Wenger issues warning over Bellerin; talks England job

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Arsene Wenger isn’t best pleased about the latest rumors regarding Hector Bellerin.

[ MORE: Bradley talks to JPW

Arsenal’s 21-year-old right back has been repeatedly linked with a move to Manchester City and his former club Barcelona in recent weeks as he’s yet to sign a new long-term contract with the Gunners.

Bellerin has become a mainstay at Arsenal after swapping Barcelona for Arsenal as a teenager and he was voted in the PFA’s Premier League Team of the Year last season for his speedy play from right back.

Ahead of Arsenal clash against Swansea City on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on CNBC and online via NBC Sports) at the Emirates, Wenger was asked about Bellerin’s future. He doesn’t see why he’d go back to Barca, a la Cesc Fabregas.

“He has nearly three years to go, we always try to get the players to the [financial] level where we think they deserve to be,” Wenger said. “We will try to extend his contract, his long-term future is here. He has been absolutely fantastic. His first game was a nightmare. The season before he was at Watford where he didn’t play. His progress has been brilliant because he has absolutely top mental strength.”

“I think now that you do not necessarily have to play where you were born. Modern life is not exactly like that and what is important is that the player meets his needs where he is and his values, and I think he integrated very well the values of our club and he came at a very, very young age of 15-and-a-half, 16 years of age. I think he is a real Arsenal player.”

The Frenchman, 66, was also asked about the England manager’s job.

Wenger has been linked with the Three Lions job with his current deal at Arsenal set to run out next summer, but he doesn’t feel impacted by speculation linking him with the job and believes current interim boss Gareth Southgate could be the right man for England.

“I focus on my job,” Wenger said. “He (Southgate) has handled himself quite well, he has accumulated experiences and was a good observer of what’s going on in the national team. We’re in a job where you get questioned, especially if you have less experience and the only answer he can give is by showing the decisions he makes are right.”

Wenger also confirmed that Francis Coquelin will be available this weekend, while Aaron Ramsey is edging closer to a return and Carl Jenkinson played for Arsenal’s U23 side after 10-month injury layoff.

Watford chasing Rennes, Senegal star Sarr

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Watford may capture one of the rising stars of the game.

Ismaila Sarr would cost the Hornets a club transfer record fee, and Sky Sports says that Watford and Rennes are about $10 million apart.

The Ligue 1 side reportedly wants $34 million for the Senegal national team right wing.

[ VIDEO: Nketiah leads Arsenal win ]

Sarr, 21, scored a goal and an assist in Senegal’s run to the Africa Cup of Nations final, playing opposite Sadio Mane of Liverpool.

He posted 13 goals with 14 assists last season between Ligue 1, the French Cup, and the Europa League. He was the lone Rennes player to score against Arsenal in the UEL Round of 16.

Watford has held onto Abdoulaye Doucoure and Dodi Lukebakio this offseason. Lukebakio is also a 21-year-old right wing, and had a sensational loan season with Fortuna Dusseldorf in 2019-20.

Nketiah leads Arsenal past Fiorentina (video)

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Eddie Nketiah scored twice as Arsenal beat Fiorentina 3-0 in Charlotte on Saturday.

Joe Willock also scored for the Gunners, which beat Colorado Rapids and Bayern Munich in their first two matches of the preseason and meet Real Madrid in Maryland on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Guardiola hails KDB ]

Fiorentina took 18 of the match’s 30 shots, though Arsenal had nearly 60 percent of the ball.

Nketiah, 20, scored against Burnley in last season’s Premier League finale and then late against Bayern Munich earlier this week.

He was deft in a high-pressure spot for this one.

Premier League friendlies: Watford beats Bayer, Man Utd over Inter

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Arsenal and Fiorentina are set to kickoff in Charlotte tonight, with the Gunners the last of a bevy of Premier League sides to engage in preseason friendlies this muggy Saturday.

[ MORE: Guardiola hails KDB ]


Girona 1-2 Bournemouth

Juanpe’s late header pushed La Liga’s hosts past Eddie Howe and his 10-man Cherries, playing down after VAR deemed Jack Simpson‘s foul worthy of a sending off. Ryan Fraser scored Bournemouth’s goal, assisted by Jordon Ibe.

Northampton Town 0-4 Sheffield United

Oliver Norwood converted two penalties in an easy win for Chris Wilder in his return to a club he played for and managed.

Fulham 2-1 Brighton and Hove Albion

Pascal Gross scored with an early free kick — a Megan Rapinoe special — but Tom Cairney scored twice after halftime for the Championship side.

Cheltenham Town 1-2 Leicester City

The Foxes collected a second win over a lower league side this week, with Jamie Vardy and Marc Albrighton on the board.

Newcastle United 1-0 West Ham United (Shanghai)

New manager Steve Bruce watched from the crowd as the Magpies made amends for a 4-0 loss to Wolves by blanking West Ham. Jamie Sterry‘s cross for Yoshinori Muto was delightful, and the Japanese striker’s finish was well-taken.

Port Vale 1-3 Burnley; Crewe Alexandra 0-1 Burnley

Chris Wood, Matej Vydra and Robbie Brady scored as the Clarets overcame an early Nick Pope goal to beat Port Vale, but the Premier League side couldn’t do much in a simultaneous friendly at Crewe.

Inter Milan 0-1 Manchester United (Singapore)

Substitute forward Mason Greenwood, just 17, scored the late goal in a match United controlled, outshooting Inter 21-8.

Preston North End 1-3 Southampton

Brace-bagging Danny Ings doesn’t usually have a problem with finish, so passing the ball directly to him is not something we’d recommend to goalkeepers. Jake Vokins also scored for Saints at Deepdale.

Watford 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen (Austria)

Will Hughes and Andre Gray scored as the Hornets collected a win over Champions League competition.

Man City (0-0, 2-3 pens) Wolves (Shanghai)

Rui Patricio was very good over 90 minutes, and stopped City’s first two penalty attempts as Wolves continue to perplex the PL champions.

WATCH: Marco Fabian smashes set piece goal

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Marco Fabian sent a missile toward goal, and perhaps it’s good the goalkeeper didn’t get to the hand-breaking shot.

Philadelphia took a 1-0 lead over Chicago on Saturday in Chester, Pennsylvania, thanks to the Mexican midfielder.

[ REPORT: Man Utd locks up De Gea ]

It was a pretty set piece from Jim Curtin’s men, a backwards played free kick was laid off to Fabian for his audacious rip.

Fabian hasn’t had a wonderful 2019 season, but his fourth goal of the season will give Union supporters hope that he’ll pick up his form and make the already East-leading side all the more dangerous.