8am Arsenal news LIVE: Draxler approach, Tagliafico wants transfer, Upamecano boost, Partey LATEST – The Sun

ARSENAL are waiting patiently for news on Project Restart as the Premier League aims to get back on its feet.

And the Gunners are also keen to press ahead with their summer transfer plans as Mikel Arteta plots an overhaul, with a move for Julian Draxler reportedly back on the agenda.

Follow all the very latest updates and gossip from the Emirates below…

  • CESC’S FIRST DAY

    Thierry Henry has revealed what he said to Arsene Wenger on Cesc Fabregas’ first day at Arsenal.

    Speaking to Fabregas on Puma Football’s Instagram, Henry said: “I remember the first time you trained with us and I looked at you… I’m sorry I had a bad haircut but that haircut you had was pretty bad.

    “I looked at you and in those days the shirts were too big for anyone but on you it was like you had a dress on it was so big.

    “I looked at the boss and said: ‘Who the hell is this?!’ and he said ‘Oh it’s the kid he won the World Cup with the U17s’ and I went ‘Oh that’s him he finished best player or top scorer or whatever it was’.

    “So I remember people were talking about you. I saw you coming and man… I saw you and then the team it was you against Patrick [Vieira] and Gilberto [Silva] and went ‘oh my gosh all the very best’ but then you started moving the ball around, playing one-twos.

    “People like Patrick and Gilberto couldn’t get near you and that’s when we knew you could play with us straight away. Then you go and score in the Carling Cup and the rest is history.”

  • MORNING, ARSENAL FANS

    You wouldn't put your shirt on Dani Ceballos staying at Arsenal next season – but you might have a little wager on  Mauro Icardi coming in.

    Loanee playmaker Ceballos says he will be “happy” to return to Real Madrid to see out his contract.

    But Icardi’s wife Wanda Nara fuelled rumours of a switch to the Emirates by sharing with her 6.5 million Instagram followers a snap of their son wearing a Gunners top.

    The Argentina striker, 27, has been on loan at PSG from Inter Milan but speculation is rising he could be part of a swap deal involving Arsenal skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

    The Gunners are also reportedly back in the hunt for PSG'S attacking midfielder Julian Draxler.

    Fussball Transfers say the Gunners have reached out for “information”  on the Germany ace, 26, who is already said to have rebuffed AC Milan.

    Meanwhile, another player long linked with the Gunners has hinted he fancies a move.

    Argentina left-back Nicolas Tagliafico, 27, said:  “Ajax is an amazing club but the Eredivisie is not an amazing competition. One should always have bigger dreams.”

    And the latest on  RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano is that Barcelona are set to quell their spending – although it still seems most likely the Frenchman will stay put this summer.

  • 'I'D RATHER GO BROKE'

    Troy Deeney has blasted the plans for Project Restart.

    Watford’s outspoken skipper has been a key figure in talks among Premier League stars.

    And he insists he will not put a return to action before his family’s health — even if it means going broke.

    He cannot see how:

    Football can return in June if people cannot get haircuts before July.

    Penalty areas will be packed while the rest of the nation is social distancing.

    Players can be tested regularly for Covid-19 when NHS staff and key workers are short of tests.

    Deeney was one of the senior Prem players briefed by medical experts on Covid-19 risks during a conference call on Wednesday.

    He said: “I am not even talking about football at the moment — I am talking about my family’s health and that is it.

    “What are they going to do, take money off me? I’ve been broke before so it doesn’t bother me.”

  • MECAN OFFER

    Arsenal have received a boost in their pursuit of Dayot Upamecano from Spain.

    Barcelona were set to be one of the leading contenders to sign the RB Leipzig defender but that could all new change with La Liga chief Javier Tebas suggesting tough new financial rules could be introduced.

    Tebas told the Instituto Iberoamericano de Derecho Deportivo: “We have seen the cash flows for each club and right now they have squads which exceed the [financial] limits we will establish for next season.

    “That brings consequences. Clubs are going to have to look at their academies and come up with a strategy to reduce salaries. There's no other solution.

    “Transfers that exceed financial limits will not be allowed – impossible.”

  • NO HURRY SAYS MURRAY

    Brighton's Glenn Murray cannot understand the Premier League’s rush to get back next month.

    The striker believes top-flight chiefs should wait to see the impact of easing the lockdown BEFORE staging matches.

    Prem players were told in a conference call that plans for phase one of Project Restart include returning to training while still social distancing.

    Murray, 36, speaking on Sky’s Football Show, said: “Phase two hasn’t been drawn up yet but I think they’re looking at a mid-June restart for the Premier League.

    “Football isn’t a necessity, it’s a game, it’s a sport. What if we go through all this rigmarole of trying to get back and we have a second peak and have to stop anyway?“I can’t understand why we’re in such a rush to get back.

    “Why not see how the country deals with stopping the lockdown first before we even start unnecessary sports when people are dying all around us and the death rate is still high?”

  • JUL IN THE CROWN

    Arsenal are going back in for their former transfer target Julian Draxler, according to reports.

    Fussball Transfers state that the German's time at PSG is set to come to an end this summer and he has already rejected a move to AC Milan.

    And the German site state that the Gunners have reached out for “information” about the player who rejected them for Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.

  • AWESOME THREE SPIRIT

    Gary Neville has claimed the Premier League's best ever attacking three was Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez – but you might be surprised at what the stats for goals and assists say.

    One fan has tweeted figures suggesting not even Liverpool's electric current trio of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, nor Arsenal's sparkling spearhead of Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry Robert Pires, can match Chelsea's finest.

    And those Blues' triple treaters include a MIDFIELDER in now-manager Frank Lampard, Chelsea's all-time top scorer on 211 goals, who linked up spectacularly with Nicolas Anelka's pace and Didier Drogba's power.

    Their feats in2009-10 easily topped the list for a single season – on 101 goals and assists.

    Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane were next best with 85 from 2017-18.

    Prem table-toppers Salah, Mane and Firmino amassed 82 – three more than the Gunners' trio led by four-time Golden Boot winner Henry in 2002-03.

  • BENDTNER LOST £6M ON CARDS

    Ex-Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner has blown £6MILLION playing poker – but insists he does not have a gambling problem.

    The former Denmark star, 32, said he has been playing Texas Hold'Em since he was 19.

    Bendtner said: “I have lost lots of money – a totally unrealistic amount.

    “It is difficult to put an amount on how much I have lost, but it is around 50 million Danish crowns – £6m.

    “I wouldn't say I've had a gambling problem at all. I've always been able to control it.”

  • CESC NAMES HIS GO-TO GOAT TWO

    Cesc Fabregas has named “GOATs” Thierry Henry and Lionel Messi in a dream five-man team of stars he played alongside.

    Monaco's ex-Chelsea and Arsenal midfielder Fabregas selected Gunners' record scorer Henry and Barcelona legend Messi in a silky side with no defenders.

    Joining Henry himself in an Instagram Live chat for Puma Football, Fabregas also named David Silva and[Andres] Iniesta.

    And in goal was a third Spaniard, Porto's ex-Real Madrid hero Iker Casillas.

    Fabregas told Henry: “You're up front, definitely. I would always put you in my all-time XI

    “Iniesta and Silva. These are the two players that I always felt, wow! I'm enjoying so much in midfield.

    “I know I'm not playing with any defender, but I don't really care!

    “I will just go with one goalkeeper who will save everything, two magicians in midfield and two GOATs upfront.”

  • CO-GUNNER?

    Arsenal target Nicolas Tagliafico has reportedly told Ajax he wants to chase “bigger dreams” in a top league.

    The Argentina ace, 27, has evolved into one of Europe’s best left-backs since joining the Dutch giants from Independientetwo years ago.

    He said recently: “It’s always been my goal to play in the best competitions, at a top club.

    “Ajax is an amazing club but the Eredivisie is not an amazing competition. One should always have bigger dreams.

    “I’m still working on my fitness. I need to be as fit as possible in case I’ll move to a new club.

    “The pre-season will start in August, so two more months. But if I’ll leave, it’s still uncertain.”

  • LOOKING BACK IN ANGER

    Noel Gallagher claims the Premier League season would have been voided ages ago if it was Manchester City or Chelsea rather than Liverpool who were 25 points clear.

    The Oasis star thinks the Reds should have been handed the title by now – but with no relegation and promotion ditched for the Prem and Championship.

    He told talkSPORT:“I think it should have been voided weeks ago. Just give them the trophy, they’ve won it anyway.

    “The cynic in me think if it wasn’t Liverpool going for the title, if it was City or Chelsea, it would have been voided already.

    “I don’t think anybody should go up or go down They should be looking towards next season now.

    “If they try and finish this season then the next few seasons are going to be chaos.”

  • BITTER FATE

    A massive 700,000 pints of beer could be wasted at London's football stadiums – because there's no one to drink it.

    Seven thousand kegs of beer are sitting unused across venues like Wembley, the Emirates and Stamford Bridge.,

    This amounts to a staggering £3million in sales.

    An industry source said: “Stadiums usually stock up on four games worth of beer in advance.

    “Its thought £500,000 worth of beer will go to waste by July in the London stadiums as no ones there to drink it. “

    Another issue for stadiums is the beer lines from kegs to pumps won’t have been cleaned since the coronavirus lockdown – and some stagnant beer and water will have been left in them.

  • MADD FOR SILVERWARE

    United and Chelsea target James Maddison is keen for the Premier League to resume and has told Leicester his priority is to win silverware.

    The Foxes' once-capped England midfielder, 23, told Arsenal legend Thierry Henry on a Puma Football Instagram Live chat: “It has only really come in the last year or two, but my biggest goal now is to win trophies.

    “In my house I have a trophy cabinet and there are… individual awards but no trophies.

    “We have Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter finals and hopefully we get to play that.

    “My mouth gets wet when I walk around the Leicester training ground and the stadium and see the pictures of them winning the league and here the players talk about it.”

  • WIDER SCREEN

    TV chiefs have been told to “widen” access” for armchair football fans if and when the Premier League season resumes.

    Sky and BT Sport are due to 47 of the remaining 92 games – all to be played behind closed doors – on their subscription networks.

    SunSport has reported plans to use YouTube channels, Amazon, or the Prem’s own in-house network to allow access to the other 45 matches but they could also go on Sky Freeview channels.

    There will be no demand that terrestrial broadcasters show games.

    The matches will be set out over seven weekends, with two confirmed midweek dates, now likely to start on Friday June 19, with suggestions the opener will be Spurs’ home match with Manchester United.

    Four matches could be played on Saturday and Sunday with staggered kick-offs across the entire afternoon and evening, with a Monday night game as well, although that may be subject to change.

  • PREM GETS GREEN LIGHT

    Culture secretary Oliver Dowden has declared it is now up to football to formulate a return to action in June.

    The coronavirus pandemic led to all levels of the game being halted over two months ago, with only the Premier League and Championship likely to see out the season.

    On Thursday, Dowden chaired a meeting with chief executives from the Premier League, English Football League and Football Association and described talks as “positive”.

    Discussions were also held about “widening access” for fans, in a hint of proposals to make football free-to-air in some capacity while games take place behind closed doors.

    Dowden said in a statement: “Today's positive meeting I hosted with the football authorities progressed plans for the resumption of the professional game in England.

    “We all agreed that we will only go ahead if it is safe to do so and the health and welfare of players, coaches and staff comes first.

    “The government is opening the door for competitive football to return safely in June.

  • THE ONLY WAY IS UP

    Arsenal have received a boost in their pursuit of Dayot Upamecano from Spain.

    Barcelona were set to be one of the leading contenders to sign the RB Leipzig defender but that could all new change with La Liga chief Javier Tebas suggesting tough new financial rules could be introduced.

    Tebas told the Instituto Iberoamericano de Derecho Deportivo: “We have seen the cash flows for each club and right now they have squads which exceed the [financial] limits we will establish for next season.

    “That brings consequences. Clubs are going to have to look at their academies and come up with a strategy to reduce salaries. There's no other solution.

    “Transfers that exceed financial limits will not be allowed – impossible.”

  • LOS CAUSE

    Arsenal loanee Dani Ceballos wants to return to Real Madrid to see out his contract.

    Gunners' boss Mikel Arteta was reportedly keen to extend the Spain playmaker's stay into next season after the 23-year-old's form and fitness improved dramatically.

    But Ceballos told Deportes Cuatro: “I am happy and I have a contract with Real Madrid.”

  • JACK'S' AXE WARNING

    Jack Wilshere has revealed that Unai Emery advised him to leave Arsenal despite having a new contract offer on the table.

    When the Spanish coach took over from Arsene Wenger in 2018, the England midfielder was enjoying a rare injury-free spell in the Gunners side.

    Staying in North London was his preference and he was ready to put pen to paper on a new deal, which was largely based on staying fit and making appearances, but ended up moving to West Ham.

    But Wilshere told the club's In Lockdown podcast: “I got offered a new deal and I wasn't really happy with it, but Arsene was doing everything he could for me.

    “We got to a point where I'd almost agreed it then the news came that Arsene was leaving, and I just thought, 'How can I sign a new deal that is based on appearances with a manager who I don't know?'

    “When Emery came in I wanted to sit down and have a conversation with him, we did and he said, 'Basically if I were you I would leave – you're not in my starting XI.'

    “He had plans to buy a midfielder, I think he bought [Lucas] Torreira, and I wasn't in his plans.”

  • MOURINHO IN BUND FIGHT

    Jose Mourinho urged his fellow managers to “stay home and watch Bundesliga” if they do not want the Premier League to resume.

    The Tottenham boss made it clear he is itching to return to the dugout during the League Managers' Association meeting.

    According to The Mirror, Mourinho took a cheeky swipe at the managers that do not want football to return yet.

    He allegedly told them: “If you don't want to play, stay home and watch Bundesliga!”

  • JUL IN THE GUNNERS' CROWN

    Arsenal are set to step up their chase for Julian Draxler, according to reports.

    The Gunners tried to sign the German playmaker before he made the switch to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.

    Now 26, Draxler has made 19 appearances in all competitions for PSG this season, with a recent foot injury hampering his progress before the coronavirus lockdown.

    According to Fussball Transfers, Mikel Arteta is set to ramp up his attempts to sign the 2014 World Cup winner.

  • FRENCH MISS

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wanted Nicolas Anelka and Thierry Henry as a ferocious forward partnership at Highbury.

    But the pair missed each other by a matter of months in 1999, when Anelka signed for Real Madrid for £22million.

    And Ian Wright has revealed that Wenger was furious because he had a big plan: “I just wanted to make my runs through lines and to stay as central as I could.

    “He was a pleasure to play with because he was so skilful, he was so quick, he had everything. He could drop in field.

    “Arsene was trying to get him and Thierry together but obviously Nicolas left.

    “He would have been able to drop into those areas and do unbelievable things with how quick his feet were.”

  • HOSTILE TIMES

    Believe it or not, relations between Wenger and Mourinho have thawed since he did this.

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