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Wenger says no Sanchez approach; Iwobi to be fined

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Arsene Wenger has once again stated that Arsenal have received no official approach for Alexis Sanchez.

With speculation rife that Manchester City had opened talks about signing the Chilean for $42 million in the January transfer window, Wenger told the media on Tuesday that wasn’t the case.

Speaking ahead of the first leg of their League Cup semifinal first leg at Chelsea on Wednesday, Wenger confirmed no approaches have been made for Sanchez.

“I expect nothing, I am focused on tomorrow’s game. When solicitations happen you respond, at the moment it’s very quiet,” Wenger said.

With Sanchez, 28, having less than six months left on his contract, should Arsenal cash in on him now? His form in recent weeks has been a little erratic and the whole situation has been handled poorly as the Gunners could have sold him to Man City in August for $75 million.

Instead they have got seven goals out of him in 19 PL appearances and plenty of indifferent displays from a player who is clearly not going to sign a new deal. And now the player holds plenty of power as he could land a much bigger signing on fee if he waits until July 1 when his contract runs out, then signs for another club.


In separate news, Wenger confirmed that Alex Iwobi will be fined after videos on Snapchat emerged of him out partying less than 48 hours before their FA Cup exit at the hands of second-tier Nottingham Forest on Sunday.

Here’s what Wenger had to say about the Nigerian international winger being out after 3:30 a.m. on Saturday morning.

“If that is true, he will be fined. It is impossible to go out 48 hours before a game. It’s unacceptable. I will have to of course see him to see if that is right or not. It was not the night before the game, it was 48 hours before the game. The night before the game we were in a hotel. But it is not acceptable and I will have to speak to him about that. First of all you have to be cautious with the news coming out, when you read what is reported it is like he has taken drugs. He is not involved in that at all, he has been out at a birthday party. How long has he stayed? That is important. After, I will decide what happens.”

Couple this incident from a 21-year-old rising first team star with an embarrassing FA Cup exit as holders, diminishing hopes of a top four finish in the PL and a three-game touchline ban after complaining angrily about penalty decisions,and  life comes at you fast right now when you’re Arsene Wenger…

Video: Fekir’s brilliant free kick has Lyon leading PSG

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Paris-Saint Germain has established itself as one of Europe’s best sides, but their opponent on Sunday isn’t playing scared against Neymar and Co.

[ MORE: Spurs, Saints play to 1-1 draw at St. Mary’s ]

Lyon has taken a 1-0 lead inside the opening two minutes against the Parisians after a stunning free kick by Nabil Fekir caught PSG keeper Alphonse Aréola off his line.

The hosts could move all the way up to second place today with a victory over PSG, who holds the league lead in Ligue 1 with a nine-point advantage.

The 24-year-old Fekir has been a revelation for Lyon in his fifth season with the club, scoring his 19th goal in all competitions on Sunday.

That total has already surpassed his career-high from the 2014/15 season, when he eclipsed 15 goals.

USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie injured in Schalke draw

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Look away, U.S. Men’s National Team fans.

American and Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie was forced out of Sunday’s 1-1 Bundesliga draw against Hanover 96 after the 19-year-old collided with Felix Kraus.

McKennie, who entered the match in the 62nd minute for Leon Goretzka, managed to stay on the field for nearly 20 minutes before being substituted out.

To this point there has been no indication that the young USMNT player’s injury is serious.

More to follow…

Watford announces Gracia as Silva replacement

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Watford’s replacement for fired manager Marco Silva is indeed veteran Spanish boss Javi Gracia.

[ MORE: Watford fires Silva, blames Everton ]

The Hornets announced the 47-year-old’s hiring on Sunday, hours after firing Silva and blaming Everton’s pursuit of the manager for the club’s fall from European contender to the fringe of a relegation battle.

Watford is still four points clear of the drop following Southampton’s draw with Spurs on Sunday.

Gracia led Malaga to eighth and ninth place finishes in La Liga between 2014-16 before spending last season at Rubin Kazan.

Gracia, 47, has led promotion campaigns in Spain and has plenty of experience with perceived smaller clubs battling the drop zone.

Watford will hope the Hornets don’t reach that point after flirting with the Top Seven for the first quarter of the Premier League season.

Pochettino on sloppy Spurs draw, dismisses Malcom “rumor”

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Mauricio Pochettino knows St. Mary’s well, and the ex-Southampton boss has managed a rainy, sloppy match or three there in the past.

[ RECAP: Saints 1-1 Spurs ]

So he knows it’s possible to play well in those circumstances, leaving him feeling like Tottenham Hotspur’s 1-1 draw at Southampton on Sunday was a wasted opportunity against a struggling Saints side.

“It is temporary that Southampton are in the relegation zone, for sure they will push up the table,” Pochettino said. “It is two points we are going to miss at the end of the season because it is so tough between six or seven teams.”

[ MORE: Bertrand reacts to draw ]

So why couldn’t Spurs find their foothold? Well, aside from sickness keeping Christian Eriksen and Hugo Lloris out of the lineup, a bug that may’ve affected more on the team, Spurs just weren’t up to snuff.

“We struggled to play,” Pochettino said. “It was in possession, we made mistakes which allowed them to play. To win the game we should do better and play better. It wasn’t great.

Pochettino was also asked about Spurs’ reported pursuit of 20-year-old Bordeaux star Malcom, who has seven goals and five assists in Ligue 1 this season.

“That is a rumor and I don’t want to speak about it. I am happy with our squad. We are open to quality players but you know very well it is difficult in this transfer window.”