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Arsenal round-up: Mesut Ozil waiting for Arsene Wenger’s decision; Kelechi Iheanacho on City clash; Rui Patricio targeted


Arsenal round-up: Mesut Ozil waiting for Arsene Wenger’s decision; Kelechi Iheanacho on City clash; Rui Patricio targeted

Mesut Ozil’s future has become the main story surrounding Arsenal during recent days and there is genuine hope that he will remain at the club. Although he has less than 18-months to run on his current deal, he will hold talks with the club soon. Michael Ballack has been talking to Sky Sports and he believes that his compatriot is stalling on a new deal to see if Arsene Wenger remains at the club or not.

“A player like him, who has played for Real Madrid and now Arsenal and who knows the Premier League and La Liga, he has his own feeling and experience.

“And there are not many clubs where he can go now and who can afford him. I think he needs to feel comfortable with the decision that he makes. But it also depends on what Arsene Wenger does and they have a good relationship and maybe that is why he is waiting a bit.”

There are a lot of unknowns surrounding Arsenal at the moment and that is why it is difficult for a lot of players to make a decision on their futures. The Gunners have a lot of contracts that expire in the summer of 2018 and that is causing them a lot of problems. Arsene Wenger’s future needs to be decided on before players can decide on theirs. Ozil clearly respects the Frenchman, therefore a positive of the manager staying on could be that their German playmaker also agrees to extend his deal.

Manchester City are the next team on the horizon for Arsenal and it is a match that will have great ramifications on the top four. The Gunners need to win this match or they risk the gap to fourth growing to nine points, and it would be difficult for them to recover from that. Kelechi Iheanacho has warned the North London side to expect a ‘fight’ on Sunday in the following quotes reported by the Evening Standard:

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“We are going to go to the Emirates and fight. We need a win there. It’s a good team, so we need to fight hard to get three points. We are in a good situation. We played well against Liverpool and showed good character.”

Pep Guardiola’s men are clearly more confident than Arsenal right now, but there will be doubts in the City camp. They were knocked out of the Champions League by Monaco and they have achieved some shaky results in the Premier League. The Gunners need to start quickly and put the visitors off their game, but there is no reason to think that they aren’t capable of getting a positive result.

One transfer rumour to emerge in recent days is a possible move for Portugal international goalkeeper Rui Patricio. According to RMC, Arsenal are ready to rival Marseille to sign the Sporting Lisbon player, with the club willing to pay up to £13 million to secure a deal. However, that may not be enough to convince the Portuguese club to sell.

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This is an interesting story as it suggests that the club are in the market for a new number one. Petr Cech hasn’t been at his best this season and it could be the right time to bring in serious competition for the club’s number one. That said, they could do better than Patricio. He is a good goalkeeper, but he hasn’t shown himself to be at the level required to be Arsenal’s number one on a consistent basis. The club have been linked to Jordan Pickford and Kasper Schmeichel, both of whom have Premier League experience. They would be better choices for the Gunners this summer.

Featured image: All rights reserved by Stuart MacFarlane

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