Arsenal news LIVE: Saka’s £200k-a-week contract, Gunners ‘contact’ Juventus over Locatelli, Vlahovic update… – The Sun

ARSENAL are reportedly preparing to offer Bukayo Saka a four-year contract extension worth a whopping £200,000 a week.
The Gunners are desperate to tie Saka down to a new deal with the likes of Manchester City hovering.
Meanwhile, Arsenal have made contact with Juventus over a January move for Manuel Locatelli according to reports.
Locatelli, 24, has failed to impress since he rejected a deal from the Gunners to join the Old Lady last summer, but Arsenal could are reportedly ready to go in again for the Italian.
And reports suggest that the Gunners are locked in a battle with Chelsea for Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic.
Stay up to date with all the latest from the Emirates…
Can't Hack It
Manchester United have been tipped to miss out on Champions League football AGAIN… although Arsenal could finally return to Europe's premier competition.
That's according to a supercomputer tasked with using data and betting market analysis to predict how the season will play out.
Boffins and brainiacs over at OLBG reckon Man United are set for a sixth-placed finish and another season in the Europa League.
The Red Devils were trounced 6-3 by Manchester City on Sunday, with the supercomputer unsurprisingly making Pep Guardiola's side overwhelming favourites to win the league.
Current leaders Arsenal are tipped to fall to second, which would still be a successful season and see a return to Champions League football at the Emirates for the first time since the 2016-17 season.
See the entire supercomputer Premier League predictions here.
Packed October
Arsenal face their most difficult month of their season so far with October seeing them play NINE games, including four in Europe.
Following their derby day win over Tottenham, they host Bodo/Glimt in the Europa League this Thursday. They then face a huge game at home against Liverpool on Sunday, before they travel to Glimt for the reverse fixture.
Then it's a difficult trip to Leeds for the Gunners before they host PSV in their rescheduled Europa League game.
After that Mikel Arteta's team go to Southampton, host PSV in Europe and then welcome Nottingham Forest to the Emirates to end a breathless month.
Better Call Sal
Arsenal star William Saliba was lined up by Barcelona for a transfer over the summer.
Saliba, 21, has hit the ground running since breaking into the Arsenal first team this season.
But Barca had been looking at the defender as one option to bolster their defensive ranks, as reported by Fabrizio Romano.
But upon beating Chelsea to Jules Kounde, the Spanish giants cooled their interest in the Arsenal man.
The Frenchman has started the season in stunning form and impressed fans with his dominant and intelligent defending. 
Williamson Out
Following speculation over her fitness, Arsenal Women have confirmed Leah Williamson has picked up a strain and has pulled out of England's squad this evening.
The defender will miss clashes against the USA and Czech Republic with Arsenal teammate Lotte Wubben-Moy called up in her place.
She follows Manchester United's Alessia Russo pulling out of the squad with injury.
Ode to talent
Jurgen Klopp has revealed his disappointment that he didn't sign Martin Odegaard as the 23-year-old continues to thrive at Arsenal.
The Liverpool boss had unsuccessfully tried to sign the star when he was manager of Borussia Dortmund, but he went to Real Madrid instead.
And the midfielder has thrived since arriving at the Emirates, impressing even keen admirer Klopp.
He told TV2: "I really like him. It’s easy these days. It was a bit more difficult at the start of his career when he was at Real Madrid. Then it looked like it might not go his way.
"I was really disappointed by that, because we wanted him in Dortmund when he was very young.
“We had a long conversation when he was still a boy, together with his father. In the end he decided on Madrid, and that’s fine, but that’s why I’ve always followed him.”
London Calling
Leandro Trossard has not closed the door to a move to Arsenal or Chelsea amid speculation on his future.
The Belgian hit a sensational hat-trick at Anfield to help Brighton to a point.
It continues his trend of impressive performances at Brighton, and led some to believe he could be of interest to bigger clubs.
And the 27-year-old has not shut down the chances of a move.
He told the BBC's Monday Night Club: "It’s difficult to say anything about that now, it completely depends on which club would come. If I feel good and things are good on a private level… but I also know how good I am at Brighton, also with new coach Roberto De Zerbi it looks promising."
Happy Birthday Tomas
Former Arsenal midfielder Tomas Rosicky celebrates his 42nd birthday today.
The Czech spent 10 years at the club and scored 19 goals in that time, with one of the more memorable ones coming at White Hart Lane when he netted the only goal of the game to give Arsenal victory at the home of their rivals.
Happy birthday, Tomas 🥳

🎼 The Little Mozart
Arsenal hoping to buck trend
High-flying Arsenal have been made slight favourites by the bookies to beat Liverpool on Sunday.
It's the first time in many a year that the Gunners have been chalked up as likely winners, but to do so will mean bucking a worrying trend.
The Gunners have emerged victorious in just one of their last 14 Premier League meetings with the Merseysiders (D4 L9), and that was a 2-1 home win in July 2020 during Project Restart when the Reds had already been crowned champions.
Since then, Mikel Arteta's team have lost four in a row against Liverpool.
However, Gooners can take heart from the fact that they have never before lost five in succession against the Anfield club
Gallas: Gunners have to believe
Arsenal can win this season's Premier League title so long as their players collectively believe in their own ability.
That's according to the club's former defender, William Gallas, who urges the North London side to just 'go for it'.
In an exclusive chat with Genting Casino, the former French international said: "Arsenal have to believe that they can win the title.
"The players have to think that they can do it and, as a group, will have objectives in place that they will try and achieve. If they want to play for the title, they have to go for it."
Gallas also thought Mikel Arteta's men came through one of their biggest challenges of the season by winning the North London derby.
"I thought it was a big test for Arsenal and they passed it. They approached the game in the right way and showed their quality as a team.
"What Arsenal need to do is keep believing in their quality and, if they approach their matches with this desire and level of intensity, then they can compete with any club in the league.
"They need to take this approach into their next game against Liverpool, which will be another big test, but if they can produce the same football with the same intensity then they will have a great opportunity to beat Liverpool."
Oliver in charge of Liverpool clash
Michael Oliver has been confirmed as the referee for Arsenal's home match with Liverpool.
The Premier League leaders host Jurgen Klopp's team at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon, hoping to maintain their 100% home record.
Oliver took charge of the Manchester derby on Sunday, and was also the referee for Liverpool's defeat at Old Trafford earlier this season.
The last Arsenal game that Oliver officiated was their 1-0 win at Wolves back in February when he dismissed Gabriel Martinelli for two bookings shown at the same time for infringements that occured seconds apart.
Cedric back to face Bodo
Arsenal full-back Cedric is said to have shaken off his injury problems, and may make his first appearance of the season this week.
The Portuguese defender will be added to the squad that will face FK Bodo/Glimt in the Europa League on Thursday.
According to Football London writer Kaya Kaynak, the former Southampton man is eager to get some minutes under his belt as he aims to reach the kind of performances that he put in during the second half of last season.
Leeds join Arsenal in Mud fight
Leeds United are the latest club to display an interest in Ukrainian wonderkid Mykhaylo Mudryk.
The 21-year-old has been in sensational form this season, showcasing his talents in the Champions League group stage.
Mudryk has weighed in with two goals and two assists for Shakhtar Donetsk in Group F, and has seen his value double to around £50m.
Arsenal are understood to have had a £25m offer rejected in the summer, but remain interested in the left winger.
And now, according to transfers insider Dean Jones, Leeds have joined the race.
It would be an ambitious capture for the Elland Road club, who are already showing they mean business with the pursuit of Cody Gakpo.
Super Saliba was Barca target
Arsenal starlet William Saliba was a serious target for Barcelona in the summer, according to Fabrizio Romano.
The transfers expert has revealed that an official bid for the Frenchman was being lined up had they been beaten to Jules Kounde by Chelsea.
And it wasn't just Barca that were keen to sign the centre-back.
Marseille, where the 21-year-old had been on loan, and AC Milan had also expressed their desire to bring him in permanently.
Saliba has started every Premier League game this season for the Gunners, having made his debut in August, three years after joining the club.
Ozil hopes to be back for good
Mesut Ozil has revealed his back surgery 'went well' as he now faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
The former Arsenal star went under the knife on Monday in order to cure the long-standing problem.
The 33-year-old, who is now at Istanbul Basaksehir, has suffered numerous back problems in recent years and has missed 31 matches since 2018.
Sharing a snap of himself giving the thumbs-up in his hospital bed, he wrote on Instagram: “Today's surgery went well. Thanks again to everyone for your messages and prayers – May God bless you all!"
Prior to his medical procedure, he had said: “Unfortunately I will be out for a longer time."
Ozil – who was released by Arsenal in 2021 – joined Istanbul Basaksehir in the summer, just 29 minutes after his Fenerbahce contract was ripped up.
Saka close to bumper deal
Is Bukayo Saka edging closer to committing his long-term future to Arsenal? The Mail certainly thinks so.
They report that a £200,000-per-week contract is on the table for the England forward, ready to be signed.
And while there are a few minor negotiations to finalise, insiders at the club expect the 21-year-old to put pen to paper.
Manchester City and Liverpool have previously been linked with poaching the Gunners star, whose current deal runs out in 2024.
However, the London outfit are confident of securing Saka, and have taken the player's 'personal investment in taking an executive box at the Emirates' as a sign of his loyalty.
Arsenal Women's Champions League schedule
Arsenal Women discovered their Champions League opponents earlier as the draw for the Group Stage was made.
They will have to try and fight their way through Lyon, FC Zurich and Juventus to get into the knockout stages.
This is their group stage schedule:
Matchday 1 – October 19
Olympique Lyonnais v Arsenal (A) – 8pm UK (time)
Matchday 2 – October 27
Arsenal v FC Zurich (H) – 8pm UK
Matchday 3 – November 24
Juventus v Arsenal (A) – 8pm UK
Matchday 4 – December 7
Arsenal v Juventus (H) – 8pm UK
Matchday 5 – December 15
Arsenal v Olympique Lyonnais (H) – 8pm UK
Matchday 6 – December 21
FC Zurich v Arsenal (A) – 5.45pm UK
Gift of the Gab
Gabriel Martinelli has caught the interest of Chelsea with the Blues adding him to their transfer wishlist, according to reports.
The Brazilian has started the season off in hot form and helped Arsenal to their stunning table-topping start.
The 21-year-old has been so impressive that Chelsea are believed to be monitoring his progress at the Emirates.
The star has been with Arsenal since 2019 and has becoming an increasingly important member of Mikel Arteta's team.
The Toilet Roll Challenge
Gabriel Martinelli, Granit Xhaka and goalkeeper Matt Turner took on the "toilet roll challenge" as the Arsenal trio chilled out in their downtime.
Find out who wins below.
Main Man
Arsenal have made contact with Juventus over a January move for Manuel Locatelli, according to reports in Italy.
The Gunners tried to sign the midfielder after his impressive European Championships with Italy last summer.
Instead, Locatelli opted to join Juventus on a two-year loan deal from Sassuolo.
Locatelli has played seven times this season, but his place in the side could be under serious threat once Paul Pogba returns from injury.
Went Well
Mesut Ozil has revealed his back surgery “went well” as he now faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
The former Arsenal star went under the knife on Monday in order to cure the long-standing problem.
The 33-year-old, who is now at Istanbul Basaksehir, has suffered numerous back problems over recent years and has missed 31 matches since 2018.
Now Ozil has provided his fans with a positive update on his condition after the op.
Sharing a snap of himself giving the thumbs-up in his hospital bed, he wrote on Instagram: “Today's surgery went well ✅🙏🏼 Thanks again to everyone for your messages & prayers – May God bless you all! 🤲🏼❤️”
The Gran-D Tour
Granit Xhaka has had more touches in the opposition penalty area than Tottenham's Son Heung-min this season, new stats reveal.
The midfield general has revelled in a more attacking role this term and has helped launch Arsenal to the top of the Premier League.
He even scored the third goal in Saturday's North London derby
And it turns out he has had more presence in the opposition box than Spurs attacker Son.
Xhaka has now had 30 touches inside the opposition penalty box this term – three more than forward Son has managed, per WhoScored.
Read the full story here.
Bodo/Glimt scout report
Norwegian side Bodo/Glimt put themselves on the map last year when they hammered Jose Mourinho's Roma 6-1 in the Europa Conference Group Stage.
They almost got one over the former Chelsea manager in the knockout stages when the pair met again, with Bodo/Glimt winning 2-1 in the first leg but falling to a 4-0 defeat in Rome.
The two results suggests the side will not be a pushover when they visit the Emirates on Thursday.
They currently top Group A of the Europa League group, but Arsenal have played a game fewer after their match with PSV was postponed.
Glimt trail Molde by 15 points in the Norwegian league, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's former side needing just four points to win the title in their remaining six games.
But Bodo/Glimt had been the champions in that division in the last two years. They are also the top scorers in their league, which could be a problem for an Arsenal side who have not kept a clean sheet at home in any of their last 10 games.
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