Latest Arsenal news, transfer gossip and opinion…

Brighton will turn their attention to Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles, according to reports.

The 22-year-old has struggled to cement his place in Mikel Arteta’s side and could look for regular first-team football elsewhere.

The Mirror claim that Brighton want to make Maitland-Niles their third summer signing after Adam Lallana and Joel Veltman joined this week.

Arsenal are close to completing a move for young winger George Lewis.

The Gunners hope to conclude a deal for the 20-year-old after Saturday’s FA Cup final against Chelsea.

Lewis, who is currently a free agent, enjoyed a successful two-week trial at the Premier League side back in March.

He has also spent time with both Bournemouth and Ipswich.

Goal claims the final touches of the deal need to be finalised before the signing is announced, with Lewis currently believed to be in London.

The youngster’s agent, Cheikh Diaw, has all but confirmed the deal but admitted no announcement had been made yet.

“He’s ready for Arsenal, yes. The club has not made it official yet, but he has signed for the club,” Diaw said.

“They are really looking forward to getting George, who they see as an exciting player.”

Lewis can play anywhere across the front three, with his favoured position believed to be on the right side of the attack.

He is expected to link up with Steve Bould’s Under-23 side once his move to the Emirates is announced.

Aston Villa star and rumoured Arsenal target Jack Grealish has posted this cryptic tweet on social media amid the growing speculation surrounding his future.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is reportedly asking his club to land Philippe Coutinho this summer.

The Brazilian is being heavily linked with a move back to the Premier League with Barcelona keen to cash in.

Mundo Deportivo report today that Arteta has told Gunners chiefs he is eager to make the playmaker a key star in his side.

However, money remains is the biggest obstacle with Barca looking for an offer in the region of £73m.

Arsenal have reportedly registered their interest in Aston Villa star Jack Grealish.

Manchester United have long been linked with the midfielder but their interest is thought to have cooled with Villa wanting around £80million.

Sky Sports claim that Arsenal are interested but have yet to follow up on that yet with a firm offer.

Grealish has three years left on his contract and Villa are determined to keep hold of him after securing their Premier League status for another season.

Mesut Ozil’s agent insists the midfielder will stay put at Arsenal this summer but it’s likely he’ll leave next year.

Ozil has entered the final year of his £350,000-a-week contract and seemingly has no future under Mikel Arteta.

His agent, Erkut Sogut, said: “I do not think there will be a change in the case of Mesut Ozil until the summer of 2021.

“He has a contract. There is no change. He will remain in Arsenal.

“[He] 90 per cent will leave Arsenal in 2021. Mesut to Asia, America or Turkey? Yes, maybe.”

Granit Xhaka admitted he came close to leaving Arsenal earlier this season.

The midfielder had an explosive fall out with fans that saw him stripped of the club captaincy.

“I have to be honest, I’m very honest with everyone. I was very, very close to leaving the club,” Xhaka told BT Sport.

“Until that moment [the Crystal Palace incident] I had a great, great time in this football club. But after this, I was a bit down because I did not expect that from the people, from the fans.

“But when Mikel arrived, I had a very good meeting with him, very good conversations. It was never in my mind to leave the club before [Palace], but after this happened, of course you think about it.

“But Mikel was the guy. He turned me around and gave me a second chance and he showed me he trusted me and I have tried to give him everything back.”

This Saturday’s FA Cup champions will collect the trophy on the Wembley pitch rather than at a presentation party.

Arsenal take on Chelsea this weekend in the historic cup but the FA are having to alter traditions.

The winning team normally lifts the cup in the stadium’s Royal Box but due to concerns over Covid-19, the victors will celebrate on the field.

The final is going ahead with no fans and will not be used as a test event for the reintroduction of supporters despite reports.

The Community Shield on Saturday, August 29 is being earmarked for the first major football event to bring fans back.

Arsenal are eyeing a move for Roma midfielder Amadou Diawara as an alternative to Atletico Madrid star Thomas Partey.

Arsenal have long identified Partey as their main target this summer but are unwilling to match the player’s £45million release clause.

The Guardian claimed this week that they had an offer of £23m plus out-of-favour Matteo Guendouzi rejected.

This has reportedly lead to club chiefs looking elsewhere to improve their midfield with Diawara now on their radar.

Wilfried Zaha fears being priced out of a move away from Crystal Palace for a second year running.

Arsenal’s £40m bid for the winger was rebuffed last summer, with the Gunners going on to sign Nicolas Pepe.

The 27-year-old has told Palace he wants to leave this summer and Eagles manager Roy Hodgson is ready to listen to offers.

But The Sun say Palace are expected to demand as much as £70MILLION for their star player and Zaha’s representatives worry that will scupper hopes of a move.

Arsenal legend David Seaman has called on the club to back Mikel Arteta in the transfer window.

Arteta, who could deliver an FA Cup for the Gunners on Saturday, is at the start of a rebuild job at the Emirates Stadium and his first summer transfer window will be an important one..

“It’s a huge game for Arsenal. We need it far more than Chelsea because we need that European place,” said Seaman.

“To end a season where we are eighth in the league and no European football is not a very good season at all for Arsenal’s standards. We really need it.

“I am so desperate for us to win it. All that desperation comes through the fact that we have not had the best of seasons and we need that European qualification.

“Not just for the club, but also to attract other players as well. I am sure Arteta has got plans to bring players in.

“I just hope the board backs him on what he wants and who he wants, because in Mikel Arteta we have got a really good manager and you don’t want to lose someone like that just because the board won’t back him or give him money to spend.

“When he first joined I was a little bit disappointed because I thought they might have gone with Patrick Vieira because of his time at the club and also his experience, he’s been a manager elsewhere.

“But when I saw his first interview I was like, ‘Woah, this guy knows what he wants’. To do what he has done, I think he has done a great job and that is why the club and the board need to back him.

“They need to buy the players he wants. He knows what he is doing, he will know what he wants and hopefully he can get those.”

Arsenal are reportedly close to agreeing a new loan deal for Dani Ceballos.

Ceballos was a hit at the Emirates last season while at the club from Real Madrid.

Mikel Arteta has made no secret of his desire to sign the midfielder on a permanent deal.

Spanish newspaper AS report that a new loan deal between Madrid and the Gunners is ‘almost done’.

Barcelona legend Rivaldo believes Philippe Coutinho should end his Nou Camp nightmare and return to the Premier League where he could be a ‘regular starter’ for either Arsenal, Tottenham or Leicester.

Coutinho is due to head back to Barca after a season-long loan at Bayern Munich, with the Bundesliga champions opting against making the deal permanent.

The former Liverpool star’s long-term future is unlikely to lie in the Spanish capital.

“I doubt he can revive his career there [LaLiga],” Rivaldo told Betfair, who list Arsenal as the favourites to sign the 28-year-old.

“His best option could be returning to English football where he spent the best seasons of his career and in which his qualities seem to be best suited, as he proved at Liverpool when was one of the best players in the Premier League.

“At Arsenal, Tottenham or Leicester, Coutinho could be a regular starter next season.

“It would be a good opportunity for the Brazilian to rediscover his best form and show that he continues to be an excellent player who belongs to the elite.”

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