- Xabi Alonso can be added to the list of names Arsene Wenger came close to signing at Arsenal, but ultimately missed out on. The Gunners boss has often spoken down the years of how he was in the market for a number of top talents, only to see them head elsewhere or for interest t...
Another star to have slipped Wenger's net at Arsenal - Alonso reveals Gunners interest while at LiverpoolXabi Alonso can be added to the list of names Arsene Wenger came close to signing at Arsenal, but ultimately missed out on. The Gunners boss has often spoken down the years of how he was in the market for a number of top talents, only to see them head elsewhere or for interest to be shelved. Wenger: Suarez wanted to join Arsenal It has now been revealed that the Frenchman was eager to add ball-playing midfielder Alonso to his ranks while the Spaniard was at Liverpool. With Reds looking to move out a man who would go on to win 2010 World Cup and 2012 European Championship honours with Spain, Arsenal joined the chase. They were, however, reluctant to meet the asking price of a Premier League rival and Alonso eventually ended up signing for La Liga giants Real Madrid in the summer of 2009. Speaking to the Liverpool Echo about his time at Anfield, Alonso said: “I was really close to Juventus and I was close to Arsenal. Arsenal and Bayern fined by UEFA “But, it was just £3m. Liverpool were asking £18m and both offered £15m – so that’s why it didn’t happen." Alonso formed part of Liverpool’s remarkable Champions League triumph in 2005 during his time in England, before going on to enjoy further domestic and European success in Madrid. League titles have also been snapped up in Germany with Bayern Munich, but the 35-year-old has announced that he is to slip into retirement at the end of the current campaign. Alonso added: “I have been lucky enough to be at great clubs from my hometown club to Liverpool to Real Madrid to Bayern Munich. Pep: Alonso one of the best ever “For me, I’ve played for the best team in England, the best team in Spain and the best team in Germany. That’s what I wanted to have - a nice career. I’ve played with great players and worked with great managers, I’ve learned a lot from all of them. “I’ve been lucky but I have earned that luck. I’ve been in the right place at the right moment a few times. I would never have dreamed to have had such a nice career as this. I like football and this is like a nice football journey.”
- Arsenal and Bayern Munich have been fined by UEFA following the Champions League clash between the two at the start of March. Ozil suffers another injury The Gunners, already trailing 5-1 from the first leg in Germany, suffered another loss by the same deficit at the Emirates S...Arsenal and Bayern Munich have been fined by UEFA following the Champions League clash between the two at the start of March. Ozil suffers another injury The Gunners, already trailing 5-1 from the first leg in Germany, suffered another loss by the same deficit at the Emirates Stadium on 7 March, bowing out of Europe's elite club competition at the last-16 stage. And both clubs have since been punished by European football's governing body in relation to two separate incidents. Arsenal have been fined €5,000 by UEFA after a number of supporters invaded the pitch, while Bayern have been slapped with a €3,000 fine in relation to objects being thrown by fans. Arsene Wenger's men opened the scoring thanks to Theo Walcott but the game was turned on its head after Laurent Koscielny was sent off for giving away a penalty. Alli hit with UEFA ban Robert Lewandowski converted the spot-kick before Arjen Robben, Douglas Costa and two goals from Arturo Vidal consigned Arsenal to an embarrassing Champions League defeat. Arsenal have struggled to recover since, downing non-league Lincoln City 5-0 in the FA Cup quarter-finals before losing 3-1 to West Brom in the Premier League. A recent run of bad results has fuelled speculation surrounding Wenger's future, with a section of Arsenal's fan base taking to protesting in favour of the Frenchman's departure at the end of the season. Wenger revealed after the West Brom match that he has made a decision on his future, though no official confirmation has been released.
- Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has sought to distance himself from reports suggesting that he could join Bayern Munich this summer. The Switzerland international only moved to England in 2016, with a big-money deal taking him to Emirates Stadium from Borussia Monchengladbach. ...Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has sought to distance himself from reports suggesting that he could join Bayern Munich this summer. The Switzerland international only moved to England in 2016, with a big-money deal taking him to Emirates Stadium from Borussia Monchengladbach. Xhaka: Critics make me look stupid Xhaka has endured a testing time adjusting to the demands of life in the Premier League. Disciplinary issues that have plagued him throughout his career have followed the 24-year-old to north London, with two red cards and eight yellows picked up with the Gunners. Xhaka has also been sent off for his country this season, with his tenacious approach continuing to get him into trouble. In spite of that, he has offered enough in the past to keep Bayern interested in his services, although the £35 million man insists he is giving no thought to heading back to the Bundesliga at present. Xhaka told Blick on the transfer rumours: “I have read that too. But I have not heard anything. 'Wenger has final word on his future' “I am in an outstanding city, an outstanding club. The only thing that Arsenal has been missing is a league title. “I believe that will change soon.” While happy to persevere at Arsenal for now, Xhaka admits he does miss German football and could return at some stage in the future. He told Tagesanzeiger: “Yeah, but it’s not like I want to go back tomorrow. Maybe the day after tomorrow.” Xhaka remains convinced that he joined a positive project at Arsenal, with it his belief that the Gunners remain on a par with the best sides in Europe despite suffering a humbling 10-2 aggregate defeat to Bayern in the last 16 of the Champions League. Lehmann slams 'sulking' Sanchez He added: “From my view they are [on the same level]. That’s how I feel. The defeats annoy me particularly because I have had good memories against Bayern. “We were able to beat them three times with Gladbach. And I don’t think Gladbach are on the same level as Arsenal.”
- Arjen Robben has set his sights on the 2018 World Cup with Netherlands after putting thoughts of international retirement to one side. The Bayern Munich forward has struggled with injuries in recent seasons and that left him pondering whether he should focus on playing club foot...Arjen Robben has set his sights on the 2018 World Cup with Netherlands after putting thoughts of international retirement to one side. The Bayern Munich forward has struggled with injuries in recent seasons and that left him pondering whether he should focus on playing club football to prolong his career. Alexis escapes Arsenal troubles with Chile In the end the 33-year-old chose to continue with the national team and now hopes to be part of Danny Blind's squad for the next World Cup in Russia - providing Netherlands qualify. "I told myself to make a choice between focusing solely on Bayern or continuing with both Bayern and the national team," Robben told De Telegraaf. "I discussed it with my wife and family as well as with national team coach Danny Blind. "I have been match fit for quite some time now. That is why I made the decision to continue with both Bayern and Oranje [Netherlands]. "I want to go to the World Cup again with Netherlands." Netherlands - who missed out on Euro 2016 - sit second in Group A of World Cup qualification with seven points from four games, trailing leaders France by three. They meet fourth-placed Bulgaria on Saturday in Sofia.
- The general mood amongst Manchester United fans was one of sadness as the club confirmed Bastian Schweinsteiger is set to leave to join MLS side Chicago Fire. Schweini's Utd career destined to fail Schweinsteiger, 32, joined the Red Devils last season from Bayern Munich and hel...The general mood amongst Manchester United fans was one of sadness as the club confirmed Bastian Schweinsteiger is set to leave to join MLS side Chicago Fire. Schweini's Utd career destined to fail Schweinsteiger, 32, joined the Red Devils last season from Bayern Munich and helped them win the FA Cup under Louis van Gaal last season. However, he was quickly cast aside by current United boss Jose Mourinho and Schweinsteiger has since taken the decision to seek pastures new in order to earn more first-team football. .@BSchweinsteiger to join Chicago Fire, subject to medical and visa: https://t.co/CyYuBV4HdG All the best, Bastian.#MUFC pic.twitter.com/XKSUA6XJO2 — Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 21, 2017 United confirmed the move on Tuesday morning and a large section of the club's fanbase expressed their misery at the news, while past team-mates also wished Schweinsteiger luck for the future. All the best SCHNACK Hope you enjoy the next chapter of your journey matepic.twitter.com/O1A8bIsMyX — Ashley Young (@youngy18) March 21, 2017 @ManUtdpic.twitter.com/qJIPiYOXOS — M62 (@MaanManUtd) March 21, 2017 @ManUtd I will miss you so much — Not 6th (@TheCalumLim) March 21, 2017 @ManUtdpic.twitter.com/vRxW9ueikt —(@The_Nifemi) March 21, 2017 @ManUtd I'm not crying I swear to god — Steven (@OneFootValencia) March 21, 2017 @ManUtd @BSchweinsteiger love you forever Basti, sorry for how you were treated you absolute legend — Nuera (@DJ_Nuera) March 21, 2017 @BSchweinsteiger @ManUtd such a lovable man! Never been so upset at someone leaving, keep up the good work Basti! — Imran (@_ImranTweets_) March 21, 2017 Schweinsteiger soon followed up by posting a video on his official Twitter account thanking United fans for their support, leading to more tributes from supporters. @BSchweinsteiger @ManUtd thank you, legend! Deutscher Fußballmeister!!! — Samar Khan (@Samar7) March 21, 2017 @BSchweinsteiger @ManUtd good luck Bastianpic.twitter.com/Exu60bVCTg —@doolar_7) March 21, 2017 @BSchweinsteiger @ManUtd Thank you for everything Basti. Good luck in Chicago! — Carly (@Carly22GB) March 21, 2017 Schweinsteiger even received a few heartfelt messages from his old club Bayern, though some also decided to poke fun at the midfielder's exit! @BSchweinsteiger Good luck, my friend #esmuellert — Thomas Müller (@esmuellert_) March 21, 2017 We wish you all the very the best at @ChicagoFire, @BSchweinsteiger!#MiaSanMia pic.twitter.com/7MIV1CJG42 — FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) March 21, 2017 Bastian Schweinsteiger's Manchester United is over, as the club allow him to join Chicago Fire. Farewell, Basti. Long may you run. pic.twitter.com/IBGGyVulDr — Paddy Power (@paddypower) March 21, 2017