The latest Arsenal news as the Gunners return from their winter break in Dubai and look ahead to the Premier League clash against Newcastle United.
Arsenal have completed a few days of warm weather training in Dubai and will now make their final preparations for the Newcastle game this weekend.
After drawing with Burnley before the winter break, Mikel Arteta will be desperate to pick up a win and keep their unbeaten record in 2020 intact.
They welcome Steve Bruce’s side to the Emirates on Sunday, with the Magpies also in need of three points to boost their hopes of avoiding relegation.
Liverpool and Man United eye Saka move
Liverpool and Manchester United are said to be eyeing a move for Arsenal’s young star Bukayo Saka.
The 18-year-old has recently burst through at the Emirates Stadium, playing in a variety of roles under Unai Emery and Mikel Arteta this season.
Saka made his Gunners debut in January 2019, but has made his real breakthrough this season, making 23 appearances so far.
However, Saka has entered the final 18 months remaining on his current Arsenal contract, and that means the big clubs are taking notice.
Dayot Upamecano update
Arsenal and Mikel Arteta have been handed a boost in the hunt to bring Dayot Upamecano to the Emirates Stadium, with an update bolstering their chances of a deal.
German outlet Bild reports that the France defender is set to be available for a fixed price of €60m in the summer transfer window and he is refusing to extend his contract.
That would lead RB Leipzig to agree to a sale at the end of the campaign as he would be available on a free transfer at the end of his contract the following year.
Huge wage bill
Arsenal have been facing some tough times this season in the Premier League.
A poor run of form saw Unai Emery sacked as manager in November, with Freddie Ljungberg taking charge on an interim basis until the Gunners could finalise a move to bring Mikel Arteta in from Manchester City.
The new manager’s imprint on the team has already been felt, but results have not quite followed yet, with the Gunners picking up just two wins in the last 17 Premier League matches.
But it’s not just this year that Arsenal have been lagging behind some of their rivals. This season is the third-straight year of Europa League football, with chances missed to secure a top four finish.
That means a reduction in income for the Gunners – but they’ve still been paying out a large amount in wages.
Players with a point to prove
The Gunners are unbeaten under Mikel Arteta this calendar year and aim to keep that run going when they welcome Newcastle United to the Emirates.
New signing Pablo Mari could make his debut, while there will be others in the squad who will be aiming to regain their place after limited playing time in recent months.
In the link above, we take a look at the five players that have a point to prove to Arteta as the Gunners return to action on Sunday.