Club Captain signs one-year extension

Arsenal’s club captain, Mikel Arteta, has signed on for another year at the Emirates, after it looked as though he might leave following a lengthy delay in the signing of his contract, which was reportedly agreed months ago. 

Arteta, who is now 33-years-old, missed a lot of last season through injury, and now faces an uphill challenge to break back into a hugely competitive Arsenal midfield which has seen Coquelin make Arteta’s position his own.

Reports in Spain have suggested that a number of clubs in La Liga have been interested in signing the Spaniard who has a wealth of experience and was brought up in the Barcelona academy before moving to the UK.

But does this mean Arsene Wenger is no longer intending to bring in additional midfield reinforcements? Having not so long ago signed Tomas Rosicky for another year as well.

Arsenal have been linked with a host of defensive midfielders, including Morgan Schneiderlin, Arturo Vidal, Carvalho of Sporting Lisbon, and even Dortmund’s Ilkay Gundogan. None of whom look any closer to actually signing for Arsenal.

With Francis Coquelin’s new emergence on the scene, and Jack Wilshere, who is familiar with that deep midfield position for England and has reportedly trained over his summer break following some good post-injury form, Arsenal have a wealth of options in the centre.

When you also consider the midfield engine that is Aaron Ramsey, two of Arsenal’s stand out players last year, Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil, not to mention the experienced heads of Arteta, Rosicky and Flamini, then suddenly there is a distinct lack of space in the squad.

Surely at least one of these players will need to make way before Arsenal sign another midfielder, but it now appears that this midfielder will not be Mikel Arteta.

Petr Cech “worth 15 points a season”

Arsenal have agreed personal terms with Chelsea goalkeeper, Petr Cech, according to Sky Sports Sources. 

This comes about after weeks of speculation, with compatriot and Arsenal player, Tomas Rosicky, Chelsea goalkeeping coach, Christophe Lollicon, and now John Terry all speaking out about Cech leaving, with Arsenal on the tips of all of their tongues.

John Terry has said today that:”There is obviously talk of Arsenal signing Petr and if they do get Pete, that will strengthen them for sure. He will save them 12 to 15 points a season” he told Talksport radio station.

“I am sure if he does leave the club, which nobody wants to see, but we understand he wants to play football, he is going to be sorely missed. He will improve whatever side he goes to.”

Jose Mourinho had previously said there was no chance he would let Cech make the switch to their London rivals, if it was down to him.

But it appears that Roman Abromavich has taken a different stance, and is willing to let Cech decide his own future so that he and his family can remain in London. After many years of service to Chelsea, this is a tribute of respect to the long-serving keeper and the least he deserves.

Petr Cech could provide Arsenal some much needed stability in goal, and a world-class goalkeeper that hasn’t been present since Jens Lehman, leaving them more capable of pushing on to mount a serious title challenge.

 

Jackson Martinez to decide on Arsenal or AC Milan

Porto’s striker, Jackson Martinez, is set to leave the club this summer having attracted a number of interested parties from his performances over the past couple of seasons.

It now looks as though as the Colombian star could be on his way to Arsenal, after weeks of speculation.

Martinez’s agent, Luiz Henrique Pompeo, has come out and spoken to the press, telling Portuguese news outlet, O Jogo, “Jackson’s future is already pretty much decided,” he said.

“Things should be clarified in the next few days. He’ll go to a big European club, which will be announced as soon as the contract is signed.

“From what’s been agreed, Porto will receive the €35m from the release clause.”

However, like with Arsenal’s battle for Geoffrey Kondogbia, AC Milan are proving themselves a big threat, and have declared an interest in the Colombian striker, having reportedly held discussions with Porto officials already.

The CEO of Milan, Adriano Galliani, has admitted that negotiations for signing Jackson Martínez are difficult, and that it will come down to the will of the player as the deciding factor, with regards to which club he will prefer to join.

“It’s a difficult negotiation. There are several clubs interested in the player and his will, will be crucial,” Galliani said, speaking to Italian publication La Stampa.

Apparently the Milan director was in Portugal on Wednesday in attempt to negotiate a deal quickly.

Will Arsenal receive additional Vermaelen money?

It has been widely speculated that there was a clause in the deal that took Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona, which would see Arsenal receive an additional amount of money to the original transfer fee, should Barcelona win the Champions League this season. 

The Camp Nou outfit rounded off a remarkable season last night, beating Juventus 3-1 in the Champions League final to clinch a historic treble.

The Independent have reported that Arsenal will receive an additional £3 million from Barcelona’s win, to go on top of the transfer fee already received, thought to be around £12-15 million, despite the Belgian international having only played one game the entire season, after missing the majority through a hamstring injury sustained in last summers World Cup.

However, other sources, including renowned Spanish newspaper, Marca, have reported that this clause has been negated and Barcelona are no longer required to make such a payment due to Vermaelen not playing a single minute of Champions League action all year.

Whether Arsenal receive this fee or not remains to be seen, and it may well be one for the lawyers to discuss.

What could have represented another very shrewd bit of business from Arsenal, might not have worked out as well as originally planned.

Thomas Vermaelen managed to lift the FA Cup as Arsenal club captain last year, despite not holding down a regular starting place all year with, Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny, Arsene Wenger’s preferred pairing.

The 29-year-old will now go down as a member of a historic treble winning squad, despite only playing an average of 21 minutes per winners medal he ‘won’.

Why I really joined Arsenal – Alexis Sanchez

Last summer Arsenal fought off competition from Liverpool to sign Chilean star, Alexis Sanchez, from Barcelona for £35m.

However it was widely speculated that the reason behind this was to do with a desire to live in London, and evolved around his long-term girlfriend. A rumour spread by Liverpool fans as their club missed out on him and likely born out of envy, as they had just lost Suarez to Barcelona too.

However, we all know Arsenal are preferable in a number of ways other than location. The stadium, the manager, the consistent Champions League football, the fact we had begun to sign quality players rather than sell them, and of course we had just won the FA Cup. The list goes on.

Speaking to BT Sport in an interview that will air during Saturday’s coverage of the final, Sanchez said: “The reason why I moved to Arsenal is because there were a group of young players with the ambition to achieve things.

“I thought that Arsenal was the perfect club for me, the perfect club to win titles and compete in every competition.

“Yes there is a joyful atmosphere in the dressing room,” he told BT Sport.

“Arsenal is a magnificent club and I hope to win many titles here. I’m going to do my very best to help the club achieve success.”

Sanchez is very happy with his first season, but is keen for the team to keep progressing on to greater things.

“It has been a positive season but I have still got ambitions to win more,” he said.

“I would like to be closer to winning the Premier League title and get further in the Champions League.

“Every time I play I do it with the same motivation. I want the team to grow more and to compete in every competition we play.”

The forward is renowned for his impressive work-rate, but he doesn’t do it for the appreciation.

“I don’t really perceive that,” he added. “Every time someone takes the ball off me I feel like I’ve been stripped of my toy.

“When a player takes the ball off me I just want to win it back. That could work as a motivational tool for my team-mates but I don’t think about that on the pitch.”

And like every player signed by Arsene Wenger, Sanchez cites the boss as a key part of him joining the club.

“He is a legend. He is an Arsenal legend,” he said. “You learn from him every day. Sometimes we discuss about things like I would like to train more, and he doesn’t let me! But he definitely looks after me.”

This will naturally be Sanchez’s first FA Cup should Arsenal win, and he understands the history of the competition. A win will see Arsenal have won it more than any other club.

“The FA Cup is a competition with amazing history,” he said.

“Today we watched a video about Arsenal’s previous wins and thanks to the clips I trained with even more motivation. I hope we can win the cup so the Arsenal supporters are happy.”

Unfortunately that’s all we have of the interview so far, but come Saturday it will be intriguing (at the least) to see what he has to say, given a lack of interviews so far this season. 

Sanchez has already won a title for himself this season though, the fans player of the year award.