Arsenal Transfer News Roundup: Gunners eyeing Eden Hazard; club want Ilkay Gundogan, and more - March 17, 2023

Arsenal FC v Sporting CP: Round of 16 Leg Two - UEFA Europa League
Mikel Arteta's Arsenal failed to progress in the Europa League.

Arsenal bowed out of the Europa League on Thursday (March 16) against Sporting CP following a 5-3 shootout defeat at the Emirates after a 3-3 draw on aggregate. Mikel Arteta's team took the lead through Granit Xhaka in the first half, but the visitors equalised after the break, taking the game to extra time and then penalties.

Meanwhile, the Gunners are considering a move for Eden Hazard this summer. Elsewhere, the north London side are interested in Ilkay Gundogan. On that note, here's a look at the key Arsenal transfer stories as on March 17, 2023:

Arsenal eyeing Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard has admirers at the Emirates.
Eden Hazard has admirers at the Emirates.

Arsenal are interested in bringing Eden Hazard back to the Premier League, according to via The Hard Tackle.

The Belgian forward lit up the Premier League during his time with Chelsea, registering 110 goals and 92 assists in 352 appearances across competitions. However, he has been a shadow of his former self since joining Real Madrid in 2019.

The 32-year-old has just seven goals and 11 assists in 73 games, with injuries playing spoilsport. Hazard has missed 78 games for the La Liga giants due to injury, but the Gunners believe he can get back to his best with a return to familiar surroundings. Los Blancos are likely to entertain an offer should the north London side come calling.

An in-form Hazard could be an asset for Arsenal, but there's an inherent risk associated with the move. The Belgian might no longer be suited to the rigours of the Premier League, while his injury history could be his undoing.

Gunners want Ilkay Gundogan

Ilkay Gundogan is wanted at the Emirates.
Ilkay Gundogan is wanted at the Emirates.

Arsenal are keeping a close eye on Ilkay Gundogan, according to Sport via TBR Football. The German midfielder is in the final few months of his Manchester City contract, but talks for a renewal haven't progressed well. The Gunners are looking to take advantage of the situation.

The north London side have already benefitted from the arrival of Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko from City last summer. Gundogan could be an equally intriguing option, given his abilities and winning pedigree. The 32-year-old has 53 goals and 37 assists in 290 games across competitions for City.

However, Arsenal will have to battle Barcelona for the player's signature. Interestingly, the German reportedly prefers a move to the Camp Nou.

Mikel Arteta disappointed with Europa League exit

Mikel Arteta is annoyed at Arsenal's exit from the Europa League in the Round of 16. The Gunners failed to get past Sporting, with the tie ending 3-3 after two legs and the Portuguese side progressing on penalties.

The Spaniard said that the north London side struggled after both Takehiro Tomiyasu and William Saliba left early due to injury.

"A huge blow. We really wanted to go through and fight in the competition and go for it. Today, we tried for 120 minutes and the penalties, and it wasn’t enough. First of all, congratulations to Sporting CP for going through. Looking at ourselves, the game started difficult for us," said Arteta.

He added:

"Obviously, we lost Tomi very early in the game, and we lost Saliba. That really left us with a difficult in-game management. We only had a window to make the subs, and a few players could not play 90 minutes. But still, we didn’t find our rhythm and our flow."

Arteta also lamented his team's mistakes and failure to take their chances.

"We allowed too many spaces, were late and didn’t win enough duels there. We gave the ball away many, many times. Sometimes time after time. And then the last 20 minutes, we got the flow and the momentum; we got into the final third much more and created three big chances, and we didn’t score," said Arteta.

He continued:

"I think when we went to extra time, we showed incredible energy again and top mentality when it wasn’t our best day to keep going. We had another two big chances; we didn’t win, and at the end, it comes to the penalties, it’s a lottery, and today it didn’t go our way."

Arsenal ended their Europa League campaign with five wins in eight games, scoring 11 goals and conceding six.

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Edited by Bhargav
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