Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah looks one step closer to leaving the club after turning down their latest offer of a new contract.
The 22-year-old forward has seen game time hard to come by under Mikel Arteta this season. In fact the forward has yet to play in the Premier League and has only made the squad twice all season. Arteta has relied on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, while Gabriel Martinelli has been introduced from the bench ahead of Nketiah.
The former Leeds loanee’s contract expires next June and the club and Arteta want the player to stay.
“I have full belief that he is going to be a top, top player and hopefully at Arsenal. I’m happy to have him, he is our player, I regard him really highly and from my side I want him to stay,” Arteta said in October.
But Sky Sports News report that “Nketiah has turned down the club’s latest contract offer”.
The outlet insist: “Nketiah’s decision is not motivated by finances, but about playing regular football.”
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Nketiah’s contract situation means he can speak to foreign clubs in January and sign a pre-contract agreement. A free-transfer move though to another English club would have to wait until the summer.
Arsenal would get around £8m in compensation though if he does leave for another English club.
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Arteta points to Nketiah ‘situation’
The former England Under-21 star almost left the club in the summer.
Arteta has alluded to a “situation in the summer that we tried to resolve and we couldn’t either way”.
Crystal Palace were keen on signing the Lewisham-born forward, but according to talkSPORT Palace baulked at Arsenal’s £20m asking price. The deal also included a sell-on fee and a buy-back clause.
Palace instead signed Celtic attacker Odsonne Edouard in a £14m deal.
The Daily Mail has previously claimed that Nketiah has told the club that he wants out.
And now Nketiah has turned his back on the club’s latest offer and a transfer looks more than likely.
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Van Bronckhorst wants late midfield signing after losing top Rangers star for the season
Rangers boss Giovanni Van Bronckhorst is set to dip into the transfer market after midfielder Ianis Hagi was ruled out for the rest of the season.
The Romania international suffered a knee injury during his team’s Scottish Cup win over Stirling Albion at Ibrox on Friday night and had an operation in London.
Ahead of Rangers’ Premiership game against Livingston at Ibrox on Wednesday night, where midfielders Ryan Jack and Scott Arfield are back in contention, Van Bronckhorst said: “He had a knee operation. He needed reconstruction. We won’t see him this season.
“It is a serious injury so it is bad news. It is a big blow. An important player is not available for the coming months so we are looking to add a player to the squad. But he needs to be a player we think is right.
“You don’t want players in to make up the numbers. You want to have the balance in the team also good. But we are definitely looking to add a player in the coming days.
“I spoke to Ianis this morning, he is in a good place, of course not happy that he has the injury and needed the operation but he’s positive and focused on his recovery.
“We won’t have him for months so that is the bad news for us, the good news is we have Ryan Jack and Scott Arfield back in the squad tomorrow.”
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Players returning at the right time
As well as having Jack and Arfield available for selection, attacker Joe Aribo is on his way back from the Africa Cup of Nations after Nigeria were beaten by Tunisia in the last-16.
Van Bronckhorst said: “It is good to have Joe back. It was not a good result for him at the weekend. It is sad for Joe that he couldn’t play on in the tournament.
“He is travelling back today and he will be back in Glasgow tonight. So we have to assess him if it is smart for him to be in the squad tomorrow. He will for sure be available for the weekend and after that.”
Van Bronckhorst is expecting a tough test against Livi, whom Rangers beat 3-1 in West Lothian in November.
He said: “We have to make sure we keep our standards and our way of playing and make sure we go for 90 minutes to win the three points.
“They have shown this season already that they can be very hard to beat. In the away game, we had a tough game and scored the third goal later than we wanted.
“They are quite a good team with a good spirit, they keep it compact. So we have to make sure we are on top of the game to get the three points.”
Tottenham bid in as Antonio Conte looks to hijack Man Utd, Liverpool deals for €45m Porto sensation
Tottenham are reportedly looking to secure the signing of Porto attacker Luis Diaz before the January window shuts, despite strong interest from Manchester United and Liverpool.
The Premier League trio are all chasing the player dubbed ‘the Colombian Cristiano Ronaldo’, although United and Liverpool are yet to make official bids. That has left the door open for Spurs to strike, as Antonio Conte looks to bring in at least three players before the end of the month.
Pedro Sepulveda of Portuguese outlet SIC Noticias reports that the 25-year-old is subject of a €45million bid from the north London side.
Tottenham have reportedly given Porto 48 hours to respond to the offer.
Daniel Levy has typically gone in with a lowball offer, with Diaz valued closer to €60m earlier this window.
But the report adds that Spurs are actually considering breaking their transfer record to sign the forward.
Tanguy Ndombele stills holds that honour, although the playmaker could be on his way out before January 31.
Diaz has scored 64 goals in 275 career appearances and has netted an impressive 16 times already this term.
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Tottenham open talks over Sevilla swap deal
Meanwhile, Tottenham have opened talks with Sevilla about a potential swap deal to sign Newcastle centre-back target Diego Carlos, according to a report.
The Magpies have long had interest in a deal for the Brazil international. Following additions at full-back and up top with Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood, defence is a priority.
And Newcastle have held several rounds of talks with Sevilla about a deal for Carlos.
The Daily Mail now reports that the Magpies’ current offer is £32million. However, the La Liga club want £40million.
It remains unclear whether Eddie Howe’s side will stump up the rest of the money Sevilla want for their star man.
According to Football Insider, though, the delay has allowed Tottenham to garner hope of snapping Carlos up.
Indeed, they have opened ‘preliminary’ talks over a player-plus-cash deal which they hope Sevilla will accept.
Reports have claimed that Spurs are willing to let Giovani Lo Celso leave before the transfer deadline. The Argentine is alongside Tanguy Ndombele and Dele Alli as being a player who could leave Tottenham this month.
Lo Celso could head back to Spain
And Football Insider claims that Spurs could offer Lo Celso to Sevilla for Carlos in a part-exchange deal.
The report adds that the fact that Tottenham are an ‘established’ top-six club could give them an advantage.
While they are pushing for a top-four place, Newcastle are fighting against relegation.
Carlos, 28, moved to Sevilla from French club Nantes in 2019. Since then, the six-cap Brazil international has racked up over 120 appearances.
Lo Celso, meanwhile, has only played nine Premier League games this term, starting only twice.
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