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Arsenal willing to sell Granit Xhaka to fund acquisition of his Swiss teammate

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Arsenal are reportedly willing to part ways with their former captain Granit Xhaka in exchange for his Swiss national team counterpart Denis Zakaria.

Xhaka has not featured for the Gunners since his outburst against the club’s fans Arsenal’s home 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace.

Arsenal manager Unai Emery brought the midfielder off after the Eagles came back from a 2-0 deficit to level the score, which prompted the fans to jeer and boo the player as he walked off.

Xhaka reacted furiously, throwing the captain’s armband on the floor and cupping his ears before swearing at the section of fans who had jeered him.

The Swiss captain prompted to quickly take off the Arsenal kit before storming into the dressing room, which prompted a social media outburst from the fans who viewed his actions as extremely disrespectful to the club.

Emery decided to strip the captaincy from Xhaka, which the midfielder was unhappy with, despite him explaining his decision-making in his outburst on social media.

Having not featured for the club since the incident, the 27-year-old has been heavily rumoured to leave the club in the upcoming January transfer window.

It has been reported that Xhaka has been house hunting in Milan in a bid to move to AC Milan, which is 3/1 according to the bookies.

A return to former club Borussia Monchengladbach could also be on the cards, with the odds currently set at 10/1.

A sale to Monchengladbach would make sense as Arsenal’s target Denis Zakaria currently plays for the German outfit, meaning a swap deal could be on the cards.

The current Bundesliga leaders would probably ask for around £30m for the young midfielder, which is slightly less than the price that they let Xhaka go for.

Xhaka joined the Gunners in the summer of 2016 following a great campaign in the European championships for a fee that has risen up to £40m.

His time in North London did not go as hoped since he was earmarked to be the ‘next Xabi Alonso’, such was his potential and playing style.

However, both Arsene Wenger and Unai Emery have failed to build a system to suit the deep-lying playmaker’s ability during his tenure at Arsenal.

Zakaria, who has played alongside Xhaka in the national team, is a slightly different player despite playing the same position.

He is more of a destroyer, which could help Arsenal tremendously as Emery’s men have already conceded 17 goals in just 12 games.

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Arsenal make legend Patrick Vieira as primary target to replace Unai Emery

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Arsenal bosses have reportedly made Nice boss and former player Patrick Vieira their primary target to replace Unai Emery and become their new manager.

The former midfielder, who was apart of the famous Invincibles squad under legendary manager Arsene Wenger, has impressed the Gunners hierarchy during his time with the French outfit.

Vieira’s teammate at Arsenal, Freddie Ljunbjerg, has taken over from Emery in a caretaker role until the bosses appoint a permanent manager.

The rumours come on the back of a hefty defeat for Vieira’s side, having lost to Saint-Ettiene 4-1 away from home.

Nice currently sit in 14th place in the Ligue 1 table, which sounds terrible, but they are only five points away from 4th and six away from 3rd place.

Vieira’s team had a great start to the season, winning four out of five games, however, they hit a rough patch soon after.

The Frenchman’s side lost four and drew one in five games and have failed to really recover from the poor form.

Their last five games in the league have been decent having won and lost twice and drawing the remaining fixture.

Despite having a net spend of £26m in the summer transfer window, they did let go off their best player in Allan Saint-Maximin who was a crucial cog in their side.

The winger left to go to Newcastle United and was replaced by an up-and-coming talent in Alexis Claude-Maurice who has shown a lot of promise.

The acquisition of young striker Kasper Dolberg from Ajax and young midfielder Wylan Cyprien means that the squad is built for the future. This is also proven by the average of the squad which is 23.5 – the youngest squad in the league.

The legendary midfielder also managed New York City FC, where he was relatively successful having a win percentage of 44%.

With the rumours heavily linking him to the Gunners job and his affiliation to the club, the bookies have his odds of managing his former club at 6/1.

Only four managers have shorter odds than the World Cup winner, which includes current interim manager Freddie Ljunbjerg, whose odds of taking the job on a permanent basis set at 7/2.

Another former Arsenal midfielder has also been linked heavily in Mikel Arteta, the current Manchester City assistant manager, who’s odds are set at a reasonable 5/1.

Former Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri has been heavily linked with both the Arsenal and Manchester United job and the bookies have him 4/1 to replace Unai Emery.

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Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang backs new interim manager Freddie Ljunbjerg to succeed

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Arsenal star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang backs new interim manager Freddie Ljunbjerg to succeed following the Gunners’ lacklustre 2-2 draw against Norwich in what was the new manager’s debut match.

The Gabonese international scored twice in the draw, with the first being a retaken penalty, and has recently taken over the captaincy duties following Granit Xhaka’s outburst against Crystal Palace.

Ljunbjerg was asked to be the caretaker manager of the club by the board following the dismissal of Unai Emery due to the poor performances and results that his side produced.

The draw at 19th placed Norwich means the Gunners are in an eight-game winless streak in all competitions but Aubameyang believes that club legend Ljunbjerg can give the side something special.

The striker spoke highly of his new manager stating that his career as a player speaks for itself and that having played for Arsenal, means that he knows what it takes and what it means to play for this prestigious club.

Aubameyang, who is 30 years old, also said that is interesting to have him in charge but that it is a good thing.

Many managers have been rumoured to take over as the next permanent Arsenal manager with the likes of Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo and Napoli manager Carlo Ancelloti being mentioned.

Odds of Next Permanent Arsenal Manager

3/2 – Massimiliano Allegri

3/1 – Brendan Rodgers

5/1 – Mikel Arteta

5/1 – Freddie Ljunbjerg

7/1 – Mauricio Pochettino

However, the likes of Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers and Max Allegri, who is currently having a sabbatical, are favourites to replace Emery.

Ljunbjerg is also at good odds to become the next permanent manager and could follow Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Chelsea boss Frank Lampard in managing a club where they made their names as a player.

He will have to do a lot of work to turn around the fortunes of Arsenal since they look more likely to miss out on Champions League football next season.

The Gunners sit in 8th place in the league, 7 points of automatic qualification to Europe’s most elite competition.

Arsenal are still the only side in the top half of the table to have a negative goal difference and their defensive woes have been a huge problem for them.

This season, in the fixtures against the bottom three sides – Southampton, Norwich and Watford – they have all been 2-2 draws and those sides have struggled for goals this season.

Ljunbjerg will be hoping that he can help push his side to a win in their next outing against Brighton in what would be the Swede’s home debut.

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Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers quashes rumours of a move to Arsenal

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Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers quashes rumours of a move to Arsenal citing that the Foxes have an exciting project underway that he wishes to remain a part of.

The Northern Ireland native has been heavily linked with a switch to the Gunners following the sacking of head coach Unai Emery midweek.

Leicester have been extremely impressive under Rodgers so far, sitting in 2nd place in the Premier League and having won their last five games.

His statement comes following Leicester’s last gasp 2-1 win over Everton in which Rodgers once again enhanced his reputation.

His decision to bring on young striker Kelechi Iheanacho changed the game as the Nigerian set up a Jamie Vardy goal before scoring the winner in dying minutes of the game.

The Foxes boss spoke on the rumours of him suggesting that he could be a potential candidate to become the new head coach at Arsenal but he stated his willingness to stay at the club.

Rodgers said that he left his boyhood club Celtic in February to join Leicester as they showed tremendous ambition and to help the club break into the top six, which they are doing spectacularly well thus far.

Star striker Jamie Vardy has been getting a lot of praise as Rodgers seems to have utilised him excellently and as have the other attackers since Leicester have been dynamic going forward.

However, it is their defence that has surprised this season having only conceded 9 goals in 14 games – the best defensive record in the league and 3 ahead of league leaders Liverpool.

Despite him stating his desire to stay, the bookies have the former Liverpool boss as one of the favourites, with odds of him taking over at Arsenal at 6/1.

Only a few managers have shorter odds, with the likes of Massimiliano Allegri, Mikel Arteta and current Arsenal caretaker manager Freddie Ljunbjerg.

The former Arsenal player endured a difficult start to his managerial debut, with his side having to come back twice to draw 2-2 away at 19th placed Norwich.

This now extends a horrible run of form of not winning in their last 8 games in all competitions, which have hampered their chances of qualifying to the Champions League next season.

The Swede did only have one training session with the group of players ahead of the fixture so his impact on the squad can hardly be measured.

The Gunners still sit in 8th place and are 7 points adrift of the top four places which would give them automatic qualification to the Champions League.

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