Daniel Ek meets Arsenal Supporters Trust, as Kroenke 'plots big transfer spree', Europa League vs Villarreal build-up

DANIEL EK and his consortium have held a meeting with the Arsenal Supporters Trust as the Spotify founder steps up his takeover bid.

And it is claimed that Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote could have bought the club for £1.7bn two years ago.

That price is understood to be around the valuation Ek has of the club.

However, the Kroenke family are reportedly planning a huge summer of spending on transfers as they look to get angry Gunners fans on side.

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Stay up to date with every twist and turn from North London in our live blog…

  • Joshua Jones

    GOOD MORNING GUNNERS FANS

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has taken responsibility for Arsenal’s miserable season and admits he has fallen short of expectations.

    Aubameyang said: “This has been my most difficult season for a few years because I’ve had some issues on and off the pitch and it’s been really tough.

    “I know that everyone was expecting me to score more goals so maybe I feel a bit responsible for the situation that we are in right now.

    “The criticism hurts but you have to accept it because people were waiting for me when you have done what I have done in the last few years.

    “But now we have this opportunity to change our season so maybe this is the biggest game of my Arsenal career so far.”

    Meanwhile, Mikel Arteta will remain Arsenal boss next season, according to reports.

    Eurosport claims Stan Kroenke has no plans to part ways with the Spaniards despite a below-par campaign.

    But there is hope Arteta can salvage things by winning the Europa League.

    And Kroenke is also said to be ready to back Arteta in the transfer window following backlash from supporters over the Super League.

    Finally, Genk’s goal machine Paul Onuachu reportedly hopes to end up an Arsenal player by the end of the summer.

    The 6ft 7in forward has been a revelation at the Belgian club, smashing home an incredible 32 goals in 37 games in all competitions this season.

    Voetbal Belgie reports the 26-year-old is eyeing up a move to the Emirates and is optimistic he could land a dream Prem move by the end of the upcoming transfer window.

    The report states he is willing and able to progress his career to the next step after lighting up the Belgian league.

    Genk are believed to be willing to sell their prized asset for £25million.

  • Anthony Chapman

    GUNNER BE GOOD

    It's crunch time for Arsenal as they prepare for their Europa League semi against Villarreal.

    The likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are going to be vital as the Gunners look to battle back from 2-1 down.

    With an all-English Champions League final confirmed, and Man United virtually already in the Europa showpiece – can Arsenal make it another home-grown affair?

  • Anthony Chapman

    OH DANI BOY

    Ian Wright believes Mikel Arteta must drop Dani Ceballos for Arsenal's clash with Villarreal.

    And the Gunners legend has instead urged Mo Elneny to get a start.

    He told the Wrighty's House podcast: "For me Ceballos doesn’t make my team.

    "I’d rather have Elneny in there, I know he scored the other day, but he has got a drive and determination about him.

    "You cannot dislike his output and what he’s trying to do for the team."

    Ian Wright hopes Dani Ceballos does not start against Villarreal
  • Anthony Chapman

    CASH WOE

    Europe’s leading clubs lost £50m in Champions League prize money as a result of LAST season’s Covid crisis.

    But they still bagged lots more than their Europa League competitors.

    £9.74m was stripped from the FOUR English clubs in the Champions League.

    Despite handing back £2.85m, Manchester City still made £81.73m from their run to the last eight, a sum only exceeded by PSG, who topped the list with £109.4m, winners Bayern Munich (£108.24) and Barcelona (£86.48m).

    Liverpool grossed £73.33m, including their Super Cup victory bonus, Chelsea £71.6m and Spurs £55.66m.

    By contrast, Manchester United earned just £26.36m from their Europa League run, with Wolves taking £19.62m and Arsenal, eliminated in the last 16, £16.08m.

    There were smaller cash prizes for Champions and Europa League teams this term
  • Anthony Chapman

    ART OF THE MATTER

    Mikel Arteta will remain Arsenal boss next season, according to reports.

    Eurosport claims Stan Kroenke has no plans to part ways with the Spaniards despite a below-par campaign.

    But there is hope Arteta can salvage things by winning the Europa League.

    And Kroenke is also said to be ready to back Arteta in the transfer window following backlash from supporters over the Super League.

    Arsenal have no plans to axe Mikel Arteta this summer
  • Anthony Chapman

    EURO STARS

    Man City are set for a 4,000 ticket allocation for the Champions League Final – after UEFA confirmed it will go ahead in Istanbul despite Turkey’s covid crisis.

    Authorities in Ankara have confirmed to Uefa they are happy to host Manchester City and Chelsea or Real Madrid at the Ataturk on the last Saturday of May. 

    Uefa have already confirmed a crowd of 9,500, including 2,000 tickets to each club, for the Europa League Final in Gdansk on May 26.

    Man United are virtually through after beating Roma 6-2 in their first leg.

    But Arsenal face an uphill battle after losing 2-1 to Villarreal.

    English fans are ready for both the Champions League and Europa League finals
  • Anthony Chapman

    GUNNERS BE GREAT

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has thanked Arsenal for allowing his compassionate leave to visit his sick mother.

    Aubameyang said:  “It was a really nice thing from the club to let me go see my mum when I had this issue with her and she’s so much better now.

    “I am used to seeing my family quite often and they regularly come to the stadium when we are playing at home, so this year has been very difficult for me.

    “I want to see people back at the games because I’m a player that likes these kind of emotions and I wish for every player to be close to their family again.”

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has thanked Arsenal for allowing him to visit his sick mother
  • Anthony Chapman

    PIE IN THE SKY

    Aubamayeng has also revealed he lost over half a stone after being hospitalised with malaria.

    The Arsenal ace said: “Physically, I would say I am 90 percent recovered from the malaria although I am more than 100 percent in my mind.

    “At first I thought I was just tired after travelling back from Gabon, but then I started feeling very bad and it was the worst sickness of my life.

    “It was non-stop for three days and nights and paracetamol was having no effect, so I said to the doctor that I had to go to the hospital because I was too incapacitated to do anything.

    “I stayed in hospital for three days and lost four kilograms, so it was a really bad moment.

    “You can have big problems if you don’t get the right treatment for malaria quickly but fortunately I had some good doctors and I started to make some improvements.”

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang lost four kilos after contracting malaria
  • Anthony Chapman

    PIE OH MY

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has taken responsibility for Arsenal’s miserable season and admits he has fallen short of expectations.

    Aubameyang said: “This has been my most difficult season for a few years because I’ve had some issues on and off the pitch and it’s been really tough.

    “I know that everyone was expecting me to score more goals so maybe I feel a bit responsible for the situation that we are in right now.

    “The criticism hurts but you have to accept it because people were waiting for me when you have done what I have done in the last few years.

    “But now we have this opportunity to change our season so maybe this is the biggest game of my Arsenal career so far.”

    Aubameyang has held his hands up for a poor season
  • Anthony Chapman

    FROM SUNSPORT’S MARTIN LIPTON

    Away fans will NOT be able to attend the last two rounds of Prem games – after the Old Trafford pitch invasion forced a U-turn.

    Prem clubs had been keen to ensure up to 500 visiting supporters were allowed into grounds in the last week of the season, as part of maximum 10,000 crowds.

    But League chiefs were concerned that the Government, and local safety officers, might block the proposals in the wake of the violent incidents that saw Manchester United’s game with Liverpool postponed on Sunday.

    And now the Prem has confirmed that, while fans are set to be allowed at the games between May 18 and May 23 – one in each of the 20 top flight stadiums – seats will be strictly sold to home fans only.

    Man Utd fans storming of the pitch has made the Premier League re-think their plans
  • Anthony Chapman

    KIER WE GO

    Mikel Arteta will pick his most important team of the season when Arsenal face Villarreal on Thursday.

    The Gunners are 2-1 down from the first leg but managed to bag an important away goal in Spain.

    But there are doubts over three key players, with Alexandre Lacazette, Kieran Tierney and David Luiz all racing to be fit.

    This is how Arsenal could look for their crunch Europa League semi…

    How Arsenal could face Villarreal
  • Anthony Chapman

    PAUL OVER

    Genk’s goal machine Paul Onuachu reportedly hopes to end up an Arsenal player by the end of the summer.

    The 6ft 7in forward has been a revelation at the Belgian club, smashing home an incredible 32 goals in 37 games in all competitions this season.

    Voetbal Belgie reports the 26-year-old is eyeing up a move to the Emirates and is optimistic he could land a dream Prem move by the end of the upcoming transfer window.

    The report states he is willing and able to progress his career to the next step after lighting up the Belgian league.

    Genk are believed to be willing to sell their prized asset for £25million.

    Paul Onuachu could swap Genk for the Gunners
  • Thomas Blow

    ARTETA HAPPY WITH XHAKA AT LB

    Mikel Arteta is happy with Granit Xhaka's performances at left back.

    The Swiss midfielder has been filling in for Kieran Tierney of late but may lose his place to the returning Scottish defender on Thursday evening.

    Arteta said: "We have managed to get some clean sheets since he's [Xhaka] been playing there and that's something that didn't happen for 13 games. 

    "He gives something different to the team."

  • Thomas Blow

    ARTETA BACKS AUBA

    Mikel Arteta has been speaking about Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ahead of their Europa League semi-final against Villarreal tomorrow.

    Speaking at a press conference, the Gunners boss said: "My job, my responsibility, is to protect our players and try to get the maximum out of them.

    "We know certain things that the outside world doesn't know.

    "They can comment but sometimes without knowing all the details, which is a little bit unfair for the people. 

    "We make decisions that sometimes people are judging but without really knowing the detail. That criticism is part of our job.

    "Auba played well and he felt much better than the days before [Sunday]. Obviously, scoring a goal is really important for him as well, so he's in a good place.

    "This game always gives you another opportunity. If you are there, then you are ready for the taking. He can turn things around really quickly so hopefully we can see that tomorrow."

  • Thomas Blow

    PLAYER OF THE MONTH NOMINEE

    Vivianne Miedema has been nominated for April's WSL Player of the Month award.

    The Dutch striker has impressed for the Gunners this season, scoring 18 goals in 21 WSL appearances.

    Miedema scooped the PFA Women's Players' Player of the Year award in 2018-19 and was named the FWA Women's Footballer of Year last season.

    Click the link below to vote…

  • Thomas Blow

    ARTETA PLAYS DOWN TAKEOVER TALKS

    Mikel Arteta has played down talks of a takeover at the Emirates.

    Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has expressed an interest in buying the club but the Arsenal boss was only interested in discussing Thursday's Europa League semi-final against Villarreal. 

    Arteta said: "We have to try to be away from all of the rumours and everything that is happening around the club.

    "We have to focus on the pitch because the best way to help the football club is to win football matches and be competitive at the highest level.

    "It's a massive game for the club and if we win we will be much closer to getting a trophy. Winning always helps for the future, it is the best way to prepare for anything."

  • Thomas Blow

    REMEMBER THE NAME

    Arsenal youngster Ethan Nwaneri scored a stunning goal for the U18s in their recent game against Reading.

    The forward, 14, showed maturity and class way beyond his years with this impressive strike.

    Take a look…

  • Thomas Blow

    JENS AXE

    Jens Lehmann has been sacked by Hertha Berlin after an apparent racist message appeared online.

    The former Gunners goalkeeper sent Sky Germany pundit Dennis Aogo a message during coverage of Tuesday's clash between Man City and PSG.

    Lehmann accidentally sent a WhatsApp to the former Germany international Aogo asking "Is Dennis actually your token black guy?"

    A stunned Aogo posted a screenshot of the message on his Instagram story and said: "Wow, are you serious? This message was probably not meant for me."

    Lehmann swiftly apologised on Wednesday morning but was sacked from his role on Hertha Berlin's board.

    The ex-Arsenal goalkeeper tweeted: "In a private message from my cell phone to Dennis Aogo, an impression was created for which I apologised in conversation with Dennis."

  • Thomas Blow

    REF JUSTICE

    Arsenal's European destiny will be overseen by controversial referee Slavko Vincic.

    The Slovenian official has been placed in charge of Thursday’s Europa League semi-final second leg against Villarreal at the Emirates.

    Vincic, 41, was arrested last year by cops investigating a drugs and prostitution ring in Bosnia & Herzegovina.

    Click here to read more about the ref.

  • Thomas Blow

    CEBALLOS NOT AL-WRIGHT

    Arsenal legend Ian Wright believes Mikel Arteta should drop Dani Ceballos.

    Speaking on the Wrighty’s House podcast, the ex-striker said: "For me Ceballos doesn’t make my team.

    "I’d rather have Elneny in there, I know he scored the other day, but he has got a drive and determination about him – you cannot dislike his output and what he’s trying to do for the team."

    Reports suggest Real Madrid want at least £25milion for the 24-year-old Spain international, who is yet to score his first Premier League goal.

  • Thomas Blow

    OUTCASTS COMING HOME?

    Exiled Arsenal defenders William Saliba and Konstantinos Mavropanos will be returning to Arsenal next season, according to reports.

    CBS are reporting that manager Mikel Arteta will give both players a chance to impress in pre-season.

    The Gunners could be on the verge of losing defender David Luiz, who is out of contract in the summer.

    Saliba, signed for £27million in 2019, has yet to play for the club after being loaned out to Saint-Etienne and Nice.

    Mavropanos, who hasn't featured in the Premier League under Arteta, has spent time on loan at Nurnberg and Stuttgart. 

  • Thomas Blow

    APRIL GOAL OF THE MONTH

    The Gunners scored some cracking goals in April.

    Who gets your vote?

    Click on the link below to have your say…

  • Thomas Blow

    ARTETA SAFE

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will remain their head coach next season, according to reports.

    There has been a lot of speculation about his position following a disappointing Premier League campaign, but Eurosport are now reporting he will stay at the Emirates.

    And it is believed owner Stan Kroenke will stay at the club and invest heavily in the team.

    The concern now is attracting top players to the Gunners as they seem unlikely to qualify for European football – unless they don't win the Europa League.

    A Europa League triumph will see them qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 2016.

  • Thomas Blow

    HATE TO LUIZ YOU

    David Luiz is reportedly preparing for life after Arsenal as his representatives contact potential new clubs.

    The Gunners are yet to make a decision on whether the Brazilian, 34, will be offered a new contract when his existing deal expires next month.

    And his entourage are said to be working on engineering a move abroad if he is let go.

    According to CBS Sports, an MLS club are among the options being considered by Luiz.

    Although his wage demands are thought to be a stumbling block to a Stateside switch.

    Former club Benfica and Serie A side Lazio have also been touted to move for the one-time Premier League champion.

    Credit: AP
  • Thomas Blow

    LACA AND TIERNEY TRAINING

    Mikel Arteta has been given a boost ahead of tomorrow's crucial Europa League semi-final against Villarreal as Alexandre Lacazette and Kieran Tierney both trained yesterday.

    The duo missed the first leg of the tie last week due to injury.

    The Gunners have posted the two training on their official Instagram account.

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Arsenal Official (@arsenal)

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