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Arsenal reject PSG bid for Hector Bellerin as Ligue 1 champions close in on deal for new right-back

first_imgArsenal reject PSG bid for Hector Bellerin as Ligue 1 champions close in on deal for new right-back Comment Hector Bellerin was a transfer target for Paris Saint-Germain (Picture: Getty)Paris Saint-Germain are closing in on the signing of Alessandro Florenzi after failing with a move for Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin.Thomas Tuchel has made the recruitment of a new right-back a key priority following last month’s Champions League final defeat against Bayern Munich. Spain international Bellerin had emerged as a leading candidate to fill a problem position for the French champions and Arsenal were said to be reluctantly willing to let the 25-year-old depart given their need to raise funds to boost their own summer transfer kitty. According to Sky Italy, however, PSG were only willing to initially entertain the idea of a loan agreement for the La Masia graduate who is still striving to recover his best form having recovered from a cruciate knee ligament injury that ruled him out of action for nine months last year.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTCedric Soares was signed on loan by Mikel Arteta in January as back-up for Bellerin and the former Southampton star has now signed a permanent deal, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who now appears more likely to stay than depart, has also proved a more than capable deputy when asked to fill in at wing-back. Metro Sport ReporterThursday 10 Sep 2020 11:45 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link3.2kShares Advertisement Alessandro Florenzi is on the verge of joining PSG (Picture: Getty)Florenzi, 29, meanwhile, is expected to join PSG on a season-long loan and provide cover and competition for Thilo Kehrer. Arsenal are also said to be in negotiations with the Ligue 1 giants over a potential swap deal featuring Matteo Guendouzi and Julian Draxler. The France international had fallen out of favour with Arteta following several disciplinary breaches and failed to feature at all following a defeat against Brighton in June where he was involved in an altercation with the Seagulls’ machwinner Neal Maupay.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalGuendouzi was allowed to return to first team training earlier this week but speculation surrounding his future remains intense. Lyon were credited with an interest but their sporting director Juninho ruled out the possibility of him signing for last season’s Champions League semi finalists.He said earlier this week: ‘I get on very well with the Sporting Director (Edu). We spoke on the phone. Houssem Aouar is really well liked by Arteta. There were some discussions for Matteo Guendouzi, who is also a good player. ‘He was brought up during the discussion. But we don’t need his profile, we were very clear. If it is like that, we are not interested at all, we cut the conversation, that is where things ended.’MORE: Paul Merson rates Arsenal’s top-four chances and sends message to Mikel ArtetaMORE: Arsenal risk missing out on Houssem Aouar as Lyon set transfer demandsFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Advertisementlast_img read more


Raging Buffon’s crazy Champions League farewell

first_img0Shares0000Gianluigi Buffon raged at English referee Michael Oliver and was sent off after he awarded the late penalty that out Real Madrid into the semi-finals of the Champions League © AFP/File / OSCAR DEL POZOTURIN, Italy, Apr 12 – Gianluigi Buffon’s Champions League career came to a bitter end on a crazy night with the Juventus legend sent off in Madrid and then accusing the referee of having “a rubbish bin instead of a heart”.The veteran goalkeeper’s frustration spilled over at the Santiago Bernabeu after Juventus beat Real Madrid 3-1 on the night, but were eliminated 4-3 on aggregate in the quarter-final after English referee Michael Oliver awarded the Spaniards a contested 97th-minute penalty. “In place of a heart he has a rubbish bin,” raged 40-year-old Buffon after Oliver pointed to the spot for Mehdi Benatia’s challenge on Lucas Vazquez in the dying minutes.Buffon was given his first ever red card in 117 Champions League games and after Wojciech Szczesny had taken his place in the Juventus goal, Cristiano Ronaldo coolly slotted home the spot kick to put defending champions Real Madrid through to the semi-finals.“You have to be a murderer to make the last two decisions the referee made,” Buffon, the Juve captain, said later.“You cannot ruin the dreams of a team. I could’ve told the referee anything at that moment, but he had to understand the degree of the disaster he was creating,” he continued.“If you can’t handle the pressure and have the courage to make a decision, then you should just sit in the stands and eat your crisps.”It was another blow for the charismatic 2006 World Cup winner who was reduced to tears after Italy dramatically failed to qualify for the global showpiece in November’s playoffs.Juventus have finished runners-up twice in the Champions League in the past three years and Wednesday’s defeat was probably Buffon’s last chance to continue his bid for the only major title missing from his collection.“I’m not here to judge what the referee saw, because it was a borderline incident,” he said, continuing his diatribe.“All I’ll say is that you can’t be that cynical in the 93rd minute, to shatter the dreams of a team that had given everything it had to give.“I’ve always found it an honour to go up against this team and this club in front of this crowd, but tonight we deserved extra time at the very least.”Juventus president Andrea Agnelli said he could understand Buffon’s fury and called for the introduction of the use of VAR in the Champions League — it is already used in the Serie A in Italy.“The referee did not understand anything, and tonight the least happy person of all should be him,” said Agnelli.Benatia, whose challenge led to the penalty, said: “It’s unbelievable that our captain isn’t allowed to speak to the referee -– the red card was very harsh.”– ‘Stolen dream’ –Before he saw red, Gianluigi Buffon celebrated Juventus’ third goal scored by Blaise Matuidi that put them on level terms with Real Madrid on aggregate © AFP / JAVIER SORIANOBuffon’s dismissal generated a storm back home with Turin daily La Stampa lamenting “the beauty of football, and its cruelty”.“(The penalty) ruined everything, including Buffon’s farewell to the Champions League. The dream was stolen, the achievement cannot be reached. It hurts to go out like this.”“It hurts badly, very badly,” agreed Italian daily Corriere della Sera. “Juventus deserved more, much more, at least extra-time.”“The rage and the pride,” headlined Gazzetta dello Sport of “a night of regrets”.“Every referee knows that there are times when whistling has a different weight, and therefore only the most obvious fouls are punished,” wrote Gazzetta dello Sport, claiming that Oliver “was not up to the challenge”.Tuttosport, a paper based in Juventus’ home city of Turin, said it was “an undeserved ending — just as Buffon doesn’t deserve to end his career in Europe with a red card.”After the frustration, Buffon — who had said this season would be his final one — must turn his attention to winning a seventh straight Serie A title with Juventus, and completing the double with the Italian Cup.Next up is a Serie A game against Sampdoria on Sunday with a potential title decider against Napoli on April 22, and the Italian Cup final against AC Milan on May 9.And there remains another record which could prove a lure for Buffon to continue his club career — Paolo Maldini’s record for Serie A appearances.Buffon has played 635 times in Italy’s top flight, but with seven games remaining this season he would fall short of former AC Milan defender Maldini’s record of 647.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more