On 19 goals for the season after scoring a brace against Everton yesterday, the feeling persists that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang might be a little bit too good for Arsenal. Barcelona tried to sign him in January and are still believed to be interested in bringing him to the Camp Nou this summer, while Internazionale are also reported to be ready to offer him the Champions League football he feels he deserves.
“It’s right that big teams like him,” said Mikel Arteta, following his Arsenal side’s third win in a week. “Hopefully we can convince him this is right place to be. I think it’s been tough for him because he has big expectations. He wants to play in the biggest competitions and with the best players. We have to help him do that. He needs to feel fulfilled. He is our most important player and we will have to convince him to stay with us.”
Arteta is reported to have sent scouts to run the rule over Roma midfielder Bryan Cristante, who featured in his side’s 4-0 win over Lecce. Cristante lined up alongside Chris Smalling and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who are on loan from Manchester United and Arsenal respectively, although Sky Sports say the Serie A side hope to make both the signing of both players permanent.
Sheffield United are lining up a summer bid for £20m-rated Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips, but will have to fight off interest from Wolves and Burnley, who are also smitten with the highly regarded 24-year-old with 174 senior appearances with the Championship side to his name.
Reduced to a peripheral role at Liverpool, Adam Lallana is expected to leave the club this summer and his former employers Southampton may take him back to St Mary’s. On loan at Leeds from Brighton, 22-year-old central defender Ben White is believed to have caught the eye of Jürgen Klopp, who has told reporters that some players have reservations about signing for Liverpool because they’re worried they won’t get into the team. “We need players who want to be part of this, who want to fight for their spot, who want to make the next step together with us, who want to develop and improve so that’s it,” he said, before tonight’s match against West Ham. “We have these players and whoever wants to join us, needs to have exactly this kind of attitude.”
Resigned to losing Wilfried Zaha this summer, Crystal Palace are monitoring potential replacements and Eintracht Frankfurt’s Serbian winger Filip Costic appears to fit the bill. And finally, Aston Villa’s star midfielder Jack Grealish has addressed rumours linking him with a summer move to Manchester United, telling the Express & Star he’s flattered by reports of their interest. “Who doesn’t like to be talked about in a nice way?” he said. “But, to be honest, I try and take everything with a pinch of salt.”