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Daniel Ek 'has secured the funds' for Arsenal takeover, Bellerin and Lacazette 'up for sale' in summer transfer window

SPOTIFY CEO Daniel Ek says he has secured the funds to take over Arsenal from unpopular owners the Kroenke family.

And he says he is prepared for his takeover bid to be a long journey if the Americans are not keen to sell immediately.

Meanwhile the Gunners have reportedly put Alexandre Lacazette and Hector Bellerin up for sale as they look to raise £120m for new signings.

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Stay up to date with every twist and turn from North London in our live blog…

  • Etienne Fermie

    RISKY BUSINESS

    Mikel Arteta has revealed whether he will be willing to 'risk' returning stars Kieran Tierney and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tomorrow night against Villarreal.

    He said: "We do need them, because we know that we have some players that are in contention and they are the ones who can make the difference in a big tie like this.

    "But the word risk, I don't like to put players on the pitch if they can't perform and they can't feel secure that they can perform.

    "If it's a risk or we're going to take a gamble, then I don't think it's the right thing to do."

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Kieran Tierney are both nearing first-team returnsCredit: AFP
  • Etienne Fermie

    TOP TIER

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has given an update on full-back Kieran Tierney, following the news that the Scot is nearing full fitness.

    The Spaniard, 38, said: "He didn't need the surgery that we were afraid of at the beginning and then he's been working like a beast every single day.

    "I don't know if he's going to make it tomorrow [against Villarreal] but he certainly wants to be as close as possible to that football pitch to give himself the best possible chance."

    Kieran Tierney is approaching full fitnessCredit: Getty
  • Etienne Fermie

    TEAM NEWS

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has given fans a positive update ahead of tomorrow's clash with Villarreal.

    He said: "They are all in contention. All of them.

    "Including Aubameyang, Laca and Kieran. They are all in contention for the game. Yes [it is good news]."

    Mikel Arteta has given fans a positive fitness updateCredit: Getty
  • Etienne Fermie

    NAI REGRETS

    Former Arsenal boss Unai Emery has insisted that he has no regrets over his time in North London.

    He said: "We all have our pride and internal ego but because of my experiences with PSG, Arsenal, Sevilla and Valencia I have learned how to manage all the emotional moments that come with the position of coach.

    “My time at Arsenal is behind me but I always keep a piece of my heart for all the teams I have played for or managed.

    “I will always be grateful to Arsenal and just remember the good stuff which allowed me to grow and gave me a lot of experience to use at Villarreal.

    “Everyone knows Arsenal is a great club and Mikel Arteta is a great manager, so it’s a perfect marriage.

    “I think he should build on the improvements that I tried to work on but wasn’t allowed to continue.

    “Arsenal should be fighting for Champions League spots so they need to trust Arteta and have patience to execute a game plan because with patience and confidence they will make it.”

    Unai Emery was axed in November 2019Credit: Getty
  • Etienne Fermie

    CALL A CEB

    Arsenal loanee Dani Ceballos has dropped a major hint that he could be set to return to parent club Real Madrid in the summer.

    The 24-year-old Spaniard joined the Gunners on a season-long loan deal at the beginning of the 2019-20 campaign and impressed in England with his creativity and range of passing.

    His loan was then extended last summer and he has enjoyed another good campaign in North London.

    But while it would seem Arsenal fans are intent on keeping him on a more permanent basis, comments from Ceballos now appear to suggest he will not stay.

    Speaking to Onda Cero, he said: "I'm learning a lot in the Premier [League] but I think LaLiga is better for my game."

    Ceballos looks set to return to Real Madrid at the end of the season
  • Etienne Fermie

    ARTETA ON EMERY

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has had kind words for his predecessor Unai Emery, ahead of clashing with his Villarreal side tomorrow night.

    Arteta, 38, said: "Unai was very open, honest and helpful and I was very grateful to him because a conversation like that is not something that is very common.

    "I know a lot of people who have been around him and they all say that he is a fantastic man and a great manager.

    “It didn’t work out for him at Arsenal but he did a lot of good things for the club and in his time here he reached a European final and was competing for a place in the Champions League.”

    Mikel Arteta succeeded Unai Emery in 2019Credit: PA
  • Etienne Fermie

    ART DEALER

    Former Arsenal boss Unai Emery has revealed that he chatted with his replacement Mikel Arteta shortly before his appointment in 2019.

    Speaking ahead of his Villarreal side's clash with the Gunners tomorrow, Emery said: "A common friend interceded and it was good for me because I had to leave my home in London.

    “So apart from talking about football and my job at Arsenal, I suggested he take over my house, although in the end it was a player who took it.

    “Of course I knew Arteta from before. He is from San Sebastian, just like me, so we were practically neighbours.

    “So in the call we spoke a little bit about my time at Arsenal, in a positive way, and what I had lived through.

    “I just wanted to tell him about my experience there, what I thought could be helpful for him and maybe one or two things that could be improved in a personal way.”

    Unai Emery was sacked by Arsenal in November 2019Credit: Reuters
  • Etienne Fermie

    MORE FROM DANIEL EK

    Here is some more of what prospective Arsenal buyer Daniel Ek had to say to CNBC this afternoon.

    He added: "I've been an Arsenal fan since I was eight-years-old.

    "Arsenal is my team. I love the history, I love the players and of course, I love the fans.

    "So, as I look at that, I see a tremendous opportunity to set a real vision for the club, to bring it back to its glory.

    "I want to establish trust with the fans, and I want to engage the fans again."

    Ek, 38, has been an Arsenal fan for 30 yearsCredit: Getty
  • Etienne Fermie

    BLOOMIN' EK!

    Prospective Arsenal buyer Daniel Ek has been speaking to CNBC about his potential Gunners takeover.

    The Swede, 38, said: "I’m very serious, I have secured the funds for it and I want to bring a very compelling offer to the owners and I hope they hear me out.

    "I certainly didn’t expect this will happen overnight and I prepared for this to be a long journey."

    The Spotify chief wants to buy ArsenalCredit: AFP
  • Jake Lambourne

    NO TRAIN, NO GAIN

    Just one more day until Arsenal face Villarreal.

    And Gunners fans will be delighted to see the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Kieran Tierney and Alexnadre Lacazette back in the team.

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Arsenal Official (@arsenal)

  • Jake Lambourne

    ART DEALER

    Mikel Arteta has spoken of the dangers that Villarreal possess ahead of tomorrow's meeting.

    Asked what his biggest concern is about facing the Spanish side, Arteta said: "Well, I’d say the main thing is the clarity of idea that they have both with and without the ball.

    "And in transition and set-pieces they have very clear ideas and some great connections between the players.

    "They have some fantastic individual players in the final third and they can decide a game at any time.

    "They compete throughout the game and they also have an ability to change system using either the same players or different players during a game, and that makes them a very difficult to read."

  • Jake Lambourne

    EUR KIDDING ME

    Arsenal and Manchester United have been told they will play in front of a 10,000 crowd if they reach next month’s Europa League Final.

    But fans of the two Prem sides are unlikely to be allowed to travel to Poland – with local supporters set to be the only people allowed through the gates.

    Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has announced a series of new measures as the country emerges from the Covid crisis.

    That includes outdoor sports stadiums being able to open their turnstiles to up 25 per cent of capacities from May 15.

    The Europa League Final is scheduled for the Stadion Miejski in Gdansk on May 26.

    It is the home ground of Lechia Gdansk and has an all-seater capacity of 41,620. That will allow potentially 10,405 fans inside for the Final.

  • Jake Lambourne

    GUNNED DOWN

    Former West Ham defender Anton Ferdinand has revealed that Arsenal were priced out of a move to sign him.

    Speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes at its launch of the 5-A-Side Bet on Burnley v West Ham, he said: "Arsenal asked about me in the past.

    "I think Arsene Wenger wanted to pay £4million for me but West Ham wanted more money.

    "It was around the time he went and bought Philippe Senderos and Johan Djourou instead. He signed those two instead of me.

    "There's no doubt about it that if I'd have gone to that World Cup in 2006, a big move would've happened for me. There's no doubt about it."

  • Jake Lambourne

    WAGE RAGE

    Liverpool have risen above Manchester United in the Premier League wage bill standings – but still sit miles adrift of Manchester City.

    The official salary totals for the 2019-20 season have now been confirmed.

    Across last season, the Reds paid out a whopping £325million in player wages.

    Meanwhile, Manchester City still top the pile, shelling out an extraordinary £351m on wages last season.

    Man Utd sit third on the list – miles adrift of their local rivals – on £284m, despite David De Gea signing a massive £375,000-a-week contract at the start of the season.

    Last season, Chelsea spent just £1m less than United on wages at £283m.

    Arsenal and Tottenham ran the tightest ship wage-wise, spending just £225m and £181m respectively last term.

    Man City spent the most on players wages in 2019-20, with Liverpool overtaking Man Utd
  • Jake Lambourne

    ART ATTACK

    MIkel Arteta has had his say on Dani Ceballos' comments that he intends to return to LaLiga in the summer.

    Asked his views on what his Spanish compatriot said, the Arsenal boss remarked: "We mentioned to you guys and at the end of the season we have a lot to play for yet, so I don’t want any distractions.

    "We will sit with them and we are always in contact and communication with the players and the agents to know what their feelings are.

    "And at the end we have to make a common decision for what’s best for the club and the player."

    Ceballos has featured in 74 games for the Gunners across his two loan spells so far.

  • Jake Lambourne

    ON GAARD

    Real Madrid will not entertain any offers to sell Martin Odegaard in the summer, according to reports.

    It will come as a major blow to Arsenal who were hoping to make the Norwegian’s loan spell a permanent one.

    Odegaard, 22, headed to the Emirates on loan in January after struggling for game time in Madrid.

    But AS write how any hopes of bringing him in on a permanent deal seem highly unlikely.

    That is because Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane sees him as a ‘fundamental’ part of his plans going forward.

    The Frenchman believes Odegaard can feature in a deeper midfield role and wants to give him the chance to compete for his place next season.

  • Jake Lambourne

    TOP TIER

    Arsenal could have a fully fit squad to choose from for Arsenal's huge Europa League tie with Villarreal.

    Mikel Arteta confirmed SunSport's news of a huge fitness boost for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, as well as Alexandre Lacazette and Kieran Tierney.

    David Luiz has also sat out the last month after undergoing minor knee surgery but returned to training this week.

    Here is how the Gunners could start against the LaLiga side on Thursday.

  • Jake Lambourne

    NO LOVE LLOS

    Dani Ceballos has revealed he will be returning to Spain once his loan spell at Arsenal finishes.

    The midfielder – on loan at the Gunners from Real Madrid for a second season running – believes his qualities are best suited to LaLiga.

    Quoted by El Transistor, he said: "I'm learning a lot in the Premier League but I think LaLiga is better for my game."

    Before adding: "I think I am a better player, a more complete player, in the Premier League.

    "I have grown above all physically but also tactically."

  • Jake Lambourne

    WORK OF ART

    Mikel Arteta has revealed that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Kieran Tierney are all in contention to feature against Villarreal on Thursday.

    Speaking in his pre-match conference, he said: “They are all in contention all of them including Aubameyang, including Laca, including Kieran.”

    There were fears that Tierney could be out for the season after he picked up a knee injury in the 3-0 defeat against Liverpool.

    But Arteta has stated that Tierney is close to full match fitness, as he remarked: “He didn’t need the surgery that we were afraid of.

    “He’s been working like a beast every single day. I don’t know if he’s going to make it tomorrow but he certainly wants to be as close as possible.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    GLOBAL ANGER

    Gary Neville vented his anger after he was told of ‘patronising’ comments made by Josh Kroenke.

    Arsenal’s chief shareholder Stan’s son addressed an online fans forum last week in the wake of the Super League debacle and he tried to justify joining in the interests of the global fan.

    Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler brought up the quotes and told Neville: “The Kroenke’s referenced a midweek trip to Stoke and English fans need that.

    “And global fans want Barcelona every other week. That they were representing those – it’s patronising beyond belief.”

    An incensed Neville replied: “Martin, honestly, you are making me more angry, the more that you speak. Honestly, they are an absolute disgrace.

    “Those three clubs (Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal) are standard-bearers in English football, in terms of success and joy around the world.

    “The hundreds of millions of fans around the world, who have watched those three clubs. And to be represented in such a fashion, honestly!”

  • Jake Lambourne

    WENGER CONTINUED

    "I think the fans give me credit that I always put Arsenal first.

    "I sacrificed many of the best years of my life in my career to help the club get out of building the new stadium without any money from anybody.

    “We didn't go out and say we needed money, we did it with the quality of our work and we remained at the top.

    "Yes, I was criticised, you have to accept that when you're in a public job.

    "I don't think anyone would question the fact that I did it genuinely with desire to do what is best for the club.

    "Afterwards, I made mistakes, I don't deny that.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    PAIN IN THE ARSENE

    Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has vowed to help any potential bid alongside Spotify CEO Daniel Ek and Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp.

    Speaking to beIN Sports, he said: "I would say I like the fact that former people of the club run the club.

    "Basically you have two examples in the football world – former players who run the club like Bayern [Munich], or big investors who buy a club like Man City.

    "I personally, because I'm a football man, I like the fact that former Arsenal players take over and give advice.

    "For the project, I prefer personally… the best deals I made were when nobody knew about it and you come out and it's done. When you announce things, you have a mountain to climb after. Nobody wants to give in.

    “It's easier always when you do your deals, when it's done you come out and [announce it]. Look, I will always support Arsenal. If I can help Arsenal I will do it in any way. That's my answer. If not, I am happy in my life."

  • Jake Lambourne

    GUNS OUT

    Arsenal could be preparing a mass exodus this summer as SIX players are reportedly set to be sold in a bid to accumulate funds.

    According to Football London, Alexandre Lacazette, Hector Bellerin, Eddie Nketiah, Matteo Guendouzi, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Lucas Torreira could all be set for moves away from north London.

    Club captain Lacazette is preparing to enter the final year of his contract with the Gunners and has been heavily linked with a transfer in the summer.

    Meanwhile, Guendouzi, Torreira and Maitland-Niles have all spent the current campaign out on loan and therefore could be seen as easily expendable assets.

    Nketiah has struggled for first team action due to the attacking options at Mikel Arteta’s disposal, while the emergence of Calum Chambers as a solid right-back may mean the departure of Bellerin.

    All of those deals would collectively accrue somewhere in the region of £120million.

  • Jake Lambourne

    TV GLEE

    Prem chiefs have wrapped up a new three-year TV deal — worth the same £4.6billion as the current contract.

    In a big success for League boss Richard Masters, Sky, BT, Amazon and the BBC have agreed to extend the terms of the contract which was due to run out next summer for a further three seasons.

    It comes after the Covid chaos of the past 12 months which saw the broadcasters demand a £330million collective rebate from the 20 clubs.

    But concerns about those repayments have been eased by the certainty offered to the clubs with the new deal.

    Sky, paying £3.58bn over three seasons, keep the lion’s share of the 200 games to be broadcast live each season.

  • Jake Lambourne

    RY NOT ME?

    Ryan Giggs has reportedly been left fuming after being snubbed in the Premier League Hall of Fame.

    Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer are the first inductees – with Giggs being replaced by former Arsenal star Henry at the last minute.

    The Mirror reports that 'Giggs has been left shocked' by the snub and was 'dropped at the last minute after being charged with assaulting two women'.

    The charges follow an alleged bust-up with ex-girlfriend Kate Greville at his mansion.

    SunSport has since exclusively revealed that the 47-year-old former Manchester United ace could face up to FIVE YEARS in prison.

    The Premier League have not responded to request for comment.

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