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Arsenal: Mertesacker contract latest; striker admits China is tempting; new Neymar linked

Arsenal

Arsenal: Mertesacker contract latest; striker admits China is tempting; new Neymar linked

Per Mertesacker is closing in on a new contract at Arsenal according to Sky Sports. It would only be a one-year extension, but the German has been injured this season and has yet to feature for the club, therefore there remain doubts about his fitness. He has made over 200 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners and his experience is vital to have in the squad. Although he may not the first choice centre back anymore, he does still have something to offer and it is important to have back-up options in the squad.

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There had been rumours suggesting that Mertesacker was going to leave the club in the summer and there will now be doubts about some of the other centre backs at the club. It could be that Calum Chambers doesn’t have a future at Arsenal and his move to Middlesbrough could be made permanent, while Rob Holding may be loaned out. It is positive to see Arsenal make progress on several new contracts, but the three main ones are still to be agreed. These are of course with Arsene Wenger, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, but there is going to be some continuity elsewhere in the squad, which could help with the other contracts.

Olivier Giroud admits that he understands the lure of the Chinese Super League, but stated that he wouldn’t consider a move until he wins a Premier League trophy with Arsenal. The Frenchman has been in great form for the Gunners and has only recently signed a new contract with the club. He is one of the best strikers in the league and despite being much maligned, continues to deliver the goods for Arsenal.

‘Honestly, from my point of view I will tell you that I can understand, but if you asked me if I want to go now I will tell you ‘no.’

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‘The Premier League is my main target so after when I will win it one day, why not, you never know.’

The Chinese Super League is a genuine threat to the Premier League and it is easy to see why it appeals to players. They are being offered the opportunity to earn a huge amount of money, which will secure their family’s future. A professional footballer’s career is only short and any person in the world would be tempted by a huge pay rise. It is good that Giroud is focused on Arsenal, but these comments do underline the threat posed by the Chinese Super League.

Arsene Wenger is believed to be monitoring the teenager Vinicius Junior according to various reports. The 16-year-old has also attracted interest from Manchester United, Chelsea and Barcelona. His club, Flamengo, have said that they won’t accept a penny less than his £26 million release clause. The teenager is seen as the ‘next Neymar’ by many in Brazil and it is easy to see why he is attracting interest from some of the biggest clubs in Europe.

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Although this may not be a rumour regarding the first team, he is seen as a huge talent and it is encouraging to see Arsenal in the running for his signature. They famously tried to sign Leo Messi during the Argentine’s early career and failed to do so. If they can sign Vinicius Junior, it would be a risk, but it would be one that would excite supporters and provide the club with a prospect with the potential to become a world class player. Arsenal don’t have the ability to attract the very best players when they are at the top of their game, which is why they need to sign them when they are younger and develop them.

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