Saturday, 21 January 2017

Sam Allardyce is still interested in signing Carl Jenkinson

Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce has insisted that his side's attempts to sign Carl Jenkinson from Arsenal this month have not broken down.

Reports yesterday suggested that the full-back's wage demands had caused Palace to pull out of the deal, but Allardyce revealed that he had heard nothing of the sort from his chairman.

The former England boss also confirmed that the Eagles are still interested in Patrick van Aanholt, despite seeing one bid turned down by Sunderland already.

"Until the chairman rings me to say the Jenkinson deal is dead, it's still on for me.

The same with Van Aanholt - we're interested," he told reporters. 

However, when questioned over a possible move for Juventus full-back Patrice Evra, Allardyce added: "No, not at this moment in time.

Arsenal are exercising their option to extend Santi Cazorla contract

Arsenal have reportedly taken up a one-year option on midfielder Santi Cazorla's contract.

While the news has yet to be officially announced by the Gunners, a document on the Football Association's website revealed that the club decided to enforce the extension on December 20.

The 32-year-old, who has been out since October with a leg injury, had been in line to be able to speak to foreign clubs about a summer move on January 1 as he was about to enter the final six months of his contract.

The news follows a similar deal for veteran defender Per Mertesacker, who had his contract extended to 2018 earlier this week.

Cazorla has made 129 Premier League appearances for Arsenal since his £10m switch from Malaga in 2012.

Hector Bellerin is very impressed with Shkodran Mustafi.

Mustafi signed for Arsenal last summer in a £35million move from Valencia.

The German has since gone on to impress alongside Laurent Koscielny in the centre of the Gunners defence. 

And Bellerin has been impressed with the German World Cup winner.

“He has been a great addition to the team,” the Spanish right back told Arsenal Player.

“He has adapted really well to the way we play. He likes to come out and look for people up front, and doesn’t kick long ball balls, he looks to play the ball on the floor and that’s really important to the way we play.

“Defensively he has grown since the first day, he is really confident around the other players, he will tell you what to do, he is a World Cup winner as well and a leader.

“The stats show he is a very positive defender and he is helping us get clean sheets. “From the first day he was here we got on really well, on and off the pitch. From his time at Valencia, he speaks very good Spanish so that makes it easy - not just with me but other people in the back four.

“I feel very confident when I play with him because I know someone has got my back as well - not just the goalkeeper, you also know Shkodran will be there. I really like playing with him.”

Arsenal have Iwobi & don't need Payet claims Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry has backed Arsene Wenger's belief that Arsenal do not need to sign Dimitri Payet, and believes Alex Iwobi can be just as good as the West Ham rebel.

The France playmaker is refusing to play for the Hammers as he looks to push through a move to former club Marseille after turning down a huge, £500,000-a-week offer from China.

Wenger said he is a fan of Payet but he does not need to buy another attacking midfielder; and Iwobi has impressed in an advanced role for the north London outfit this season.

And Arsenal icon Henry has heaped praise on the 20-year-old Nigeria international, believing he can go on to star for the Emirates club.

Henry told Sky Sports: 'I don't think Arsenal need a player like Payet at the moment. 'They have Iwobi who could be like Payet in a few years' time, he has been good for Arsenal playing through the middle.

'Iwobi needs games to fulfil his potential and signing a player like Payet could limit his playing time, and it could spell doom for his development.'

Henry's comments comes after Wenger said Arsenal will not make a move for wantaway West Ham star Payet and are unlikely to do any transfer business this month.

'I don't need Payet because we have so many creative players,' said Wenger during his pre-match press conference on Thursday. 'I rate Payet, of course. 

We have many players offensively that can play in this position. You're interested in the quality of the player, but there has to be a need too. 

Iwobi has made 26 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring three goals.

Arsenal must beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge says Petr Cech

Petr Cech has warned his team-mates beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge is the only way the Gunners can hope to catch their London rivals at the top of the Premier League table.

Cech, a former Chelsea player, takes his side to the home of the Blues on February 4 and he says getting a result is crucial to Arsenal’s mission to chase down the Blues.

Chelsea currently sit eight points ahead of Arsenal in the table, but Cech insisted his side can still close the gap if they win the big games coming up. ‘We hope,’ Cech told Sky Sports.

‘When you chase, you need to keep the pressure up so there are four teams chasing them.

‘Then everybody needs to make sure the teams are winning, but obviously if the gap stays at seven points then it will be harder to catch them. But they have some big games coming up.

‘We play them, which is going to be a crucial game for us if we are to catch them.

‘Then you need to make sure you win all the other games because if you’re not consistent then it will give the others the advantage. 

‘So far, they have been doing so well, breaking all sorts of records and winning so many games in a row. 

Arsenal fixtures 

Burnley (H) – Sun 22 Jan 
Watford (H) – Tue 31 Jan 
Chelsea (A) – Sat 4 Feb 
Hull City (H) – Sat 11 Feb 
Bayern Munich (A) – Wed 15 Feb 
Southampton (A) – Sat 25 Feb

Arsene Wenger tells Arsenal fans that he does not expect to make any more signings in the January window

Arsene Wenger has told Arsenal fans that he does not expect to make any signings in the January transfer window.

There are 11 days left to go in the mid-season window and there has been plenty of speculation about the Premier League’s top clubs.

However, Arsenal have thus far only signed young left-back Cohen Bramall this month despite being linked with a host of other players.

It has been suggested that Arsenal could be interested in signing Dimitri Payet from West Ham as the France international’s future continues to be a source of speculation. However, Wenger has poured cold water on those claims and revealed his prediction for the remainder of the January window.

Speaking at a news conference at Arsenal’s London Colney training ground on Thursday morning, Wenger said:

“I expect it to be a very quiet period. “We are very strong. We have many, many players who can come in.

“I rate Payet but I don’t need Payet because we have so many creative players.

“We have many players who can play in this position.”