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Conte questions Arsenal’s decision to loan out players despite postponement request for game

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Tottenham boss Antonio Conte has questioned Arsenal’s decision to have Sunday’s north London derby postponed.

He said the development is ‘very strange’ and feels Arsenal’s request has opened the door for ‘anything to happen’.

While the Gunners requested for the game to be postponed due to unavailability of players as a result of Covid, the club loaned out both Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Folarin Balogun just a few days earlier.

Now, Sead Kolasinac has been allowed to part ways with the club and Pablo Mari is set to leave on loan.

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Asked if he is surprised that clubs, like Arsenal, are still letting players leave without signing replacements only to then request for postponements, Conte replied: ‘My feeling is that when there is a situation to play, we have to play, and not postpone games for injuries or international duty or for [something else].

‘I think that we have a big problem to solve which is Covid, but only about this [Covid] situation can you decide to postpone.

‘Otherwise, for other situations, no. Honestly, this is the first time in my life – and I think I have a bit of experience in football – that I’ve seen this type of decision. It was very strange because in this way, anything can happen.’

On how he reacted to the decision, Conte explained: ‘I think the club made a statement and I think the club expressed our disappointment about the decision.

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‘It was for sure a strange decision but I think the club made an important statement to tell about our disappointment for the decision.

‘I think that if the Premier League decides to postpone games for injuries, it means that maybe they have to try to make a better schedule to reduce maybe to play games if they don’t want injuries and they don’t want the risk of postponing because of injuries.

‘But I repeat, this is the first time in my life that there is a league that postponed a game for injuries. This is very, very strange and I’m very surprised about this.’

He added: ‘It was disappointing because we prepared to play the game against Arsenal and then the decision to postpone the game it was for sure very, very strange.

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‘But I repeat, the club made a statement to show our disappointment about the whole Tottenham environment about this decision.’

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Dean Jones names the player he would be surprised if Arsenal signs this summer

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Transfer insider Dean Jones has claimed that it would be a huge surprise if Arsenal are able to sign Sandro Tolani as they are linked with a move for the AC Milan midfielder.

After doing away with the number if fringe players at the Emirates Stadium, the busy summer transfer window will continue for Mikel Arteta and Edu as they are keen on a major revamp of the Gunners team.

Arsenal are understood to have made an enquiry as to the availability of Tonali, but Milan are not keen on selling, according to reports in Italy.

Although a bid of £46.4m could be enough to lure the Italian outfit to give out the 22-year-old who has four years remaining on his contract.

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The transfer insider would be shocked if Arsenal were able to pull off a deal for the player before the deadline.

Jones told GIVEMESPORT: “Now Frank Kessie has gone from AC Milan and Tonali looks like he’ll have an even more important role in the coming season. So I’ll be very, very surprised if Arsenal manage to get Tonali out of Milan.”

Howbeit, Arsenal are not done with the summer transfer window according to words by Mikel Arteta.

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Arsenal handed major hope in move for Serie A star

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Serbia manager Dragan Stojkovic has handed major hope to Arsenal as he issued a ‘never say never’ take on Sergej Milinkovic-Savic possibly leaving Lazio during the summer transfer window.

Stojkovic has told Tuttosport that there are chances of a late transfer move for Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, expressing confidence that the 27-year-old would excel in Europe.

Although Lazio are reluctant to sell Milinkovic-Savic having turned down a €50m (£42.25m) offer by Juventus in May.

It is understood that Lazio President Claudio Lotito is willing to part ways with the midfielder but he is expecting a luring offer from all of his suitors.

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“Never say never in the transfer market,” Stojkovic said. “From a technical point of view, I keep thinking that Milinkovic-Savic would be ideal for Juventus midfield.

“But I am only the coach of Serbia and I have great respect for Lazio, which is an important club. It is not for me to make these decisions. One thing is certain: Milinkovic-Savic is a top player, and would be an added value for any team.”

Howbeit, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is not top on the wish of Mikel Arteta but he could be an alternative if other deals fail to pull through before the end of the window.

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Pundit says Arsenal now working against the clock to sign this EPL star

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Football pundit Dean Jones has claimed that Arsenal are now working against the clock to seal the signature of Youri Tielemans from Leicester City.

The club fans have wished to have the midfielder as they showed their love to him during the Saturday’s 4-2 win over Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium.

It is now unclear what the situation is as the Gunners seem to be mute over this but according to Dean Jones, Arsenal may have ‘left it too late’ to sign the Leicester City midfielder.

The 25-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium throughout the summer, but a formal offer has not been submitted with September’s deadline fast approaching.

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Jones therefore says that Arsenal are now working ‘against the clock’ to sign Tielemans as Leicester have got ‘plans of their own to fulfil’ before the window slams shut on September 1.

In an interview with GiveMeSport, he said: “Arsenal are against the clock on this one now. I mean, they’ve just left it too late.

“Leicester have got plans of their own to fulfil, this isn’t a team that are knocking around at the bottom of the Premier League.”

Meanwhile Arteta says work is being done to keep some of the fringe players away before bringing in more signings.

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Arteta says new player can play four positions, makes revelation

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has disclosed that one of the summer signings Fabio Vieira is another versatile player that can play about three positions on the pitch.

He made this claim as the player is gradually returning to fitness and set to be ready for games

Asked to name Vieira’s best position he said: ‘That’s something the player is going to tell us.

‘We are already trying him in different positions in training, and he’s played on the left, right, as a false nine and an attacking midfielder, so it’s good.

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‘He doesn’t want to be locked in any one position, because he’s so used to it, and that’s a really positive thing for us.’

On how long it will take Vieira to adapt to English football, he added: ‘That’s a question mark that’s very difficult to respond to right now.

‘It might take him now time to get there, depending on who he’s playing with and how the game goes – it could take him no time to adapt.

‘What I can tell you is that he’s doing everything he can to make that process really short.’

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Fabio Vieira missed the preseason despite his early switch from Porto to Arsenal this summer transfer window.

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Barcelona handed chance to sign this one Arsenal star

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Barcelona have been given the chance to land Hector Bellerin this summer transfer window.

The Spanish defender is believed to be keen on a move away from the club but an agreement is yet to be reached with his preferred destination, Real Betis.

Bellerin still has over 10 months remaining on his current contract in north London, but leaving for free will not be out of place.

Technical director Edu has allowed some squad players to leave for free transfers in recent years in a bid to clear up the club’s wage bill and that could happen in this case.

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Speaking about offloading players to football.london last month, Edu said : “If you imagine, ‘Oh, no problem: this season we’re going to expose the player a little bit more and then we sell them’ – no, be realistic.

“You don’t want to sell the player. Try to avoid one more year with the problem inside, in the dressing room, expensive, not performing. Clean, take it out. Even, I’m sorry, if you have to pay. To leave is better. Because that guy is sometimes also blocking someone.”

The Brazilian added: “I know it hurts, I know it’s strange when I go to the board and say, ‘Sometimes it’s better to pay a player to leave, than maintain them’ But I consider it an investment. Sometimes people say, ‘It’s expensive’. I say, ‘No, it’s investment’. But someone will pay if you sell? No, guys – if the player is above 26, 27 and not performing, big salary, no chance.”

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Agent confirms Arsenal’s interest in defender likened to Liverpool’s Van Dijk

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Agent of Kenya international Joseph Okumu has confirmed interested from Arsenal and other clubs this summer transfer window.

Although Okumu has played down the possibility of a move this summer transfer window by insisting that he is ‘happy’ at KAA Gent.

Celtic have also been credited with interest in the defender who was likened to Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk.

After 12 months in Belgium, Okumu may soon be ready to take another step up the footballing ladder.

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Agent says Arsenal, Dortmund and Celtic like Joseph Okumu “We have had informal interest from English side Arsenal and Scottish giants Celtic,” the 25-year-old’s representative said earlier in the summer.

“But German side Borussia Dortmund are the first side to make an official inquiry. He is open to a move if a proper agreement is reached.”

Okumu, however, was reluctant to give too much away when breaking his silence this week. The well-travelled, 6ft 4ins giant is in no rush to leave the Jupiler League so soon after arriving.

“I only think about (leaving) if there is an agreement between all parties,” Okumu says. “I rely on my agents for that.

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“So far, I’m just focusing on football. If anything becomes concrete, I’ll let you know. I’m still happy to be here. I’ll stay calm and see what happens.

“I’m playing right now and that’s fine for me.”

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Arteta finally reveals why William Saliba returned to Arsenal from Marseille

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has claimed that the reason why William Saliba found it easy to return to the Emirates Stadium after his loan spell at Marseille was because the defender has always wanted to return.

Saliba is just getting his debut at Arsenal after his £27 million move from Saint Etienne in 2019.

He was made to leave the club temporarily because he could not compete at that time.

However, that was not an issue for the France international as Arteta said the youngster made it clear that his priority was finally showing Arsenal what he could do.

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“The reality is he was very convinced and determined to come here,” said Arteta. “He had no other choice. He never suggested anything else. From the first conversations that we had with him you could see that he only had one intention, to come here and start to play football matches for Arsenal.”

Arteta was impressed. “The first impression was really positive,” the Arsenal manager said when asked whether he had seen the same composure and confidence that Saliba displayed at Selhurst Park on the Frenchman’s return to preseason training. “His body language, his presence and the confidence that he was acting with, he was very mature.”

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Arteta makes fresh claim on Arsenal’s current agenda before summer transfer window ends

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has claimed that the agenda and plan of the club at the moment is to move out players who are not in his plan before the end of the season.

The Gunners have undergone a huge squad overhaul this summer but from all indications, the club is not done as more players needed to leave the team to create some space for new players.

Arteta said, “Well, we had Bernd [Leno] and Lucas Torreira [as well as Pablo Mari]. There were a few – we had Flo Balogun going on loan as well.

“We’ve moved the squad a lot and we’re still willing to finalise the squad the way we want it. We could add something great but there are a few players that we need to find the right game time for as well. At the moment, that’s going to be difficult.”

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Arteta was also quizzed on Friday about Manchester City’s interest in Kieran Tierney.

He added, “No – and you know I’m not going to be commenting on individual cases.”

No doubt that more players are expected to join Arsenal before the end of the transfer window but that won’t happen until a level of space is created.

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