Arsenal transfer news: Conte to replace Wenger, Vertonghen rejected Arsenal, and more - 10th February 2018
Sky Sports pundit suggests Antonio Conte should replace Wenger
The Frenchman has been in charge of the Gunners since 1996 and has dealt with several exit rumours during this time. However, the club's fortunes have suffered this decade and he was recently expected to be relieved of his services after the shock FA Cup exit last month. Carlo Ancelotti was expected to come in but they remained just rumours in the end.
Now, Sky Sports pundit, Paul Merson suggests the signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang does not have the mark of Wenger on it and could signal towards the end of the latter's reign. He further said:
"When has he ever bought a 29-year-old for £60m with no sell-on clause? Never ever."
"Sir Alex Ferguson did it a few years ago. He said he needed to win the league and he got Robin van Persie to score him the goals to get above Manchester City. There was no sell-on, he got him to win the league, then he planned to retire. The Aubameyang signing says to me, 'this is a top-four signing then see you later.'"
Merson further suggested current under-fire Chelsea boss, Antonio Conte, is the ideal replacement for Wenger and explained:
"Managers like Conte don't come along too often. Arsenal need someone that is going to go in there and upset people. Conte upsets people. He wants you to play a certain way and he'll make you rock solid at the back. As soon as Arsenal get rock solid at the back, they'll be a force."
If Wenger does indeed leave, then Conte could be a great option given his credentials and experience in the Premier League.
Alexis Sanchez reveals reason behind Manchester United move
The Chilean joined Jose Mourinho's Red Devils in the January transfer window after a long-drawn transfer saga. The 29-year old took over the famous no.7 jersey at Old Trafford and has already scored for the Manchester club. He spoke about the motive behind his move with Gunners legend Thierry Henry, in an interview and said:
"There are lots of big clubs, and having played for Arsenal, they are also one of them. It's a huge club and I was there. But coming here, looking at the badge, I think United have to win everything because it's such a big club. The club crest says it all."
"I came here to win [things]. I left Arsenal because I wanted to develop and learn as a player and get to experience a new club. Manchester United are a huge club on the global stage. I came here to win everything. Otherwise, I wouldn't have come here."
While Arsenal fans will not like what they are hearing, and when asked to weigh in on the situatuon, as per reports from ESPN, Arsene Wenger said:
"We have not the defensive stability since the start of the season that you need to have to be completely efficient at our level. And as well there was a lot of uncertainty around the team with the Sanchez case, the Ozil case. For the whole season that was a really difficult case."
"In hindsight maybe despite the fact, we couldn't have brought somebody in we should have cut that earlier. Sanchez, for him it was very difficult because as soon as he had game that was average he was questioned about his commitment and that is not his case."
While one can debate whether selling Sanchez earlier could have helped Arsenal this season, United definitely stand to benefit from the stellar attacker's addition.
Jan Vertonghen chose Tottenham over Arsenal
The Belgian is considered to be one of the best defenders in the Premier League and has been one of the foundations for Mauricio Pochettino's success at Tottenham. Now, in a stunning piece of revelation, according to reports from The Mirror, the 30-year old spoke about how he almost joined Arsenal and said:
“It was as close as it can get. My agent went to Arsenal, I wasn’t there myself but it was very respectful and in the end, I had to make a choice and I chose Spurs."
Thus, the centre-back joins the long list of players who almost joined Arsenal under Wenger. There is no doubt that the Gunners could have used the defensive qualities of a player like Vertonghen, given their defensive frailties this season.
Instead, Vertonghen lines up every time against the Gunners in North London derbies and has been one of the reasons for Spurs' success against Wenger's sides in recent years.