Mathieu Debuchy

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Transfer rumor roundup: West Ham soften Payet stance; Reus to replace Alexis

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Will he stay or will he go? It’s the question consuming the entirety of the January transfer window, as West Ham United desperately attempt to keep hold of their brilliant, want-away midfielder Dimitri Payet. Having already rejected numerous bids for the 29-year-old French international, a report from the Mirror claims the Hammers may be prepared to soften their not-for-sale stance and concede defeat in the face of Marseille’s continued pursuit. But only for $36 million, or more.

[ MORE: Thursday’s transfer rumor roundup | Wednesday | Tuesday | Monday ]

Rumors regarding the future of Alexis Sanchez have swirled for weeks and months now. With Sanchez’s contract set to expire next summer, the Gunners could be forced to recoup whatever they can for the Chilean this summer if he refuses to commit his long-term future to the club. That money will have to be reinvested, of course, to acquire his replacement. According to WhoScored.com, a $64-million bid would be made for 27-year-old Borussia Dortmund winger Marco Reus.

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Branislav Ivanovic‘s Chelsea career could be coming to a close, as the 32-year-old Serbian international is reportedly in talks with Zenit St. Petersburg. Ivanovic would see out the remainder of the 2016-17 Premier League season before moving to Russia on a free transfer in the summer.

[ MORE: Wenger suspended 4 games for pushing referee ]

Gaston Ramirez could be leaving Middlesbrough for Leicester City — a $15-million bid has been rejected, but a follow-up is expected, with $19 million the reported price tag — thus Boro are expected to reinvest the Ramirez fee in the form of a bid for Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish.

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Mathieu Debuchy is eyeing a return to Ligue 1 after being told he is welcome to leave Arsenal this month. The 31-year-old returned to first-team training on Friday following a hamstring injury, but has been highly critical of manager Arsene Wenger in recent weeks, thus his future at the club seems sealed. Debuchy has played just 16 minutes in the PL this season.

Watch Live: Arsenal vs. Bournemouth (Lineups & Live Stream)

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The Gunners have not lost since opening day, but with a pair of draws, they suddenly see themselves six points adrift of the top, and now host a testy Bournemouth side needing to keep pace with the top.

Eddie Howe, tipped by some to potentially succeed Arsene Wenger, visits the Emirates live on CNBC at 9:15 a.m. ET or live online at NBCSports.com.

WATCH LIVE: Arsenal vs. Bournemouth live on NBCSports.com

Olivier Giroud has scored vital late goals in each of the Gunners’ last two games, but he still can’t find the starting lineup as Alexis Sanchez yet again begins up top. Despite this, there are still a host of changes to the starting lineup for Wenger who hopes to spark an uptick in form.

Mathieu Debuchy returns to the starting lineup for the first time in over a year, giving a boost to a back line that has struggled with consistency due to a host of injuries. Debuchy slots in at right-back, replacing Carl Jenkinson as both look to keep the status quo after losing Hector Bellerin to an ankle injury. Granit Xhaka also comes in to the Arsenal side alongside Mohamed Elneny in the holding midfield, with Francis Coquelin making way. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaces Alex Iwobi on the wing, as Walcott’s early season form appears to have dried up.

For Bournemouth, Howe makes just two changes with Brad Smith and Adam Smith coming into the starting lineup. Jack Wilshere makes way as he is ineligible to face his parent club, and left-back Charlie Daniels returning to the bench following the end of Adam Smith’s suspension. They are still without first-choice goalkeeper Artur Boruc after injuring his back.

In just three previous competitive matches between these two clubs, the Gunners haven’t failed to win in any, with Mesut Ozil scoring twice against the Cherries last season alone.

LINEUPS

Arsenal: Cech; Debuchy, Mustafi, Koscieny, Monreal; Elneny, Xhaka; Walcott, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Sanchez.
Subs: Ospina, Gabriel, Gibbs, Coquelin, Ramsey, Iwobi, Giruod.

Bournemouth: Federici; A.Smith, Francis, Cook, B.Smith, Ake; Gosling, Arter; Stanislas, King, Wilson.
Subs: Allsop, Mings, Ibe, Fraser, Pugh, Mousset, Afobe.

Arsenal’s Debuchy blocked from Manchester United move; Player, Wenger discuss

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Manchester United wanted to strengthen its back four with the addition of out-of-favor Arsenal defender Mathieu Debuchy, but Arsene Wenger shut the move down.

It isn’t shocking given the longstanding rivalry between United and the Gunners. Well, it isn’t shocking for nearly everyone but Debuchy.

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Now on loan at Bordeaux, the French right back admitted surprise that Wenger wouldn’t sanction the move.

From The Guardian:

“I was disappointed, obviously. If I had the chance to go to Manchester United it would have been magnificent. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the case. I discussed it with the coach, too, who said that obviously he couldn’t help out a rival.

“Yes, I’m a little bit annoyed with him. It’s his choice. I had a good pre-season. He said that I would have game time and that we would discuss it in December. Unfortunately, I didn’t have this game time.”

Here’s Wenger’s rationale:

“If Man United wants to buy a player‚ you loan players out to clubs who do not have the resources but not to direct opponents. I was surprised, yes [that United tried]. I can understand it but I found it logical [to block the loan].”

It’s all logical, yes, and Debuchy is now getting playing time on loan at the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux.

Arsenal’s Debuchy, Sunderland’s Fletcher headed to Ligue 1 sides

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A pair of Premier League veterans are making moves to France.

That Arsenal right back Mathieu Debuchy would be going back home on loan isn’t a terrible surprise, but the other name might really have you scratching your head.

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Debuchy left Lille in 2013 and made an instant impact alongside friend Yohan Cabaye at Newcastle United, earning a move to the Emirates Stadium. But he’s set to get some playing time at Bordeaux, which recently sold a pair of stars to the PL in Henri Saivet (Newcastle) and Wahbi Khazri (Sunderland).

Sunderland is loaning Scottish striker Steven Fletcher to Marseille. Top of mind, the 28-year-old Fletcher is the first British player to head to OM since Joey Barton in 2012.

Fletcher has been little used by Sam Allardyce, and has four goals for club after scoring 7 for Scotland in 2015.

The move seems a bit shortsighted for Allardyce, though that could be a board room demand given Sunderland’s acquisitions in January. Debuchy is surplus at Arsenal and an understandable move.

Sunday Transfer Rumor Roundup: United bid for Felipe Anderson, Liverpool done with Sturridge

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10 days into the transfer window, things are beginning to shape up. Teams have both identified their weaknesses and formulated a plan to fill the holes. They have also decided who is dead weight and must be offloaded.

Liverpool has done the latter, and it’s a stunner. Daniel Sturridge, so talented when on the field, but so often injured, has reportedly not done enough to convince Jurgen Klopp that he is still a valuable asset to the club.

Multiple reports across England say Liverpool are ready to listen to offers for the England international, with their valuation around $36 million. Sturridge has appeared just six times this season for Liverpool across all competitions, but has scored four goals in those six matches.

Manchester United, meanwhile, could be on the offensive – literally – as they hunt for replacements. Louis Van Gaal is publicly holding that no business will be done in the January transfer window, but Lazio sporting director Igli Tare claims the Red Devils have already made a bid for 22-year-old winger Felipe Anderson back in August that was rejected, and that the clubs have stayed in contact about possibly continuing talks this winter.

The rejected bid, according to Tare, was for around $54 million, but he believes the Brazilian could be worth more. “We rejected Manchester United’s offer because we think he will be worth much more once he really explodes,” Tare told Italian publication Sport Mediaset. “His situation has not changed compared to August.” Anderson has four goals in 18 league appearances for Lazio, but he has not scored since late October, and he was benched for their 3-1 win over Fiorentina on Saturday, which Tare said was due to poor form.

Arsenal has never been known to keep too many spare parts, and as a result, Mathieu Debuchy could be headed away from the Emirates with a host of potential suitors. French TV program Telefoot is reporting that Aston Villa, Bayer Leverkusen, and Roma could all be interested in pursuing the full-back. Debuchy never really got a chance to get his feet on the ground with Arsenal, as his Gunner career has been pegged back time and again by serious injuries. He’s made just seven appearances this season across all competitions, and he has not featured in the Premier League since early November.

After winning the African Player of the Year, it’s no surprise Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is suddenly popping up in transfer rumors across Europe. However, Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel has squashed any inkling of his departure by saying, “I can’t imagine for one moment Aubameyang leaving. He is the core of the team. We have a lot still to do with him. There is no debate about it.”

A much bigger name possibly on the move is Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, but that likely wouldn’t take place until the summer. According to The Independent, Lewandowski may look for a change of scenery and could be intrigued by the Premier League, with the two Manchester clubs and Chelsea possibly bidding the price up, but they would also face competition from Real Madrid and Barcelona.