Arsenal

News, commentary, tickets, pre and post match reaction alongside opinion about Arsenal FC.

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Arsenal Players Affected By COVID-19 Before Man City Game

Arsenal endured a chaotic build-up to their return to Premier League action after three players missed three days of training due to a suspected ‘false positive’ coronavirus test, it has been revealed.

The Gunners have endured a poor start, losing to Manchester City and Brighton, while Pablo Mari, Bernd Leno and Granit Xhaka have all picked up serious injuries in their opening fixtures.

And now The Athletic have reported that it has been even worse for Mikel Arteta’s side behind the scenes after an extraordinary few days of Covid-19 testing.

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Man City Thump Arsenal As The Premier League Returns

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Arsenal’s David Luiz was sent off in a performance riddled with mistakes as Manchester City secured a comfortable victory behind closed doors on the first night of the Premier League’s return.

Luiz, who came on as a first-half substitute, failed to clear the ball just before half-time and Raheem Sterling fired in City’s opener.

The defender was then sent off after pulling back Riyad Mahrez in the second half to give away a penalty, which Kevin de Bruyne coolly slotted in for City’s second.

Substitute Phil Foden netted a third for the defending champions, capitalizing on a rebound from Sergio Aguero’s strike.

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Arsenal Transfer Rumors – Gunners Positive On Aubameyang New Deal

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says he is “pretty positive” about agreeing a new contract with 30-year-old striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Aubameyang’s current deal runs out in June 2021, and Arteta says the club have to show him why he should stay.

“He needs to feel valued, he needs to feel he belongs to us and that we want him,” said Arteta.

The Gabon international says whether he signs a new deal is “possibly the most important decision” of his career. The forward has scored 61 goals in 97 appearances for the Gunners since joining from Borussia Dortmund in 2018.

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Premier League To Return On June 17

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Premier League clubs have agreed to restart the season in just three weeks’ time in what is a huge breakthrough for their Project Restart plans.

The Premier League have desperately been trying to finalize plans to get the season back underway again following its suspension at the beginning of March amid the coronavirus crisis.

June 20 has been lined up as the first round of fixtures following the Premier League’s resumption although Manchester City vs Arsenal and Aston Villa vs Sheffield United are set to go ahead on Wednesday June 17.

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Premier League Owner Does Not Think Clubs Should Be Relegated If Season Isn’t Completed

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Brighton owner Tony Bloom says he cannot see how clubs can be relegated from the Premier League if the season is not completed.

On Friday, the Premier League met to go through several scenarios to finish the campaign, but uncertainty still hangs over a season that has nine rounds to go.

“It would be very difficult to relegate somebody, particularly from the Premier League, if the season hasn’t played out,” said Bloom.

In the ‘scheduling model’ possibilities looked at on Friday, the earliest would start on 8 June. While it was not discussed as expected at that meeting, there are clubs who think 30 June should be the cut-off date for the season to end for contractual reasons.

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International Champions Cup Cancelled

This summer’s International Champions Cup was supposed to include an El Clasico match between La Liga rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona. But unfortunately, due to the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak in the United States, not aonluy this event, but all international soccer games in USA in 2020 have been cancelled.

Without the lucrative preseason tournament, Real Madrid and Barcelona are expected up lose around €15M in revenue. That is a huge hit for clubs that are all facing the financial implications of the Coronavirus which has halted football across Europe, forcing clubs to lay off non-playing staff and asking players to take hefty pay cuts. Barcelona players for example, took a 70% pay cut.

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Philippe Coutinho Wants To Return To Premier League Says Agent

Philippe Coutinho “would love a return to the Premier League” one day, but his agent insists everything remains a possibility when it comes to the future of the Brazil midfielder.

Coutinho is currently on loan at Bayern Munich from Barcelona, although the German club are not expected to make the deal permanent despite him contributing nine goals in 32 matches prior to the suspension of the Bundesliga due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 27-year-old is relaxed about his future and has already attracted interest from the Premier League as his loan nears its end, with Chelsea, Everton and Arsenal among the clubs interested in the former Liverpool star.

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Sports Lawyer Throws Cold Water On FIFA Plan

A leading sports lawyer says out-of-contract players in England can ignore FIFA proposals and leave their clubs at the end of June, even if the season has not resumed.

Nick De Marco QC, who has represented sports governing bodies, players, clubs and agents since 2002, says players will be entitled to “walk away” from clubs if their contracts expire on June 30.

Earlier this week, FIFA proposed that contracts are “extended until such time that the season does actually end”, and asked for the same principle to be applied to contracts due to begin when the new season starts.

Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd., Premier League

Premier League Face 1B Loss If Season Does Not Restart

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Premier League chief executive Richard Masters warned of a potential £1billion loss due the coronavirus pandemic if the season is not resumed.

“We face a £1billion loss, at least, if we fail to complete season 2019-20, and further losses going forward if the seriousness of the pandemic deepens and extends into the future.”

Masters argued it was the right of Premier League clubs, such as Tottenham, Newcastle, Norwich and Bournemouth, to utilize furloughing in the circumstances, having seen Liverpool reverse their decision following widespread criticism.

Masters added:

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FIFA About To Get Sued As They Unilaterally Extend Player Contracts

FIFA have announced contracts will be extended and transfer windows shift in line with the changing fixture list after the COVID-19 crisis. A decison that is sure to be met with lawsuits as FIFA does not have the power to unilaterally extend player contracts.

Nobody knows when the current season will resume, or even if it will resume, so FIFA have taken the step of guaranteeing some elements that were up for debate.

Specifically, that allows player contracts to be extended beyond June 30 to the natural end of the season, and moves the transfer windows to an appropriate time for the clubs and players in this new reality.