Backpage Roundup: Gazidis Hints At New Wenger Deal, Newcastle's Taylor Interesting Arsenal, Gunners Release Trio, Jovetic Not On Market and More

Gazidis Hints At New Wenger Deal
Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has refused to offer any real updates regarding coach Arsene Wenger’s future at the club but is confident that the Frenchman’s ‘long-term’ future lies at the Emirates Stadium. (The Evening Standard)
Wenger, 63, only has one more year to run on his current Arsenal contract, and speculation is rife that he might not renew it, so that he could join Paris Saint-Germain next summer.
At a recent meeting with journalists, Gazidis was asked if there is any truth in those rumours, to which he said: “I really don’t want to have a public discussion about Arsene’s contractual position. I don’t even want to say [that we have discussed a new contract]. What I will say is that we think we have got a fantastic manager. We have got a lot of confidence that Arsene is the right person to take the club forward and I think he will want to do that. We hope that he wants to do what he is doing for the long term. I believe he does.
“I think he is still ambitious, still driven and sees the potential of the club as he looks forward and I think he is very excited by that. We have a great relationship and he has a great relationship with the board as well. This is going to happen very quietly behind closed doors, privately and then there will be an announcement when things are all put in place.”
Newcastle’s Steven Taylor Interesting Arsenal
Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor, who was once touted as the next John Terry, has emerged as a shock transfer target for Arsenal FC. (The Daily Mail)
The 27-year-old centre-half has successfully resurrected his career in the Premier League after struggling with fitness and performance-related problems for several years. He featured in 33 matches for the Magpies last season, and his improved performances were rewarded with a place in the England squad earlier this year.
However, the arrival of highly-rated Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa at Newcastle in January means that Taylor is not an undisputed starter for Alan Pardew’s side anymore, and therefore, he might be tempted to jump ships this summer.
The Daily Mail believes that he could be a perfect fit for the Gunners if their captain Thomas Vermaelen is sold, and they fail to land their first-choice replacement, Ashley Williams of Swansea City.
Gunners Release Underused Trio
Arsenal FC have announced that the expiring contracts of Andrey Arshavin, Denilson and Sebastien Squillaci will not be renewed and all three will be given free transfers on June 30.
The departing trio’s imminent exit doesn’t surprise anyone as they weren’t in the club’s long-term plans and had barely been used by coach Arsene Wenger in the past few seasons.
Fiorentina Insist Jovetic Not For Sale
Arsenal’s pursuit of Fiorentina ace Stevan Jovetic seems all but over after his Serie A employers made it clear that they have no intention of selling him this summer.
The 23-year-old Montenegrin is believed to be the Gunners and Juventus’ top transfer target, but the Viola’s sporting director Daniele Prade has poured cold water on their plans.
In an interview with Lega-Calcio, Prade said: “We have been clear about Jovetic. He is not on the market. There is a word given to the boy by the president: at the end of the season they would talk together, but those are the conditions, otherwise we keep him happy.
“There has been no bid [from Juventus], only a meeting between the president and the agent Cognigni Ramadani. Jovetic did not say he would move. It is a discussion between him and the president.”
Wenger Regrets Passing Up Chance to Sign Bale
Arsene Wenger has admitted that he made a massive mistake when he decided against signing Tottenham superstar Gareth Bale during his Southampton days.
The Gunners were well-stocked in the left-back department at that time, and so the Arsenal boss decided not to turn his preliminary interest in the Welsh wideman into an actual bid although he did  raid the St. Marys outfit for their other two prodigies, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
In the end, Tottenham signed Bale for £7 million, and after some years of struggles, he transformed himself into one of the best wingers in the world, leaving Wenger to rue the opportunity missed.
The Sun have quoted the French trainer as saying: “We didn’t take him as we had Ashley Cole and Gael Clichy and didn’t want another left-back. I must confess it was a huge mistake as he can play in midfield. He struggled at the start at Tottenham, then they moved him to midfield and he has done exceptionally well.The career of a player sometimes depends on playing in the right position.”

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