May 10, 2017
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Arsenal round-up: Wenger reacts to DoF reports; Alex Chamberlain eyes Liverpool move; Radja Nainggolan admits Gunners interest

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Arsene Wenger has put himself on a collision course with Arsenal over his future after insisting that he would refuse to work under a director of football. The Frenchman wants total control over his coaching staff and recruitment, but these comments will come as a surprise to supporters. It was thought that a director of football was being brought in to lessen the impact of Wenger staying. The Mirror report the following quotes from the Gunners boss:

“I don’t know what director of football means. I’m the manager of Arsenal Football Club, and as long as I’m manager of Arsenal Football Club, I will decide what happens on the technical front. That’s it.

“Some coaches are only interested in managing the team. And they are happy with it. I am not like that and I cannot change myself now.

There are still big sections of the support that want to see a managerial change during the summer. Although the recent speculation suggested that Wenger was set to stay as manager, these comments could alter that. The club will need to make some major changes after the underachievement of the team this summer and a director of football seemed a logical choice. However, if Wenger refuses to work with one, questions will have to be asked about his position again.

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s future has been another frequent discussion topic this season and the Telegraph report that the midfielder is considering leaving the club. According to the report, he is interested in a move to Liverpool as he wants to play regularly in his favoured central role.

The Reds have been tracking the England international since Jurgen Klopp took over and they will be favourites for his signature in the summer. It won’t be an easy deal to complete with the fee rumoured to be around £25 million, but he would be a great pick-up for the Merseyside club.

This has been a disappointing season for the Gunners, but the improvement of Oxlade-Chamberlain has been one of the highlights of their season. It is crucial that they keep him at the club this summer, as he has become one of their most important players. In recent weeks, he has been used at right wing-back and he has been excellent there. If Arsenal want to continue to play a 3-4-2-1 formation, they must keep him. Losing him to a rival would be disastrous.

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Finally, there will be a lot of players linked to the club this summer as they undergo a summer rebuild, but one player that they could have signed last year was Radja Nainggolan. That is according to the man himself, who has been quoted as saying that they were interested and maybe he should have moved to the Emirates. The Belgian midfielder said the following on the AS Roma YouTube Channel“It was a choice of life. I like the lifestyle over here.

“There was Arsenal, but how you talk always about them maybe I should have joined them.”

Although these comments were off-the-cuff, they will frustrate Arsenal fans, as they continue to target good players without delivering. Arsene Wenger has mentioned in recent weeks that he was interested in Kylian Mbappe, while Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain have been targeted in the past. Nainggolan is the player that Arsenal needed in their midfield this season, as he has technical ability coupled with an aggressive style. However, he will go down as another player that the Gunners couldn’t get over the line.

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Arsenal · Transfer Round-up
Jake Jackman

Jake is a student based in the South East. He is a Newcastle fan and has a keen interest in Dutch football. Jake can be found on Twitter here - @jakejackmann.

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