Arsenal unsuccessful January target told he can leave this summer

Arsenal spent most of January trying to get a top quality striker into the fold before allowing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to move to Barcelona. After the long farcical wait for an answer from Vlahovic, the Gunners then went for other striker targets like Alix Isak, and according to Espanyol we also approached the La Liga side for Raul De Thomas (known as RDT).

“Arsenal called for Raul de Tomas,” Espanyol director Jose Maria Duran said in January. “But we didn’t even want to talk. We won’t let him go now, no way. His release clause is 75 million euros (£60m).”

The Spanish international may have a high release clause but it is no surprise really as he has been prolific in Spain for most of his career and is currently third in the La Liga Golden Boot right now, but the Espanyol CEO Mao Ye told Marca that there is little they can do if a buyer stumps up the cash. “Will RDT stay? No one can guarantee this,” he said. “We all know that there is a release clause, if someone exercises it, we can do little (to stop him leaving).”

It remains to be seen if Arsenal would be willing to pay that much for the 27 year in the summer, when there is much more choice to find a younger striker at a cheaper price and hopefully with EPL experience, but at least we know he is available if Arteta is still interested.

Granit Xhaka says six-words to Arsenal fan about Tottenham clash as he leaves training yesterday

Arsenal and Tottenham fans are beyond excited about the North London derby tomorrow, and Granit Xhaka is as focused as ever.

The Gunners are currently four points clear of their fierce rivals. A win at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium tomorrow will seal Champions League qualification for Mikel Arteta’s side, but it will not be easy.

Spurs have improved a lot under Antonio Conte over the last few months. They have had disappointing moments, but they have shown they can step up when they face the big sides – just ask Manchester City and Liverpool.

Arsenal have to get everything right to get the derby win tomorrow, and Xhaka looks ready.

Arsenal have been busy at work at London Colney this week as they prepare for what could be their biggest game of the season.

After training yesterday, as Xhaka was on his way home, the Swiss international stopped to interact with some Arsenal fans outside the Gunners’ training ground.

After taking a few selfies, one fan asked him: “What are we doing on Thursday, Granit? What are we doing on Thursday?”

The Arsenal midfielder responded by saying: “We don’t speak, we do it!”

That response was met with a massive cheer by everyone around as he drove off.

General view

Arsenal are in a relatively comfortable position at the moment. They are four points clear of Spurs and even if they lose in the derby tomorrow, they will remain the favourites to make it into the Champions League next season.

Tottenham, on the other hand, cannot afford to lose. A defeat tomorrow will end their top-four hopes, while even a draw will likely not be enough to help them achieve their Champions League dream.

Arteta and Conte will go up against each other for the first time ever and with so much riding on the game, don’t be surprised to see some fireworks once the referee blows his whistle tomorrow.

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