Ozil and Di Maria Reject Arsenal Interest
Real Madrid playmaker Mesut Ozil has followed his teammates Karim Benzema and Angel di Maria in rejecting a potential move to Arsenal.
There were rumours of the trio being unsettled due to Real’s big-money move for Tottenham winger Gareth Bale and their interest in Liverpool striker Luis Suarez. Arsene Wenger was hoping to swoop in for all or any of those three but none of them wants to leave the Madrid giants just yet.
In a recent interview, Ozil said: “I have a contract with Real Madrid and I am staying here. I want to be successful. A lot has been written in the media about other teams but I have the coach’s confidence and I feel very good. Also, I have a contract until 2016. I have a very good understanding with all my team-mates and it is a pleasure and an honour to play for Real Madrid.”
In a separate chat with the reporters, the German international was again asked if Bale’s imminent arrival could hurt his career in the Spanish capital. He replied: “I am not afraid of this deal. I am happy to play with the best players in the world and I am sure I can manage this new situation in the team.”
On the same subject, di Maria is quoted as saying by newspaper AS: “I understand the club are strengthening and they are precise in what they do. But I signed a contract until 2018 just a year ago and my desire is to stay in the Bernabeu.”
Meanwhile, Goal.com have claimed that the Gunners are waiting for Real’s response to their £25.6million offer for di Maria. They also believe that even though the player doesn’t want to leave now, his stance could change significantly once Real seal Bale transfer.
Gunners Dealt Podolski Injury Blow
Lukas Podolski picked up a hamstring injury in Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Fenerbahce on Wednesday and will now miss the crucial North London Derby this weekend.
The Germany international’s injury is a huge blow for the Gunners as they were expecting him to shine some more, especially after his fine brace against Fulham last weekend.
He is likely to be sidelined for the next three weeks.
Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey also picked up a few knocks and bruises in a highly physical encounter at the Emirates. The pair was struggling by the end of the game due to the Turkish side’s rough play, although they are likely to be fit for the Spurs game on Sunday.
Wenger said: “I don’t know how bad Ramsey is. I don’t know how Wilshere responds. We have to check that tomorrow morning. The two tackles on Wilshere were disappointing, but he looks all right. Jack should be all right for Sunday. I’m hopeful on Aaron as well.
Flamini Handed Three-Year Deal
Arsene Wenger has added another free transfer signing to his squad, with the new arrival this time being the former Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini.
The 29-year-old Frenchman had been training with the Gunners for the past few weeks after leaving AC Milan at the end of last season. Due to Abou Diaby’s fragile state of being and Mikel Arteta’s injury, there was a void to be filled in the defensive midfield area, and the club has found yet another cheap solution.
It is believed that the player has been handed a three-year deal that would net him £40,000 on weekly basis. It is pertinent to mention here that Flamini appeared in only 20 league matches for the Rossoneri in the past two season due to injuries and loss of form.
He was a pretty useful player for Arsenal in his first stint though and did the dirty work behind Cesc Fabregas quite efficiently in the 2007-8 season. It is unclear if he’d return to that level again after several years of mediocrity in Italy. What this move might do to Arsenal’s interest in Yohan Cabaye is another talking point.
Walcott Unconcerned About Tottenham’s Spending
Despite the fact that Tottenham have strengthened their squad significantly this summer with quality players and Arsenal have yet to spend a single penny, Theo Walcott believes that his club still has the edge in the North London rivalry.
Granted that Spurs are set to lose Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, they have spent over €108million on new signings with Vlad Chiriches and Erik Lamela being the latest of their acquisitions. While there is a growing belief that coach Andre Villas-Boas’ squad is better than Arsene Wenger’s, Walcott disagrees with that viewpoint.
He said: “Not at all. I feel we’re very, very strong. Everyone makes out our squad is very weak and there are not many of us, but we showed in the last few games that we can bounce back from a bad result, proving a lot of people wrong. Every club is different and Tottenham invested their money very well. For us players we just want to do a job on Sunday, we don’t care if they have brought in £30million stars.
Tigers to Offer More Money to Bendtner
Nicklas Bendtner will be the subject of a fresh transfer offer from Hull City, according to The Mirror.
The Arsenal misfit was in discussions with the Tigers earlier this month over a £3million transfer, but his refusal to lower his weekly wage demands of £50,000 failed the deal.
However, Hull boss Steve Bruce would raise his offer some more – although he still won’t match the player’s demands – if he can free up some space on his club’s wage bill.