FA Reject Giroud’s Red Card Appeal
Arsenal FC’s appeal to overturn the red card shown to Olivier Giroud in last weekend’s 1-0 win over Fulham has been rejected by the FA, and the striker is now banned for the club’s next three games.
The France international’s 90th-minute tackle on Fulham defender Stanislav Manolev was deemed too dangerous by the referee, who then decided to send him off.
The Gunners argued that Giroud’s slip prior to launching the tackle made it look more dangerous than it was, and he actually didn’t mean to go in that hard. But the FA’s Independent Regulatory Commission weren’t convinced and decided to stick with the original decision.
However, they didn’t increase Giroud’s suspension by one game, something which is customary when red card appeals fail.
It means that the 26-year-old Frenchman will be unavailable for his team’s next three games against Manchester United, QPR and Wigan but will be back for the season-ending trip to Newcastle United.
Gunners to Replace Vermaelen with Fazio – Report
Arsenal are interested in bringing Sevilla centre-half Federico Fazio to Emirates Stadium at the end of the season, according to a report published in Estadio Deportivo.
The Gunners are expected to sell their underperforming captain Thomas Vermaelen this summer and have identified the towering Argentinean defender as his replacement.
Fazio attracted major interest from Russian and German clubs in January, but Sevilla decided to hold on to him. However, he will only have one more year left after this one on his current deal, and so the Primera Division outfit have resigned themselves to losing him.
It is thought that a bid of around €6m will be acceptable to the Andalusian club.
Arsenal Plotting Moves for Underperforming Juve Strikers
Arsenal are planning a double raid on Serie A champions Juventus this summer with their strike duo Fabio Quagliarella and Alessandro Matri being the centre of the Londoners’ attention. (Sky Italia)
The Turin giants will be joined by Athletic Bilbao marksman Fernando Llorente this summer and are thought to be in the market for more big-name strikers. Therefore, they will have to free up some space up front and could be open to allowing one or both of the aforementioned forwards to leave.
However, neither of the two strikers are prolific goal-scorers by any means, and so the Gunners’ interest in their services is a little mystifying. It should be noted that both Quagliarella and Matri’s combined production for Juventus in the league this season has been just 15 goals.
Valero Happy in Fiorentina; Not Seeking Summer Switch
Rumoured Arsenal target Borja Valero’s agent says that his client is not seeking a summer move and is very content at his current club Fiorentina.
The 28-year-old Spaniard failed to flourish in the Premier League earlier in his career with West Brom but has since established himself as one of the better playmakers in Europe.
He joined the Viola last summer from Villarreal and has impressed during his short time in Italian football. His return of just two goals and 10 assists from 36 games isn’t too healthy, but that hasn’t stopped him from being linked with moves to PL clubs such as Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham.
However, before transfer talks could heat up, Valero’s agent Alejandro Camano has come forward to clarify that another summer switch is not on his client’s immediate agenda.
Tuttomercatoweb.com have quoted Camano as saying: “Borja is very happy to stay in Florence and in Fiorentina. I believe that at the time he is among the best players not only in Italy but also in Europe.
“Borja Valero has reached the right maturity to be part of any top club, but his goal is to get in the Champions League with the Fiorentina shirt.
“The future? Currently I cannot know the future. But I repeat that Borja Valero is very happy with Fiorentina and has no other thoughts.”
Wenger Asks Respect for RVP
Arsene Wenger has confirmed that his side will treat former Arsenal captain Robin van Persie with respect when he visits Emirates Stadium this Sunday with his current club Manchester United.
The Arsenal fans may feel that they were betrayed by the Dutchman when he left them last summer to join their traditional rivals United, but the Gunners boss isn’t bitter about it, and he has asked everyone to treat his former prodigy with dignity.
Wenger said: “We will respect the players that have played for us a long time as we always have done and treat them well before and after the game. As a champion or not as a champion it is exactly the same. What I want is for us to have a good game and to beat them, it doesn’t matter what kind if status they come with.”