7am Arsenal news LIVE: Thomas Partey transfer LATEST, Aubameyang contract updates, Man City build-up, Arteta on Pep – The Sun

ARSENAL are preparing to face Manchester City as the Premier League returns – in a clash that will pit Mikel Arteta against his former boss Pep Guardiola.

On the transfer front, Arteta has been speaking positively about the Gunners' chances of extending Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's contract.

Follow all the latest transfer gossip and Gunners news below…

  • BADGE OF HONOUR

    Arsenal have shared pictures of what their away kit will look like tonight.

    The Premier League shirt shows the NHS heart badge and Black Lives Matter name across the back.

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    After 102 days away, finally…⁠ ⁠ ??'? ????????!⁠ ⁠ Come on you Gunners!⁠ ⁠ #Arsenal #AFC #COYG #premierleague #MCIARS

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  • PARTEY TIME

    Diego Simeone has admitted Thomas Partey could leave Atletico Madrid and play for 'the best teams in Europe'.

    Partey is a top target for Mikel Arteta, with the player's father claiming Arsenal have already made an approach for his son.

    The 27-year-old is a tough-tackling defensive midfielder who has impressed in La Liga, particularly over the last three seasons.

    Simeone said: “Thomas is the one who best understands this position and the transition from defence to attack, shooting, scoring, providing assists and playing passes between the lines.

    “When he's at his best level consistently, he's so good that all the best teams in Europe are looking at him.”

  • MORNING ARSENAL FANS

    Yesterday was a busy day as Manchester United star Marcus Rashford succeeded in pressuring the government to reverse their decision to end free school meal vouchers in England over the summer.

    And at Arsenal transfer rumours hotted up as it emerged the club are willing to TRIPLE Thomas Partey’s wages to £195k-a-week to prise him away from Atletico.

    Ian Wright urged Bukayo Saka to hold out for £120k-a-week – 24 times his current wage.

    And the North Londoners were put on red alert when Monaco star Wissam Ben Yedder revealed he wants to quit the Ligue 1 side.

    Elsewhere, the Gunners were given a boost when Pep Guardiola claimed his players weren’t ready for the Premier League return.

    Cesc Fabregas said Mikel Arteta has brought values back to Arsenal and has a harder job than Frank Lampard.

    And Arteta admitted the Gunners are struggling to keep pace with big spending rivals Chelsea and Manchester United.

    He said: “The fact we’ve not been in the Champions League for the past three seasons has put an enormous amount of financial pressure on the club.

    “We haven’t achieved the goals we wanted in that time — there is a reason for that.

    “We’re trying to put a plan together to improve what we have.

    “If we stand still, the gap to the top teams will become bigger and bigger.

    “I haven’t come here to accept that, so now the challenge is to improve the squad in the right positions to give us the best chance to compete.

    “The level of the big teams in this country is getting higher every year and if we want to compete with them we have to change straight away.”

    And finally, the Premier League are in talks with the FA over introducing a quota of at least one BAME coach at every club.

  • ON GUARD

    Pep Guardiola is looking forward to a socially distanced post-match glass of wine with Arteta — and said that the rival managers had been texting about their choice of vintage.

    He added: “We sent messages one hour and a half ago. It was about the wine we are going to drink if social distance allows it.

    “I am so excited to see him again — one of the nicest people I ever met, so it was a joy to work with him. He knows our secrets as much as I do but he and I do not play.

    “He was an incredibly important part of our success. He helped us to be who we are.

    “We spoke (in March) because he started everything — this game with Arsenal was called off when Mikel had this disease.

    “In the days after he announced he had Covid-19, of course we were all worried but after a week or two, it was good and he recovered well.”

  • STERRING EMOTIONS

    Raheem Sterling says black people have been “screaming for help” in all areas of society.

    And the Manchester City superstar believes “now is the time to act” against racism.

    Sterling told Gary Neville on Sky Sports News: “I feel like I am speaking for most black people. Everyone is tired. A lot of people have been screaming for help in society.

    “With the protesting in America transferring to the UK, you know a lot of people have been in silence.

    “Now they are not just trying to get answers, but also to change in society.

    He added: “It is for people like myself, who have a platform, to try to spark change. Now is the time we have to act.”

  • STAY AT HOME

    Prem fans have been warned that gatherings outside grounds WILL see the season forced to finish in neutral stadiums.

    In a stark warning, sports minister Nigel Huddleston confirmed police have the power to disperse fans who ignore demands they stay at home when the League returns tomorrow night.

    And Premier League boss Richard Masters added that League chiefs had “contingency” plans in place that would allow them to switch match venues at late notice.

    Huddleston said: “Neutral stadiums come back on the cards if we can’t manage local crowds.”

    Masters added: “If it occurs the progress made on neutral venues could be at risk. We have contingency plans in place.”

  • MIKEY TAKER

    Mikel Arteta has a “much harder” job on his hands with Arsenal than Frank Lampard does at Chelsea, claimed Cesc Fabregas.

    The Monaco star told the Guardian: “Chelsea took a gamble with Frank because it was his second year as a main coach and he's done very well.

    “With Mikel, it's a little bit of the same. He's been with Pep [Guardiola] for three years, and I'm sure he's like a master for any young coach that wants to start being a manager.

    “I think he's done well [so far] and I'm sure he's brought back some values to the club that was needed. Obviously it's a much harder job than Chelsea in terms of rebuilding the squad.

    “They are very young, and they had problems because [Arteta] started much further down the line than Chelsea.

    “But I'm positive that they will pick up very soon and that next season could be the one for them.”

  • GOLDEN BOYS 2020

  • FUTURE IS BRIGHT

    Chelsea and Arsenal lead the way for the Premier League in the 202 Golden Boy nominations – with four each.

    The award for the most promising young player in European football will be voted on from 100 starlets chosen by the continent’s media.

    On Tuesday, the nominations were announced with Callum Hudson-Odoi, Billy Gilmour, Faustino Anjorin and Ethan Ampadu representing Chelsea.

    Arsenal counted William Saliba, Bukayo Saka, Trae Coyle and Gabriel Martinelli from their impressive academy ranks.

    Manchester United and Liverpool both have three players in the running, while Manchester City, Tottenham and Wolves all have two.

    Phil Foden, Mason Greenwood and Ryan Sessegnon have all enjoyed impressive seasons, and are joined in the longlist by Southampton’s Michael Obafemi and Max Aarons of Norwich.

  • HELL BEN-T

    Wissam Ben Yedder is said to have told Monaco he wants to leave the club – putting Arsenal and Manchester United on red alert.

    The 29-year-old striker scored 19 in 31 games this season, attracting attention across Europe.

    But according to France Football, Ben Yedder has decided he wants to quit Monaco after just one season in the Principality.Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham are also thought to be checking on his availability this summer.

    But Arsenal and United have registered most interest in the former Sevilla star, who was signed by Monaco for £37.1million last summer.

    Monaco are said to value Ben Yedder at around £40m.

  • FOLLOW FOOTSTEPS

    The Premier League is reportedly in talks with the FA over introducing a quota that commits to having at least one Black, Asian or ethnic minority (BAME) coach at every club.

    The Daily Mail claim informal talks have been held between England's top-flight and governing body over the proposal.

    The report adds that the idea has the backing of many influential players, which comes just days after Raheem Sterling insisted that black players are still not getting the opportunities to become top bosses in football.

    The FA introduced a policy of assigning one BAME coach to each England team in 2018 as part of a new equality action plan.

    Part of that initiative, which the EFL followed in 2019, involved rolling out a version of the “Rooney Rule”, in which they committed to interviewing at least one BAME candidate for all England coaching roles.

  • THE WRIGHT STUFF

    Ian Wright has narrated an emotional video for Arsenal ahead of the Premier League's return tomorow.

  • “The way we are right now, I think other clubs and teams [as well], we don’t know. If you ask me how the team is, I don’t know.

    “Tomorrow we will see the level. From there, we are going to see and suggest what we can do better.

    “What we are worried about over the three weeks [since returning to group training] is the lack of preparation, not like in Germany or Spain where they worked five or six weeks.

    “All Premier League teams have three. We know it is not enough but it is what it is.”

  • LET THEIR GUARD DOWN

    Arsenal have been handed a massive boost by Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola ahead of their clash at the Etihad as the Premier League returns on Wednesday.

    Guardiola claimed his players are “not ready” for the demands of a return to top-flight action.

    Guardiola said: “We are ready to play one game. Three days after and four days after that, we are not ready, not just Man City, all the teams. That is why we have to rotate.

    “You can play a game after three weeks on holiday but we spent two weeks on the sofa doing nothing much. That is why the players are not fully fit.

    “But that is why we have to finish the season. We have to limit the economic damage to the clubs…

  • AUBA THE LIMIT

    Arsenal released footage of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang switching to top speed during training ahead of football's return tomorrow.

  • NOTHING TO WINE ABOUT

    Pep Guardiola has promised he and pal Mikel Arteta are going to share a glass of wine tomorrow night – if they’re allowed to!

    The Manchester City boss said: “I’m excited for the fact to see him again – one of the nicest people I have ever met.

    “It was a joy for me, I think for all of us to work with him.

    “The feeling I have is he is happy there and doing an incredible job, so (I am) looking forward to seeing him tomorrow.”

    “We send a message one hour and a half (hours) ago!

    “It was about the wine we are going to drink after the game, if the social distance allows us to drink it.”

  • SEAGER'S XI

    SunSport's Arsenal fan writer Dave Seager has come up with his starting XI for the game at Man City tomorrow night.

    Here is what he said in his latest SunSport column…

    Ironically, the first obstacle in the race to grab a European spot are the team that have made it a top five rather than a top 4 chase.

    In normal circumstances a visit to Manchester City, the reigning champions, would be a scary prospect.

    But there are a few factors that might make the trip less daunting.

    With Liverpool 25 points clear and needing a maximum of two wins from their final nine games, Pep Guardiola's side have little to play for.

    Clearly, City won't roll over for anyone, but with games played in front of empty stadiums, their home advantage is all-but gone.

    READ THE REST OF DAVE SEAGER'S ARSENAL OPINION PIECE HERE

  • GUNNERS GAMES

    Here are Arsenal's upcoming fixtures.

    And of course, they're up in tomorrow night's blockbuster against Man City.

  • NEW MAITS

    Ainsley Maitland-Niles has appointed Raheem Sterling’s agent Aidy Ward as his new representative, amid talk he could leave.

    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Bayer Leverkusen’s Leon Bailey are also on Ward’s books.

    Negotiations over Bukayo Saka’s new deal is proving tough for Arsenal, but they will hope the versatile right-back, 22, doesn’t do the same.

  • WRIGHT TO STALL

    Arsenal legend Ian Wright believes Bukayo Saka is right in stalling over a new contract as Arsenal look to tie the starlet down to a bumper deal.

    Speaking to Dazn about the exciting teenager, Wright said: “He’s right, him and his representatives, to hold out as best they can because he’s the future of the club.

    “They cannot afford to let a player like this leave.

    “When you look at what Callum Hudson-Odoi has done and he’s a year younger, the contract he signed, Saka’s representatives will be saying, ‘Why should I sign for any less?’

    “I believe he will sign but I do think him and his reps are doing the right thing by dragging it out to get the best deal they can. Arsenal is the right place for him at the moment.”

  • YOUNG GUNS IN FRAME

    Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, William Saliba and Trae Coyle have all been nominated for the prestigious Golden Boy award.

    The 100-man longlist is shortened to 20 after a public vote.

    Previous winners include Wayne Rooney, Lionel Messi, Raheem Sterling and Kylian Mbappe.

    There are 17 British players nominated: Max Aarons (Norwich), Ethan Ampadu (Chelsea), Tino Anjorin (Chelsea), Trae Coyle (Arsenal), Karamoko Dembele (Celtic), Phil Foden (Man City), James Garner (Man Utd), Morgan Gibbs-White (Wolves), Billy Gilmour (Chelsea) Angel Gomes (Man Utd), Mason Greenwood (Man Utd), Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea), Curtis Jones (Liverpool), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Ryan Sessegnon (Tottenham), Oliver Skipp (Tottenham).

  • NO PART-TIME WAGE

    Arsenal reportedly have a deal on the table for Atletico Madrid star Thomas Partey that will see the midfielder triple his wages at the Emirates.

    The Gunners are known to be long-term admirers of the 27-year-old and are said to be in pole position to sign him should he depart Spain.

    Partey – who has two years left on his deal at the Wanda Metropolitano – boasts a release clause of just £44.5million.

    According to Goal, the player already has a contract offer from the North Londoners where they will triple his wages.

    The Guardian have previously reported how Partey is raking in £65,000-a-week at Atletico, meaning he will earn £195k-a-week at Arsenal.

  • BIG RETURN

    When you realise there's only ONE DAY till Arsenal play again.

    But remember you're playing Man City.

    Arsenal's record in last five games vs Pep's side: Lost 5 Conceded 17 Scored 1

  • IT'S APPALLING

    Gary Neville is still haunted over his failure to back England’s black players following their disgusting racist abuse in Spain.

    And the former England and Manchester United star believes Premier League stars should now walk off the pitch if they are targeted.

    Sky Sports pundit Neville admits he is ashamed over his failure to act when England’s stars, including Ashley Cole, were targeted by racists throughout a friendly away in Madrid in 2004.

    Neville said: “I’ve been quite vocal on Sky Sports over the last 12 to 18 months around racism and just felt very uncomfortable with, to be fair, my lack of action when I think that I sat next to Ashley Cole in that dressing room in Spain all those years ago.

    “I came off the pitch at the end of the game, got in the shower, didn’t say a word to him, went and did my interviews after the game, probably ignored or semi answered the question on racism, walked onto the bus, went back home and didn’t think.

    “I just accepted it almost. It is appalling.”

  • LAST-MINUTE TUNE-UP

    Premier League home teams can blast out ‘walk-on’ music for their subs from tomorrow night.

    With all games in empty grounds, top-flight chiefs want to try and restore some advantage to the hosts.

    So clubs can play music at “key moments”, including after goals and for subs.

    It is unclear whether players will have individual tunes, or use the same music.

    West Ham will run out to ‘Bubbles’ when they play Wolves on Saturday.

    A club source said: “After ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, it’s probably the most distinct club song in the Premier League.”

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