Dani Olmo to Join RB Leipzig After Arsenal Fail to Make Acceptable Offer

Dinamo Zagreb starlet Dani Olmo is set to join RB Leipzig after Arsenal failed to make an acceptable offer to the Croatian side.

The Spaniard has established himself as one of the most in-demand young stars around, having broken through into the Spanish national team thanks to a series of stunning performances with Dinamo.

​Bundesliga leaders RB Leipzig are set to win the race for his signature, having fought off competition from a number of top European clubs to do so.

​Wolverhampton Wanderers were eager to sign him, and a source has confirmed to 90min that ​Arsenal also tried to involve themselves in the situation, but they were unable to make an offer which met Dinamo’s asking price.

Scouts from the Gunners had raved about Olmo, and club officials responded by reaching out to Dinamo to try and strike a deal. However, as a result of their delicate financial situation, they could not even offer to sign him permanently.

Mikel Arteta

Instead, they wanted to take the 21-year-old midfielder on loan with no option to buy – an offer which Dinamo swiftly rejected in favour of sealing a deal with Leipzig.

Arsenal committed to spending a huge sum of money with their club-record £72m acquisition of winger Nicolas Pépé from Lille during the summer, meaning they no longer have a vast transfer kitty with which to work this winter.

As a consequence, Arsenal were unable to sign the former ​Barcelona academy star, instead joining the long list of clubs who missed out on his signature.

Dani Olmo

Olmo managed eight goals and seven assists during his 22 appearances for Dinamo this season – including a goal against ​Manchester City in the ​Champions League – and he will now continue his development in Germany.

Arsenal will now have to look elsewhere in their search for midfield reinforcements, with Mikel Arteta trying to close the ten-point gap between them and fourth-placed ​Chelsea in the race for Champions League qualification.


For more from Tom Gott, follow him on Twitter!

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FA Cup: Which Games Are on TV & When the 5th Round Draw Takes Place

​The magic of the FA Cup returns this weekend, and there are plenty of mouthwatering ties for you to sink your teeth into.

With the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea still all fighting for a place in the next round, fans will be watching up and down the country as their teams look to avoid a potential slip-up against a side from one of the lower divisions.

‘But how can I watch the games?’ I hear you cry. Never fear, we’ve got all the answers.


Where Can I Watch the FA Cup Games?


In the United Kingdom, the rights for the FA Cup are shared between BT Sport and the BBC this season.

BBC will broadcast three of the fixtures from the fourth round on both TV and BBC iPlayer, while BT Sport will play host to four further games.


Which FA Cup 4th Round Games Are on TV?


Friday 24 January

Northampton Town vs Derby County (BT Sport 1, 8pm)

QPR vs Sheffield Wednesday (BT Sport Extra, 8pm)

Saturday 25 January

Brentford vs Leicester City (BBC One, 12.45pm)

Hull City vs Chelsea (BT Sport 1, 5:30pm)

Sunday 26 January

Manchester City vs Fulham (BBC One, 1pm)

Tranmere Rovers vs Manchester United (BT Sport 1, 3pm)

Shrewsbury Town vs Liverpool (BBC One​, 5pm)

Monday 27 January

Bournemouth vs Arsenal (BT Sport 1, 8pm)


When Is the Draw for the FA Cup 5th Round?

FFA Cup 2019 Semi Final - Central Coast Mariners v Adelaide United

Those teams who are successful this weekend – or held to a draw – will be entered into the draw for the fifth round, which will begin at 7.19pm on Monday 27 January. Specific.

It will be broadcast live on the FA Cup’s official Twitter page, while viewers will also be able to watch it during BBC One’s The One Show.

Former England internationals Teddy Sheringham and Glen Johnson will conduct the draw to decide the fixtures, which will all be played during the week commencing Monday 2 March.


For more from Tom Gott, follow him on Twitter!

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ROFLCOPTER: The Best Memes & Funnies From Around the Premier League This Week

​As ever, it’s been a funny old week. A very funny week, in fact. So funny that the internet world has coughed up some almighty funnies to mask over some fairly miserable times for a select few clubs.

There’s no way we can cover all the memes and LOLs from the week, but here’s a few worth revisiting.

…And then creasing and laughing over because they’re funny as hell.


Last Minute…Agony

From ecstasy to agony in the space of two exceedingly hilarious seconds, this ​Newcastle United fan got more than he bargained for when he went to watch his side host ​Chelsea on the weekend.

Football is a sport that centres around the use of a spherical object that you kick into a net held up by a rectangular frame.

One thing you’re not meant to do is kick the corner flag.

One thing you’re absolutely not meant to do is kick said corner flag toward someone’s nether regions. Wrong balls, Matt Ritchie.

Considering it was a 94th minute goal to snatch a victory over a top four contender, it might have relieved the pain slightly, but still, it’s utterly hilarious.


​​That poor Geordie..



​​Taking All of Four Days to Be Loved

Sometimes, fans will take to you over an extended period of time. It can be weeks, months, years, or even never. 

​Not if you’re Ignacio Pussetto, though.

Having joined Watford on January 14th, it took him just four days to endear himself to the Hornets faithful with a miraculous goal line clearance against ​Spurs. Needless to say, they love him.


It looks close there, but believe me, it was even closer than you think. 

Heroic stuff.


They adore him now.




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​​Steeping to New Lows

Yes, you’ve heard it enough: ​Manchester United are atrocious.

Somehow they’re still fifth, but a 2-0 defeat at home to Burnley was really one of the lowest points their fans had seen for some time.

Of course, the Red Devils are hurting. However, the rest of the football world are revelling in it. They love this. It’s cruel, but laugh out loud funny to others.




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​​There’s always Tuesday to make up for it though, right?

It’s just Manchester City in the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final in which they’re already 3-1 down and without their best two players in the side through injury.

Easy peasy.


A Selection of Footballing S***housery

Two games finished 2-2 in midweek…somehow.

​Arsenal’s ten men battled to a ‘Desmond’ against Chelsea, netting twice with their (yes) only two shots in the match. One can point to grit, determination, fight and a never-say-die spirit in an entertaining London derby, or you can look at the funny side of N’Golo Kante’s slip, cause, why not?






Move over to Goodison Park and Everton who – leading 2-0 going into the 93rd minute – drew 2-2.

Who, what, when, where, how?

Two remarkable results on the same night. Of course the internet responded, it always does. This time about the actual game though, not one man’s unfortunate mishap.




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And of course…Carlo Ancelotti eating pizza.

A memes of the week list wouldn’t be complete without that, I suppose.



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The Drastic Improvement of 3 Individuals Shows Arteta’s Arsenal Are Taking Shape

​Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea on Tuesday night was their third consecutive stalemate in the Premier League. 

The Gunners have now drawn 12 out of 24 fixtures so far this season, the most of any team in the division. This is a trend Mikel Arteta has not yet been able to buck, with four out of seven of his games drawn. 

It seemed after dropping two points​ at home to Sheffield United on Saturday, there was a real need to pick up three points at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday evening. However, as so often is the case with Arsenal, hindsight is an important consideration. 

And, last night’s draw was celebrated as a victory, and for good reason. 

​Arsenal played almost three quarters of the match with one less player following ​David Luiz’s early dismissal. Yet a youthful, inexperienced ten-man Arsenal came from behind twice to snatch a deserved point.

In a way, the nature of performance underlined the huge strides being taken under Arteta’s refreshing new direction. The individuals left on the pitch battled through 70 minutes with a new-found self-belief, determination, and discipline instilled into them by Arsenal’s new head coach.

Gabriel Martinelli,Bukayo Saka

Arsenal may have won just one of their six league fixtures since the change in manager, but what’s evident is the acute difference in the way the team is playing together under Arteta’s tutelage.

Individuals who struggled so dearly for several months under Emery’s management have had their roles clarified, simplified, and are beginning to look like competent, perhaps even laudable footballers again.

Here, 90min are going to discuss the unexpected members of Arsenal’s squad who look to be benefitting the most from Arsenal’s new head coach. 


Ainsley Maitland-Niles

Ainsley Maitland-Niles,Oli McBurnie

​”I’m not a defender so I do get a lot of stick about my defending being poor,” Maitland-Niles commented in an ​interview with Sky Sports a month into the season. Several days later, he was sent off in the first half against Aston Villa. He did not play a single minute in the Premier League for two and a half months thereafter.

Brought back into the fold by Arteta, the 22-year-old has arguably found the most consistent, and impressive form of his Arsenal career. He has thrived in the ‘inverted full-back’ role – a position Pep Guardiola is credited with perfecting at Bayern Munich with Philip Lahm, and Fabian Delph at ​Manchester City.

Maitland-Niles had, before Hector Bellerin’s return against Chelsea, played the full 90 minutes in each match Arteta has managed. He has played with a confidence of a player who, to put it quite simply, knows what he’s doing.

Onlookers have grown accustomed to seeing him step up into a right-sided central midfielder position alongside Lucas Torreira and Granit Xhaka during games; a shrewd tactic that, along with other reasons, counters Arsenal’s previous vulnerability to the counter-attack transition of their opponents. 

It looks as though he has finally received the positional guidance to compliment his impressive underlying physical, and technical abilities. 


Lucas Torreira

Lucas Torreira,Callum Hudson-Odoi

The combative Uruguayan looks to have rediscovered the type of form that had Arsenal fans waxing lyrical during the early months of his time in north London.

Finally, it appeared that Arsenal had landed the defensive midfielder they had been missing for almost a decade. Except, Unai Emery had other ideas. Concerned with his physicality, the former Arsenal head coach never looked completely convinced with Torreira at the base of his midfield. 

He often found himself on the bench, and when he did play, Emery attempted to re-invent him as the first line of the counter-press system he attempted for a short period of time. Granit Xhaka was entrusted with the position Torreira likes, and it was clear the role Torreira was being asked to play did not match the skillset he possesses. 

However, alongside Xhaka, he has arguably been the standout performer since Arteta’s appointment.

Torreira has been repositioned to his favoured base of the midfield. As a midfield pairing, he and Xhaka’s roles have been tweaked in a way that limits the opponents’ ability to expose their physical weaknesses. Covering smaller spaces, and playing closer together, this then allows each midfielder to benefit from the other’s strengths.

Torreira’s instructions are simple –  he is not expected to cover vast distances, or press high up the pitch. His task is to serve as the team’s defensive screen, winning the ball back in central areas, and distributing it forward. Simple, yet highly effective, this is exactly what Arsenal, and Torreira, need. 


Granit Xhaka

After ‘​that’ Crystal Palace incident, the chances of any sort of future at Arsenal​ looked bleak for the shortest-serving captain in the club’s history. Yet, Granit Xhaka’s comeback has been nothing short of remarkable. 

With Arteta’s arm firmly around him, Xhaka was told he had a clean slate to work from, and that, if he wanted to, he would be an important player for the team moving forward.

And he has found himself flourishing in Arsenal’s rejigged midfield, playing just in front, and to the left of Lucas Torreira, with ​Mesut Ozil in front of him. 

Granit Xhaka

No longer is Xhaka asked to do things he is less effective at doing. The team is not set up in a way that exposes his physical limitations. He is not expected to cover large distances, while simultaneously protecting the defence.

Xhaka’s role has been simplified to suit his strengths on the ball. The difference now is the team’s previous weaknesses that were exposed week in, week out, have been minimised. Why? Arteta has set up with a more tactically organised, and positionally disciplined team. 


Ordinarily, Xhaka filling in at centre-back to partner Shkodran Mustafi for 70 minutes against Chelsea would worry most supporters. However, he performed superbly, demonstrating commitment, and supreme defensive leadership qualities for a man out of position.

Considering how low Xhaka’s stock was prior to Arteta’s arrival, his upturn in fortune is truly astounding. He is contributing to the team in a way that was previously inconceivable. And it’s hard to look past Arteta’s injection of a fresh, dynamic, and front-footed approach as the principal reason behind such an improvement.


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Hector Bellerin Showed at Chelsea That He’s the Player Arsenal Have Missed Most

Ainsley Maitland-Niles has, by all accounts, looked an entirely different player since Mikel Arteta took charge. Tactical tweaks and improved concentration levels have contributed to a shift in approach from Arsenal fans, who rethought their previous clamours about Hector Bellerin being the club’s saviour and insisted the Spaniard no longer walked straight into the first-team.

Which is why it was met with swathes of aghast when the 24-year-old got the nod over the academy product for the crunch trip to face Chelsea on Tuesday night.

Having barely featured over the last year, Bellerin made his return to the starting lineup towards the tail end of Unai Emery’s tenure, but further injury setbacks meant his hotly-anticipated return was put on hold once more.

In the place of the suspended ​Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, not only did he play, but he led the side out.

Very much an adored figure at the club and by fans, Bellerin’s career in north London hasn’t been without criticism. In April 2017 he was lambasted by the traveling fans at Selhurst Park with chants of ‘you’re not fit to wear the shirt’, signalling the lowest point in his Gunners career. 

Granted, those chants were a culmination of dreadful form by the whole team under Arsene Wenger, but nevertheless, they must have hurt.

FBL-ENG-PR-CHELSEA-ARSENAL

So to see the right-back captain his side in one of the most battling clashes he’ll have ever partaken in, in turn guiding his teammates to an unlikely point, is hugely commendable. Not only that, but he embodied all the most pleasing elements of the side’s performance at Stamford Bridge.

On display there was grit, determination, fight and spirit in equal measures and, for a change, somebody in defence who wasn’t shouting at the backline just for the sake of it. Bellerin was marshalling his fellow defenders with purpose. No unnecessary barking of orders to improve his credibility to those watching on television, but actually commands and demands of his teammates to get in position, pick players up and maintain their defensive structure.

Yet, after 26 minutes, ​Arsenal were well and truly up against it. Even up until that point they were heavily under the cosh, struggling to get any grip on proceedings and getting caught out down Bellerin’s opposing flank by a combination of Callum Hudson-Odoi’s trickery and Bukayo Saka’s, forgivable, lack of defensive know-how.

Hector Bellerin

There was an improvement in the display towards the latter end of the first half, but what truly turned the tide for Arsenal was what went on behind closed doors. Naturally, Arteta deserves a measure of credit for the manner in which he picked his players up for the second half, but as captain, Bellerin’s influence in the dressing room will not have passed by unnoticed.

On the pitch, what the Spaniard has above Maitland-Niles is awareness. He is actually a right-back.

As touched on, tactical tweaks has improved AMN’s game. Playing him as an almost ‘inverted full-back’ has been key, but such alterations to style and approach won’t be necessary with Bellerin back and fit.

He knows how to defend, he made that clear in west London, and his work rate is second to none. Pace is an obvious talent of his, and his link-up play in the final third is unquestionably better. Furthermore, prior to his injury what Bellerin had been beginning to nail down was his crossing, something Arsenal have lacked down the right-hand side for some time.

It was still surprising to seem him start as, having spent such a great deal of time out injured, he has been unable to regain full fitness. Which is especially pivotal in this new-look Arsenal team, where Arteta’s high energy style has had a clear effect on the players’ fitness levels, with 80% of the team found often blowing after 70 or so minutes.

Sure, sit deep and hit quickly was the game plan against the ​Blues, but the early red card meant the sheer amount of defending and extra covering was going to have a similar effect anyway. That was clear after 84 minutes, when Arsenal were unable to shift into position accordingly to cover Cesar Azpilicueta, seemingly tarnishing their hard work.

Had that had been the final result then, there would have been no complaints from the Arsenal fans. They had seen their side toil away for a significant chunk of that match with a man disadvantage, defending resolutely and giving every last ounce of effort they had into their bid to claim an unlikely point. A draw wasn’t ideal and a loss would have been catastrophic. However, given the circumstances the former would have been hugely commendable, and the latter painful, but wholly understandable.

So when Bellerin made a late foray forward along with the rest of the desperate pack, the fact his legs could barely muster a step over indicated just how tirelessly he – and the rest of his team – had battled.

What nobody saw coming, though, was what appeared to be a lethargic, last-chance-saloon swing of his weaker foot that fooled everyone as it merged into a beautifully weighted curling effort that nestled gracefully into the far corner. His first goal for 737 days.

It was a battle he wasn’t willing to give up. A matter he would take into his own hands if it meant securing a share of the spoils, and one he took superbly.

Criticism from the supporters directed towards the players has been an unwelcome attendee in the Emirates Stadium for far too long. While Arteta is doing his best to banish the divide and clear the toxic air, performances from a player that Arsenal consider ‘one of their own’ will ensure that recovery period is slashed considerably.

Casting aside what he adds on the pitch, his influence with those off it will be crucial towards finishing the season on a high note. Players and fans must be singing from the same hymn sheet, and taking into account the immense support at Stamford Bridge, Bellerin could be the key.


For more from Ross Kennerley, follow him on Twitter!  

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