Arsene Wenger

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Where will Jack Wilshere play next season? Sampdoria linked

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Arsene Wenger plans on having Jack Wilshere back at the Emirates Stadium this season after a loan campaign at Bournemouth, but it’s not for lack of suitors.

And with one year left on his deal at Arsenal, could the Gunners cash in at the risk of losing the midfielder for free?

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Sampdoria looks set to test that with a $7.8 million bid that could rise to approximately $10 million if Wilshere thrives for the Genoese club.

A report claimed that Arsenal will only loan Wilshere if he signs a new deal at the Emirates, and that Crystal Palace wants that move.

Wilshere made 27 appearances for Bournemouth, notching two assists. He had some outstanding performances and was probably slightly more effective than he was as an Arsenal man. Better when pushed forward or set back than a box-to-box center mid, Wilshere can help change a team.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Dembele, Van Dijk to Arsenal

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With a move for Thomas Lemar taking plenty of time, a report from the Daily Express states that Arsenal may turn their attention to Moussa Dembele instead.

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Dembele, 21, impressed at Celtic last season in both the Scottish Premiership and the UEFA Champions League with the French forward scoring 32 goals in 48 games.

Celtic aren’t keen to sell but value Dembele at around $40 million and as Arsenal bang their head against a brick wall with Monaco wanting over $60 million for Lemar, perhaps the French U-21 international would be a good addition and add more pace to Arsene Wenger‘s attack after he already spent $68 million on Alexandre Lacazette this summer.

Per the report, Arsenal are growing increasingly worried that Alexis Sanchez may leave this summer (newsflash, Arsene, it may well happen) and are planning ahead, but with Olivier Giroud also attracting plenty of interest it appears the Gunners’ frontline is about to get a serious overhaul.

Dembele is a wanted man after last season but is he ready to perform week in, week out in the PL? Don’t forget, just over 12 months ago he was still at Fulham in the Championship. Still, a young, exciting French forward is right up Wenger’s street.

The same report also claims that Arsenal are also lining up a bid for Virgil Van Dijk. And in true Arsenal fashion they’re stating the Gunners are offering $58.7 million for the Dutchman… even though every other club has been told Saints want close to $80 million for him.

Van Dijk, 26, has yet to play for Saints in preseason as he recovers from a serious foot injury which saw him miss the second half of last season.

Liverpool have apologized over their pursuit of the Dutch center back earlier in the summer and with Southampton said to be unwilling to sell to Jurgen Klopp‘s men and putting a price of over $80 million on his head, this offer from Arsenal seems slightly farcical.

Are they gambling that Van Dijk is unhappy about how the Liverpool situation and the Saints’ captain wants out? If the gamble pays off then Arsenal would get themselves one oft he best center baccks in the Premier League who is capable of playing out of the back and surely he’d slot into their newfound 3-4-3 formation perfectly.

If they can push the price towards $70 million then maybe, just maybe, they can land another huge deal in the transfer market this summer.

Wenger expects Mbappe to stay at Monaco

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is on record saying he thinks Kylian Mbappe will stay at Monaco for at least another season.

The Gunners manager, speaking after Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Australian A-League club Western Sydney Wanderers, said he thinks the 18-year-old French superstar is too expensive for clubs to pull the trigger, and that will lead him back to Monaco in the short-term.

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“That’s not true, people have big imaginations,” Wenger said when asked about a possible bid for Mbappe, who has been linked heavily to Arsenal. “What we know now with Mbappe is that it’s over 100 million pounds, after that it’s free for everyone to imagine. But we have not made any offer. I think he will stay, it looks like that, for one more season.”

Arsenal has already paid big money for a striker in Alexandre Lacazette, who they brought in for a reported $61 million. Mbappe has also been linked with Real Madrid, but the Champions League title winners have been widely reported to not have the funds for such a bid, and would likely need to sell at least Alvaro Morata in order to make a move.

Mbappe teased fans when he made a “big announcement” on Twitter, but it turned out just to be a video unveiling his new Nike boots, with a hearty laugh.

Giroud, Lacazette play together in Arsenal preseason win

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Arsenal followed up its friendly win over Sydney FC with another, topping Western Sydney Wanderers 3-1 in their final match in its tour of Australia.

Most notably from the win is the deployment of both Alexandre Lacazette and Olivier Giroud together on the pitch for a significant amount of time. The system, with Giroud leading the attack and Lacazette behind him in a 3-4-2-1, still maintained Arsene Wenger‘s love for a lone striker while still looking to get the most out of both French attackers.

The result? A first-half goal for Giroud, while Lacazette was somewhat silenced as the former Lyon striker was unable to find a consistent presence in the opposition box.

Giroud’s goal was a reminder of his finishing ability as he expertly shucked free from his defender and calmly redirected a cut-back from Nacho Monreal who had dribbled in along the end-line.

With the arrival of Lacazette, his fellow Frenchman has seemed an afterthought at the Emirates, but the deployment of them together could be an attempt by Wenger to get them both on the field without sacrificing his preferred attacking setup. Still, there is work to be done if that is Wenger’s goal, and while Lacazette likely remains the preferred option if one must be dropped, Giroud is doing his best to fight for his place, something he has promised to do on multiple occasions this summer.

Lacazette scores on debut as Arsenal beat Sydney

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Cue title talk among Arsenal’s far from expectant fans…

Arsenal beat Sydney FC 2-0 on Thursday in their opening game of preseason.

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Arsene Wenger gave plenty of youngsters a run out but it was veteran Per Mertesacker who hooked home cleverly early on to give the Gunners the lead.

Several youngsters impressed including Reiss Nelson with his silky runs forward and Cohen Bramall impressing down the left flank.

Danny Welbeck had a penalty kick saved earlier in the second half by Sydney goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne who had an outstanding game in front of the packed crowd of 80,432 at ANZ Stadium.

Alexandre Lacazette — Arsenal’s record signing who arrived from Lyon for $68.1 million this summer — then jumped off the subs bench, along with a whole host of others, with just over 20 minutes to go and the French international did not take long to score his first goal for the Gunners.

After a surging run from Alex Iwobi, Lacazette slotted home calmly to make it 2-0 as the Gunners cruised to victory in a lively encounter.

Watch Lacazette’s opener below as Arsenal will play Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday before heading to China to play Bayern Munich and Chelsea in the International Champions Cup on their way back to the UK.