Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Arthur Melo EXCLUSIVE, Dusan Vlahovic LATEST as Fiorentina chiefs HIT OUT, Spurs derby RISK

ARSENAL are ready to sign Juventus midfielder Arthur Melo on loan for the rest of the season to ease their midfield crisis, SunSport can exclusively reveal.

The Gunners are desperately short of options in the heart of midfield, especially after Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny left for AFCON duty.

Mikel Arteta is a big fan of the 25-year-old, and has been keeping tabs on him over the last few seasons.

While on the pitch, Arsenal's huge derby against Spurs this Sunday is at risk of being cancelled with the Gunners squad becoming increasingly depleted with Covid and injuries. We've got the latest from Mikel Arteta.

In other transfer news, the Gunners are set for a battle for the return of Aaron Ramsey, with Newcastle, Crystal Palace and Everton all interested in the Welsh midfielder.

And we've the very latest on the Gunners interest in both Youri Tielemens and Fiorentina's Dusan Vlahovic.

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Follow ALL of the latest updates…

  • Justin Lawrence

    'Wijnaldim should join Gunners'

    Ian Rush can see why Arsenal want Wijnaldum and has urged the former Liverpool star to join the Gunners instead of Newcastle.

    He told Gambling.com: "I notice Gini Wijnaldum being linked with a move to Arsenal this week and I can see why, it makes sense.

    "He’s not playing regularly in Paris but he’d definitely get more game time at Arsenal, who could use a bit of experience to complement what is already a good but young side.

    "That little bit of extra experience would add something to their midfield.

    "They could face some competition from Gini’s old club Newcastle though, who have a new-found wealth, and a lot of football decisions come down to money these days.

    "If he does end up going back to Newcastle, you’d have to assume he’s only going there for financial reasons because they look like they’ll be playing Championship football next season.

    "Arsenal would be a much better move for him in my opinion, even if it’s on lesser wages."

  • Justin Lawrence

    Arsenal have recalled Miguel Azeez from his loan spell at Portsmouth.

    The 19-year-old joined Pompey on a season-long loan last summer but his spell away has been cut short by the Gunners, the Daily Mail report.

    It's likely Aterta's side have brought Azeez back to help deal with Arsenal's midfield crisis which was exacerbated by Xhaka's red card against Liverpool last night.

  • Justin Lawrence

    Saka Spurs injury doubt

    Arteta isn't sure whether Saka will be fit to play in Arsenal's clash with Spurs on the weekend.

    Saka hobbled off late in the Gunners draw with Liverpool last night and Arteta can't confirm if the winger will be ready for action against the club's bitter rivals.

    Arteta siad: "He felt something in the last minutes, he was really fatigued.

    "I don’t know. He’s a young boy and he recovers really quickly.

    "But he’s played a lot of minutes in the last few months so let’s see who is available."

  • Justin Lawrence

    Piers Morgan blasts Xhaka

    Piers Morgan has ripped into Granit Xhaka for his red card against Liverpool last night.

    Xhaka was quickly forgiven by his Arsenal peers for the offence but Piers wasn't in the mood to do the same.

    He raged on Twitter: "Every time I start to warm to Xhaka, he does something to remind me he is an unreliable hot-headed d***head.

    "It’s taken years… and we’re talking lukewarm."

  • James Orr

    Arthur Melo latest

    Arsenal will have to buy Arthur Melo permanently from Juventus if they want the Brazilian.

    The 25-year-old midfielder has emerged as one of Mikel Arteta’s top targets during the January transfer window.

    The Gunners are desperately short of midfield options and need reinforcements.

  • James Orr

    Arteta on Liverpool

    The Arsenal boss said after his team bravely held Liverpool with 10-men for 66 mins last night: "When you come to a stadium like this, I said to them you have to pick players who are happy to go to war with, going to fight.

    "You are going to have difficult moments when you suffer. It is about how you approach those moments.

    "If you are willing to help your team, willing to accept that in some moments you are not going to play the game you want then good things are going to happen.

    "When you play with that spirit, fight and brotherhood around the team, in the end you get rewarded. That is what happened."

  • James Orr

    Spurs game at risk latest

    Due to injury and illness the Gunners' squad could be as small as 12 heading into the match – leaving the fixture in danger of being called off.

    Speaking about that possibility after the Liverpool game, Arteta said: "It is a possibility in every game.

    "From our side, from the opponent's side, because of the amount of issues everyone is having and because it is happening every week.

    "We try to prepare games thinking we are going to play."

  • James Orr

    Spurs game at RISK

    Mikel Arteta has revealed the North London derby could be called off as Arsenal are without a host of players for the clash with Spurs.

    The Gunners, who were reduced to 10 men midway through the first half of their match with Liverpool when Granit Xhaka was dismissed, valiantly earned themselves a goalless draw in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final at Anfield last night.

  • Dylan Terry

    Morning Arsenal fans

    Mikel Arteta's reckons ten-man Arsenal 'revelled' in adversity to earn last night's stirring 0-0 Carabao Cup semi-final first-leg draw at Liverpool.

    Granit Zhaka's straight red card for a crude challenge on goal-bound Diogo Jota after 24 minutes sparked brilliant Gunners' defending.

    Yet it was Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka who wasted the first effort on target from either side in the 71st minute, before Liverpool's Takumi Minamino missed a late open goal.

    Arsenal chief Arteta told Sky Sports: “We revel against the situation. The players showed great fight, determination, brotherhood. You saw the emotion, we never gave up.

    “I don’t know if the red card inspired them but it took the fight.

    “We played the game we had to play, which is not our game. 

    “The extra motivation to play a derby [at Tottenham on Sunday] brings the energy when you don’t have it."

    Meanwhile, Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand claims Arsenal should target West Ham flop Sebastien Haller.

    And Ajax striker Haller, 27, would certainly be far cheaper than £67million-rated Fiorentina ace Dusan Vlahovic.

    Lastly, the Gunners' interest in Georginio Wijnaldum has been boosted by reports PSG's ex-Liverpool midfielder was an Arsenal fan.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Arteta: We showed brotherhood

    Boss Mikel Arteta hailed ten-man Arsenal's 'brotherhood' in drawing 0-0 at Liverpool in the Carabao Cup semi-finals first leg.

    He told Sky Sports: "We revel against the situation. The players showed great fight, determination, brotherhood. You saw the emotion, we never gave up.

    "I don't know if the red card inspired them but it took the fight.

    "We played the game we had to play, which is not our game. I have not seen it back, they checked it so probably a red card.

    "To plan with the numbers we have, we don't have any midfielders, becomes really complicated.

    "The extra motivation to play a derby [at Tottenham on Sunday] brings the energy when you don't have it. No excuses, we have to play it."

  • Ian Tuckey

    Arsenal sub ratings

    SUB – CALUM CHAMBERS – 6

    Calum Chambers struggled in the first half as he had to fill in for the injured Cedric Soares and Andy Robertson gave him a hard time.

    But Chambers pulled it together in the second half and helped Arsenal pick up an important draw ahead of the return fixture at the Emirates.

    SUB- ROB HOLDING – 7

    Came on to boost Arsenal’s defence after Granit Xhaka’s red card and was part of the visitors’ back five.

    A solid performance that helped the Gunners keep Liverpool’s front three quiet.

    SUB – NUNO TAVARES – N/A

    Came on after 81 minutes and therefore can’t be graded as he didn’t spend much time on the pitch

  • Ian Tuckey

    Rest of the Arsenal team rated

    GABRIEL MARTINELLI – 7

    Played in a rather unfamiliar role in midfield as he was required to offer assistance to Albert Sambi Lokonga.

    Nevertheless, Gabriel Martinelli carried himself well, especially during Liverpool’s dangerous attacks.

    EDDIE NKETIAH – 5

    Eddie Nketiah didn’t get to shine in the Carabao Cup this time as he only managed 28 minutes on the pitch.

    Nketiah didn’t create any danger to Liverpool’s defence, but was sacrificed because of Granit Xhaka’s dismissal and Mikel Arteta’s decision to change the formation to a 5-3-1 with Alexandre Lacazette leading the line.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Arsenal ratings continued

    BUKAYO SAKA – 7

    He was by far Arsenal’s best player in the first half but slowed down in the second as Mikel Arteta wanted to do some damage control hoping there would be a clean sheet.

    The Gunners mostly defended but Bukayo Saka was very dangerous when moving forward.

    The winger came off with a knock during the dying minutes of the match.

    ALEXANDRE LACAZETTE – 5

    Arsenal didn’t get the chance to attack much during the game as they were playing with a man down.

    However, Alexandre Lacazette didn’t offer anything special during a rare Gunners attack.

  • Ian Tuckey

    More Gunners' ratings

    GABRIEL MAGALHAES – 7

    A rock-solid performance as he gave very little room for Liverpool’s front three to create dangers.

    Would have had the same grade as Ben White if it wasn’t for that careless yellow card in the second half, that could come back to haunt him in the return fixture.

    KIERAN TIERNEY – 7

    Kieran Tierney was solid in regards to his defensive duties and caused trouble down the left flank when he attacked.

    Tierney is showing he will play a major role in Arsenal’s ambitious future.

    ALBERT SAMBI LOKONGA – 6

    Missed a partner in midfield throughout most of the match after Granit Xhaka’s careless red card.

    But Albert Sambi Lokonga jelled well with Bukayo Saka as well as Gabriel Martinelli in midfield and offered tremendous help at the back.

    GRANIT XHAKA – 1

    Another game another red card for Granit Xhaka. Mikel Arteta was counting on him in midfield considering the lack of options he has after Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ loan as well as Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny playing at the Africa Cup of Nations.

    Instead, Xhaka got himself sent off after just 24 minutes with a karate-like kick on Diogo Jota.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Arsenal ratings at Anfield

    AARON RAMSDALE – 6

    Another composed performance from the Arsenal goalkeeper, who reacted well when required to.

    There was only one dismal clearance in the first half that allowed Jordan Henderson to gain possession and get the chance to open the scoring.

    CEDRIC SOARES – N/A

    Cedric Soares barely managed 10 minutes on the pitch until he injured his hip and thus can’t be graded.

    BEN WHITE – 8

    Formed a stunning partnership with Gabriel Magalhaes at centre-back and his outstanding performance was critical in Arsenal’s clean sheet success.

    Ben White continued to work well when Mikel Arteta put him in a back-three, which included Rob Holding, and his positioning as well as alertness didn’t allow him to get a foot wrong.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Result: Liverpool 0 Arsenal 0

    Takumi Minamino wasted a glorious late chance to give Liverpool a first-leg advantage over the ten-man Gunners in this draw.

    But overall Arsenal defended superbly after Granit Zhaka’s 24th minute straight red card.

    OUR LIVE MATCH BLOG HERE HAS ALL THE REACTION

    Minamino to win it eight yards out in the 89th minute.

  • Ian Tuckey

    X-rated Granit challenge

    Granit Xhaka once again proved his recklessness after being sent off for a waist-high challenge on Diogo Jota.

    The Swiss midfielder left the Gunners down to ten men for 65 minutes of their Carabao Cup semi-final first-leg at Anfield.

    It came after Xhaka took Jota out following a cross field pass by left-back Andrew Robertson.

    Robertson's pass put the Liverpool forward through on goal, before Xhaka's misstimed tackle with the score level at 0-0.

    He ended up booting Jota in the stomach as he tried to clear and immediately saw red for denying the goalscoring opportunity.

    It is the fifth time Xhaka has been sent off for Arsenal, with the other four coming in the Premier League.

    He was last sent for an early shower in Arsenal's 5-0 hammering at champions Manchester City in August.

    No player has received more red cards with four than Xhaka since making his Premier League debut for Arsenal in 2016.

  • Ian Tuckey

    H/T: Liverpool 0 Arsenal 0

    Liverpool's 80% of first-half possession failed to break down 10-man Arsenal's firm, fine defending.

    OUR LIVE BLOG HERE HAS PREVIEW NEWS, ACTION AND REACTION

  • Ian Tuckey

    Xhaka sent off

    LIVERPOOL 0 ARSENAL 0: Gunners' midfielder Granit Xhaka earns a straight red for upending goal-bound Diogo Jota on the edge of the box after 24 minutes.

    And striker Eddie Nketiah looks unhappy when he is the man sacrificed four minutes later for substitute Arsenal defender Rob Holding.

    OUR LIVE BLOG HERE HAS PREVIEW NEWS, ACTION AND REACTION

  • Ian Tuckey

    It's under way: Liverpool 0 Arsenal 0

    The battle to face Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final is up and running in the first leg at Anfield.

    OUR LIVE BLOG HERE HAS PREVIEW NEWS, ACTION AND REACTION

  • Ian Tuckey

    And here's the Liverpool team

    The youthful Gunners will certainly face a strong Liverpool side tonight.

    OUR LIVE BLOG HERE HAS PREVIEW NEWS, ACTION AND REACTION

  • Ian Tuckey

    Odegaard out with Covid

    Playmaker Martin Odegaard misses Arsenal's Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at Liverpool tonight after testing positiive for Covid.

    But Kieran Tierney, Bukayo Saka and December player-of-the-month Gabriel Martinelli start.

    Martinelli's fellow strikers Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are also in the Gunners XI.

    OUR LIVE BLOG HERE HAS PREVIEW NEWS, ACTION AND REACTION

  • Ian Tuckey

    Rio: Haller would be top Gunner

    Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand claims West Ham flop Sebastien Hallerwould be an Arsenal hit.

    Ajax striker Haller, 27, would be a surprise but far cheaper option to £67million-rated Fiorentina ace Dusan Vlahovic.

    Credit: Getty

    Emirates boss Mikel Arteta wants long-term replacements for ageing attackersPierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

    Haller struggled with the Hammers from 2019-21 after arriving from Eintracht Frankfurt.

    But Ferdinand told his FIVE YouTube channel: "‘I reckon Haller would be good for you lot."

    The ex-England star also rates Real Sociedad's Sweden frontman Alexander Isak, 22, as another worthwhile target.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Bye Georg!Wijnaldummoves up Gunners' list

    Arsenal’s pursuit of Georginio Wijnaldum has been given a huge boost as it’s been reported that the PSG star used to support the Gunners.

    And the North London side still hold a special place in the midfielder’s heart, according to Sky Sports.

    A source told Sky Sports, reported by the Mirror: “I’ve been told Arsenal are one of his favourite clubs.

    “Somebody quite close to me said that when he was growing up that he was an Arsenal supporter. So I think that he would be more than happy to play for Arsenal one day.

    “I’m not going to say it’s going to happen this month. I’m not going to say it’s going to happen in the summer.

    “But they are definitely, I’ve been told, a club that are close to his heart.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    Winter of discontent

    Arsenal legend Nigel Winterburn has urged his former side to make some big changes.

    He told Paddy Power: “Arsenal need to make some big changes and Mikel Arteta has started that.

    “You can see what they’re trying to do with the young players they have but there are still some players who have been there a while who are not getting much game time and that squad still needs changing considerably before we can get to where we want to be.

    “Even with the results we’ve had this season, there’s no doubt in my mind that there has been progression. The good and the bad performances are just way too far apart.

    “Looking at the Everton and Manchester United games, where Arsenal were leading as the away team, they should be getting four points but ended up with nothing.

    “Then comparing it to the level of performance against Manchester City, I’ve never seen an Arsenal crowd react to their team losing like that.

    “It showed that they were right behind the team in terms of commitment and style of play. Then you get the flip side which is what we saw against Nottingham Forest which was not acceptable.”

    Source: Read Full Article