Arsenal: Arteta previews Crystal Palace clash
Arsenal reportedly held talks with Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo over replacing Mikel Arteta before the club’s recent upturn in form, it has been claimed. Arteta had been left fighting for his job heading into Christmas as the Gunners lost six of their eight games in all competitions between November 1 and December 22.
And The Sun claim super agent Jorge Mendes held talks with Arsenal around that time over Arteta being replaced by his client Nuno.
The news will come as a blow to Wolves’ fans as the Portuguese had only signed a new three-year deal a few months earlier, having guided the club into European football following promotion from the Championship.
The Sun claim Mendes, who also works as an advisor for Wolves, is ‘actively searching’ for a new club for Nuno and that the 46-year-old is keen to remain in England if possible.
The report said Nuno’s next club would need to be playing European football but added that the former goalkeeper remains happy at Molineux.
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The Sun stated talks with Arsenal came to an end following the club’s impressive change in fortunes.
The Gunners’ six defeats in eight games in all competitions heading into Christmas contributed to them being just four points above the bottom three.
Arsenal had gone from being FA Cup winners in August to a side sitting 15th in the table, after five league defeats in their previous seven matches.
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At that point, only Sheffield United had a worse recent league record than Arsenal despite the club having one of the most expensively assembled squads in the division, with the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mesut Ozil said to be on around £350,000-a-week.
But Boxing Day’s 3-1 victory over Chelsea has been followed by 1-0 and 4-0 away wins at Brighton and West Brom respectively to move Arsenal up to 11th and within nine points of the top four.
Arteta has managed to turn the club’s fortunes around but he will not be given a transfer war chest in January to improve things further despite wanting to bring in a midfielder, according to respected journalist Duncan Castles.
“Arsenal, their priority in this window in midfield has been a creative midfielder,” Castles said on the Transfer Window podcast.
“Basically someone who is a cross between a No 8 and a No 10, so a box-to-box midfielder with creativity and pass creation skills.
“I’m told they’re working on a very limited budget to do that of about €20m.
“So you want a player who would take a fundamental role in the team and change the midfield in an important way but you’re trying to do it at a price that is going to be very difficult to achieve.”
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