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Mesut Ozil urges Sanchez to stay with him at Arsenal

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The message is clear from one Arsenal star to another: stay.

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Mesut Ozil has been speaking about Alexis Sanchez as both of Arsenal’s star men have less than 12 months left on their current contracts and their future’s at the north London club continue to be the source of constant speculation.

With Arsene Wenger stating on Tuesday that he believes Sanchez will stay at Arsenal, Ozil’s comments seem to have proved that nobody knows what is going on with the future of the Chilean star who scored 24 goals and assisted 10 more last season in the Premier League.

Ozil also said his “preference is to stay” with the Gunners but will think more about his own future when Arsenal return to London from their preseason tour of Australia and the Far East

Whn talking to the media at the launch of their new third-kit, the German international was a lot more open about Sanchez’s future.

“I hope Alexis stays but I do not know what the status is to be perfectly honest. I value him a lot as a player and he is very well suited to the game Arsenal play,” Ozil said. “From a personal view I would really appreciate it if he stays. However, it’s the players decision after all and there’s not much more I can comment on that.

“It would hit the team quite hard if he left, because he’s a player who always delivers. It would be a setback to winning the title but in the end it’s the players decision.”

Ozil’s Arsenal and Germany teammate, Per Mertesacker, believes Sanchez will be playing for the Gunners. Yeah, definitely,” was the answer Arsenal’s skipper gave when asked if Sanchez would be alongside him for his final year as a player before he retires next summer to take charge of the Gunners’ academy.

In short, nobody at Arsenal knows what the heck is going on with Sanchez’s future.

There is a scenario where Sanchez and Ozil will spend the next six months negotiating behind-the-scenes and both may still play for Arsenal but instead wait to see how the 2017-18 season unfolds. If the Gunners look like they will be at least back in the top four around January time, then we could see them sign a new deal and all of these delays will be forgotten.

Yet the players, and their agents, know they longer they hold on the more likely it is for Arsenal to pay them the wages they’re asking for.

This is all a waiting game but Ozil wanting Sanchez to remain at the Emirates suggests he will be doing so beyond this season and he’s desperate for Sanchez to do the same.

Van Persie moves back to hometown club Feyenoord

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Former Arsenal and Manchester United striker Robin Van Persie has signed with his boyhood club Feyenoord after being released from his contract at Fenerbahce, the Dutch club confirmed.

The 34-year-old has only made two league appearances this season due to a knee injury, and since returning to full health in early December, he has been left out of the squad. Van Persie’s switch is a free transfer after his Turkish club allowed him to terminate his contract. It was reported back in November that the Dutchman was no longer wanted at Fenerbahce and that they would let him rot on the bench if he did not find a way out himself.

[ MORE: Friday Transfer Rumor Roundup ]

“Nothing stands in the way of a return of the 102-cap international to De Kuip,” Feyenoord wrote in an official statement, “now that he has come to an agreement with his current club Fenerbahce about the dissolution of his contract. The club and the player have reached an agreement regarding personal terms and related details for the move.”

A Rotterdam native, van Persie began his career in Feyenoord’s youth academy and made his first club appearance off the bench in a February, 2001 Eredivisie match against Roda JC. His first professional start, a KNVB-Bekker match against AGOVV Apeldoorn, saw him score an incredible five goals in a 6-1 win. Van Persie would go on to score 21 goals in 76 matches across all competitions for the club before moving to Arsenal in the summer of 2004, where he would spend the next eight seasons, arriving just after the Invincibles season and leaving in 2012 after 131 goals for the Gunners.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Chelsea still pursuing Roma duo, and more

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Chelsea is looking to make a big transfer splash as it searches for potential replacements for Michy Batshuayi and David Luiz.

According to multiple reports, Chelsea is attempting a double signing from AS Roma, forward Edin Dzeko and midfielder Emerson Palmieri. The Brazilian left-back is rated by Roma at $30.5 million but he could join Chelsea on loan. However the interest in Dzeko is much newer, and it’s unclear whether Roma would allow Dzeko to leave, especially in the middle of the season.

[READ: MLS SuperDraft 2018 Live Tracker]

With Roma preparing to face Inter Milan this weekend, talks between the two clubs have been put on hold until next week.

Dzeko’s agent confirmed that Conte is interested in the Bosnia and Herzegovina international but stated Dzeko’s desire is to remain at Roma.

After failing to beat out Sergio Aguero in the starting lineup for Manchester City, it would be interesting to see Dzeko give the Premier League another go, although he’d likely play second-fiddle again, this time to Alvaro Morata.

Here are some more transfer rumors from around Europe and the Premier League:

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MLS SuperDraft 2018 Live Tracker

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For a few dozen players, hearing their name called up to the big stage will validate all the hard work and sacrifices they’ve made since they were children.

Starting at 11:00 a.m. when Los Angeles FC is on the clock at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, the 2018 MLS SuperDraft will be underway. Many of the top college prospects will soon find out whether they’ll be headed to the Pacific Northwest, New England, the Southeast, Southern California or anywhere in between.

[MORE: 2018 MLS Mock Draft]

This year’s draft class is loaded with attacking talent, from Generation Adidas trio Ema Twumasi (Wake Forest), Mason Toye (Indiana) and Francis Atuahene (Michigan) to Twumasi’s college teammate Jon Bakero.

But potential No. 1 overall pick is a three-time national champion, Thomas Hilliard-Arce, who could become the anchor of a backline for a decade.

Follow along below as we update the picks live as we hear them:

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Bayern signs Germany midfielder Goretzka from rival Schalke

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MUNICH (AP) Bayern Munich signed Germany midfielder Leon Goretzka on Friday on a free transfer from Bundesliga rival Schalke effective from next season.

Bayern said the 22-year-old Goretzka signed a four-year deal from July 1 through June 2022.

Schalke, which Goretzka joined in 2013 from hometown club Bochum, said the player informed the club this week of his wish to join Bayern when his contract expired.

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“We think we did everything in the last months to convince Leon to stay with us,” Schalke sporting director Christian Heidel said. “In the end, it wasn’t enough.”

Schalke had long been engaged in trying to get Goretzka to extend his contract, but was aware of reported interest from Bayern, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus and Liverpool.

“We’re very happy that Leon Goretzka, a German international with big potential, has decided in favor of Bayern despite big-name international competitors. This way it’s ensured that Leon Goretzka remains in the Bundesliga,” Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said.

Goretzka scored 19 goals and set up 13 more in 130 appearances for Schalke.

The club had previously expressed its displeasure with Bayern making public statements about its player after Goretzka was praised by sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic and coach Jupp Heynckes.

Heidel said “we don’t need to hear every day from the Munich people how good our player is.”

Goretzka has six goals in 12 games for Germany.