Arsenal news and transfers LIVE: Major Raheem Sterling boost, Asensio interest, Sanches blow

Thankfully the international break is nearing an end, with Mikel Arteta’s side back in action this weekend against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.

The Gunners have enjoyed a stellar couple of months, avoiding defeat in each of their last 10 games in all competitions, a run that currently sees them just two points behind the Reds.

During the break, a number of Arsenal players starred for their countries, with Hale End duo Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe both scoring against San Marino last night.

The Gunners also continue to be linked with a number of new recruits, with the likes of Dusan Vlahovic and Dejan Kulusevski both mooted as potential targets.

Major Kulusevski blow

Arsenal have reportedly suffered a huge blow in their attempts to sign Dejan Kulusevski from Juventus in exchange for Nicolas Pepe.

Italian outlet Calciomercato, via Sports Mole, suggests that Arsenal ramped up their interest in the 21-year-old by making contact with the Bianconeri.

It is claimed that the North London side wanted to use Pepe in a straight swap, with the winger valued in the region of £30m – the same fee Juve are after for Kulusevski.

However, Juve are said to have declined the offer as they want cash to strengthen in other positions.

Sanches to Milan

AC Milan have overtaken Arsenal in the race to land midfielder Renato Sanches who is set to leave Lille, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport, via Sempremilan.

Sanches is ‘flattered’ by the interest of Milan and this is something that could lead to an acceleration of their pursuit.

Duo set to leave on free transfers

We understands that Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are set to leave the Emirates at the end of the season.

Real Madrid legend tips Arsenal to sign £31.5m star

Arsenal have been linked to Marco Asensio recently.

Former Real Madrid winger Steve McManaman has tipped the Gunners to be the club that secure Asensio in the summer. Highlighting the opportunity to earn plenty more game time.

“If it was a club next year, I’d say it would be Arsenal. [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang’s coming to the end of his career – or he’s certainly into his thirties – and with [Alexandre] Lacazette in a similar position and coming to the end of his contract, Asensio could be at a club where he’d probably have more joy of playing.

“If he’s to leave in 18 months, it’s still a long, long way away. But I think he’s an Arsenal type of player, like an [Martin] Ødegaard, who’s good on the ball, not necessarily really quick, but turns well, scores goals and makes chances.”

Major Sterling boost

According to a report by Transfer Market Web, via the Hard Tackle, Arsenal have been handed a major boost in their pursuit of Raheem Sterling.

The Manchester City forward is leaning towards making the switch to the Emirates instead of going to Camp Nou to join Barcelona.

Balogun targeted

The Sun report that Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder is keen on making a loan move for Arsenal frontman Folarin Balogun in January.

Balogun has found himself low down Mikel Arteta’s pecking order, with the 19-year-old starting just one Premier League game so far this term.

Nketiah interest

Arsenal frontman Eddie Nketiah has asked to leave the club in January, according to the Daily Mail.

Arteta verdict

Former Arsenal winger Theo Walcott has heaped praise on current manager Mikel Arteta.

The Southampton star told talkSPORT: “I like what he is doing Mikel, particularly with young players.

“Obviously, Smith Rowe, he made his debut the other night, which I am a big fan of. I really am.

“He [Arteta] is starting to mould into a really good manager, and I feel like his man-management skills are down to a T.”