ARSENAL are interested in signing midfielder Filip Kostic from Eintracht Frankfurt, according to reports.

The Gunners are desperately short of options in the heart of midfield, especially after Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny left for AFCON duty.

Meanwhile, Mikel Arteta has also landed West Brom sensation Lino Da Cruz Sousa, 16, who plays at left back and has been tipped for a bright future.

In other transfer news, the Gunners are set for a battle for the return of Aaron Ramsey, with Newcastle, Crystal Palace and Everton all interested in the Welsh midfielder.

And we've the very latest on the Gunners interest in both Youri Tielemens and Fiorentina's Dusan Vlahovic.

JOIN SUN VEGAS: GET A FREE £10 BONUS WITH 100s OF GAMES TO PLAY AND NO DEPOSIT REQUIRED (Ts&Cs apply)

Follow ALL of the latest updates…

  • Ian Tuckey

    Arsenal sub ratings

    SUB – CALUM CHAMBERS – 6

    Calum Chambers struggled in the first half as he had to fill in for the injured Cedric Soares and Andy Robertson gave him a hard time.

    But Chambers pulled it together in the second half and helped Arsenal pick up an important draw ahead of the return fixture at the Emirates.

    SUB- ROB HOLDING – 7

    Came on to boost Arsenal’s defence after Granit Xhaka’s red card and was part of the visitors’ back five.

    A solid performance that helped the Gunners keep Liverpool’s front three quiet.

    SUB – NUNO TAVARES – N/A

    Came on after 81 minutes and therefore can’t be graded as he didn’t spend much time on the pitch

  • Ian Tuckey

    Rest of the Arsenal team rated

    GABRIEL MARTINELLI – 7

    Played in a rather unfamiliar role in midfield as he was required to offer assistance to Albert Sambi Lokonga.

    Nevertheless, Gabriel Martinelli carried himself well, especially during Liverpool’s dangerous attacks.

    EDDIE NKETIAH – 5

    Eddie Nketiah didn’t get to shine in the Carabao Cup this time as he only managed 28 minutes on the pitch.

    Nketiah didn’t create any danger to Liverpool’s defence, but was sacrificed because of Granit Xhaka’s dismissal and Mikel Arteta’s decision to change the formation to a 5-3-1 with Alexandre Lacazette leading the line.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Arsenal ratings continued

    BUKAYO SAKA – 7

    He was by far Arsenal’s best player in the first half but slowed down in the second as Mikel Arteta wanted to do some damage control hoping there would be a clean sheet.

    The Gunners mostly defended but Bukayo Saka was very dangerous when moving forward.

    The winger came off with a knock during the dying minutes of the match.

    ALEXANDRE LACAZETTE – 5

    Arsenal didn’t get the chance to attack much during the game as they were playing with a man down.

    However, Alexandre Lacazette didn’t offer anything special during a rare Gunners attack.

  • Ian Tuckey

    More Gunners' ratings

    GABRIEL MAGALHAES – 7

    A rock-solid performance as he gave very little room for Liverpool’s front three to create dangers.

    Would have had the same grade as Ben White if it wasn’t for that careless yellow card in the second half, that could come back to haunt him in the return fixture.

    KIERAN TIERNEY – 7

    Kieran Tierney was solid in regards to his defensive duties and caused trouble down the left flank when he attacked.

    Tierney is showing he will play a major role in Arsenal’s ambitious future.

    ALBERT SAMBI LOKONGA – 6

    Missed a partner in midfield throughout most of the match after Granit Xhaka’s careless red card.

    But Albert Sambi Lokonga jelled well with Bukayo Saka as well as Gabriel Martinelli in midfield and offered tremendous help at the back.

    GRANIT XHAKA – 1

    Another game another red card for Granit Xhaka. Mikel Arteta was counting on him in midfield considering the lack of options he has after Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ loan as well as Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny playing at the Africa Cup of Nations.

    Instead, Xhaka got himself sent off after just 24 minutes with a karate-like kick on Diogo Jota.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Arsenal ratings at Anfield

    AARON RAMSDALE – 6

    Another composed performance from the Arsenal goalkeeper, who reacted well when required to.

    There was only one dismal clearance in the first half that allowed Jordan Henderson to gain possession and get the chance to open the scoring.

    CEDRIC SOARES – N/A

    Cedric Soares barely managed 10 minutes on the pitch until he injured his hip and thus can’t be graded.

    BEN WHITE – 8

    Formed a stunning partnership with Gabriel Magalhaes at centre-back and his outstanding performance was critical in Arsenal’s clean sheet success.

    Ben White continued to work well when Mikel Arteta put him in a back-three, which included Rob Holding, and his positioning as well as alertness didn’t allow him to get a foot wrong.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Result: Liverpool 0 Arsenal 0

    Takumi Minamino wasted a glorious late chance to give Liverpool a first-leg advantage over the ten-man Gunners in this draw.

    But overall Arsenal defended superbly after Granit Zhaka’s 24th minute straight red card.

    OUR LIVE MATCH BLOG HERE HAS ALL THE REACTION

    Minamino to win it eight yards out in the 89th minute.

  • Ian Tuckey

    X-rated Granit challenge

    Granit Xhaka once again proved his recklessness after being sent off for a waist-high challenge on Diogo Jota.

    The Swiss midfielder left the Gunners down to ten men for 65 minutes of their Carabao Cup semi-final first-leg at Anfield.

    It came after Xhaka took Jota out following a cross field pass by left-back Andrew Robertson.

    Robertson's pass put the Liverpool forward through on goal, before Xhaka's misstimed tackle with the score level at 0-0.

    He ended up booting Jota in the stomach as he tried to clear and immediately saw red for denying the goalscoring opportunity.

    It is the fifth time Xhaka has been sent off for Arsenal, with the other four coming in the Premier League.

    He was last sent for an early shower in Arsenal's 5-0 hammering at champions Manchester City in August.

    No player has received more red cards with four than Xhaka since making his Premier League debut for Arsenal in 2016.

  • Ian Tuckey

    H/T: Liverpool 0 Arsenal 0

    Liverpool's 80% of first-half possession failed to break down 10-man Arsenal's firm, fine defending.

    OUR LIVE BLOG HERE HAS PREVIEW NEWS, ACTION AND REACTION

  • Ian Tuckey

    Xhaka sent off

    LIVERPOOL 0 ARSENAL 0: Gunners' midfielder Granit Xhaka earns a straight red for upending goal-bound Diogo Jota on the edge of the box after 24 minutes.

    And striker Eddie Nketiah looks unhappy when he is the man sacrificed four minutes later for substitute Arsenal defender Rob Holding.

    OUR LIVE BLOG HERE HAS PREVIEW NEWS, ACTION AND REACTION

  • Ian Tuckey

    It's under way: Liverpool 0 Arsenal 0

    The battle to face Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final is up and running in the first leg at Anfield.

    OUR LIVE BLOG HERE HAS PREVIEW NEWS, ACTION AND REACTION

  • Ian Tuckey

    And here's the Liverpool team

    The youthful Gunners will certainly face a strong Liverpool side tonight.

    OUR LIVE BLOG HERE HAS PREVIEW NEWS, ACTION AND REACTION

  • Ian Tuckey

    Odegaard out with Covid

    Playmaker Martin Odegaard misses Arsenal's Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at Liverpool tonight after testing positiive for Covid.

    But Kieran Tierney, Bukayo Saka and December player-of-the-month Gabriel Martinelli start.

    Martinelli's fellow strikers Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are also in the Gunners XI.

    OUR LIVE BLOG HERE HAS PREVIEW NEWS, ACTION AND REACTION

  • Ian Tuckey

    Rio: Haller would be top Gunner

    Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand claims West Ham flop Sebastien Hallerwould be an Arsenal hit.

    Ajax striker Haller, 27, would be a surprise but far cheaper option to £67million-rated Fiorentina ace Dusan Vlahovic.

    Credit: Getty

    Emirates boss Mikel Arteta wants long-term replacements for ageing attackersPierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

    Haller struggled with the Hammers from 2019-21 after arriving from Eintracht Frankfurt.

    But Ferdinand told his FIVE YouTube channel: "‘I reckon Haller would be good for you lot."

    The ex-England star also rates Real Sociedad's Sweden frontman Alexander Isak, 22, as another worthwhile target.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Bye Georg!Wijnaldummoves up Gunners' list

    Arsenal’s pursuit of Georginio Wijnaldum has been given a huge boost as it’s been reported that the PSG star used to support the Gunners.

    And the North London side still hold a special place in the midfielder’s heart, according to Sky Sports.

    A source told Sky Sports, reported by the Mirror: “I’ve been told Arsenal are one of his favourite clubs.

    “Somebody quite close to me said that when he was growing up that he was an Arsenal supporter. So I think that he would be more than happy to play for Arsenal one day.

    “I’m not going to say it’s going to happen this month. I’m not going to say it’s going to happen in the summer.

    “But they are definitely, I’ve been told, a club that are close to his heart.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    Winter of discontent

    Arsenal legend Nigel Winterburn has urged his former side to make some big changes.

    He told Paddy Power: “Arsenal need to make some big changes and Mikel Arteta has started that.

    “You can see what they’re trying to do with the young players they have but there are still some players who have been there a while who are not getting much game time and that squad still needs changing considerably before we can get to where we want to be.

    “Even with the results we’ve had this season, there’s no doubt in my mind that there has been progression. The good and the bad performances are just way too far apart.

    “Looking at the Everton and Manchester United games, where Arsenal were leading as the away team, they should be getting four points but ended up with nothing.

    “Then comparing it to the level of performance against Manchester City, I’ve never seen an Arsenal crowd react to their team losing like that.

    “It showed that they were right behind the team in terms of commitment and style of play. Then you get the flip side which is what we saw against Nottingham Forest which was not acceptable.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    White may play in midfield

    Mikel Arteta has revealed that Arsenal defender Ben White may be forced to play in midfield in the Gunners clash with Liverpool tonight.

    Speaking before the game, Arteta said: "It's an option that we have. He has played there before.

    "He has played as a central defender, he's played as a right-back and he's played in a back three.

    "That's one of the positive things with Ben, that he has the capacity to play in different roles."

  • Justin Lawrence

    'Arsenal can attract world's best'

    Mikel Arteta might be facing a make or break eight days but remains convinced Arsenal can compete in the transfer market with any club in the world.

    The club are currently trying to secure a £50million deal for Fiorentina’s superstar striker Dusan Vlahovic before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.

    And Arteta dismissed suggestions the Serbian international does not regard a move to Arsenal as a big enough step up in his career.

    He said: “Historically this club has always targeted the best players in the world and they are always interested in coming here.

    “And that situation has not changed. Anytime I have spoken to any player, they were so willing to come to Arsenal.

    “I haven’t faced any other situation and that’s one of our biggest powers, our capacity to get the attention of people to come and join our club.

    “It’s something that is a big advantage for us and we have a strategy of how we want to evolve and improve the team.

    “Whenever that is possible we will try to do it but we know that this market is extremely difficult.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    Balogun growth plans with Boro

    Flo Balogun looking to get Arsenal career back on track by shining while on Middlesbrough loan.

    Having joined Chris Wilder’s Championship promotion charge on Teesside, he is hell-bent on proving himself on loan before challenging at the Emirates next season.

    Balogun said: “I hope a successful loan puts me in a better position than I was in before coming here.

    “Coming here, my job is to give it my all and see what happens.

    “This is the next stage of my development. I’ve been in the youth team for a while and have improved. Now is the next stage and hopefully I can do it on a first-team platform – that’s the main thing for me.

    “I want to play senior football, fight for three points and push for promotion. It is a great fit for me to learn and score goals.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    Maitland-Niles' not thinking of Arsenal

    Ashley Maitland-Niles has revealed that he isn't thinking about returning to Arsenal while taking a swipe at the Premier League.

    The midfielder's on loan at Roma and already reckons the Serie A is better than the Prem – both tactically and technically.

    He said, reported by Football Italia: “Right now, I am just focused on the club and our aim is to get as high as possible in the table as we can. Champions League position. I am not focused on where I am going to be, just on my football right now in this club.”

    “Roma is a good team, Serie A is a great league. It’s more tactical and technical [than the Premier League]. You need to be aware and have to focus all the time on the pitch.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    Juve interested in Aubameyang

    Federico Chiesa's season-ending injury means Juventus are in the market for a new forward.

    And reports suggest they have made former Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang their top target.

    Mauro Icardi was previously courted, but Juve have now turned their attention to Aubameyang, according to Italian outlet Tuttomercato.

    Chiesa injured his ACL in the 4-3 comeback win over Roma, bringing his season to a premature end.

    It leaves Juve short of options up front, with Aubameyang now 'top of the shortlist' for the Serie A giants.

    Memphis Depay has been mentioned too, but as with Icardi, that interest seems to have waned in favour of the Arsenal outcast.

    Aubameyang has played both up front and out wide for the Gunners, meaning he can either lead the line or take up Chiesa's position on one of the flanks.

  • Justin Lawrence

    'Arteta's doing great'

    John Barnes reckons Arteta's doing a great job at Arsenal – despite the Gunners' shocking FA Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest.

    Barnes told BonusCodeBets: “I didn’t see the Arsenal game against Nottingham Forest game so I’m not sure why Mikel Arteta pulled Nuno Tavares off after 30 minutes.

    “We don’t know what happens week to week in training and what goes on in terms of their relationship so we can’t just judge it based on a 30-minute performance. I always loath to praise or criticise managers when they make decisions like that because we don’t know the ins and outs of what goes on. It’s brave of him [Arteta] and I think he’s doing a fantastic job.

    “They lost to Nottingham Forest but they’re doing well in the league and the future looks bright for Arsenal. Arteta is doing a great job.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    Arsenal given Wijnaldum boost

    Arsenal's pursuit of Wijnaldum has been given a huge boost as it's been reported that the PSG star used to support the Gunners.

    And the North London side still hold a special place in the midfielder's heart, according to Sky Sports.

    A source told Sky Sports, reported by the Mirror: "I've been told Arsenal are one of his favourite clubs.

    "Somebody quite close to me said that when he was growing up that he was an Arsenal supporter. So I think that he would be more than happy to play for Arsenal one day.

    "I'm not going to say it's going to happen this month. I'm not going to say it's going to happen in the summer.

    "But they are definitely, I've been told, a club that are close to his heart."

  • Justin Lawrence

    ‘Arsenal are playing catch-up’

    Winterburn reckons Arsenal and United are both playing catch up as their rivals have evolved.

    And since Sir Alex Ferguson left United as manager, and Arsene Wenger quit as Arsenal boss, both sides haven’t been the same, Winterburn reckons.

    He told Paddy Power: “We saw it with Mesut Özil at Arsenal, and we could see the same with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as well. You cannot change a squad around in one season.

    “Depending on how many players Manchester United want to change, they’re probably looking at three years and six transfer windows if we’re talking about the clear out that they need.

    “United are like Arsenal. They’re both now seeing how difficult it is to get back to where they were under Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger. It’s hard because other teams have evolved, and those two teams are playing catch up.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    'Major changes needed at Arsenal'

    Arsenal legend Nigel Winterburn has urged his former side to make some big changes.

    He told Paddy Power: “Arsenal need to make some big changes and Mikel Arteta has started that.

    "You can see what they’re trying to do with the young players they have but there are still some players who have been there a while who are not getting much game time and that squad still needs changing considerably before we can get to where we want to be.

    "Even with the results we’ve had this season, there’s no doubt in my mind that there has been progression. The good and the bad performances are just way too far apart.

    “Looking at the Everton and Manchester United games, where Arsenal were leading as the away team, they should be getting four points but ended up with nothing.

    "Then comparing it to the level of performance against Manchester City, I’ve never seen an Arsenal crowd react to their team losing like that.

    "It showed that they were right behind the team in terms of commitment and style of play. Then you get the flip side which is what we saw against Nottingham Forest which was not acceptable.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    Fiorentina chief blasts Vlahovic's agents

    Fiorentina president Rocco Commisso has reportedly blasted Vlahovic's agents for their handling of the striker's ongoing transfer saga.

    Commisso's allegedly annoyed that Vlahovic's agency, International Sports Office, want £6.67m just to review the Serb's contract, according to the Financial Times.

    And on top of that, the agency also want Fiorentina to stump up 10 percent of any future sale of Vlahovic along with the buying club.

    These audacious demands have led Commisso to lash out at the agency.

    He fumed to the FT: “The more I live here, with this crazy sport, the more I realise how screwed up it is."

    But Commisso won't be held to ransom and added that: "He won't be screwed by the players."

    Source: Read Full Article