Mesut Ozil is adamant he will not leave Arsenal before his contract expires in 2021, insisting he is "going nowhere" despite struggling to convince Unai Emery.

Ozil joined Arsenal from Real Madrid in 2013 and for much of that time has been one of the Premier League's best attacking midfielders.

However, he has often had to contend with criticism of his style of play, personality and perceived lack of work ethic, while he made just 20 Premier League starts last term, seemingly not fitting into Emery's system.

Although he enjoyed a positive pre-season, Ozil has played just twice this season in all competitions, his campaign disrupted by injury and when he was the target of an attempted armed robbery in London alongside team-mate Sead Kolasinac.

The combination of underwhelming form and criticism has seen transfer speculation increase, but Ozil insists he will not be forced out before his contract finishes at the end of next season.

"I have a contract until the summer of 2021, and I will be staying until then," Ozil told The Athletic.

"When I signed the new deal [in January 2018], I thought about it very carefully and said it was one of the most important decisions of my footballing career.

"I didn't want to stay for just one or two more years, I wanted to commit my future to Arsenal and the club wanted me to do the same.

"You can go through difficult times, like this, but that is no reason to run away and I'm not going to. I'm here until at least 2021.

"I said that Arsene Wenger was a big factor in me joining Arsenal – and he was – but ultimately I signed for the club. Even when Arsene announced he was leaving, I wanted to stay because I love playing for Arsenal and that's why I've been here for six years.

"When I moved from Real Madrid, it was a really tough time for Arsenal, but I always believed in what we could do and together we delivered.

"More recently things have been difficult and a lot has changed, but I'm proud to be an Arsenal player, a fan and I'm happy here.

"Whenever people see me in the street I always say, 'This is my home'. I'm going nowhere."

Some have even gone as far as suggesting Ozil gave up after signing a new contract, but such claims are baseless according to the Schalke youth product.

He said: "If that was true, why did I work so hard and positively during pre-season this year?

"And why, after the World Cup last year, did I return from holiday early for the first time in my career to start training three days before I was expected back?

"I did it for the new coach, the team and the club. Maybe people don't like that I have a good contract? I don't know or care."

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hinted the club could make a couple of signings in January as they look to recover from a difficult start to the season.

United have endured their worst start to a league campaign for 30 years, winning two of eight games to leave themselves languishing in 12th with nine points.

That means they go into Sunday's Premier League clash with bitter rivals Liverpool 15 points adrift of Jurgen Klopp's pacesetters, suggesting United might even struggle to finish in the top four.

United spent approximately £140million on the pre-season signings of Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James, though many have argued they are still well short of having a squad deep enough to achieve their goals.

Those suggestions have been exacerbated by United's numerous injury problems this term and, although Solskjaer does not regret letting Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez leave, he did confirm the club are looking at potential January reinforcements.

"In one-off games, you think we could've had a number of extra players with experience. Alexis and Rom [Lukaku] are goalscorers and good players but, at the moment, we made those decisions and they were the right decisions," Solskjaer told Sky Sports.

"That's the only way you've got to look at it. All the players here want to give everything for the club and for the shirt – that's a big thing.

"Every day that they come in training, and every day that they put the shirt on, they're going to give everything that they have. So, you can't really say, 'oh I wish I didn't do that'.

"We know we haven't had the results that we wanted, but I wouldn't have kept the players we sold. It was the right decision.

"We're looking at one or two new signings. We're one or two players light, and we've said that, but if the right ones are available in January then we might do something. If not, these players will give everything.

"January is a difficult window, anyway, but if there are players available and at the right price, I'm sure we will spend. There might be some experienced players who can come in and help the younger players – that might be worth the money.

"So, it depends on who is available. I'm not going to go down the route of bringing players in on big contracts and big fees if they're not the right ones for the whole group and for the future.

"The money is there. We've been looking at players and we were close to a couple, but it's not right if you don't get the right players. The money is there to strengthen in January and in the summer [in 2020].

"We're planning and we're looking. We're refining our targets, but just before the summer transfer window ended, the ready-made players weren't there. But the resources are there if the right players are available."

Uncertainty surrounds Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after a woeful start to the season and he could find himself in danger of dismissal.

United have won only two of their first eight Premier League games of 2019-20 and head into Sunday's visit of Liverpool 15 points adrift of the pacesetters.

While Solskjaer insists he still has the board's backing, there have been suggestions the club has identified a replacement.

 

TOP STORY – ALLEGRI 'VERY CLOSE' TO UNITED

Former Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri is said to be a primary target for Manchester United.

Italian publication Tuttosport claims contact with Allegri – who left the Old Lady at the end of last season – has "intensified" in recent days.

They go as far as saying Allegri is "very close to United", with the contest against Liverpool seemingly crucial.

However, United are not the only club interested in Allegri. Tuttosport also believes Tottenham are keeping tabs on him.

Mauricio Pochettino is another man under pressure following a difficult few months, though the report suggests Spurs will have to make their minds up quickly if they are to gazump United.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Daily Mail believes Solskjaer is relatively safe despite Allegri's lurking, however. It says United are looking to bolster the squad with six major signings over the next two transfer windows. Among the targets are Mario Mandzukic, Saul Niguez, Moussa Dembele and James Maddison.

- Mandzukic's wage demands could prevent a move to Old Trafford, however. Despite being 33 and entering the twilight of his career, the Croatian wants to be the club's fourth highest-paid player, according to the Sun.

- Arsenal's plan for the future, according to AS, involves persuading Real Madrid to sell Dani Ceballos, a deal that would result in Mesut Ozil being sold.

- Meanwhile, the Daily Mail also claims the Gunners also want to sign highly-rated Athletic Bilbao centre-back Unai Nunez, 22, with Everton set to rival them for the £30million-rated defender.

- Paris Saint-Germain are hopeful of securing new deals for Juan Bernat and Marquinhos, L'Equipe believes.

- Roma are set to bid farewell to Javier Pastore in January, with the Serie A side telling him he is free to leave, as per Calciomercato. A move to China, Brazil or his native Argentina appears likely.

Wellington Phoenix have completed the signing of former Premier League striker Gary Hooper.

The 31-year-old joins on a one-year deal after being released by Sheffield Wednesday at the end of the 2018-19 season.

Phoenix will be hoping Hooper can fill the void left by last term's Golden Boot-winner Roy Krishna, who departed at the end of last season to join Indian Super League club ATK.

Hooper brings a wealth of experience from English football and the Scottish Premiership, where he arguably enjoyed his most impressive spell, scoring 82 goals over three seasons with Celtic.

"His CV on paper is arguably the most impressive of any Wellington Phoenix player to date and I have no doubt he will contribute," Wellington Phoenix general manager David Dome told the club's website.

"I'm sure that football fans across Australia and New Zealand will be thrilled to see a player like Gary in action for Wellington.

"It's been no secret that we've been searching incredibly hard for a striker this season and we're extremely pleased to sign someone of the highest calibre."

Hooper will not be ready to make his debut in time for the weekend's clash at Sydney FC but will be available for the Phoenix's home match against Perth Glory in round three.

Leicester City, West Ham and Valencia all tried to sign Mohamed Elneny from Arsenal during the transfer window, according to the midfielder's agent.

Elneny swapped Arsenal for Besiktas on a season-long loan in August after falling down the midfield pecking order at Emirates Stadium.

The Egypt international was also said to be wanted by other clubs, while reports in Italy this week suggested AC Milan may make an approach in the January window.

"He received a lot of offers last summer, led by Leicester City, West Ham and Valencia, but Besiktas managed to settle the deal with Arsenal," agent Alan Nazmy told Egyptian TV channel Time Sport.

"Milan and Roma previously tried to sign the player during the last winter transfer window, but the negotiations didn't work then, and he received more than one offer as well."

Asked about fresh rumoured interest from Milan, Nazmy said: "I can't talk about it."

Elneny made 89 appearances for Arsenal in all competitions after joining from Swiss side FC Basel in 2016, including 17 outings last season.

Arsenal boss Unai Emery allowed the 27-year-old to leave following the arrival of Dani Ceballos and emergence of academy product Joe Willock, but the door has not been closed on a return next year.

"Emery didn't ask for his departure from Arsenal because of his performance," Nazmy said. "He demanded that [Elneny] took a chance to develop his performance and return again.

"It is possible for him to play with Arsenal again. It still remains a strong possibility."

London is still something of a home for Jose Mourinho and another job in the English capital could be on the horizon for the ex-Chelsea manager.

With Tottenham struggling for form and reports of discontent in the dressing room, Mauricio Pochettino's position is far from certain.

Mourinho has been out of a job since he was sacked by Manchester United in December and the Portuguese is reportedly waiting in the wings.

 

TOP STORY – SPURS SOUND OUT MOURINHO

Tottenham have made contact with Jose Mourinho amid uncertainty over manager Mauricio Pochettino, reports SoccerLink.

Pochettino's future in London is up in the air following Tottenham's poor start to the season, highlighted by a humiliating 7-2 Champions League loss to Bayern Munich.

While Pochettino is not facing the sack, Spurs have sounded out Mourinho about whether the former Chelsea and Manchester United boss would be interested.

 

ROUND-UP

- While Spurs target Mourinho, Manchester United appear to be closing in on Massimiliano Allegri. With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer struggling at Old Trafford, the Daily Mail reports ex-Juventus boss Allegri is preparing for the job and wants Patrice Evra to join him in Manchester.

Real Madrid will play the waiting game for Kylian Mbappe as Marca claims the Spanish giants have set a 2021 target date of trying to sign the Paris Saint-Germain star.

- According to Le10Sport, Atletico Madrid will look to sign Paris Saint-Germain veteran Edinson Cavani to a pre-contract agreement in January. Cavani's deal runs out at season's end and the Uruguay striker has been linked to Juventus and incoming MLS franchise Inter Miami.

- ESPN FC says Manchester United are ready to spend during the January transfer window following their poor start to the campaign. United are languishing in 12th after the departures of Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Ander Herrera.

Bayern Munich are tracking Freiburg star Luca Waldschmidt, claims Calciomercato. The 23-year-old forward made his debut for Germany this month.

- According to Tuttosport, AC Milan want €20million-rated Turkey international Mehmet Zeki Celik from Lille. La Gazzetta dello Sport reports the Rossoneri are also interested in a January move for Arsenal's Mohamed Elneny, who is on loan at Besiktas.

Western Sydney Wanderers have signed two-time Germany international Nicolai Muller from Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt.

Muller joins the A-League team as an injury replacement for Polish playmaker Radoslaw Majewski, who suffered a potential season-ending knee injury in September.

The 32-year-old winger Muller signs for the 2014 AFC Champions League winners having amassed over 300 club appearances in Germany, including spells at Hamburg, Mainz and Greuther Furth.

"We are very excited to have Nicolai join us this season and can't wait to see him on the park," Wanderers CEO John Tsatsimas told the club's official website on Wednesday.

"Our members and fans should be very excited about this signing. Nicolai has been a top pro in Germany for many years playing Bundesliga 1 and 2 as well as playing in the Europa League.

"We would like to welcome Nicolai into our Wanderers family and look forward to him helping us reach our goals this season."

Muller could make his debut for the Wanderers this Friday as they travel to Victoria to play Melbourne Victory.

Olivier Giroud is prepared to leave Chelsea if "forced" to make a decision on his future.

The experienced centre-forward scored for the second time in four days as France drew 1-1 with Turkey in Euro 2020 qualifying on Monday.

World Cup winner Giroud continues to serve his country well but chances have been less forthcoming at club level with Tammy Abraham the preferred striker at Stamford Bridge.

Frank Lampard has granted the former Arsenal front man two substitute appearances and a solitary start in eight Premier League games this season.

"I cannot be satisfied with what I have at Chelsea," Giroud told reporters in Paris, while adding he did "not necessarily" want to leave.

"I have some beautiful years in front of me. I'm 33 but I still have legs. I have a profile, I think, that will allow me to play football for a few more years.

"I feel good physically, I have a healthy lifestyle. I want to play more games.

"The priority is to stay at Chelsea but, if I'm forced to make a choice, I'll do it like when I left Arsenal."

Giroud moved across London in January 2018 and helped the Blues win the Europa League last season.

"I will fight for my place at Chelsea," he said.

"The coach knows it. We will assess things in January."

Giroud's goal off the bench against Turkey gave France a 76th-minute lead but Kaan Ayhan responded to earn the visitors a point.

Les Bleus remain second in Group H, four points ahead of third-placed Iceland with two games to play.

With Edinson Cavani's contract set to expire, a move away from the French capital has been mooted.

The Paris Saint-Germain veteran has been linked to David Beckham's incoming MLS expansion franchise Inter Miami.

However, Cavani reportedly wants a return to Serie A and the titleholders stand out.

 

TOP STORY – CAVANI EYES JUVE SWITCH

Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani wants to join Serie A champions Juventus, according to Calciomercato.

Cavani – who has become PSG's all-time leading goalscorer since arriving from Napoli in 2013 – is out of contract at season's end.

With limited progress on a renewal, the 32-year-old's representatives have reportedly reached out to Juve over a return to Italy.

 

ROUND-UP

- According to Sky Sport in Germany, Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng is eyeing a move to Serie A or LaLiga. The 31-year-old was linked with PSG during the last transfer window.

- Former France and PSG head coach Laurent Blanc is keen on a job in the Premier League, reports in France say. Blanc was linked to the Lyon vacancy but the Ligue 1 strugglers have opted for ex-Marseille boss Rudi Garcia.

- Passione Inter claims Crystal Palace are looking to sign Gabriel 'Gabigol' Barbosa. The 23-year-old Brazilian is starring on loan at Flamengo, having struggled to establish himself with Inter.

Inter and AC Milan are both interested in Arsenal outcast Mesut Ozil, Calciomercato says.

- Calciomercato reports Manchester United are competing with Milan for Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic.

Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici insisted superstar Cristiano Ronaldo will not be leaving the Serie A champions anytime soon.

Ronaldo is contracted to Juve until 2022 following his blockbuster €112million transfer from Real Madrid last season, however, there have been rumours that the five-time Ballon d'Or winner could leave Turin.

The 34-year-old scored 21 Serie A goals and 28 across all competitions last term, while he has four goals in 2019-20.

Asked about Ronaldo – who scored his 700th competitive goal in Portugal's 2-1 Euro 2020 qualifying defeat to Ukraine on Monday – Paratici dismissed the possibility of the veteran forward leaving Juventus before his contract expires.

"He is very focused on his current objectives, I do not believe in the slightest that he will leave at the end of the season or later," Paratici said.

"He is under contract: we are very happy with him and he is happy at Juventus."

Juve – seeking their ninth successive Scudetto – have been linked to Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic.

However, Juve have no plans to invest in January following the off-season arrivals of Matthijs de Ligt, Aaron Ramsey, Adrien Rabiot, Danilo and Merih Demiral.

"We will not make moves in January," Paratici said. "The roster is complete and it is one of the best in Europe."

While there might not be any new signings forthcoming, January could see a number of departures at the Italian champions.

Mario Mandzukic is yet to feature for Juve this season and has been heavily linked to Premier League giants Manchester United.

"We decided to give him a moment of peace because there was the chance he would be moving to Qatar, which then did not materialize," Paratici said. "Now we will decide together what the best solution will be in January."

Former Italy international Giuseppe Rossi is to train with Villarreal, the LaLiga club have announced.

Rossi spent five and a half years with Villarreal before leaving in 2013 and still leads their all-time scoring charts with 82 goals, 22 of those from the penalty spot.

The 32-year-old has been without a club since leaving Genoa in July 2018 and spent time training with another former side in Manchester United earlier this year.

However, Villarreal confirmed on their official website on Monday that the United States-born striker will join up with their first team on Tuesday as he continues to seek a new club.

Rossi has also previously represented Newcastle United, Parma, Fiorentina, Levante and Celta Vigo across his 15-year senior career.

Tottenham have re-signed free agent goalkeeper Michel Vorm on a short-term deal to provide cover for injured skipper Hugo Lloris.

The 35-year-old had been without a club since being released by Tottenham when his contract expired at the end of last season.

However, with Lloris out for the rest of 2019 with an elbow injury sustained in the 3-0 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion on October 5, the Premier League side have moved to bring in Vorm until the end of the season.

Ex-Netherlands international Vorm, who made 47 appearances in all competitions for Tottenham during his previous five-season spell in north London, has again been assigned squad number 13.

He will likely act as back-up to Paulo Gazzaniga when Mauricio Pochettino's side return to action with a home match against Watford next Saturday.

Franck Ribery says the affection he feels for Fiorentina has justified his decision to shun transfer interest from the Premier League.

The former France international was linked to Sheffield United and clubs in the Middle East after leaving Bayern Munich as a free agent at the end of last season.

Fiorentina won the race for his signature and have reaped the benefits, with winger Ribery named Serie A's Most Valuable Player for September following a string of standout performances for Vincenzo Montella's side.

"I had other contacts, in England and also in Italy, but there was a spark with the Fiorentina executives," Ribery told Corriere della Serra.

"When I agreed to come to Florence I couldn't know that it would be love at first sight, but that's how it has been since the evening of the presentation. That night was special and I will always carry it with me.

"Speaking with [sporting director Daniele] Prade and [consultant Joe] Barone, even with coach Montella, I felt warmth and confidence in me."

The 36-year-old departed Bayern at the same time as long-time team-mate Arjen Robben, who decided to retire aged 35.

"I don't know," Ribery responded when asked how much longer he might have left in the game.

"I came here because I'm hungry and I want to be able to win something. But the future cannot be foreseen."

Where will Fabian Ruiz be playing by the end of January?

Napoli will be hoping Fabian remains at Stadio San Paolo.

However, LaLiga giants Real Madrid and Barcelona are determined to bring the former Real Betis midfielder back to Spain.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID SURPASS BARCA IN BATTLE FOR FABIAN

Madrid have moved ahead of Barca in the race for Napoli star Fabian and want to sign the midfielder in January, according to Marca.

Fabian has attracted plenty of interest since swapping Betis for Serie A side Napoli, where the Spaniard has starred since his €30milion arrival in 2018.

Barca have been keeping tabs on the 23-year-old, but rivals Madrid have reportedly jumped to the front of the queue.

 

ROUND-UP

- While Fabian is of interest, Tuttosport says Barca are eyeing Inter star Lautaro Martinez, who has a €111m release clause.

- There is plenty happening at Camp Nou. Mundo Deportivo reports Barca are willing to let Ivan Rakitic and Carles Alena leave in January. Barca are also reportedly not interested in signing a new centre-back as they trust Jean-Clair Todibo or Ronald Araujo, with Marca saying right-back is an area they are looking to strengthen.

- According to Corriere dello Sport, Fiorentina are targeting in-demand Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali. The 19-year-old has been linked to Juventus and Manchester United.

- AS claims Madrid are considering a move for Tottenham's Christian Eriksen in January, before his contract expires at the end of the season.

Hakan Calhanoglu's time at AC Milan could be coming to an end, with Calciomercato reporting the struggling Serie A side may sell the 25-year-old. Calhanoglu has struggled for consistency since joining from Bayer Leverkusen in 2017.

Barca are lining up an approach for PSV sensation Donyell Malen, according to Sport. It comes as AS reports Ernesto Valverde's side are set to hand contract extensions to Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Nelson Semedo.

Declan Rice has dismissed speculation he could leave West Ham for Manchester United as "all talk".

Rice has broken into the England team on the back of his mature Premier League performances at London Stadium.

West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini said in March the club could be forced to cash in on the 20-year-old if the price was right.

United, struggling in the league's bottom half, are reportedly ready to make a £70million offer for Rice when the January transfer window opens.

But the midfielder is unconcerned about rumours over his future, having committed to the Hammers by agreeing a long-term deal.

"I signed a five-year contract with West Ham last year, which will keep me at the club till I'm 24," Rice told the Daily Mail.

"And for me this is the best place to be right now. I am playing for a manager who has given me my chance and played me week in, week out.

"It's all talk until something happens – and nothing has – so I'm just focused on West Ham, doing my best and making the fans happy."

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