Backpage Roundup: Song Wants Arsenal Barca Meeting, Five Gunners Pen New Deal, Vermaelen Doing Nothing to Convince Walcott, Ba’s Confession and More

Song Wants Barca to Be Paired With Arsenal

Alexandre Song has revealed that would love to play his former club Arsenal in the next round of the UEFA Champions League.

The 25-year-old midfielder, who was sold to Barcelona in the summer, says that he has fond memories of his time in North London and would like his current team to be paired with the Gunners in the round of sixteen.

Of course I would like to play against Arsenal. For me to go back there, where I had seven magnificent years, would be something very special. If we draw Arsenal I’d be happy to see the fans again and go back to the club, even though if we go there it will be to get the best result possible,” Song said.

Arsenal’s a big club, but Barcelona’s a level above because of the talent of the players there. That’s no disrespect to Arsenal because they have talented players, but I think the Barcelona players are above them. I saw a lot of people come and a lot of people go at Arsenal.”

 

Five Gunners Sign New Deals

Arsenal FC have confirmed that Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey, Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson have all put pen to paper on new, long-term contracts.

The Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is now hoping that the aforementioned British quintet will spend the prime of their careers at the club and help him bring some footballing success to Emirates Stadium.

We are delighted that these five young players have all signed new long-term contracts. The plan is to build a team around a strong basis of young players, in order to get them to develop their talent at the club,” Wenger said in an interview with Arsenal.com.

Jack is certainly the best known, the leader of this group – but the other four players are exceptional footballers, and we’re very happy that we could conclude their new deals at the same time. I’m a strong believer in stability and I believe when you have a core of British players, it’s always easier to keep them together and that’s what we’ll try to achieve going forward.”

 

Aneke’s Loan Deal Extended Again

Promising Arsenal midfielder Chuks Aneke’s loan stay at Crewe Alexandra has been extended for the third time.

The towering 19-year-old joined the Railwaymen in September and has since played 19 matches for the League One side, scoring four goals and providing two assists in the process.

He is now set to stay with Crewe until January 21, provided that the Football League approve the loan extension.

 

Newcastle’s Ba Wants Arsenal Move

Amidst reports that Arsenal would launch a bid for him in January, Newcastle United star Demba Ba has confessed that the idea of playing for the Gunners interests him.

The Senegalese hitman has a release clause in his Newcastle contract that can be triggered with a bid of £7.5 million, which is quite reasonable for someone who is currently the second-highest scorer in the Premier League this season.

The Magpies were already worried about Ba’s clause and his potential exit, and now the striker’s latest comments about his future are likely to add more to their problems.

Talking to the French media, Ba said: “It is true that Arsenal are among the clubs that are tempting. Journalists are doing their job, they know Arsenal need strikers and they know I have a clause in my contract so they start speculating.”

It is believed that this open admission of interest could land him a monetary fine by his current employers, who are already planning for life without him and are thought to be close to signing Marseille’s Loïc Rémy as his replacement.

 

Walcott Coy On Arsenal Future

Theo Walcott chose not to reveal too much when the press quizzed him about his future following his goal scoring display in Arsenal’s 5-2 thumping of Reading FC earlier this week.

Several rounds of discussions between the representatives of Walcott and Arsenal have taken place but an agreement to extend his stay at the club beyond next summer has not been reached yet.

The England international was once again asked for an update on the issue by Sky Sports, to which he simply said: “Talks are ongoing and it’s going to be a slow process. Like I’ve said before in recent weeks this takes a long time, but I’m sure something will happen soon.”

 

Vermaelen: Convincing Walcott to Stay Is Not Our Job

Thomas Vermaelen has revealed that he and the rest of his Arsenal teammates don’t discuss Theo Walcott’s club future, although they would like him to stay at the club.

It was thought that Vermaelen and company would also be playing their part in convincing Walcott to extend his contract, but the Arsenal captain says they refrain from talking on such issues since it’s not their job.

Vermaelen said: “Of course we want him to stay but that is something that is going on between the player and the club. I don’t know what is going on behind the scenes — we don’t talk about it. Of course, Theo has been invaluable for us when he played this year. He is dangerous for us and I hope he could stay this year.

“[We don’t talk about it] because that is going on in football all the time. It happened last time with Robin [van Persie] in the summer. It’s the job of the board and the club what they are going to do with it so we can’t do anything about it. We know his qualities — he is quick and goes in behind defenders all the time — and I think we could find him yesterday and it helped us score a few goals.”

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