Arsene Wenger reportedly signs new two-year contract with Arsenal

Arsene Wenger has signed a two-year contract extension with Arsenal, according to reports.

Inside World Football columnist Matt Scott claims that the 67-year-old has already put pen to paper on a fresh deal which will keep him at the club for the next two seasons.

It’s understood that Arsenal are now waiting for a suitable time to announce the decision.

Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to West Brom – their fourth loss in five Premier League games – has left Arsenal sixth in the table and six points behind fourth-placed Liverpool.

Following the result, Wenger suggested that he has already decided whether he will call time on his 21-year stint at Arsenal.

‘I will announce my future soon,’ he said. ‘You will soon know and very soon – you will.’

Arsenal fans continue to protest against Wenger, while a group of supporters arranged for a plane to fly overhead at The Hawthorns carrying a message which called for the Frenchman to quit.

Amid the growing unrest among fans, Arsenal were forced to release a statement earlier this month claiming that they ‘understood’ concerns from supporters.

‘Arsene has a contract until the end of the season,’ said Arsenal chairman Sir Chips Keswick.

‘Any decisions will be made by us mutually and communicated at the right time in the right way.’

Advertisements

Sir Alex Ferguson: Wayne Rooney’s record may stand forever

Manchester United’s new all-time leading goal-scorer Wayne Rooney may never be bettered, according to Alex Ferguson.

Alex Ferguson does not expect Wayne Rooney to be surpassed as Manchester United’s leading scorer after the club captain moved clear of Bobby Charlton on Saturday to take sole possession of the record.

Rooney equalised with a spectacular late free-kick away to Stoke City in the Premier League, bringing up his 250th strike for the Red Devils, after previously drawing level with Charlton by netting in an FA Cup third-round win at home to Reading.

Speaking to MUTV, Ferguson – the man who brought Rooney to Old Trafford from Everton in 2004 – was asked if he can imagine another player one day topping the 31-year-old’s haul.

“I don’t think so,” the Scot said.

“I couldn’t say never – never say never – but if you look at modern-day football, Manchester United are one of the few clubs who can keep players for over 10 years.

“It is more difficult than ever but we were very lucky – if you look at my time, even in [former manager] Sir Matt Busby’s time, we had players who stayed for more than 10 years. Many, many players did that and Wayne is one of them.

“But, in the modern day, you see it happening less and less that players stay for that length of time. For instance, [current manager] Jose [Mourinho] mentioned young Marcus Rashford and he’s got to score more than 20 goals a season for the next 10 years or so and that is difficult in itself.

“You hope it lasts and he stays here more than 10 years but there are fewer players doing that now.”

The next opportunity for Rooney to add to his tally may come in the second leg of the EFL Cup semi-final away to Hull City on Thursday, a tie United lead 2-0 on aggregate.

Revealed: Incredible deal Liverpool are offering Philippe Coutinho

Liverpool are reportedly ready to almost double Philippe Coutinho’s salary at Anfield with a new and vastly improved contract.

The Brazilian has begun talks with Liverpool over a new deal and has already indicated that he is happy to accept a new deal.

Liverpool want to hand Coutinho a five-year deal tying him to the club until 2022 and make him one of the best paid players at the club.

Coutinho currently earns £80,000-a-week at the club, but the boost Liverpool have in mind would take him closer to top earners Daniel Sturridge and James Milner.

Both are reportedly on over £100,000-a-week while Sadio Mane is believed to be the club’s top earner on £125,000-a-week.

Liverpool are also eager to insist there is no release clause in Coutinho’s new deal so as to warn off other clubs and strengthen their relationship with their star player, according to Joe.co.uk.

Jurgen Klopp has made tying Coutinho down to a new deal his top transfer priority and is not expected to bring in any new faces this January.

Liverpool have been heavily linked with a host of players, like Julian Brandt, but are reported to be happy to hold off on moving for their top targets until the summer.

Sunderland striker Victor Anichebe out for up to 10 weeks

Victor Anichebe could be sidelined until April after the Sunderland striker suffered ankle ligament damage against West Brom.

Sunderland’s stretched squad has been dealt another blow with the news striker Victor Anichebe will be out for up to 10 weeks due to ankle ligament damage.

Anichebe sustained the damage in Saturday’s 2-0 Premier League defeat at West Brom, which left the struggling team bottom of the table, three points adrift of safety.

The former Everton forward is the latest addition to a lengthy injury list, Anichebe joining Jan Kirchhoff, Jordan Pickford, Lynden Gooch, Lee Cattermole, Duncan Watmore and Paddy McNair on the sidelines.

Manager David Moyes is also without Wahbi Khazri and Lamine Kone due to their participation in the Africa Cup of Nations, though midfielder Didier Ndong is set to return after Gabon were eliminated.

Moyes entered the transfer market on Tuesday to sign his former Everton player Joleon Lescott on a short-term deal.

The injured Anichebe, meanwhile, has made 12 appearances in all competitions, scoring three goals.

But, should the 28-year-old be sidelined for 10 weeks, he will miss league matches against Tottenham, Crystal Palace, Southampton, Everton, Manchester City, Middlesbrough, Burnley, Watford and Leicester City.

Kelechi Iheanacho Will Not Leave Manchester City, Confirms The Striker’s Father

James Iheanacho, the father of Nigerian forward, Kelechi Iheanacho, says the youngster will not be seeking a loan move away from Manchester City during the January transfer window.

The arrival of Brazilian youngster, Gabriel Jesus, has reduced Iheanacho’s chances of regular appearance at the Etihad.

There was no place for Nigeria international in Pep Guardiola’s matchday squad in the 2-2 draw against Tottenham on Saturday but his father insists no intention of him seeking a move elsewhere.

Iheanacho started the season in fine form, scoring three goals in his opening six matches and since then his game time has dwindled.

According to James, the 20-year-old is happy to stay and fight for his place, with talk of a potential switch elsewhere quickly dismissed.

James told All Nigeria Soccer, “Automatically Kelechi is not going on loan because his name is not among the players leaving.

“It is only [on Saturday] he did not play.”

Last season, under former coach, Manuel Pellegrini the player netted 14 times in all competitions including a hat-trick in a FA Cup clash with Aston Villa.

Back in November, Guardiola reassured the youngster of playing time at the club, “My advice is keep going, keep fighting, sooner or later everything is coming back, and of course he’s going to have his minutes,” he said.

Hull’s Ryan Mason making ‘excellent progress’ after skull fracture against Chelsea

Hull City provided a further positive update on the condition of Ryan Mason, who “continues to make excellent progress”.

Ryan Mason “continues to make excellent progress” after suffering a fractured skull in Hull City’s Premier League meeting with Chelsea on Sunday.

The midfielder received treatment for eight minutes in the 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge after a heavy collision with Chelsea captain Gary Cahill.

Mason required surgery at St Mary’s Hospital, where he was visited by Cahill and Chelsea club captain John Terry, while Hull skipper Michael Dawson also checked in on the 25-year-old on Monday.

Hull confirmed Mason was conscious and speaking during Dawson’s visit and on Tuesday the club provided an update with further positive news.

“The club can confirm that Ryan Mason continues to make excellent progress after sustaining a skull fracture in Sunday’s game against Chelsea,” a statement read.

“He will continue to be closely monitored by staff at St Mary’s Hospital over the next few days, whilst also remaining in contact with our medical team to assess his progress.

“There will be no further updates from the club until there are any changes in Ryan’s condition. We also ask that people respect Ryan & his family’s privacy whilst he remains in hospital.”

Emmanuel Adebayor insists he is ready for new Premier League chance

Having impressed for Togo this month despite being without a club, Emmanuel Adebayor hopes he has won some Premier League suitors.

Emmanuel Adebayor insists that his “golden genes” mean he can cope comfortably with being given another chance in the Premier League.

The striker has been without a club since he was released by Crystal Palace last June and was most recently linked with Lyon, although no deal with the Ligue 1 club materialised.

Adebayor has nonetheless impressed at the Africa Cup of Nations with Togo, who will qualify for the quarter-finals if they defeat DR Congo on Tuesday.

And the former Arsenal man, who turns 33 next month, hopes that his performances can convince any would-be suitors in England that he still has plenty to offer.

“I am confident that I can still play at that level,” he said, as quoted by FIFA.com. “I am blessed with golden genes. Physically, I would certainly be able to handle the pressure.”

Adebayor has spoken previously of what he believes is an unfair perception about his attitude in the Premier League and he maintains he works as hard as any player.

“I am the one who makes jokes when it is necessary, but I can also put my foot down if serious work is required,” he said.

“My father taught me to always say what I think. At times, that can lead to problems, but I always sleep well.”

Adebayor was described as “unbelievable” by coach Claude Le Roy following his efforts in Togo’s opening two matches – a draw with Ivory Coast and a defeat to Morocco.

The forward is confident that his side can do what is required to earn a spot in the knockout stage but is thankful regardless just to be involved, having escaped the team bus attack at the finals in 2010, when three people were killed by terrorist gunmen.

“Why should I not be happy? I was in Cabinda in 2010. I could be sitting in a wheelchair or be dead and then nobody would be thinking of me. But now, I am here in Gabon and playing at the Africa Cup of Nations. Surely, that is enough luck?” he said.

“I am looking forward to our last group game and I have a feeling that it will not be our last in the competition.”

Money is not everything- Toure criticises players who swap top leagues for China cash

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has criticised fellow footballers who have traded Europe for China, saying he would prefer to follow Manchester United forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s example and stay in a competitive league.

Chinese Super League clubs have made a number of high-profile recent signings recently, with Shanghai SIPG buying Brazil midfielder Oscar from Chelsea for 60 million euros ($64.46 million).

Their rivals Shanghai Shenhua signed Argentine striker Carlos Tevez for a reported 84 million euros, but Toure said money was not everything to him.

“Do you play football because you love football or do you play because you want to make money? Me, I just want to play football because I enjoy it,” he told British media.

“Some people have the mentality that they want to do that (go to China) – to try something different. But for me, my feeling is that I want to play more football.

“Look at my friend Ibrahimovic. He’s 35 and he’s going to play for maybe three more years? He’s got the same mentality as me. He’s a big player, a champion who loves football. It’s football first. Anything after that is a bonus.”

Toure, who is out of contract in June, was frozen out of City’s squad earlier this season following a spat between the manager Pep Guardiola and the player’s agent, but returned to the team in November after making a public apology.

He has featured regularly ever since, but there is no official word yet on whether he will be offered a new contract at City. His agent revealed last week that he had turned down a 520,000 pounds ($648,900) a week offer to play in China.

“I want to play in Europe, especially in England. I want to continue doing that for a few years yet. I always say that if I went to China I would end up feeling angry there,” the 33-year-old added.

Jose Mourinho: Rooney can go to China if he likes

Wayne Rooney will make his own decision as to whether to leave Manchester United for the riches of the Chinese Super League, according to club manager Jose Mourinho.

Rooney’s 250th Manchester United goal in the 1-1 draw at Stoke on Saturday saw him pass Sir Bobby Charlton as the club’s record scorer.

The 31-year-old came off the bench to help his side rescue a point, meaning half of his 16 league appearances this season have come as a substitute.

Several high-profile players have moved from Europe to play in the Chinese Super League, with Rooney being linked with a switch when his United career comes to an end.

Mourinho says there is more to come from Rooney at Old Trafford but insists his skipper has earned the right to decide where he wants to play in the future.

“I think he still has more to give us, but you reach a certain level in his career when it is up to him,” the former Chelsea manager told several national newspapers.

“Could anyone be critical with Zlatan (Ibrahimovic) last summer if he decided to go to China or the US? Could anyone be critical with one guy with such an amazing career? No, and I think with Wayne it is the same. He owns his life, he owns his career. It’s him, his family and his decision.

“I don’t like to be critical of players who decide to go to China. It’s their life, it’s their organisation of their life, their organisation of their career. The money is huge, the experience can also be very interesting.

“I know some of my colleagues think they are more important than they are and think they can interfere in the lives of other people, but I’m not that sort of guy.

“But in Wayne’s case, I have no idea. He never mentioned anything to me.

“The future belongs to him and what he wants from his career, the way he wants to end it and enjoy this last part of his career belongs to him.”

Rooney received the Football Writers’ Association Tribute Award on Sunday evening and focussed his attention on the national side rather than United, saying England will have a better chance of succeeding if the division between media and players dissipates.

“The younger players now have to understand that the media are a massive part of football,” Rooney said.

“I have seen first-hand since becoming captain of United and England, players have to realise that the media has a huge influence on the game, and especially on the young England players, they are the ones who have to go out and perform under the huge pressures.

“It is tough and I feel it is sometimes unfair, sometimes it is right, so the one thing, for me, that should happen – at this moment in time there is a huge gap between the media and the players.

“I think the quicker both media and the players need to come together and meet in the middle, the better it will be for English football.”

Jurgen Klopp: I’m ready to help Gerrard become the best manager he can be

Jurgen Klopp has labelled Steven Gerrard’s decision to join Liverpool’s Academy staff as “wonderful news for football” as he builds a base to enter management.

The 36-year-old called time on a stellar playing career last November and will help shape his boyhood club’s next generation as a coach at the same youth system that developed his talents.

The former Reds skipper will begin his duties at Kirkby in February, initially in a floating role, and Klopp commended Gerrard’s willingness to swerve shortcuts as he works towards taking full control of a side in future.

“We had a very, very good, very long talk together,” the German detailed at Melwood on Monday.

“Probably everybody in this room knows better than I do that he’s a wonderful guy.

“For me, it was only important to know what Steven wants, actually, and he said he wants to be a manager in the future. So, that’s cool.

“I said from my side, everything I can do to help him on this way, to make him the best manager he can be, I’m ready for this and I would like to do it.”

Klopp helped advise Gerrard on how to kickstart the next phase of his career and has no doubt the Liverpool legend will succeed in a challenging environment given his diligence and dedication.

“We spoke about different things, different options and now he’s at the Academy,” the manager said.

“That’s great for us as a club, and I think for him it’s perfect because being a manager is a job you have to learn.

“When a person like Steven Gerrard – the player he was, but more the person he is – is ready to make the steps, that’s wonderful news for football.

“Combining the playing experience with all the things he’ll learn from now on, that’s a bright future and is brilliant.”