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I always felt it could be an important season for Arsenal, even if they are performing beyond expectations. They have built something really good, the atmosphere inside the dressing room is fantastic.
I’m told they are not finished – they want to keep building, and to keep fighting for the Premier League. They wanted a midfielder in the summer, though a deal for Douglas Luiz was not possible. They also wanted a winger, Raphinha was the dream, but it was not possible. They also had positive talks over Mykhaylo Mudryk but he was too expensive, and even more now. Still, Arsenal will be busy in the next weeks and months.
I can also reveal that, during the summer, Gabriel Magalhaes was wanted by Juventus and another club, who I can’t reveal for now. Arsenal were absolutely adamant that he was untouchable, and their position never changed. They then gave him a new contract, and the priority now will be to go strong on new contract talks for William Saliba, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli. They are optimistic, they feel these players want to stay.
Xavi on Cristiano Ronaldo after the Europa League draw: “He seems to me to be a great player, he has marked an era in world football and can still make the difference.”
Bayern director Hasan Salihamidzic on Alex Nubel: “Neuer will definitely play another two or three years and Sven Ulreich will also be there. Nubel will not come back in 2023. We spoke to Alex on our plans at some point we have to make decisions.”
Brazil have selected their World Cup squad:
Alisson, Ederson, Weverton
Dani Alves, Danilo, Alex Sandro, Alex Telles, Bremer, Militao, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva
Casemiro, Ribeiro, Bruno Guimaraes, Fabinho, Fred, Lucas Paqueta
Antony, Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli, Neymar, Pedro, Raphinha, Rodrygo, Richarlison, Vinicius
Some Chelsea fans clearly expected to see more of Armando Broja this season, so what’s my latest take on his situation?
I’m sure Armando Broja is part of the Chelsea project as they strongly wanted to keep him and sign new long-term deal in September. He is highly regarded by the club, but of course there is a lot of competition in this squad.
There are no talks for potential loan, as of today; I think in 2023 the situation will be way more clear as he needs to play to improve.
Inter vice president Javier Zanetti on Milan Skriniar contract expiring: “We are in talks to extend his contract as conversations are progressing well. We hope to get it done and signed soon.”
There have been fresh transfer rumours about Adrien Rabiot, but I’m absolutely not sure that he will leave Juventus in January. He’s doing great and he’s key player for Allegri this season, so I see him staying at least until the end of the season – then his contract will be discussed as the current one expires in June 2023.
Manchester United held talks over signing Rabiot in the summer, but there were no other clubs in the race. In the end, his salary demands meant United pulled out of the move. For now it is quiet, but I’m sure he’ll have a lot of clubs interested if he does end up being a free agent in the summer.
We had the draw for the last 16 of the Champions League yesterday, and it was a pretty favourable one for Manchester City. With the summer signing of Erling Haaland I think they’ve gone up a level and can do great things in the Champions League this season. I’m also looking forward to the tie between Liverpool and Real Madrid, it should be really open and an entertaining contest.
The Champions League last 16 draw in full:
RB Leipzig vs Manchester City
Club Brugge vs Benfica
Liverpool vs Real Madrid
AC Milan vs Tottenham
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Napoli
Borussia Dortmund vs Chelsea
Inter vs FC Porto
Paris Saint Germain-FC Bayern