We take a look at the key stories concerning Arsenal from the day
Guardiola rages at “lying” journalist who wrote Sanchez story
A story in Chile reported that Alexis Sanchez received a personal phone call from Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, in an apparent attempt to convince the Chilean superstar to join him at the Etihad.
Arsenal are currently in the midst of negotiating a new contract with Sanchez, who has been in brilliant form for the Gunners this season, and helped Arsenal to climb over Liverpool to second position in the Premier League with his hat-trick against West Ham on Saturday.
Negotiations do not seem to have progressed, however, and this has reportedly piqued the interest of both Manchester City and Juventus.
However, Guardiola angrily branded the journalist behind the story as a liar, according to The Daily Mail:
“Absolutely false. The journalist is a liar,” Guardiola said.
“Alexis Sanchez would fit in any team in the world. The journalist is a liar.”
Although Guardiola didn’t rule out his interest in Sanchez, it is probably fair to say that he would not show that much disrespect to Arsenal and Arsene Wenger and attempt to tap-up Sanchez.
Ferdinand believes Sanchez’s ego will convince him to stay
Alexis Sanchez was the talk of the town following his brilliant hat-trick against West Ham.
The Gunners have not managed to tie him down to a new contract just yet, but Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand believes that Sanchez’s ego and the fact that he is the star man at the Emirates might convince him to stay:
“It depends what he wants,” the ex-Manchester United defender said, according to The Mirror
“He’s been at Barcelona – he had that opportunity to go to a team that was winning and it didn’t happen for him.”
“Here [at Arsenal] he’s the main man, the talisman. He might want that for his ego.”
Ferdinand might be right about Sanchez being the main man at Arsenal, but a player of his quality needs to win titles and should Arsenal fail to win a major trophy again this season, it will be difficult to convince the 27-year old that his future lies at the Emirates.
Diego Simeone will choose Inter over Arsenal
Arsene Wenger’s current contract expires at the end of this season, and there is no confirmation as to whether he will extend his reign at the Emirates or move on from his beloved club.
Diego Simeone has been touted as a potential successor for Wenger, but according to the Atletico Madrid manager’s son Simeone is likely to choose Inter instead.
Speaking to Corierre Dello Sport, Giovanni Simeone – who plays for Italian side Genoa – had this to say:
“Sooner or later will arrive the moment when Dad goes to Inter and I hope that this happens” he said.
“Now he’s happy with Atletico and I see him as content, but if in the future he receives a call from Inter, why not? I would like this.”
It is unclear as to whether Simeone is really a target for the London side, but given his talents as a manager it would not be surprising. Arsenal do play a very different brand of football, however, so it is possible the Arsenal board and Wenger – who will definitely have a say in the matter – will see him as a suitable candidate to replace the Frenchman. Given Simeone Jr’s comments, they may not have to make that decision at all.
Cazorla claims he will be back sooner than expected
Santi Cazorla was ruled out until “at least March 2016” last week, and flew to Sweden for surgery on his ankle – the same one that has been troubling him for the last two years.
Cazorla went off in the game against Ludogorets in October and has not featured since then, with no return date specified until last week.
However, the Spanish midfielder posted an update on Instagram saying he will be back in two months, which is a lot sooner than Arsenal’s statement implied:
Cazorla tagged the post with the hashtag “#twomonthtobeback”, which implies that the diminutive Spaniard thinks that he will be back by February.
If this goes to plan, it will come as a major boost to Arsenal who missed the midfielder immensely in November. It will also come at a time when Arsenal, should they still be in the title race by then, will want all hands on deck in their assault on the Premier League title.