Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Lokonga move nearly done, Odegaard move 'back on', Ruben Neves talks EXCLUSIVE, Aouar latest

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…

  • Gary Stonehouse

    MORNING, ARSENAL FANS

    Brighton's England centre-back Ben White is tipped to finally join Arsenal this month – quick on the heels of Anderlecht midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga.

    Everton are also thought to be still keen on White but the suggestion is the Gunners might now be willing to pay near the Seagulls' £50m valuation.

    And Belgium ace Lokonga is on the brink of becoming the first part of boss Mikel Arteta's mid-pitch revamp.

     Arteta was another glimpse at why he needs a midfield shake-up as the Gunners lost their first pre-season friendly, 2-1 at Hibernian.

    But Arsenal fielded many youngsters, including fielding 19-year-old keeper Arthur Okonkwo, fresh from his new long deal and promotion to the first-team squad.

    Meanwhile, Arteta's hopes of re-signing loan hit Martin Odegaard appear to have increased amid reports of Real Madrid's financial woes.

    Portuguese left back Nuno Tavares is Arenal's only newcomer so far, although he was absent at Hibs.

  • Ian Tuckey

    DEBUTANT OMARI HUNGRY FOR MORE

    'Proud' midfielder Omari Hutchinson, 17, is dreaming of a long Arsenal career after making his first senior appearance in the 2-1 friendly loss against Hibs at Easter Road.

    Fellow academy stars Omar Rekik and Jack Henry-Francis were also in Mikel Arteta's squad for the first time.

    And keeper Arthur Okonkwo, 19, celebrated his new deal and promotion to the senior squad by starting.

  • Ian Tuckey

    WHITE ON COURSE

    Brighton's £50million-rated centre-back Ben White could complete his move to Arsenal this month.

    The England squad member, 23, is on holiday after Euro 2020.

    And although the Gunners hope to land the two-cap star for around £40m, it's thought an agreement could soon be finalised.

    Credit: PA
  • Ian Tuckey

    NEVES IN FOR XHAKA?

    Ruben Neves is rumoured to be in the running to replace Granit Xhaka in Arsenal’s midfield.

    And the CIES Football Observatory reckon the Wolves midfielder’s true value could be around £25million to £34million.

    The Wolves midfielder, 24, is reported to have been offered a five-year deal to move to the Emirates.

    Football London says the club are looking to seal a deal before the end of the summer transfer window.

  • Ian Tuckey

    BEES TUNE IN FOR CHALO

    Brentford are targeting a loan swoop for Chelsea prodigy Trevoh Chalobah.

    The versatile 22-year-old can play in either midfield or defence and is attracting interest from several clubs.

    West Brom have been chasing the starlet and wanted him to help lead their promotion charge from the Championship.

    Now the Express & Star claims they face stiff competition from the Premier League for his signature.

    Brentford are reportedly keen on signing Chalobah.

  • Ian Tuckey

    TIER BACK IN GEAR

    Scotland's Euro 2020 main man Kieran Tierney is back in training with Arsenal – ready for a new personal challenge.

    The Gunners signed £8milion Benfica left-back Nuno Tavares, 21, last week.

    And although boss Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu have hailed Tavares' development over the past year, he faces a huge battle to unseat Tierney.

  • Ian Tuckey

    SAMBI-LINE FOR EMIRATES

    Anderlecht's Belgium midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga is tipped to complete his Arsenal move next move.

    The 21-year-old will reportedly sing a contract after exiting isolation in a week's time.

    He could then join Gunners' team-mate for the Florida Cup.

    Credit: Getty
  • Ian Tuckey

    WE'RE GUNNER SHARPEN UP

    Arsenal have returned to trainign at he deep end – with some intesne fitness workouts.

    And the club's media team were quick to show off the hard shifts being put in by the players.

  • Ian Tuckey

    ERLI BIRD

    Erling Haaland kicked off his pre-season training with Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday amid talk of Chelsea launching a mega transfer bid for the striker.

    The German side welcomed the Norwegian back after joking that he was on his way to England when sitting out an earlier fitness test.

    A video of his dribbling and control session was posted online before Haaland shared a thumbs-up photo to his Instagram.

    He captioned the shot: “Day one✔️ Ready for the journey 💪🏻.”

    The 20-year-old is reportedly strongly fancied by Premier League side Chelsea for a summer move.

    Borussia are intent on keeping Haaland, having already given Jadon Sancho the green light to join Manchester United.

    A price tag of £150million has been slapped on the Norway forward ahead of his release clause, thought to be set at £65m, becoming active next summer.

    Reports in Germany suggest Roman Abramovich is personally driving Chelsea’s bid for Haaland.

  • Ian Tuckey

    ART PAINTS AMUSING PICTURE

    Arsenal fans were in stitches when Mikel Arteta reeled off his list of excuses for the club's dismal 2-1 pre-season loss to Hibs.

    The Gunners made a complete hash of their first friendly in Scotland and were trailing 2-0 for most of the game.

    They only managed to pull one back through Emile Smith Rowe who scored with just ten minutes left.

    The Spaniard's decision to field two non-first team players, keeper Arthur Okonkwo and centre-back Harry Clarke, ended up backfiring on him.

    Okonkwo had a dismal start to the game as he missed Cedric Soares' poor back pass after only 21 minutes.

    Hibs ace Martin Boyle pounced on the error, before sub Daniel MacKay scored their second with 20 minutes to go.

    Despite the nightmare result, Arteta tried to focus on the positives, which were shared by Goal journalist Charles Wyatt.

    The Gunners boss revealed the players hardly had any training time ahead of their first friendly game.

    Arteta also blamed the loss on a bunch of injustices, claiming the Scots first goal was an accident and that the second was clearly offside.

  • Ian Tuckey

    GUNNERS' ODE BOOST

    Arsenal's dream of bringing Martin Odegaard back to North London could be on once again amid reports of financial woe at Real Madrid.

    Los Blancos are subject to a decreased wage limit this season after suffering a collapse in revenue during the pandemic.

    LaLiga enforce a salary cap that has come into focus amid the coronavirus crisis, with Barcelona at particular risk of exceeding their allocation.

    According to The Athletic, a number of stars have been earmarked for a potential sale after Real's limit dropped by over £140m from its pre-pandemic figure.

    First-team players Eden Hazard, Isco, Marcelo, Mariano Diaz, Gareth Bale and Raphael Varane have all been described as up for sale.

    Two players potentially joining them are 22-year-old Odegaard and fellow former Arsenal loanee Dani Ceballos.

    While Ceballos will contend with his future after playing for Spain at the Tokyo Olympics, Odegaard is already in pre-season training.

  • Ian Tuckey

    JULES WON'TBE CROWNING SPURS' SUMMER SPREE

    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

    EXCLUSIVE BY EMMA JAMES

    A racist has posted a video online abusing England stars Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho after their loss to Italy in the Euro 2020 final.

    The Three Lions stars have been subjected to horrific online abuse after their penalty misses on Sunday.

    One England fan posted a hateful rant on social media after the final whistle went at Wembley on Sunday evening, as cops arrested a 49-year-old from Kent in relation to a malicious communications offence.

    Posting on Facebook the man, who had an England flag painted on his face ranted: “Where do I start where do I start. Sick, gutted like all of us.

    “Proper deflated. Gotta be proud of the boys, be proud, but anyone and everyone that knows me well will understand what I'm talking about.

    Three lions on a shirt, right. How many times have we seen England players, w* take penalties for us and f* it up.

    “Three fing lions, three fing cs fed it for us.”

  • Joe Brophy

    GUNNER GET NEVES

    Ruben Neves is rumoured to be in the running to replace Granit Xhaka in Arsenal’s midfield.

    And the CIES Football Observatory reckon the Wolves midfielder’s true value could be around £25million to £34million.

    The Wolves midfielder, 24, is reported to have been offered a five-year deal to move to the Emirates.

    Football London says the club are looking to seal a deal before the end of the summer transfer window.

  • 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."

    Source: Read Full Article