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Mikel Arteta Has Urged Alexandre Lacazette To Keep His Focus On Arsenal’s Bid For A Top-Four

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Lacazette’s current contract expires at the end of this season and he told ‘Canal Plus’ this week that his agents have held discussions with “lots of clubs” about a potential free transfer.

The 30-year-old said he was “missing” playing in the Champions League and that he had “never cut contact” with Lyon, whom he left to join Arsenal five years ago.

Lacazette’s comments were badly timed for Arsenal boss Arteta, whose side have lost their last three games to lose significant ground in the battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

The Gunners are in sixth place in the Premier League, three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham and eight adrift of third-placed Chelsea.

“He doesn’t need to tell me what he does in his own life but he has, we have discussed that and he is entitled to do that, then he has a duty to do his best here,” Arteta told reporters on Tuesday.

“His contract situation allows him to make the decision about his future. We have expressed clearly what our intention is, to speak in the summer once we know where we are, about what we are going to do in the future together.

“And for the rest, I just want him fully focused on his duty, which is now defend Arsenal in the best possible way, like he has done all the time he has been with us. That’s why he has been wearing the armband of this football club, that’s a big reason.”

Lacazette is unlikely to feature at Chelsea after testing positive for coronavirus and Arteta admits Arsenal may not be able to keep the striker beyond this term.

“It is the agreement that we made with him, that was our position and our position remains the same, that is what we are going to do,” he said.

“The risk of that happening, it was always there since the moment we made that decision, then it is up to him. It is not up to us or him it is up to both parties.”

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Premier League  Gives Reason Why Jordan Ayew Was Not Sent Off Against Everton

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Jordan Ayew’s tackle on Anthony Gordon during Everton’s game against Crystal Palace was described as “reckless”, but was not believed to have warranted a red card through VAR.

The Blues found themselves 2-0 down at the break thanks to a header from Jean-Philippe Mateta and a strike from Ayew himself, just a couple of minutes after a hugely contentious challenge.

Right in front of the two dugouts, the Palace forward scythed down his opponent in what looked like a scissor motion.

Everton’s players were incensed and instantly surrounded referee Anthony Taylor. However, the official quickly had a yellow card in his hand and cautioned the Palace man.

The ECHO understands the decision was assessed by VAR Mike Dean, but it was decided that it did not meet the threshold for a red card. It was described as “reckless” which is classed as a yellow card offence.

This adds to a host of decisions that Everton have felt aggrieved by over the course of the season, including most recently a decision to not award Richarlison a penalty against Brentford shortly before Jarrad Branthwaite was handed a red card.

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Billy Sharp Headbutt Gets Nottingham Forest Fan Arrested

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A Nottingham Forest fan who headbutted Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp during a pitch invasion has been jailed for 24 weeks and been handed a 10-year football banning order, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said on Thursday.

Robert Biggs, 30, invaded the pitch after Forest won their Championship playoff semifinal against United and made a beeline for Sharp, who was standing by the touchline before he was knocked to the ground.

A 10-year football banning order is maximum length available to the courts.

The CPS authorised charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and Biggs pleaded guilty.

“This was an extremely serious and unprovoked assault with a professional footballer standing at the side of the pitch left requiring stitches,” Marianne Connally from the CPS said.

Billy Sharp: Fan arrested after 'headbutt assault' leaves Sheffield United  captain needing stitches

“Biggs has soured what should have been an incredible moment for the club and its fans. As a result of his actions, he won’t be able to enjoy seeing his club compete in the Premier League should Forest win the Championship playoff final.”

Sharp, who spent a season on loan at Forest, said he would not let one “scumbag” ruin his respect for the club’s fans.

“One mindless idiot ruined what was an unbelievable night of football,” Sharp wrote on Twitter.

Forest beat United on penalties to set up a Championship playoff final against Huddersfield Town at Wembley Stadium on May 29.

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