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Arsenal: Guardiola praises Wenger; City interested in midfielder; Ozil contract update

Ahead of the match today, Pep Guardiola has praised Arsene Wenger and stated that the Frenchman’s legacy at Arsenal is more impressive than winning the league. Wenger and Guardiola are both idealists, therefore it isn’t surprising that there is mutual respect between the two. Although Arsenal haven’t won a Premier League title since 2004, Guardiola believes that his opposite number has made the Gunners a special club.

“In terms of results, Arsene won titles in the past but we cannot forget that, and he has created something special at this club.

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“When he arrived at the Gunners it wasn’t a special team but now after 20 years you know exactly the identity of this club.”

This is often overlooked by the Frenchman’s fiercest critics, but he has created an identity for Arsenal and the next manager has a platform from which to build on. The problems at Manchester United since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson are unlikely to be replicated at Arsenal as the squad is young and continues to improve on a yearly basis. This wasn’t the case at Old Trafford, as many consider the squad being left by Ferguson as being one of the worst in its history. Wenger has certainly laid the foundations for future success and for that reason, he deserves credit for the job he has done in recent years.

In a transfer story reported by the Sun today, today’s opponents Manchester City are believed to be considering a move for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The rumoured fee is £25 million, which would be fair considering the England international’s uncertain contract situation. Wenger has issued a stern hands-off warning to any clubs that may be considering the 23-year-old, but that is unlikely to deter Manchester City, who will look to take advantage of Oxlade-Chamberlain’s contract stand-off.

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Guardiola is believed to be a huge fan of the young Englishman after the midfielder starred against his Bayern Munich team in the past. The Spaniard was considering a move during the summer, but an injury to Ilkay Gundogan has increased the side’s needs for reinforcements and Oxlade-Chamberlain could be one of the players to arrive. It would be an interesting move for the Englishman as he hasn’t been a regular starter for Arsenal and a chance to join Pep Guardiola may be too good to miss out on as he continues his development. However, it would be a huge blow to Arsenal to lose another of their players to a rival. They need to do everything to prevent it from happening, even if it means accelerating contract talks with the 23-year-old.

Finally, the Express deliver a Mesut Ozil update with the winger set to keep Arsenal waiting until the middle of January before revealing whether he will sign a new deal at the club. The German has been locked in contract talks for months and is demanding a £110,000 rise to £250,000-a-week. He is happy living in London, which has created optimism within the club that he will agree to an extension in the New Year.

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Although this is an update, there is nothing new learned from this article. It is important that Arsenal find a conclusion to this situation sooner rather than later as it is becoming a major distraction. He is a key player for this Arsenal side and supporters will realise the importance of keeping him at the club. Firstly, it would weaken the side if he does depart, while secondly, it sends a statement of intent that the Gunners are now able to keep their key players. This will make them a more attractive option for future targets.

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