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Arsenal boss Arteta ready to lift anxious fans

Gunners closing in on double deal boost ahead of Community Shield clash at Wembley

28 August, 2020 — By Steve Barnett

Mikel Arteta looks set to finalise the signing of defender Gabriel Magalhaes – and also hopes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will pen a new deal in the next few days

MIKEL Arteta offered anxious Arsenal fans some calming words yesterday (Thursday) when he said he was “positive” the club will be announcing a double deal soon.

Supporters have been waiting nervously on news that captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has put pen-to-paper on a new contract reportedly worth £250,000 a week.

And the Gunners are also expected to announce the arrival of defender Gabriel Magalhaes in a £27m move from Lille.

They reportedly saw off competition from Manchester United and Napoli to land the 22-year-old Brazilian, who will make the switch to north London on a five-year deal.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s (Saturday) Community Shield match against Premier League champions Liverpool, Arsenal boss Arteta said: “We cannot announce anything yet [on Gabriel]. The deal is not finalised.

“He is a player we have followed for a long time. Hopefully we can get it done soon. Everything is OK when both parties sign and the player agrees the terms and he goes through the medical.

“Sometimes in the final stages it is not as easy as it looks but we are pretty positive.”

Arteta was just as assured over Aubame­yang, who is expected to end months of speculation about his future by signing a new contract soon.

“We had some really good talks with him and his agent,” Arteta added. “I am pretty confident we will find an agreement soon, that’s my feeling.”

Quizzed on whether Aubameyang signing will give the whole club a massive lift, Arteta continued: “Absolutely, and for him as well! I think he should be very happy if he’s able to stay at the club for a long time.”

To help balance the books a number of players are expected to leave Arsenal before the new season kicks off on September 12.

The first one seemingly heading for the Emirates exit is Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

The Gunners are believed to have rejected an opening bid of £15m from Wolves on Wednesday, but the West Midlanders are expected to return with an improved offer.

Arteta refused to confirm that Maitland-Niles will definitely be leaving as he again praised the academy graduate.

The Spaniard said: “We are reading a lot of news about our players, which is not bad that other clubs want him, but with Ainsley, he’s a player that I’ve said since I joined that I really like.”

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