8am Arsenal news LIVE: Martinelli injury UPDATE, Ronaldo ‘nearly joined Gunners’, Chelsea wanted Partey transfer – The Sun

8am Arsenal news LIVE: Martinelli injury UPDATE, Ronaldo ‘nearly joined Gunners’, Chelsea wanted Partey transfer – The Sun

ARSENAL came 'painfully close' to landing Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo in 2003, it has been revealed.

Meanwhile, Thomas Partey was reportedly a target for Chelsea while the Gunners have reportedly stumped up an £8m loyalty bonus after failing to sell Mesut Ozil.

Follow ALL of the Gunners latest transfer news, updates and reaction below…

  • Marc Mayo

    GUNNERS BRUYNE BOOST?

    Kevin De Bruyne has been sent back to Manchester City after his injury scare at Wembley on Sunday.

    The Belgium international looked in some discomfort when he was subbed late in the 2-1 defeat to England.

    He will return to the Etihad where City will be keen to see if there are any major issues with a game against Arsenal looming on Saturday.

    It will be a worry for Pep Guardiola who has already seen the first few weeks of City’s season wrecked by illness and injuries.

    Martinez insisted after the game at Wembley that there was no major concern for his midfielder – but did say he was not feeling quite right.

    The former Everton boss said: “I would not say that Kevin is injured. He said he felt something.”

  • <a href='http://www.thesun.co.uk/sport' rel='external nofollow ugc' class='url'>Alex Terrell</a>

    UNITED NATIONS

    Arsene Wenger wants a World Cup or Euros every summer.

    And he is willing to see the Nations League scrapped in order to accommodate the major shake up.

    Wenger, 70, was appointed Fifa's head of global football development last year and suggested the new plans to improve the international game.

    The ex-Arsenal boss – whose home nation France are the reigning world champions – told Bild: “We need to get rid of the Nations League and find clearer events that everyone understands.

    “If you ask people in the street what the Nations League is, you won’t find many able to explain it.

    “We need to have as few events as possible. One World Cup and one European Championship every other year would probably be more appropriate for a modern world.”

  • Joshua Jones

    GOOD MORNING ARSENAL FANS

    Aidy Boothroyd reckons Eddie Nketiah can become even more lethal in front of goal – and be mentioned in the same breath as Alan Shearer and Harry Kane.

    Arsenal starlet Nketiah can break Shearer’s Under-21 record of 13 goals if he nets against Turkey tonight.

    That is after a prolific 12 months where he has blasted the Young Lions to the brink of the Euros with ten strikes, making him the joint top-scorer in qualifying.

    Yet boss Boothroyd said: “You look at the career that Alan had and Kane, who is our England captain now.

    “If Eddie can get to that point where like those two players, he’s in on goal, and you know he’s going to score consistently, that’s when you make that step from young to senior player.

    “He is nearly there, not far off.

    “But he is in the company of those players I have mentioned which shows you how much I think about him and how much we think about him in the system.  

    “He’s destined for big things. His personality and his persona around the lads, he has an aura of responsibility and leadership about him.”

    Elsewhere, Arsenal have been handed a huge boost with news of Kevin De Bruyne's injury.

    The Gunners face City in the Premier League on Sunday and they will be buoyed by news of De Bruyne hurting himself on international duty.

    The midfield superstar has returned to Man City for treatment and will miss the Red Devils' upcoming game against Iceland.

    In transfers, Arsenal are set to make a surprise U-turn on William Saliba and keep him at the club despite interest from Fulham, it is being reported.

    The defender had been tipped to go out on loan throughout the window and has multiple admirers at home and abroad.

    But now manager Mikel Arteta looks set to keep the 19-year-old at the club and allow him to develop there.

    And finally, Arsene Wenger has revealed how painfully close Arsenal came to signing Cristiano Ronaldo in 2003.

    The then-Gunners chief revealed he 'had an agreement' with Sporting Lisbon to sign the Portuguese star in the summer before embarking on the famous 'Invincibles' season.

    Wenger revealed all after being asked if there were any players he regrets missing out on during his career.

    He told The Guardian: “I would say there is not one player… there are 50.

    “We had an agreement with Sporting and Man Utd took Carlos Queiroz as assistant coach, and they just outbid us quickly and took Ronaldo.”

  • William Pugh

    HOMES UNDER HAMMER

    Premier League chiefs want the head of Rick Parry — as it emerged Spurs and Liverpool would get a £150million stadium rebate under Project Big Picture.

    Parry’s future as EFL chairman is under serious threat after football’s civil war intensified.

    Top-flight clubs and League bosses want Parry OUT after he was the frontman for Liverpool and Manchester United’s widely panned scheme.

    The news two of the Big Six wealthiest clubs — both criticised for plans to furlough staff in lockdown — will be huge winners from the proposals added to the turmoil.

    Another day of drama saw all-out war, with:

    – Prem leaders calling off any more EFLbailout talks in protest.

    – Seething club bosses wanting Parry to step down by Thursday’s EFL board meeting, with even some Championship sides admitting the plan is dead.

    – Prem chiefs accusing Parry of seeking to use backing from Liverpool and United to return to the Prem as CEO.

  • William Pugh

    PLAYING THE FIELD – EXCLUSIVE

    Football badboy Nicklas Bendtner claims lots of players throughout his time in the UK used hookers – even the night before a big match.

    In his autobiography, From Both Sides, he details his time in the Premier League playing for Arsenal and stints at Birmingham City and Sunderland before leaving for German side Wolfsburg in 2014.

    The Danish international says pros would rather pay for sex than sleep with a gold digger. He writes: “You’re probably wondering why prostitutes are such a widespread phenomenon in professional football.

    “It’s pretty simple. It’s because it’s less risky than picking up girls while out on the town. And if you’re prone to infidelity – I read somewhere or other that this applies to 46 per cent of Danes – then you hardly dare do the deed with a ‘civilian’ any longer.

    “Not when you’re a famous footballer. I know about loads of incidents involving prostitutes. But I know of just as many stories about extortion via social media. We’re talking about gold-diggers from the nightlife scene who are up for a f*** and then take a photo of you sleeping it off while you’re starkers.

    “With those photos as their trump card, they can demand stuff to keep their mouths shut. And they do. It’s not exactly iron-clad, but at least prostitutes have a business of sorts to protect.”

  • William Pugh

    'DESTINED FOR BIG THINGS'

    Aidy Boothroyd reckons Eddie Nketiah can become even more lethal in front of goal – and be mentioned in the same breath as Alan Shearer and Harry Kane.

    Arsenal starlet Nketiah can break Shearer’s Under-21 record of 13 goals if he nets against Turkey on Tuesday night.

    Boothroyd said: “You look at the career that Alan had and Harry Kane, who is our England captain now.

    “If Eddie can get to that point where like those two players, he’s in on goal, and you know he’s going to score consistently, that’s when you make that step from young to senior player.

    “He is nearly there, not far off. But he is in the company of those players I have mentioned which shows you how much I think about him and how much we think about him in the system.

    “He’s destined for big things. His personality and his persona around the lads, he has an aura of responsibility and leadership about him.”

  • William Pugh

    WHAT DE HELL

    Arsenal have been handed a huge boost with news of Kevin De Bruyne's injury.

    The Gunners face City in the Premier League on Sunday and they will be buoyed by news of De Bruyne hurting himself on international duty.

    The midfield superstar has returned to Man City for treatment and will miss the Red Devils' upcoming game against Iceland.

  • William Pugh

    PARTEY TIME

    Thomas Partey will give Arsenal an added attacking threat as well as defensive solidity, according to Chris Sutton.

    Speaking on Football focus, the former striker was asked about the Gunners' new Ghanaian signing.

    And he said: “I think the biggest thing when you sign a player he’s an upgrade on what Arsenal have.

    “He’ll be seen as an enforcer, a defensive midfielder, but he’s better than that.

    “He’s one who will always look forward with the pass, and I think it gives Arteta the ability to play a number of different systems him coming in.”

  • William Pugh

    GIFT OF THE GAB

    Gabriel Martinelli has revealed he is optimistic about what the future holds as he continues his recovery from a knee injury.

    He told Arsenal's website: “I’m feeling very well, I’m regaining confidence and I can feel my knee is better.

    “After an injury like this you are kind of scared to force the knee again but the past couple of weeks it has been fine and soon I can start training with the ball.

    “I think we have an excellent squad and along with Mikel’s forward thinking and winning mentality we can carry on doing well.

    “We are playing well and training well, everyone wants to win and we are all giving everything. I believe this season is very promising.

    “We won trophies last season and I believe we can win this season again and also qualify for the Champions League.”

  • William Pugh

    WHAT THE EL

    Mohamed Elneny has credited Mikel Arteta for his return to form at Arsenal.

    The midfielder who was on loan at Besiktas last season said: “Before I came to London, I didn’t speak to him and I was a bit…. not stressed, but just thinking about what would he like.

    “When I sat with him, I said, ‘The way you train, the way you want to play is the way I love to play’ and really I love the way we train, the way he is assisting everything in the club now and it makes me excited to give 100 per cent for the team.

    “Under Emery, I was not playing much, that is why you can lose your confidence and your feeling to play. That is why when I went to Besiktas, on a one-year loan, I played always and brought the confidence back, and when I came back here I saw everyone happy for me to come back.

    “Everyone was excited to see me back, and when I trained, everyone gave me good feedback, saying ’Mo, you did well’ and this makes you get your confidence back. I will build it and build it and every day I try to learn new things.

    “Yes [I feel wanted], all the time, every day. I think in any job if you wake up in the morning, try to learn new things and try to improve every day… this is what is always in my mind when I wake up. I have to go training, I need to improve myself in everything.”

  • William Pugh

    TEENAGE KICK$

    Manchester United kept up their tradition of spending big on teenage stars in the summer transfer by bringing in Atalanta ace Amad Diallo.

    And Diallo is by no means the first big-money youngster to head to Old Trafford in recent years.

    In fact, United absolutely dominate the list of most-expensive teenagers in Premier League history.

    We've put together the costliest XI ever, below…

  • William Pugh

    WILL I NEVER

    Arsenal are set to make a surprise U-turn on William Saliba and keep him at the club despite interest from Fulham, it is being reported.

    The defender had been tipped to go out on loan throughout the window and has multiple admirers at home and abroad.

    But now manager Mikel Arteta looks set to keep the 19-year-old at the club and allow him to develop there.

    Saliba's move abroad fell through on deadline day and he was left out of Arsenal's Europa League squad, prompting speculation he could still be on his way before the domestic window closes on October 16.

    But the Athletic report the Frenchman will stay at the Emirates until January at least, despite reported interest from Fulham and Brentford.

    The report also says that Saliba could be in Arteta's Premier League squad, which will be announced on October 20.

  • William Pugh

    POOR OLD PARRY

    Under-fire EFL chairman Rick Parry was plunged into a second crisis as chief executive David Baldwin quit after just three MONTHS in the job.

    Baldwin filled the vacancy left by December’s departure of Shaun Harvey only in June.

    But he has now announced he will walk out ofhis role in March, leaving Parry and the EFL scrambling to find a replacement.

    Baldwin, a former chief exec at Bradford and Burnley, insisted his decision was “not linked” to the Project Big Picture furore.

    He said: “Clearly, accepting this position pre COVID-19 means the situation is now very different to the one I originally envisaged.

    “That is coupled with it being a very different environment inside the EFL compared to the one I left in 2015/16. Taking those two factors into consideration and balancing the needs of my family, health and well-being, I feel the decision to leave is the right one.”

  • William Pugh

    NICK REVEALS ALL

    Ex-Arsenal flop Nicklas Bendtner has revealed he was blackmailed into buying a former lover a BOOB JOB after she claimed he'd got her pregnant.

    Bendtner said: “One of the girls I’ve been with comes back and claims I’ve got her pregnant.

    “[She says] there’s a price if she’s going to do something about it.

    “‘And what does that mean?’ I ask.

    “‘It means you’ve got to pay for a pair of new boobs for me. I want my t*****s fixed,’ she says.

    “So I end up paying for her trip to the cosmetic surgeon.”

  • William Pugh

    THE MART OF A MAN

    Arsenal have posted some of Gabriel Martinelli's best moments as they publicly support him in his return from injury.

  • William Pugh

    Clubs could also make backdated requests to cover recently-finished work, allowing Spurs and Liverpool to cash in.

    Up to £250m would be available for teams who have been in the top flight for at least 12 of the last 15 seasons.

    And clubs who have been in the Premier League for four straight seasons or eight out of ten seasons could claim £100m.

    The measures would also allow Liverpool to get back half of the estimated £60m costs of the planned expansion of the Anfield Road Stand.

  • William Pugh

    CASHBACK

    Tottenham and Liverpool will be entitled to multi-million pound rebates for their stadium rebuilds under the small-print in Project Big Picture.

    Spurs would be eligible to claim back £125million of the £1billion cost of their new 62,000 capacity home at white Hart Lane.

    Liverpool, meanwhile, the joint architects of the package with Manchester United, could rake back £30m of the cost of their new main stand at Anfield.

    The news of the potential pay-outs will only add to the backlash by the 14 Premier League clubs left out of the loop.

    Under the proposals, a new 'infrastructure fund' worth £150m per year would be set aside from the Premier League revenue stream for 'assistance payments' for clubs embarking on stadium projects…

  • Jake Lambourne

    CRISTIAN-OH NO

    Arsene Wenger has revealed how painfully close Arsenal came to signing Cristiano Ronaldo in 2003.

    The then-Gunners chief revealed he 'had an agreement' with Sporting Lisbon to sign the Portuguese star in the summer before embarking on the famous 'Invincibles' season.

    Wenger revealed all after being asked if there were any players he regrets missing out on during his career.

    He told The Guardian: “I would say there is not one player… there are 50. We had an agreement with Sporting and Man Utd took Carlos Queiroz as assistant coach, and they just outbid us quickly and took Ronaldo.

    “But we had an agreement basically. He had the shirt of Arsenal, I had lunch with him and his mother at the training ground.

    “It’s one example but there were so many. The history of a big club is full of missed great players.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    GUNNED DOWN

    Arsenal keeper Karl Hein had a moment to forget after an embarrassing gaffe only two minutes into Estonia's game with North Macedonia.

    The Gunners Under-18s keeper started for his country in an entertaining 3-3 draw in the Nations League game, but his night was marred by an error which gave the visitors the lead.

    Defender Marten Kuusk will also have to take a large part of the blame, as Estonia's evening began in embarrassing circumstances.

    Only two minutes into the game, and Kuusk received the ball from left-back Artur Pikk.

    Failing to spot a passing option ahead of him, he spun and immediately released the ball back towards the goal, where he expected the keeper to be.

    Unfortunately for goalie Hein, he had gone wide to provide an easier passing option, but Kuusk had not realised.

    Hein tried to sprint back to his goal but even a last ditch tackle couldn't prevent the ball going in.

  • Jake Lambourne

    MARI'S BACK

    Arsenal defender Pablo Mari is reportedly ready to start full training again.

    The Spaniard suffered ankle ligament damage against Manchester City last season, forcing him to miss the last nine games of the campaign.

    The injury has meant he has only made three first-team appearances for the club since joining on loan in January.

  • Jake Lambourne

    SUCCESS

    Arsenal have got off to a good start under Mikel Arteta, he's already contributed to one of the 14 FA Cups.

  • Jake Lambourne

    MADE A MES

    Arsenal have stumped up an £8million loyalty bonus after failing to sell Mesut Ozil, according to reports.

    The German playmaker remains an outcast under Mikel Arteta but could not be moved on during the autumn transfer window.

    Moves to MLS and Saudi Arabia were touted although Al-Nassr failed to convince Ozil after reportedly bidding £5m.

    And it has now emerged that Arsenal's failure to get rid of the 31-year-old had huge financial ramifications.

    According to The Athletic, the Gunners paid Ozil £8m at the end of September as a loyalty bonus for entering the final year of his contract.

    The clause was implemented when he agreed a new contract in January 2018, at the height of his spell in North London.

    It leaves the Gunners with a huge bill for a player who has not played competitively since March – and earns £350,000-a-week.

  • Jake Lambourne

    LEGEND

    View this post on Instagram

    Game 1️⃣ of 1️⃣2️⃣3️⃣5️⃣ 😲⁠ ⁠ #Arsenal #ArseneWenger #OTD #Wenger

    A post shared byArsenal Official (@arsenal) on

  • Jake Lambourne

    DION'S SORRY

    Popular pundit Dion Dublin has apologised to 'leader' Arsenal star David Luiz for 'giving him so much stick'.

    The former Manchester United, Aston Villa and Coventry star also vowed to 'be nice' to the Brazilian.

    He said: “Having given David Luiz so much stick over the years, I was at Wembley for the final and I was pitchside.

    “I was listening to David Luiz talk non-stop throughout the game.

    “You’re thinking ‘he’s a character’. ‘He’s a leader’.

    “He’s [Arteta] got another one now in Partey. He’s got another one upfront in Aubameyang. Maybe he’s building something where other players can work off.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    PARTEY POOPER

    Thomas Partey's father Jacob has revealed that Chelsea were keen on signing the midfielder from Atletico Madrid, but they lost out to Arsemal.

    He told Joy Sports: “We actually weren’t disturbed by anything because we hoped a bigger team will come for Partey.

    “We were aware of the [other teams that were interested]: Juventus, Chelsea and so forth.

    “So about all these we knew God was with us. From that minute we started to dance to ‘Party after Party.'”

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