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GUNNERS LATEST 4:07 ET, Nov 14 2021Updated: 4:07 ET, Nov 14 2021ARSENAL could loan out Folarin Balogun with the 20-year-old in need of some match experience.

Balogun has made three appearances for the Gunners this season and he told reporters: “I feel like I am ready for a new challenge.”

The Gunners are also in pole position to secure the signing of Raheem Sterling after Xavi tore up Barcelona’s January plans.

The England winger has 18 months left on his contract and Man City are believed to be willing to accept an offer of around £45m

But one man who may be heading to Barca is Arsenal’s striker Alexandre Lacazette, who Xavi is believed to still retain an interest in.

Meanwhile, Arsenal fans have been given the hairdryer treatment by former rival boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

Fergie has laid into the Wenger Out brigade, which he sees as having got the legendary Gunners boss sacked in 2018.

We’ve also the very latest on Dusan Vlahovic, with Arsenal reportedly battling with North London rivals Tottenham for his signature.

And in a boost for Arteta, Granix Xhaka has returned to training as he continues his comeback from a knee injury.

Follow ALL of the latest updates below…

RAHEEM THE DREAM

Arsenal legend Sol Campbell thinks Raheem Sterling COULD join Arsenal.

The Gunners have been linked with a move for the England international for over a year now.

And Sterling’s situation at Manchester City doesn’t seem to be sorted.

Campbell thinks Arsenal have a chance of signing him.

Speaking to The Highbury Squad on YouTube, he said: “I think there’s mileage in it. He [Arteta] really influenced him.

“Nobody can argue that his output and return as a wide player. And he scored over 20 goals as a wide man, that’s huge.

“If someone like him becomes available we have to be involved. We have to.”

Barcelona are also interested in the winger.

DUSAN DEMAND

Spurs and Manchester City have been told they can have Serbian striker Dusan Vlahovic in January – if they cough up £70 million, writes PHIL THOMAS.

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte has told his new employers Vlahovic, 21, is the first big-name signing he wants, to ease the pressure on Harry Kane.

But City are also keen, and have regularly run the rule over the Fiorentina forward, who turned down a new deal last month and is out of contract in 2023.

The Italians know they will lose the 21-year-old soon, and want to cash in at a premium in the upcoming window.

Vlahovic, who hit 21 goals last season, has carried on his impressive form this term, with 15 more in 19 games.

The Viola ace’s performances are said to have also caught the attention of Spurs’ bitter rivals Arsenal, who are also on the lookout for attacking reinforcements.

LIV WITH IT

Title challengers Liverpool are up next for Arsenal next weekend.

The Reds did, however, lose their last outing against league high-flyers West Ham.

David Moyes’ West Ham won the game 3-2 at the London Stadium.

MORNING, GUNNERS FANS

Arsenal are reportedly keeping tabs on Bayer Leverkusen starlet Florian Wirtz.

According to El Nacional, Chelsea, Man Utd, City, Barcelona and Real Madrid are also keen on the 18-year-old midfielder.

Despite it being claimed that the Blues and Los Blancos have shown the most interest in prising the midfielder away from Germany, the player is believed to prefer a move to Barca.

In other news, Nicolas Pepe could be on his way out of the Emirates after failing to make his mark following a £72million switch from Lille.

The 26-year-old has never really found his feet at Arsenal since his big money transfer two years ago and the Gunners are now eyeing other targets in his position.

According to Football.London the club are working on a potential exit for the inconsistent winger.

Meanwhile, Jack Wilshere has revealed that he’s considering retiring from football to become a manager.

The 29-year-old remarked: “I have to think about it.

“That is why I am doing the coaching. I have been forced into doing it a little bit but I am grateful for the opportunity.”

And finally, Arsenal starlet Folarin Balogun is open to leaving the club on loan to develop his career.

The 20-year-old said: “I do feel ready for a new challenge but at the same time I’m not sure what the challenge might be.

“It might be a loan, of course, or if I’m needed at Arsenal, I’m here, and the gaffer knows that as well.

“He said I should have trust in him and said he had a plan for me. That’s a big reason I did stay and decided to re-sign.”

FLO RIDA

Arsenal and Man Utd are just two clubs that are keeping tabs on Bayer Leverkusen starlet Florian Wirtz.

According to El Nacional, Chelsea, Man City, Barcelona and Real Madrid are also keen on the 18-year-old midfielder.

It has been claimed that the Blues and Los Blancos have shown the most interest in prising the midfielder away from Germany.

Though the player is said to be keen on a move to Barca, with the youngster a fan of new boss Xavi.

Though any potential suitor may have to wait until 2023 to sign Wirtz, who has chipped in with seven goals and as many assists from 14 games this season.

WILD ABOUT FLO

EXCLUSIVE – Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun is at the top of new Middlesbrough boss Chris Wilder’s shopping list.

Wilder knows his old club Sheffield United are also keen on the 20-year-old hitman.

But he was at the England Under-21 game to watch ‘Flo’ first-hand last week.

Boro need more firepower and Wilder has been told he will get funds to land players in the new year market.

The Gunners are yet to decide what to do with Balogun in the second half of the season but if he goes out on loan there will be a sizeable queue.

Wilder was named Boro boss last week, after eight months out of a job.

PEP TALK

Nicolas Pepe could be on his way out of the Emirates after failing to make his mark following a £72million move from Lille.

The 26-year-old has never really found his feet at Arsenal since his big money transfer two years ago and the Gunners are now eyeing other targets in his position.

According to football.london the club are working on a potential exit for the inconsistent winger.

But despite Emirates bigwigs being happy to take just £25million for the Ivory Coast international, there is little interest from other clubs.

It means the Gunners could have a job on their hands trying to sell Pepe with the player under contract at the club until the summer of 2024.

He has played just five minutes of football in Arsenal’s last three Premier League games and is yet to score in the league this campaign.


DONE AN DUS-TED

Arsenal are reportedly not looking to bring Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic to the Emirates in Janaury.

The Gunners have been linked with a move to sign the 21-year-old, but a move doesn’t seem likely.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Goal journalist Charles Watts said: “My understanding of it is – and I tweeted this out – is he’s not one of Arsenal’s targets when it comes to a new striker.

“A lot of the talk is about January and from what I understand, it’s not happening.

“There is certainly reasons why it’s good for Fiorentina that Arsenal want him.

“But as far as I’m aware, there’s been no talks and negotiations.”

SEAD TO SEE

Arsenal defender Sead Kolasinac suffered a ‘shocking’ injury while playing for Bosnia and Herzegovina against Finland.

Kolasinac was forced off injured after just 39 minutes following the nasty challenge from Minnesota United’s Jukka Raitala.

The Finnish defender was rightfully sent off by Premier League official Michael Oliver.

Kolasinac, 28, has made only four appearances for Arsenal this season and he fights for his spot in Mikel Arteta’s squad.

But the horror tackle and subsequent injury will not help his case if he faces time on the sidelines.

DRAW DRAMA

Vivianne Miedema helped Arsenal snatch a dramatic stoppage-time draw with Tottenham in an enthralling Women’s Football Weekend encounter.

The WSL ace’s header cancelled out a Rachel Williams goal to deny Spurs’ boss Rehanne Skinner a birthday win at The Hive.

While the result saw Tottenham break their hoodoo of WSL losses to their rivals they were denied a famous win and the chance to leapfrog champions Chelsea to second spot.

Skinner, who turned 42, said: “You come into the game with the players so focused and ready to put in a performance.

“I was just hoping as all managers do, that they pull that together and deliver on that.

“Massive credit to them. I am so proud of their performances and everything they do as a team together. It’s a great point on my birthday.

Read more HERE.

MAT FINISH

Arsenal could re-sign goalkeeper Mat Ryan in 2022 to replace Bernd Leno should he depart, claims former striker Kevin Campbell.

Ryan impressed during his loan spell last term, but the club decided against permanently signing him as he linked up with Real Sociedad.

Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “I was surprised that the club didn’t make a concrete move for Ryan,.

“Obviously Edu and Arteta had their eyes on Aaron Ramsdale. As controversial as it was at the time, what a signing.

2Ramsdale was getting stick before he signed. You have to look at it as a very justified decision. Ramsdale has been a revelation.

“Leno is going to leave next year so I think we could see Mat Ryan come back as number two to Ramsdale.”

WHITE NOISE

Arsenal icon Ian Wright has lauded the centre-back partnership of Gabriel and Ben White.

Speaking on the Kelly and Wrighty Show, he said: “I love the fact even with Benjamin White when he’s coming out and he said: ‘I don’t watch much football, I just play football’.

“I love the fact that he’s brave enough and strong enough to admit that because he can deal with what comes with that.

But when you look at his performances next to Gabriel, it’s very solid with the goalkeeper. It’s a very good team, those three are very solid.

“They’re footballing centre-halves – into Thomas Partey, into Sambi Lokonga.

Now Arsenal are looking like, with the structure and the way the team is playing, you can see if it has to go long they’ll do that, but if a defender has to run it into the midfield and then go from there, we saw Ben White setting up Emile Smith Rowe’s goal the other day.

“So we’re looking at a team now with a lot of confidence.”

WRIGHT DOUBLE

Arsenal youngster Folarin Balogun has revealed he idolised Ian Wright as a kid after Martin Keown made comparisons between the pair.

The 20-year-old striker used to study footage of Wright and even modelled his playing style off of the Gunners legend.

When asked about Keown’s comparison, Balogun said to the Mail: “It was obviously nice to be compared to a club legend by Martin.

What Ian’s done for Arsenal is amazing, what he’s done in his career is amazing.

‘Growing up I looked at Ian Wright, looked at his game, taken things from his game. I’ve just got to carve my own name out like he did.”

CAMP DE BEEK

Arsenal legend Kevin Campbell has urged his former club to take Donny van de Beek off Manchester United’s books.

De Beek’s had a torrid time at United but Campbell reckons the Dutch star is a hidden gem that could flourish with Arsenal.

“Speaking on the Highbury Squad YouTube channel, Campbell said: “There’s been a rumour about van de Beek at Manchester United.

“It’s (not playing under Solskjaer) not his fault, how is it his fault?

“He was at Ajax, he was unbelievable at Ajax. Gets signed by Manchester United and they won’t play him.

“I don’t know, I’m just saying it’s a rumour. I only want what’s best for Arsenal and I believe that van de Beek can play if given the opportunity. The boy can play.”

NO THOMAS NO PARTEY

Arsenal have been dealt a big injury blow ahead of their crucial Premier League clash against Liverpool.

Midfield regular Thomas Partey will not be involved for Ghana against South Africa on Sunday as he’s still receiving some treatment at his club.

Partey missed the Gunners’ 1-0 win over newly promoted Watford last weekend with a thigh strain, and it has potentially thrown an appearance against title hopefuls Liverpool next weekend into doubt.

But according to Goal reporter Charles Watts, Arsenal do have some hope he could make the trip to Anfield with their impressive ten-game unbeaten run on the line.

Should he miss the game, Ainsley Maitland-Niles could be handed another start in the middle of the park.

PART FIXED

Arsenal are reportedly hoping that Thomas Partey will be fit to play against Liverpool next week.

Partey missed the Gunners last game against Watford, but they’re optimistic he’ll be back to help them take on the Reds, according to Goal journalist Charles Watts.

He said on his YouTube channel: “My understanding of it is that Arsenal are still hoping that he will be available for that Liverpool game.

“And this is a more precautionary thing that rather a serious injury.”

AUB IS WELL

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave Arsenal an injury scare while on international duty with Gabon.

The striker scored a penalty in Gabon’s 1-0 win over Libya but was stretchered off towards the end of the match.

But Aubameyang’s injury doesn’t seem that serious and he was later seen dancing along with the Gabon squad on Instagram.

An injury to one of their main goal threats would’ve presented Arsenal with a massive headache ahead of their Prem match against Liverpool next weekend.

RAM’S THE MAN

Ian Wright reckons Arsenal keeper Aaron Ramsdale is a major presence in the Gunners dressing room.

Ramsdale’s been in superb form on the pitch but Wright doesn’t think his influence stops there.

Speaking on the Kelly and Wrighty show, he said: “I think they must be even more surprised with what he brings to that dressing room.

“You can see it when he’s playing. What you do see is how the players just continually come round him.

“He’s a rallier and it’s something that Arsenal have needed.

“People constantly talked about Arsenal when it wasn’t going well [that there was] no leaders, no characters in the dressing room.”

AL SMILES

Albert Sambi Lokonga has revealed that he’s very happy at Arsenal.

The midfielder moved to the Emirates this summer from Anderlecht and has no regrets about his transfer so far.

He said: “Yes, it’s gone a bit quicker than anticipated, but I was well prepared physically, mentally and on a football level.

“I don’t want to say that I had the required qualities but apparently they suit the manager. I’m fighting for my spot, I play games and I’m getting minutes.

I’m very happy. I made the right choice, but I already knew that.

MUM’S THE WORD

Emile Smith Rowe has revealed that his first England cap is going to his mum.

Rowe earned his first Three Lions cap following a string of impressive displays for Arsenal this season.

The 21-year-old made his debut as a second-half sub in England’s 5-0 win over Albania last night, but he wants to share the accolade with his mother.

When asked what he plans to do with the cap, Rowe said “It’s going straight to my mum, so thank you”

‘NOT ENOUGH’

Arsenal legend Kevin Campbell reckons Gunners boss Mikel Arteta should offload Nicolas Pepe if doesn’t come good this season.

Pepe joined the Gunners two years ago for £27m from Lille, but Campbell hasn’t been impressed by what he’s seen thus far.

Speaking to the BBC, Campbell said: “This is the proving season for Pepe, I believe.

“He will get a chance, it might be in the Carabao Cup, but he will get a chance. He’s got to shine, he has to. If he doesn’t…

“What is it, the third year of a five-year deal? We’re still waiting for him to make the real break out, although he broke out a little bit at the back end of last season. Is that enough for a record signing? It’s not enough!”

ROWE SUPPORT

Folarin Balogun has revealed that he’s inspired by Arsenal team-mate Emile Smith Rowe’s career rise.

Rowe’s become a staple in the Gunners first team and his performances have seen him earn a call-up to England’s national squad.

And Balogun takes comfort in the fact that Rowe was playing U23’s football last year.

He said: “This time last year Emile was playing Under-23s football. So it shows how quickly it can turn around.

“It’s not overnight so it would be naive for me to think the process would happen overnight. When you’re ready you take your opportunity.”

Balogun also explained that his Gunners pals Rowe and Bukayo Saka have been giving him advice on how to get to the next stage of his career.

He added: “I’m not at the level I want to be. I speak to Emile and Bukayo [Saka] a lot. They tell me to be patient.

“They tell me it is not an overnight thing, which it hasn’t been for them. It would be naive for me to think that.

“You just have to keep practicing, then you see the rewards and when you are ready you will take the opportunity.”

IDOL BECKS

Emile Smith Rowe has revealed that David Beckham is his favourite England player.

Arsenal star Rowe made his England debut this week and explained that he was in awe of Beckham when he was growing up.

When speaking to the Three Lions YouTube channel, he said: “My England hero? I’m gonna go for Becks.

“I have to, I have to say Beckham first.

“The set-pieces, the free-kicks and all that — everything about him man. I have to give it to him.”

BOSS JOB

Jack Wilshere has revealed that he’s considering retiring from football to become a manager.

Wilshere’s playing career has hit the skids after a string of injuries which have forced him to contemplate hanging up his boots.

Which is why the 29-year-old is going for his coaching badges aswell as training with former club Arsenal in a bid to relaunch his career.

When asked about retirement and his future by the BBC, Wilshere said: “I have to think about it.

“That is why I am doing the coaching. I have been forced into doing it a little bit but I am grateful for the opportunity.”

GUNNER GO

Arsenal starlet Folarin Balogun is open to leaving the club on loan to develop his career.

The 20-year-old’s admission comes after England U21 boss Lee Carsley suggested Balogun had outgrown Arsenal’s youth setup.

Responding to Carsley’s claims, Balogun said: “I do feel ready for a new challenge but at the same time I’m not sure what the challenge might be.

“It might be a loan, of course, or if I’m needed at Arsenal, I’m here, and the gaffer knows that as well.

“He said I should have trust in him and said he had a plan for me. That’s a big reason I did stay and decided to re-sign.”

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