play:

Read the rest

Ice cold in Alex Runarsson

We made our third signing of the summer yesterday with the capture of Runar Alex Runarsson – now to be known as Alex Runarsson – from Dijon.

The signing of the £1.5 Icelandic international came just minutes before the man he’s replacing – Emi Martinez – saved a penalty on his debut for Aston Villa. I sense the ‘Look at what Emi did!’ thing is going run throughout this season, but how much attention you pay to that will be an individual thing. He wanted to go, we wanted £20m, sometimes that’s as much as there is to it.

Anyway, the arrival of Runarsson is interesting. First off, it absolutely and utterly cements Bernd Leno’s position as the number 1 keeper at the club. I know some people thought he was bad against West Ham, but I don’t really share that view. I loved Emi as much as the next … Read the rest

Demands set: Man Utd want £18m to green light exit with Euro giants set for scrap

Man Utd reportedly want £18m if they are to approve of an exit for Chris Smalling with Roma and Inter both said to be interested in the defensive ace.

The 30-year-old enjoyed a stellar loan spell with Roma last season as he firmly established himself as a permanent starter for the Giallorossi and a key figure in their bid to break into the top four in Serie A.

SEE MORE: Video: Mason Greenwood shows his class with a clinical finish for Man United vs Luton

With that deal coming to an end, he has faced an uncertain future this summer amid ongoing speculation linking him with a more permanent stint in the Italian capital, but it seems as though an agreement has yet to be reached between the two clubs.

As noted by The Sun, Man Utd want £18m to green light an exit for the centre-half, while it’s … Read the rest

Arsecast Extra Episode 373 – 21.09.2020

Welcome to another Arsecast Extra, the Arsenal podcast, with myself and James from @gunnerblog.

On this week’s show discuss the 2-1 win over West Ham in which the result was much better than the performance. We talk about Mikel Arteta pulling no punches about that after the game, why Kieran Tierney being so good has caused a bit of a problem, the contribution of Bukayo Saka, the need for midfield reinforcement even if Xhaka and Ceballos played their parts in the win, as well as some of the Premier League controversy over the weekend regarding handball and penalties. We then answer listener questions about the Carabao Cup team for Wednesday, whether Lucas Torreira going to Atletico Madrid should open the door for Thomas Partey’s arrival, Gabriel’s role in defence, Bernd Leno and Emi Martinez comparisons, Alexandre Lacazette’s contract/future, and lots more.

Remember, you can send us questions via which … Read the rest