Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette & Barcelona
In recent weeks rumours have popped up linking Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette with a summer move to Barcelona.
While the Gunners have struggled in the Premier League this year, they have reached the Europa League final.
Arsenal will take on Chelsea in the showpiece in Baku.
Arsenal booked their spot in the final after beating Valencia 4-2 away from home on Thursday.
After that game, Telefoot spoke to Lacazette about the Barcelona stories.
Barcelona are reportedly planning a £70m summer move for Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) May 5, 2019
Lacazette reacts to Barcelona transfer rumours
Rather than dodging the topic, Lacazette said “it’s flattering” to be linked with Barcelona.
The upshot of Lacazette’s two words will probably see those links to the Camp Nou intensify.
— Téléfoot (@telefoot_TF1) May 12, 2019
Lacazette’s Arsenal extension?
In contrast to Telefoot, the Mail on Sunday are pushing the story that Arsenal could lock Lacazette down to a contract extension.
Indeed, the Gunners are reportedly also interested in extending Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s deal too. Readers are told:
Talks are planned this summer to extend the contracts of the pair as Arsenal look to avoid further loss of key players.
Aubameyang is under contract at Arsenal until 2021.
The Mail on Sunday claim Arsenal want to keep him at the club until 2023, while they will up his salary to around £250,000 a week.
Lacazette, who is under contract until 2022, will reportedly net the same wages if he extends his contract.
The fine spell of form being enjoyed by on-loan Manchester United man Chris Smalling in Italy continued in AS Roma’s latest outing this afternoon.
English international Smalling had spent the last 9 years of his career on the books of Premier League giants Manchester United.
However, on the back of Harry Maguire’s big-money arrival from Leicester City over the summer, Smalling was deemed surplus to requirements by Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
As such, on the back of weeks of speculation, the 29-year-old departed Old Trafford for Serie A outfit AS Roma at the end of August.
Smalling made the move to the Stadio Olimpico on loan for the 2019/20 campaign.
And, after struggling for game-time over the early weeks of his stint in the Italian capital, Smalling has since gone on to thoroughly-impress of late.
The former Fulham youngster has notched starts in 11 of Roma’s last 12 outings, the latest of which came this afternoon versus Brescia.
Paulo Fonseca’s men welcomed the struggling Biancazzurri to the Stadio Olimpico, for their first Serie A outing following the international break.
And, when all was said and done, Roma ran out comfortable 3-0 victors.
Incredibly, though, along with helping his side to a clean sheet, Smalling also played a direct role in all 3 of the hosts’ goals.
After opening the scoring shortly after the interval, the Englishman went on to bag the assists for defensive partner Gianluca Mancini’s 2nd, and Edin Dzeko’s result-sealing 3rd:
🔥 Chris Smalling for Roma today…
– 49th minute: Goal
– 57th minute: Assist
– 66th minute: Assist
— The Sportsman Bet (@TheSportsmanBet) November 24, 2019
The following statistic has since also been unearthed:
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) November 24, 2019
Big injury updates for Arsenal
Arsenal have provided injury updates on several players ahead of their clash with Watford, including Rob Holding, Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney.
The Gunners haven’t had an ideal start to the season in relation to injuries.
Summer signing Kieran Tierney is yet to start a game this season due to an ongoing injury problem.
The Scottish left-back hasn’t even played a competitive game since May.
Meanwhile, fellow full-back Hector Bellerin has not featured since back in January after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury.
Rob Holding has also been out with an injury, having ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in a 2-2 draw with Manchester United back in December last year.
Now, Arsenal have provided an injury update on all three players.
Several players on track for September return
In a statement released on Arsenal’s official website, the club revealed Holding is back in full training with the squad.
That could even put him in contention for the clash with Watford on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Arsenal are targeting a September return to training for Hector Bellerin.
Their statement claims Bellerin is ‘continuing with on-field rehabilitation’, and is ‘progressing well and aiming to participate in full training in September.’
The same timescale is given to Kieran Tierney, with Arsenal also suggesting return this month is possible for the Scottish left-back.
Finally, Arsenal also give an update on youngster Dinos Mavropanos.
They reveal that, like Tierney and Bellerin, the player is aiming to return in September.