ARSENAL are inching closer towards signing Willian with the Chelsea star reportedly telling friends he wants to join the Gunners.
Meanwhile, fellow client of super-agent Kia Joorabchian – Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho – is said to be in 'advanced talks' over a loan switch to the Emirates.
Get all the latest news and transfer gossip from North London here…
WRITTEN IN HIS WILL
Willian is joining Arsenal on a three-year deal, according to reports.
The Chelsea winger is walking away from the club at the end of his contract and will join the North London club for a £100,000-a-week deal.
ESPN claim the transfer is imminent and he will follow David Luiz to the Emirates.
Here are Gabriel Magalhaes’ stats this season, with the defender attracting interest from Arsenal, Manchester United and Napoli.
Games played – 24
Goals – 1
Yellow cards – 3
Red cards – 0
Tackles – 41
Interceptions – 22
Duel win percentage – 67
Forward passes – 578
SMASH 'N GAB
Arsenal are making a move for Gabriel Magalhaes, according to Fabrizio Romano.
The Gunners have been on the look-out to strengthen their defence.
And they are now ahead of Manchester United and Napoli in the race for the Brazilian, 22.
Arsenal have reportedly SACKED the man responsible for discovering the likes of Hector Bellerin, Gabriel Martinelli and Cesc Fabregas.
It was announced on Wednesday that the London club are set to make 55 staff redundant as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
And according to Mail Online, one of the casualties of the cost-cutting is famed global scout Francis Cagigao.
The 51-year-old has been with the Gunners for over a decade, and helped the club unearth some real gems along the way.
Cagagio was responsible for bringing Fabregas in from the Barcelona academy as a 15-year-old in 2003.
He also scouted Bellerin from the Catalans before Arsenal made their move in the summer of 2011.
Ally McCoist can't believe Arsenal are making 55 people redundant, after the club's announcement last night.
The former Rangers star told talkSPORT: “I don't think you can defend it. I think the majority of Arsenal fans would agree with that.
“It's indefensible to think that [a] scout, somebody who has been at the club 30 to 35 years [is being let go]. Morally, I think it's an own goal.
“I understand the dilemma, particularly Arteta, he'll want to strengthen his squad.
“He wants to bring Willian in and you've got to keep Aubameyang.
“But you tell me how that can be morally right if you're offering somebody £100,000 a week when somebody on £200 is getting the sack.”
WILL HE OR WON'T HE?
Arsenal have made a formal three-year contract offer to Willian in the hope of fending off competition for the Chelsea star.
According to Sky Sports, that offer is still some way short of the terms offered by Barcelona and David Beckham's MLS outfit Inter Miami.
However, the Brazilian is keen to play under Mikel Arteta and work with Gunners technical director and countryman Edu.
MORNING, ARSENAL FANS
Philippe Coutinho and Gabriel Magalhaes have edged Willian out of the Emirates' transfer spotlight – at least for now.
Arsenal are said to be keener than ever on Barcelona's ex-Liverpool playmaker Coutinho.
And they are locked in a saga of speculation with Manchester United over Lille's £27million-rated defender Gabriel Magalhaes.
The Gunners remain overwhelming favourites to sign Chelsea winger Willian, 31, on a three-year deal.
But it's gone a bit quiet on that front over the past 24 hours.
Likewise, Gunners' fans are still waiting anxiously for more clues over the future of two-goal FA Cup final hero and skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Meanwhile, Kieran Tierney and Bukayo Saka have emerged as Arsenal's most popular players through sales of new shirts.
And Ryan Fraser, for so long linked with the Emirates, now seems more likely for a Premier League switch elsewhere.
The Scotland winger rejected a Bournemouth deal of around £67,000-a-week, whereas Crystal Palace are only offering £50k a week.
West Ham, Newcastle and Fulham are also reportedly interested.
COULD GUNNERS AIM FOR STONES?
Pep Guardiola hopes Nathan Ake can help solve the back problems that have plagued Manchester City for more than a year.
Bournemouth centre-back Ake, 25, arrived at the Etihad last night to put the finishing touches to his £41million move.
And with the Dutchman’s arrival, it seems inevitable John Stones – linked with Arsenal last season – will now leave after a nightmare 18-month spell.
From the minute they lifted the FA Cup to complete the domestic Treble in May 2019, City have had a gap at the heart of their defence.
That day, skipper Vincent Kompany announced in the Wembley dressing rooms he was leaving after 11 glorious years.
Pep wanted Harry Maguire last summer but City were not willing to pay Leicester’s £85m asking price — and rivals United were.
FRASER WALK-OUT MIGHT BACKFIRE
Ryan Fraser's decision to walk out on Bournemouth could backfire.
The Scot rejected a Cherries deal of around £67,000-a-week — but Crystal Palace are offering closer to £50,000 a week for the winger, who had hoped to earn a move worth at least double that.
Fraser, 26, is available on a free and was being tracked by elite clubs such as Arsenal and Tottenham after his stellar 2018/19 campaign, when he scored seven Premier League goals and 14 assists.
After failing to repeat that success, neither club has made a move.
It means Fraser’s options could be limited to Palace and West Ham, with Newcastle and Fulham also reported to be showing interest today.
And with the pandemic affecting football finances everywhere, the wages on offer may not be as lucrative as before Covid-19 struck.
Kieran Tierney and Bukayo Saka have emerged as Arsenal's most popular players through shirt sales.
talkSPORT reveal how the Gunners pair have sold more shirts than any other of their team-mates since the launch of the new jersey.
That's including star man Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang despite his brace in the FA Cup final at the weekend.
ALEXIT DAY FINALLY ARRIVES
Ex-Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez will finally – and officially – leave Manchester United tomorrow morning.
The £505,000-a-week flop's horror spell finally ends after Inter Milan confirmed they had signed him for free.
Chile star Sanchez, 31, has been on loan with Antonio Conte's side all season and looked much more the player United expected when they signed him in January 2018.
His future now lies in Serie A, with Old Trafford chiefs no doubt relieved to get his massive salary off the wage bill.
Inter CEO Beppe Marotta confirmed Sanchez had put pen to paper on a three-year deal.
Speaking before Inter's Europa League clash against Getafe in Germany, he said: “Unofficially, we’ll make it official tomorrow morning.
“The player is entirely owned by Inter. We have a contract with him for three seasons.
“We believe in him, that he can be a strong part of this squad and are happy to have concluded this deal.”
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta reportedly wants at least three major signings.
That's £27million-rated Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes – as we've been hearing all day – plus Chelsea winger Willian.
Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho has shot up the list of contenders this week.
And Atletico Madrid anchorman Thomas Partey remains a preferred recruit – for a problem position.
Three out of those four wouldn't be bad…
FULHAM JOIN RYAN FIGHT
Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser seems sure to stay in the Premier League next season – and most likely in London.
Arsenal, Crystal Palace and now promoted Fulham are reportedly keen.
PALACE IN FOR ARSENAL TARGET FRASER
Long-term Arsenal target Ryan Fraser is now rated more likely to join Crystal Palace.
With the Gunners closing on Chelsea winger Willian, it seems Bournemouth winger Fraser might opt for a better chance of more regular first-team football.
It is thought the relegated Cherries have offered the 26-year-old a pay rise and new deal to stay.
But the Scotland star is still tipped to move on and stay in the Premier League.
GUNNERS HEAD GAB RACE
Arsenal are still duelling with Manchester United for £27million-rated Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes.
The odds have veered one way and the other in the past 24 hours.
But the Gunners once again seem favourites for the Brazilian.
Gabriel Magalhaes teased Arsenal fans wanting to see the defender sign for the club with a congratulations message on their FA Cup win.
As Nicolas Pepe broadcast his celebrations after the Gunners beat Chelsea at Wembley, the Lille star dropped a well done message by the Ivorian.
Two bicep-flexing emojis showed Gabriel's happiness at seeing Arsenal win.
A handful of fans took the congratulations as a sign that the centre-back wants to join the club.
However, wary viewers were keen to point out that Gabriel was simply revelling in old Lille pal Pepe's success.
Twitter user Eddie joked: “Definitely signing now.”
And one Gooner wrote: “Announce flight info.”
While an Arsenal fan pleaded: “Stop jinxing it.”
STILL GUNNING FOR WILLIAN
Arsenal remain in pole position to sign Willian with the Chelsea winger reportedly telling friends he wants to become a Gooner.
Barcelona and Inter Miami are said to be competing with the North London club for Willian, who also has a contract extension on the table from Chelsea.
An agreement with the Blues has not been ruled out yet the Brazilian's priority is securing a three-year deal.
Out of contract at the end of the month, Willian has now informed friends of his preference to move.
The Mirror believe Arsenal to be the 31-year-old's preferred destination, as it will also keep his family settled in the capital.
David Beckham's new MLS club Inter are thought to have offered the winger the highest salary, on a three-and-a-half-year deal.
CHERRIES FIGHT TO KEEP FRASER
Arsenal target Ryan Fraser has been offered a contract worth around £55,000 a week by Crystal Palace.
The Scottish winger, 26, is a free agent, having left Bournemouth before the restart in June.
The former Cherries ace was reportedly seeking a move to a bigger club and a deal of more than £100,000 a week.
It is understood Bournemouth were willing to offer Fraser a more lucrative, long-term deal but he decided to see his contract down.
He also rejected a short-term extension to play in the final nine matches of the season.
SALE FOR BOAT
Jerome Boateng looks set to leave Bayern Munich this summer – with the Bundesliga champions “eager” to offload him.
The Bavarians almost flogged the German ace in January, when the Gunners were said to be keen on a deal, but he stayed put to provide back-up in defence.
Arsenal bosses were reportedly reluctant to seal a deal for the German defender in January due to concerns over his fitness and £196,000-a-week wages.
But with his contract expiring next summer the Gunners could still get a discounted transfer fee this time around.
According to Sport Bild, Bayern want to sell the defender this summer to avoid losing him for free at the end of next term.
However, Boateng wants to see out his contract or sign an extension.
He has still featured heavily for the Bundesliga champs this term, making 31 appearances at centre-back alongside David Alaba.
And the German ace still has a chance to stake his claim at Bayern with the second-leg of the last-16 Champions League tie against Chelsea looming.
GUNNERS SET FOR MASS REDUNDANCIES
Arsenal are set to make 55 staff redundant as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
And fans online were quick to question the morals of multi-billionaire owner Stan Kroenke and Mesut Ozil who sits on £350,000-a-week.
The North Londoners are owned by mega-rich American sports tycoon Kroenke whose net worth is a staggering £6.31BILLION – which is 10,286 times Ozil's weekly wage.
And Ozil, 31, refused to take the 12.5 per cent pay cut Mikel Arteta and the majority of his players and staff took at the end of April.
But despite the vast amount of wealth in the upper echelons of the club, they are still cutting jobs at the bottom.
GUENDOUZI IN VILLARREAL LINK
Unai Emery is hoping to reunite with Matteo Guendouzi at Villarreal after the French midfielder fell out with Mikel Arteta.
The final straw for Guendouzi appears to be when he goaded Brighton’s Neal Maupay over his salary.
The 21-year-old has a reported Achilles tendon problem, but Mikel Arteta is understood not to be impressed with his temperament.
Emery signed Guendouzi for the Gunners from Lorient in 2018 and he impressed at the start of his Emirates career, but this season has been a difficult one for the highly-tipped youngster, whose career appears to be at a crossroads.
According to Foot Mercato, Barcelona have also looked at the midfielder.
TRANSFER COU FOR MIK
Arsenal are reportedly closing in on the loan signing of Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona with talks said to be at an advanced stage.
SunSport reported last week how the Gunners were in negotiations with the Blaugrana about a season-long loan, with the two clubs to share the burden of paying the Brazilian’s wages.
And Sport have now claimed that the North Londoners are on the verge of securing Coutinho’s services.
Mikel Arteta is understood to be a huge fan of the playmaker, with the Spanish news outlet stating Arsenal ‘love’ Coutinho’s talents.
The 28-year-old – who has spent the 2019/20 season on loan at Bayern Munich – has been deemed as surplus to requirements at the Nou Camp.
MORE ON COVID WARNING
The Gunners statement continues: “We all hope there will be no 'second wave' but we also need to accept that is one of the many uncertainties ahead of us and plan accordingly.
“Over recent years we have consistently invested in additional staff to take the club forward but with the expected reduction of income in mind, it is now clear that we must reduce our costs further to ensure we are operating in a sustainable and responsible way, and to enable us to continue to invest in the team.
“Our aim has been to protect the jobs and base salaries of our people for as long as we possibly can.
“Unfortunately, we have now come to the point where we are proposing 55 redundancies.”
JOBS HAVE TO GO
Arsenal have confirmed that they are proposing to make 55 redundancies as part of cost-saving measures, due to the impact of coronavirus.
The Gunners released a lengthy statement, which says:“It is now clear that we will be facing more significant and longer-lasting reductions in our revenue than we all hoped.
“Current indications are that we will not have fans back at Emirates Stadium for the start of next season and fans will only be able to return in limited numbers after that. The global economic projections are also very negative.
“This will impact the disposable income of our fans, the money corporate clients have to spend on hospitality and sponsorship, and the ability for broadcasters to invest in TV rights.”
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