Lyon President Insists Arsenal Target Nabil Fekir Is Happy at the Club as Transfer Rumours Swirl

​Olympique Lyonnais are confident that captain Nabil Fekir will remain at the club for the foreseeable future.

Fekir has enjoyed a brilliant start to the season, scoring eleven goals in as many Ligue 1 games whilst also impressing in the Europa League.

Recent reports have claimed that Arsenal are on the verge of signing the 24-year-old in a £60m deal in January, reuniting him with former teammate Alexandre Lacazette.

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The Gunners were also linked with Fekir during his 2014/15 breakout season, before a catastrophic knee injury derailed any potential plans of a transfer and development.

When asked by ​SFR Sport if Fekir would remain at his hometown club beyond January, Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas was adamant he would he stay put.

“Of course, and nothing says he will leave at the end of the season. He’s under contract, he’s happy in Lyon,” Aulas said. 

“He’s enjoying a period of success football-wise, but also in terms of management as he’s captain of an Olympique Lyonnais [team] that has been able to get itself back on track.”

Despite putting in a good shift after recovering from his horror injury, Fekir could not guide Lyon beyond their top four spot, with the club finishing well adrift of Nice, PSG and Monaco.

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Asked if Fekir could remain at the seven-time Ligue 1 champions, Aulas optimistically said: “Of course, he has a very good chance of being [at] Lyonnais. He is a symbol.

“In between times, there will be the World Cup. If France is in the final – which I hope for – and Nabil scores the goal that makes France world champions,” Aulas added. “Of course, he will get offers. But that said, we’re going to do everything for Nabil to stay, and I think he wants to stay.”

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Former Premier League Hero Michael Owen Names His Favourite for North London Derby

Ex-Liverpool and Real Madrid star Michael Owen has given his prediction for the forthcoming North London Derby between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, and he believes that Mauricio Pochettino’s men will come away with all three points.

Spurs visit the Emirates in good spirits after a 1-0 victory against Crystal Palace in the league and an incredible win against Real Madrid fresh in the memory. As for Arsenal they will be looking to bounce back after losing to Manchester City last time out. 

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Despite Arsenal’s good form at home this year, Owen believes that Spurs will come out victorious in the lunchtime kick off, with a score of 2-1 predicted.

“Arsenal have won their last ten PL games at the Emirates but if there is to be a winner in the north-London Derby I expect it to be Spurs in what should be a terrific game of football,” Owen wrote in his column for Bet Victor.

“There are normally goals when these two sides meet and I would be surprised if both teams didn’t find the back of the net, but I am leaning towards the visitors with Harry Kane and Dele Alli likely to be fit having missed England’s recent high-profile friendlies with Germany and Russia.”

Spurs haven’t been in the best of form against top six sides this season, with two defeats against Chelsea and Manchester United. 

For the home side, ever since their 4-0 drubbing against Liverpool, a resilience has been seen, especially in their draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. 

The visitors will be missing a key man at the back however, with Belgian international Toby Alderweireld injured and ruled out for the match. 

This will inevitably mean that Eric Dier will drop back and take the place of the injured defender, with midfielder Harry Winks set to continue in the middle of the park. 

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Lehmann Hits Out at Gallas for Infamous Centre-Circle Sulk That Possibly Cost Arsenal a Title

Former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has revealed that several members of the 2007/08 squad were very unhappy with William Gallas when his actions, after a draw against Birmingham, possibly cost the side the Premier League title that season.

The Gunners were leading the Blues 2-1 in that particular match when Gael Clichy conceded a penalty which was later converted by James McFadden in the last minute to force a 2-2 draw.

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Gallas, who was the Arsenal captain at the time, left the rest of the team and went to kick an advertising hoarding. He refused to leave the pitch following the final whistle, sitting down in the centre circle for several minutes. 

And Lehmann has made reference to the incident in his autobiography, which is being released in installments by the Daily Telegraph.

The game [against Birmingham] was fateful,” Lehmann wrote.

​”We were leading 2-1 shortly before the end when Gael Clichy was late for a ball while in his own area – time for a penalty and time for captain Gallas to spring into action.

“Instead of standing at the edge of the area and clearing a possibly parried penalty, he abandoned the team, ran towards the halfway line and, in anger, kicked an advertising hoarding.

“After the match, he refused to leave the pitch and sat down in the centre circle like a sulky child. In the dressing room Gallas came to blows with Gilberto SIlva, who accused him of seeking attention in a daft manner – the row dragged on for the remainder of the season.”

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Arsenal were five points clear at the top the league before the draw. But a poor fun of form after said match saw them finish third on the table that year, with Manchester United pipping them to the title.

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Griezmann Sends Fans into Meltdown Following Cryptic Tweet That Probably Means Nothing

​Antonine Griezmann sent both Arsenal and Manchester United fans on Twitter into meltdown as his cryptic post referencing the Gunners’ Mesut Ozil, following France’s 2-2 draw with Germany on Tuesday, has many believing it holds the key to his future club.

The French striker has continually been linked to moves away from Atletico Madrid – with United reported to have been front runners during the summer – and he has now stirred the pot on social media as his emoji only post has caused many to attempt to read between the lines.

Although Griezmann’s tweet reads more like an emjoi equation, a number of fans of both Arsenal and United have come to the fore to claim that they know the answer, and their working out process was boosted when Ozil himself got in on the action with a winking face of his own. 

The implications of such interaction on Twitter have led to a number of theories which involve the pair playing for the same club at some point in the immediate future, as Ozil’s contract at the Emirates expires at the end of the season and Griezmann is still seemingly harbouring for a move to England. 

Despite the more likely scenario being Ozil joining the striker at Atletico Madrid, it did not stop United and Arsenal fans from getting excited by the prospect as they each claimed the duo will be making the move to their respective club.

And here are some of the best reactions on Twitter to feast your eyes on:

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4 Reasons Why Record Arsenal Signing Alexandre Lacazette Must Start Against Spurs at the Emirates

Arsenal’s record signing Alexandre Lacazette has shown his credentials as a legitimate option to fire the Gunners back to being title contenders, with six goals already to his name as he adjusts to English football in the top-tier.

Although he has shown strength and poise in front of goal, the 26-year-old French international has spent a bizarre of amount of his time as a bit part player, with manager Arsene Wenger opting for either Alexis Sanchez, Danny Welbeck before his injury or compatriot Olivier Giroud.

Nevertheless, against Spurs, Arsenal must close the gap on their north London rivals and prove they have what it takes to compete with the best, by making sure Lacazette starts the match at the Emirates.

Here are four reasons why.

1. Clinical in Front of Goal

After bagging a brace against Germany in a recent friendly for Les Bleus, French international Lacazette is displaying that he can do the business on the big stage. After fine work from Mancester United striker Anthony Martial, former Lyon star showed that he could be in the right place at the right time with an easy tap in.

His second goal was the 26-year-old at his clinical best, running on to a great through ball by beating the defensive trap set by Die Mannschaft, to dispatch the ball past PSG shot-stopper Kevin Trapp with great composure.

Taking only nine minutes to fire Arsenal back into the game against Manchester City, Lacazette is banging on the first-team door to get the nod and trust from Wenger.

2. Justify the Price Tag

Less then ten minutes after kicking his feet on the bench, following a fine pass from Aaron Ramsey, Lacazette broke free of the Manchester City defence to confidently fire the ball past Ederson. That is what £46.5m gets you in an inflated transfer market.

With a look to the Arsenal bench, the French striker summed up what everything fan was thinking: ‘why didn’t I start?’

Like the drubbing by Liverpool back in August, Lacazette was used too late in the game to make an impact and came on to simply chase shadows.

3. Intimidating Presence

Although Olivier Giroud has saved Arsenal on many occasions with his physical power and aerial ability over the past couple of seasons as a super sub, the 31-year-old target man’s lack of pace makes him a relatively easy striker to deal with, considering the vogue formation of three-at-the-back, which gives more security when marking the opposition.

Although Giroud can be a handful, in comparison with Lacazette he offers nowhere near the same threat in terms of all-round-ability. 

If Lacazette does not start at the weekend against Tottenham, Mauricio Pochettino and his highly-organised back three will breathe a sigh of relief that they will not have to deal with Lacazette and his prowess in front of goal.

4. Speed & Power

In the modern day era of Premier League football, the days of using a target man and going route one are mainly outdated. While it was a common tactical ploy by many teams, in the current day pace is the major threat for any defence.

What Lacazette offers as well as a powerful shot, nimble skills with the ball at his feet and a low centre of gravity is pace to burn. With or without the ball at his feet, he will stretch defenders into area’s they do not want to go and will create space for the likes of Sanchez, Ozil and Ramsey to exploit.

At the Etihad, the Gunners deployed Sanchez in a number nine position, where he was often isolated because of his desire to have the ball played to feet and not having the strongest physique. Arsenal struggled to build attacks going forward until a true striker in Lacazette entered the field.

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