Unai Emery hints at more Arsenal exits

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Unai Emery is still open to selling players abroad this summer as Arsenal prepare to start the new Premier League season.

The Gunners made six signings during the transfer window including bringing in Kieran Tierney and David Luiz in a deadline day double swoop on Thursday.

Alex Iwobi left for Everton, Carl Jenkinson moved to Nottingham Forest and former captain Laurent Koscielny departed acrimoniously for Bordeaux in recent days.

But there could yet be more departures with Italian, German, French and Spanish teams able to add to their squads right up until September 2.

Shkodran Mustafi and Mohamed Elneny are two Arsenal players who have been heavily linked with moves away from the Emirates Stadium this summer and Emery admits more departures are likely.

“Yesterday we finished the transfer possibility and also we did progressively with some players to sign and also led to some players to leave,” he said.

“I am really delighted with our work. The club did everything to get the best players to help us and to make our squad stronger.

“As you can understand, we are changing players at the last moment and also with Laurent Koscielny, he was the first captain, and he left us five days ago.

“Also, we have had other players come in. Now we have the squad and we have finished the transfer market, but it’s still open in other countries.

“Unfortunately, we can achieve the last moment finishing yesterday with some players but now in the next 25 days we could lose some players.”

Arsenal start their campaign at Newcastle on Sunday, with the distinct possibility that none of their six new players will be in the starting line-up.

Tierney is nursing a groin problem and Real Madrid loanee Dani Ceballos took a heavy challenge to his ankle in last week’s friendly defeat to Barcelona.

Luiz and club-record signing Nicolas Pepe are fighting a fitness battle, while William Saliba will spend the season on loan at St Etienne having joined from the Ligue 1 outfit last month.

“We are going to start Sunday with players who I am very convinced can perform now at 100 per cent,” Emery added.

“For some, that’s impossible for them to achieve that performance for us because they arrived later or started training with us after injuries.”

Last season’s player of the year Alexandre Lacazette could also miss out as he continues his recovery from an ankle issue suffered in the Emirates Cup defeat to Lyon, while the likes of Rob Holding, Hector Bellerin and Konstantinos Mavropanos continue their respective rehabilitation.

Arsenal missed out on the top four by a single point and lost the Europa League final to Chelsea in Emery’s first season at the helm and, following their busy transfer window, the Spaniard is now keen to push on and secure a return to the Champions League.

“The Premier League is the best competition in the world,” he said. “We are going to work and be with a big challenge to compete in this competition to find the top four.

“We know it’s difficult, but really our ambition and our motivation is to do the best we possibly can in every competition.

“The Premier League is the most important competition and we are going to start on Sunday and it is going to give us the regularity and consistency in 38 matches.

“It’s the first way for us to achieve our targets and objectives to be in the top four, but we know it’s going to be difficult.”

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Time was right for Romelu Lukaku to go, says Man United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes it was the right time for Romelu Lukaku to leave Manchester United.

The 26-year-old ended his two-season stint at Old Trafford on Thursday, joining Inter Milan in an 80 million euros (£73.75million) deal.

Lukaku’s exit became rather unsavoury as he started the week training with boyhood club Anderlecht and Solskjaer is happy to see the striker leave.

“It was time now for Rom to go because I think we got a good deal, he’s happy, so I think both parties ended that deal as it should be,” he said.

“Rom was injured for a while this pre-season, he didn’t participate, so I just hope for him that he’ll get a good start at Inter Milan.”

Solskjaer is confident United’s attack will do well despite losing the option of a regular goalscorer.

“Towards the end of last season, we didn’t score a lot of goals, did we?” he said.

“And you do have players that you think will have an impact and Mason Greenwood’s pathway would have been a lot more difficult, of course if we had another forward there.

“For me, I believe Mason is going to be playing and involved a lot and when he is, he’ll score goals.”

While Lukaku followed Ander Herrera and Antonio Valencia in making summer exits, only Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James arrived.

PA understands Solskjaer was also looking to improve in central midfield and on the right wing, but the United manager seemed happy enough.

“Do you know, I think when the transfer window closes it’s that great feeling of relief,” the Norwegian said ahead of Sunday’s match against Chelsea.

“Now it’s done, now we know we’re looking forward with and I’m delighted with the three we’ve signed.

“Well, that’s (negativity) not the feeling inside the club anyway and the feeling with the fans I’ve met, they are excited with the ones we’ve had.

“Of course, there is always going to be fans out there wanting to sign players. That’s just part and parcel of being here. The players are here now, they’ve been shown that trust and we believe in them.”

Provided by Press Association Sport

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Man City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan signs new contract to 2023

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Ilkay Gundogan has signed a new four-year contract with Manchester City, the Premier League champions have announced.

The German midfielder, who had just entered the final year of his previous deal, is now committed to the club until 2023.

The news ends speculation over the future of the 28-year-old, who joined City from Borussia Dortmund in 2016.

Gundogan told the club’s website, www.mancity.com: “I am very happy to have signed the new contract. I have hugely enjoyed the last three years here at City and everyone at the club has helped make me feel at home from my very first day.

“It’s a privilege to be a part of this team, playing the style of football we do and winning trophies. It’s very difficult to do that and I’m delighted to be a part of it.

“I’m really excited about what we can go on to achieve in the next few seasons.”

Gundogan’s first season at City was cut short by a serious knee injury but he has been a key part of the club’s back-to-back Premier League triumphs over the past two campaigns.

The deal comes in the week City bolstered their squad with the signings of Joao Cancelo and Scott Carson.

Director of football Txiki Begiristain said: “Ilkay’s new deal is more excellent news for our club.

“He has shown how important he is to the team and has played a huge part in everything that we have achieved so far.

“We are thrilled he has committed his long-term future to Manchester City.”

Provided by Press Association Sport 

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