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Arsenal transfer news: Mikel Arteta targets William Saliba’s team-mate Wesley Fofana

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Arsenal scouts have been impressed with Wesley Fofana (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal are keen on following up the signing of William Saliba by signing the Frenchman’s St Etienne team-mate Wesley Fofana.

The Gunners snapped up Saliba last summer and agreed to let the defender spend the season on loan in France, before moving to north London for the 2020/21 season.

Saliba arrived in a deal worth £27m and Arsenal have continued scouting the defender this season to keep an eye on his progress.

Saliba joins Arsenal this summer (Picture: Getty)

Though Saliba has been the focus, scouts have picked up on the improvement of his centre-back partner Fofana and the Daily Express claim Arsenal want to sign the 19-year-old.

The defender’s come through the ranks at St Etienne and he’s impressed in his 14 appearances this term.

The cancellation of Ligue 1 means St Etienne have narrowly avoided relegation but they remain under severe financial pressure.

The club are therefore seeking a replica of the deal they agreed with Arsenal for Saliba, which would enable them to keep Fofana for an extra season but in full knowledge they they will receive a fee at the end.

AC Milan and Everton are both touted as rivalries for Fofana’s signature.

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Man Utd’s Scott McTominay names Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira among midfield role models

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Scott McTominay has scored some big goals for Man Utd but wants to do more (Picture: Getty Images)

Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay has named Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira among his three midfield role models, while he also feels teammate Paul Pogba is a source of inspiration.

The 23-year-old has continued his impressive development at Manchester United this season, slowly growing his influence in the team.

An injury has kept him out of action for a substantial amount of the second half of the season, but he was forcing his way back into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side before the coronavirus hiatus.

Building a reputation as a box-to-box midfielder, capable of fulfilling most roles in central midfield, McTominay says he looks at players like Vieira, Zinedine Zidane and Roy Keane for inspiration.

‘For myself, someone who’s quite strong and a good runner, I should be testing teams more than I do,’ McTominay told Manchester United’s Box To Box.

‘I should be breaking lines similar to what Paul [Pogba] does, drive into the box and create chances.

‘We always have to have that balance of one goes and one sits, which is so important for a midfield player.

‘Being box-to-box, there’s some amazing examples: Zidane, Patrick Vieira, Roy Keane, driving through the middle of the pitch and were exceptionally good at it.

‘For me it’s important to keep watching clips like that, I get the guys to send them over as much as they can to analyse it.

Patrick Vieira became one of the best midfielders on the planet at Arsenal (Picture: Getty Images)

McTominay has scored five goals this season, including his memorable long-range strike against Manchester City in March, and wants to add more goals to his game.

He wants to become the strong, forward runner that the likes of Vieira was and he feels Pogba typifies in the modern game.

‘You’ve got the physique and the presence to hold people off and the burst of speed where you can get through as well,’ continued the Scotland international.

‘There’s so many good examples of it in world football. Paul’s probably one of the best examples of it, he’s very, very powerful and gets across the grass really, really quickly.

‘It’s a dangerous tool to have in the middle of the pitch as well.’

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Solskjaer has predicted a long and successful future at Old Trafford for the young midfielder, praising his versatility last year.

‘It won’t be hard to see him play many, many games for Man United, because he has got such a great mentality,’ said the Norwegian.

‘He is so athletic, he can play in different positions. Today we feel that’s his best position, like a high midfielder, but he can play in that defensive role easily, like he has done against PSG and Liverpool. So I was very, very pleased with him.’

MORE: Manchester United join Real Madrid in race to sign Rennes star Eduardo Camavinga

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Ashley Cole reveals Arsenal’s mistake convinced him to join Chelsea

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Ashley Cole says Arsenal’s failure to replace key players forced his move to Chelsea (Getty Images)

Ashley Cole says that the departure of Arsenal’s key players was a decisive factor behind his move to Chelsea.

Cole came through Arsenal’s academy and helped the club win two Premier League titles and three FA Cup trophies before making the controversial switch to Chelsea in 2006.

The former England left-back has denied suggestions that he was motivated to join Chelsea for the money and claims Arsenal were ‘falling apart’ by the time he left Arsene Wenger’s side after failing to replace important players.

‘The transition in terms of being in a different group, environment and players was easy because at the time when I first started at Arsenal, that was the core – the Keowns, the Seamans, the Vieiras, the Henrys, the Adams’,’ Cole told BBC Sport.

‘When they started to leave, this is just me personally, I felt there were holes in the culture of what it was that brought success.

‘I just felt it was falling apart a bit, or there were gaps missing and they weren’t filled.

Ashley Cole won the Champions League with Chelsea in 2012 (Getty Images)

‘So that transition in terms of finding myself in a different culture and the willingness and want to win, I went to Chelsea and I had that.’

Asked if he would handle the move differently if given another chance, Cole replied: ‘Yeah, I think when you look back, there were mistakes, for sure, on both sides.

‘One hundred per cent, it’s not just entirely my fault and it’s not entirely their fault.

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‘I was probably a little bit too stubborn at the time and felt a little bit hard done by.

‘I was a little bit babyish to be honest, but it’s something I won’t ever regret and I wouldn’t ever change that situation. It’s just something that happened. Maybe it was meant to be, who knows?

‘But I definitely feel unjust about it because it wasn’t what people think in terms of money.

‘It’s crazy, but that was probably the last thing on my mind.’

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Arsene Wenger explains why he will never go back to Arsenal

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Wenger was at the club for over two decades (Picture: Getty Images)

Arsene Wenger insists he will never return to Arsenal, even to watch a game, after leaving the Gunners in 2018.

The Frenchman spent 22 years as Arsenal manager, winning three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups during his reign.

After early success in north London, Wenger was tasked with the tricky job of overseeing the club’s transition from Highbury to the Emirates with very limited spending power.

A section of Arsenal fans began to turn on their iconic manager in the last few seasons of his tenure, blaming him for the team’s inability to challenge for the league.

And after eventually leaving the club after over two decades in charge, Wenger promised himself he would never go back to his old side in any capacity.

‘Would I return to the Emirates Stadium? I always said to myself that I would be leaving Arsenal completely. That’s the decision I made,’ he told beIN Sports.

‘I managed the club for 1,235 games, I’ve had good and bad times there, but we always tried to defend the club’s values. And I think we managed to do it.’

Wenger’s side went unbeaten in the 2003-04 campaign (Picture: Getty Images)

One of Wenger’s best moments at Arsenal undoubtedly came in the 2003-4 campaign, when his Invincibles became the first team in the Premier League era to go unbeaten over a whole season.

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool came close to equalling the Gunners’ record this season, but a 3-0 loss to Watford in February shattered their hopes of matching the feat.

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When asked if he got any joy out of watching the Reds lose that game, Wenger said: ‘Yes, it was a form of satisfaction.

‘We always like to be the only ones to achieve something. They [Liverpool] could really go all the way. But it shows that it’s difficult to repeat this feat.

‘Anyway, that day, I had a lot of messages from Arsenal supporters.’

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