Dani Alves Willing to Take Pay-Cut to Join Arsenal as Gunners Move ‘Appeals’ to Copa America Winner

Dani Alves would be willing to take a pay-cut to join Arsenal but his £200,000-a-week wage demands could still be too high for the Gunners.

The ex-Paris Saint-Germain right back is keen on a move to the Premier League, following the expiry of his deal in Ligue 1, while Tottenham and Man City have also been linked with 36-year-old. 

According to the Sun, a move to the Emirates Stadium is the one which most ‘appeals’ to Alves, who played under Unai Emery in his first season in Paris.

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However, after missing out on Champions League football ​Arsenal are struggling to manage their expenditures.

While he would come without a transfer fee – a blessing for Arsenal, who famously have just £45m to play with this summer – he is said to want £200,000 a week in wages. This would represent a decrease on his previous salary at PSG but still an off-putting figure for the Gunners.

The departures of Aaron Ramsey, Petr Cech and David Ospina especially have lightened the load but those at the Emirates may be reluctant to reinvest on an ageing right back, who offers only a short-term solution.

Alves showed his desperation to come to England last year, as he said: “the idea that I might finish my career without going to the Premier League, it is not possible.

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“For sure, this is the most amazing football in the world. First, because of the respect for the players from the fans, and then because of the passion on the pitch.

“If I can play, that would be perfect, but I will make it there one way or the other.”

It was recently reported that Alves was ​in ‘contract’ talks with ​Tottenham, while City and a reunion with Pep Guardiola has long been mooted as another possibility.

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Manchester City 4-1 West Ham: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Citizens Ease Past Hammers

​Despite arriving just one day prior, Manchester City acclimatised quickly to the humid environment of the Nanjing Olympic Sports Center as they beat West Ham 4-1 in the Premier League Asia Trophy.

It was a day for the Premier League champions youth prospects to shine, with Lukas Nmecha and Adrian Bernabe showcasing their talents against a strong Hammers line-up.

Lukas Nmecha,David Silva

But while they excelled, it was Raheem Sterling who guaranteed the win for the Citizens – scoring twice in an electric second half display.

West Ham had plenty of chances of their own, and despite the scoreline, were in the game for the majority of the match – offering hope that a few defensive improvements could lead to a potential stab at European qualification next season.

Here’s our breakdown of the game.


Manchester City

Key Talking Point

As much as it is unlikely that we will see Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero or Bernardo Silva forced out of the side, this pre-season match has proven that youth should perhaps be given an opportunity next season.

Lukas Nmecha,David Silva

Striker Lukas Nmecha looked powerful and dangerous, winning and scoring a penalty to give his side the lead, whilst winger Adrian Bernabe provided a delicious assist for veteran playmaker David Silva.

Long-term Fernandinho replacement Rodri was comfortable in central midfield, looking like a player who will be constructing attacks from deep rather than someone who will constantly be breaking up play.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Bravo (7); Danilo (6), Angelino (5), Laporte (7), Harwood-Bellis (7), Rodri (7), David Silva (9*), Doyle (8), Bernabe (8), Poveda-Ocampo (7), Nmecha (8).

Substitutes: Sane (7); Sterling (9), De Bruyne (8), Bernardo Silva (7), Zinchenko (7) Gundogan (7), Walker (7), Garcia (6), Stones (6).


STAR MAN – Despite only featuring for the first half, David Silva silenced any doubts over whether he is still truly capable of playing at the top level, in a side of City’s quality.

His glorious control and finish for City’s first goal of the game beautifully complimented the outstanding ball which gave him the opportunity in the first place.

He put in an eye-catching performance, made all the more impressive by the fact that he had to do so with a number of fringe players, being one of four replaced by Sterling, Leroy Sane, Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne at the start of the second period.

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West Ham United

Key Talking Point

West Ham are not short of attacking prowess, which is only going to be enhanced when Sebastian Haller is deployed, as tricky forwards Manuel Lanzini and Felipe Anderson caused the City defence all sort of problems.

Manuel Lanzini

The Brazilian made a great contribution to the opening goal when he turned left back Angelino – who had a day to forget – inside out, only leaving him able to stop Anderson using his arm. The resultant penalty was coolly converted by Mark Noble.

But, as predicted, it is their defensive frailties which may end up being a costly factor during the 2019/20 campaign. It was fairly simple for City’s creative youngsters to break them down at times, whilst a clumsy Ogbonna challenge allowed City to come from behind before the half time whistle.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Roberto (6); Fredericks(7), Diop (6), Ogbonna (5), Johnson (6), Rice (6), Noble (6), Wilshere (6), Lanzini (8), Anderson (8), Antonio (7).

Substitutes: Sanchez (6), Snodgrass (6), Hernandez (7), Yarmolenko (7), Diangana (6), Obiang (6), Zabaleta (6), Cresswell (6), Reid (6).


STAR MAN – Manuel Lanzini has had a difficult spell in recent times, suffering from a severe injury and only now truly breaking back into West Ham’s starting XI.

But West Ham fans should be excited by what they saw of him. He looked likely to make something happen every time he got on the ball, driving at defenders and always looking for the killer pass, or opportunity to take a snap-shot on goal.

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Looking Ahead

Coming off the back of this result, ​City continue their tour of China with matches against less familiar opponents in Hong Kong side Kitchee, before facing further Premier League opponents ​Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League Asia Trophy final..

It’s a different story for ​West Ham, who first will take on Newcastle in the third placed playoff, before returning to London to face the relegated ​Fulham at Craven Cottage next.

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Arsenal vs Bayern Munich: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

​Arsenal face a tricky pre-season test against their Champions League bogey team Bayern Munich in the International Champions Cup on Thursday.

Arsenal go into the game following an impressive 3-0 victory over Colorado Rapids, in which prospects Bukayo Saka, James Olayinka, as well as new signing Gabriel Martinelli, all finding the net.

James Olayinka

As for Bayern, this is their first pre-season match of the summer having recently made the trip to Los Angeles.

Take a look at 90min’s preview for this encounter.


Where To Watch

​When Is Kick Off? Thursday 18 July​
​What Time Is Kick Off? ​04:00 (BST)
Where Is it Played? ​Dignity Health Sports Park
​TV Channel/Live Stream? ​Premier Sports 1
Referee? ​TBC


Team News

Given their impressive performance against Colorado Rapids, it’s likely that a number of the young stars w​ho featured will get another opportunity against much tougher opposition.

Mesut Ozil

However, we can also expect Unai Emery to strengthen his side too, with the dangerous trio of ​Alexandre Lacazette, ​Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and ​Mesut Ozil all making late appearances in their opening match of the tour.

Although Niko Kovac has yet to find replacements for long-term servants Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, but this match may offer new arrivals Benjamin Pavard and Jann-Fiete Arp their first opportunity to show what they can do ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.


Predicted Lineups

​Arsenal ​Leno; Maitland-Niles, Mustafi, Chambers, Thompson, Xhaka, Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Lacazette, Nelson, Martinelli.
Bayern Munich ​Neuer; Kimmich, Pavard, Sule, Alaba, Martinez, Thiago, Muller, Gnabry, Coman, Lewandowski.


Head to Head Record

It’s safe to say that Kovac’s side have had the better of this tie over the years; it’s almost common knowledge that Arsenal always seem to be drawn against – and lose to – the German side whenever they face them in Europe.

Eddie Nketiah,Marco Friedl

Since 2000, the Gunners have only managed to beat Bayern three times out of 12 attempts, whereas their opponents have claimed victory on seven of the 12 occasions.

This trend has been particularly prominent in the most recent clashes, with the Germans winning the last three meetings 3-1. 


Recent Form

The 3-0 victory over Colorado Rapids is a positive sign for Unai Emery, but Arsenal ended the 2018/19 season in pretty dismal fashion.

The 4-1 defeat to ​Chelsea in the Europa League final in Baku, as well as a number of lacklustre displays in the Premier League, saw the north London side squander a great opportunity to qualify for the Champions League next season.

Unai Emery

As for Bayern, there’s not much recent football to go on, this being their first pre-season match, but ​they ended their latest season far better than Arsenal, claiming an impressive domestic double.


Arsenal Bayern Munich
​Colorado Rapids 0-3 Arsenal (16/07) ​Kaiserslautern 1-1 Bayern Munich (27/05)
​Boreham Wood 3-3 Arsenal (06/07) ​RB Leipzig 0-3 Bayern Munich (25/05)
​Chelsea 4-1 Arsenal (29/05) ​Bayern Munich 5-1 Eintracht Frankfurt (18/05)
​Burnley 1-3 Arsenal (12/05) ​RB Leipzig 0-0 Bayern Munich (11/05)
​Valencia 2-4 Arsenal (09/05) ​Bayern Munich 3-1 Hannover (04/05)


Prediction

Ordinarily, Bayern would probably be fairly clear favourites going into this one, but it might not come down to purely the quality of the two sides.

Pierre-emerick Aubameyang

​Arsenal will certainly be the fresher of the two having played both Colorado Rapids and Boreham Wood already this summer.

We are all aware of the quality ​Bayern possess, but fitness and sharpness really could be deciding factors ​in what will inevitably be a tight encounter.

Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Bayern Munich

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AC Milan Enquire About Luka Modric Move Despite Real Madrid Midfielder’s Desire to Stay in Spain

​AC Milan have become the latest side to make contact with Real Madrid over the availability of Luka Modric, despite reports from Spain suggesting the midfielder has no intention of leaving Zinedine Zidane’s side.

Los Blancos have set about reinvigorating their squad this summer, as they look to both inject some much needed quality into the side and trim the deadwood. Because of the latter, suggestions were made that Modric may be headed for the exit door, with both Milan clubs interested.

However, ​Marca have poured cold water over the claims, reporting that the Ballon d’Or holder has no intention of leaving the Santiago Bernabeu this summer. Moreover, they add that Zidane sees the 33-year-old as a key member of his side.

With uncertainty surrounding a number of ​Madrid‘s stars, Milan enquired about ​Modric‘s availability – although any potential deal would require a good number of variables being matched in order to come to fruition.

Some of those reasons come courtesy of Sky Sports (via Sport) who actually go one further and say that Modric’s agent had flown to Italy to speak to the Serie A side – yet they too state any possible agreement would be ‘complicated’. On top of Zidane’s unwillingness to lose the midfielder, ​Milan would have to somehow stump up a salary of around €12m per year which, given their ongoing issues with FFP, seems highly unlikely.

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There are still some players the La Liga side are listening to offers for, however. Those include Dani Ceballos, ​who is on the brink of joining ArsenalGareth Bale, Isco, Marco Asensio, Lucas Vazquez and James Rodriguez. If the right price comes in for any one of those players then Madrid will listen.

With Eden Hazard, Rodrygo, Eder Militao, Luka Jovic and Ferland Mendy already joining this summer for a total transfer fee outlay at around €300m, a whole number of Los Blancos stars could still leave the Spanish capital.

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Newcastle 0-4 Wolves: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Magpies’ Woes Continue With Heavy Defeat

Newcastle’s pre-season woes continued as they were thumped 4-0 by a rampant Wolverhampton Wanderers side in the semi-final of the Premier League Asia Trophy in China.

Wolves opened the scoring in the 15th minute through Diogo Jota, who combined cleverly with Jonny before firing a shot past Karl Darlow, via a slight deflection. 

They doubled their lead soon after, with England Under-21 international Morgan Gibbs-White sweeping home a second, before Jota scored again to cap off an exciting first half.

Diogo Jota

​Newcastle improved slightly in a second-half that’s flow was disrupted by a flurry of substitutions, but could not prevent Wolves adding a fourth, courtesy of an embarrassing Thomas Allan own-goal. 

Check out our breakdown of the game below.


Newcastle United

Key Talking Point

​Oh dear, oh dear. Newcastle’s performance will do little to improve the mood of their fans, following the massively unpopular ​announcement of Steve Bruce as manager just before kick-off.

The Magpies looked lethargic throughout the game, with a comedy of defensive errors allowing Wolves to storm into a first-half lead that they never relinquished. 

Diogo Jota

These defensive frailties will particularly worry Newcastle fans, as the solidity of their back-line had previously been considered their principal strength.

At the other end of the pitch, Newcastle were also underwhelming. Yoshinori Muto cut a withdrawn figure as their lone striker, as the Toon’s need for offensive reinforcements was made abundantly clear. 

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​Player Ratings​

Starting XI​: Darlow (5); Sterry (4), Lascelles (5), Clark (5), Lazaar (4); Hayden (4), Shelvey (5), Colback (6), Murphy (5), Ritchie (6); Muto (5).

Substitutes: Manquillo (6), Watts (6), Aarons (6), Ki (5), Fernández (6), Woodman (6), Sørensen (5), Allan (4), Bailey (6), Longstaff (6)


STAR MAN – No one in a black and white shirt had a particularly impressive game, but the spirited efforts of Rolando Aarons after he came on in the second half will offer some solace to Newcastle fans. 

Rolando Aarons

The Jamaican-born winger has failed to nail down a starting spot at St James’ Park in recent years, spending the last two campaigns on loan at a string of clubs. 

Against Wolves though Aarons was impressive, closing down his opposite number with enthusiasm and exciting the crowd with some weaving runs down the left-hand side.


Wolverhampton Wanderers

Key Talking Point

​Wolves look raring to go for their inaugural Europa League fixture next Thursday, with the relentlessness of their wing-backs particularly impressing.  ​

Jonny racked up two assists, whilst Adama Traore’s energetic display will have Matt Doherty concerned about his future as the Wanderers’ starting right-wing back. 

The other members of Wolves’ back-line also produced eye-catching performances. The tried-and-tested centre-back trio of Ryan Bennett, Wily Boly and Conor Coady did not put a foot wrong, with all three showcasing their composure in very hot conditions.  




Player Ratings

Starting XI: Patricio (6); Traore (7), Bennett (7), Coady (7), Boly (7), Jonny (8); Dendoncker, Neves (6), Moutinho (7); Gibbs-White (7), Jota (8)

Substitutes: Ruddy (7), Sanderson (6), Vinagre (6), Perry (6), Ennis (6), Taylor (6), Cundle (6), Wan (6)


STAR MAN: Whilst Wolves’ wing-backs did play extremely well, the team’s star man was Diogo Jota. The 22-year-old picked up where he left off during his excellent end to the 2018/2019 season, scoring two well-taken goals. 

Jota’s played in a slightly more advanced role, courtesy of Raul Jimenez’ absence and led the line excellently, as well as linking up beautifully with Morgan Gibbs-White. 

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Much has been written regarding Wolves’ need to expand their thin squad, but if Jota can stay fit and continue to produce performances such as this, it may not be necessary.  


Looking Ahead

Newcastle’s first priority after this disastrous start to pre-season will​ be rendezvousing with their new manager Steve Bruce, before they face the loser of ​Man City v. ​West Ham in the third-place play-off game. 

Wolves on the other hand progress to the final. Nuno Espírito Santo will be delighted by the application his player’s showcased against Newcastle, and with their opening Europa League fixture just over a week away, he will be hoping for a similarly intense performance in Saturday’s final.   

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