Barcelona agrees terms with Hector Bellerin

Barcelona have struck a deal with Arsenal star Hector Bellerin according to reports.

The Blaugrana allowed Dani Alves to leave in 2016 and were made to regret the decision after the Brazilian’s incredible form for Juventus on the way to the Champions League final.

A graduate from La Masia, Bellerin has long been speculated to return to Barcelona and is now seen as a priority signing for new manager Ernesto Valverde. Valverde left his former club to replace Luis Enrique, who left Camp Nuo at the end of the campaign.

Bellerin will have talks to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger next week about a potential return to Barcelona six years after arriving at the Emirates as a youth prospect.

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger agrees two-year contract

Looks like “Wenger Out” will not be happening anytime soon as Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has agreed a new two-year contract, extending his 21-year reign at the club.

This outcome was decided when Wenger and club owner Stan Kroenke met on Monday with the decision relayed to directors at a Tuesday board meeting.

Arsenal will make an official announcement on Wednesday.

There was a a lot of speculation that it was time for the Frenchman to leave, especially after finishing fifth in the Premier League this season, the first time they have finished outside the top four since the Wenger joined in 1996.

They finished 18 points behind champions Chelsea, but beat the Blues 2-1 to win the FA Cup at Wembley on Saturday.

Wenger’s contract was set to finish at the end of the current campaign.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger meets owner Stan Kroenke to decide future

Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger had a meeting with club owner Stan Kroenke on Monday, which was speculated to decide the Frenchman’s future .

The outcome is still unclear, but the decision rests solely with Wenger and Kroenke and will be made known to directors at a Tuesday board meeting.
New terms were agreed a couple of months ago, but nothing is signed.

Wenger has made it known that he prefers to stay, but the determining factor was how he believed the atmosphere around the club would be affected by him doing so.

Wenger has received a ton of criticism this season, Failure to make it to Champions League football for the first time during his reign added to the call for his ousting.

However, they beat Chelsea on Saturday to win the FA Cup, making Wenger the most successful manager – and Arsenal the most successful team – in the competition’s history.

Kroenke has never expressed a desire for Wenger to go, but certain board members feel the time has come for the Frenchman to leave.

Wenger has been vocal about the uncertainty over his position, which also did not help performances on the pitch and that it should have been resolved sooner.

Arsenal win the FA Cup against Chelsea

Arsene Wenger has reached his record seventh FA Cup final win at Wembley against 10-man Chelsea.

Alexis Sanchez started off strong, scoring a goal in only four minutes which gave Arsenal an early lead.

Chelsea claimed that the Sanchez goal built-up the atmosphere which made their task even harder, adding to their struggles was Victor Moses correct send off by Taylor in the second half after receiving a second yellow card for diving.

Diego Costa gave Chelsea hope when Arsenal keeper David Ospina failed to keep out his deflected shot with 14 minutes left.

But Arsenal’s form was outstanding throughout, and were back in the lead inside three minutes when Ramsey, scored the FA Cup final winner with a header from substitute Olivier Giroud’s cross.

Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger was absolutely delighted as he pumped his fists at the final whistle, ending perhaps his roughest season to date. This season has brought so much criticism for the Frenchman, but he could at least savour this Wembley victorty with a record 13th FA Cup win for the Gunners – and a record seventh for the Arsene Wenger
What the Managers Said: 

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger:  “We had an outstanding performance from the first minute onwards. This team has suffered. They’ve united and responded. They showed strength and unity and played spectacular football today.

“I’m proud to have won seven of these cups. I’m proud having done this – winning the championship without losing and winning seven FA Cups.”

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte:  “I think the first goal was very strange. The first half we didn’t start well, we didn’t have the right approach and we suffered in first 25 minutes. We started to play better in the second half and the red card was decisive.

“There is disappointment for the final result but it can happen and there was a lot of pressure. Victor Moses has been good and played an important season.

“Our season was incredible to win the league in this way, it was great but now it’s important to look forward and to restart”.

SCORELINE

Arsenal
Sánchez (4′ minutes)
Ramsey (79′ minutes)

Chelsea
Moses (Dismissed at 68′ minutes)
Diego Costa (76′ minutes)

Arsenal 2-0 Manchester United. Premier League

Arsenal kept their top hopes of securing a place in the top four, by ending Manchester United’s 25-match unbeaten run in the Premier League.

Granit Xhaka opened the scoring with a deflected shot from distance after the first half.

Arsenal doubled their lead three minutes later when Danny Welbeck headed home against his former club after a cross from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Jose Mourinho placed in Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard to try to rescue the game, but failed to produce anything.

This match means that Arsenal remain in sixth place but are two points off United in fifth and six points off Manchester City in fourth, with a game in hand over both teams.

This victory reignites Arsenal’s chase for a Champions League place, and also ends an unwanted record for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger against Jose Mourinho.

In their previous 15 competitive meetings Wenger had never beaten a Mourinho team, with his only victory coming in the Community Shield in 2015.

Mourinho has won eight times, while the remaining seven were drawn.

What the managers said 

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on a possible top-four finish: “We want to win our games. Some teams that are safe continue to fight. Let’s focus to win our games. Every win is important. We had a bad patch and seem to have recovered from it.”

On Welbeck’s goal: “That’s the kind of goal you want from Danny. He has all the abilities a striker needs. Hopefully, that will give him a boost.”

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho: “We made eight changes. Of course, we knew we were not coming in our maximum power. That’s a decision. We want to try to win the Europa League – it’s more important than finishing fourth.

“The last trophy I won was three months ago. I didn’t care about that. Thursday is the match of the season. I hope Old Trafford feels the same, because we need Old Trafford.”

Middlesbrough 1-2 Arsenal. Premier League

Arsenal showed that their Premier League top four finish hopes are still alive and burning with a narrow victory at second-bottom Middlesbrough.

Alexis Sanchez headed the opener with a free-kick gave Arsenal the lead just before the break.

Middlesbrough took on the challenge when Alvaro Negredo equalized 8 mins. after the first goal from Sanchez.

Mesut Ozil however secured the win for Arsenal with a first-time strike at the near post.

The win – only Arsenal’s third in their past nine league games – moves the Gunners up to sixth, seven points behind fourth-place Manchester City and with a game in hand.

Middlesbrough on the other hand remain deep in the relegation zone, six points from safety.

Middlesbrough are the only side in English league football not to have won a league game during 2017.
What the managers said:

Middlesbrough caretaker boss Steve Agnew: “We are bitterly disappointed with the result but the players gave everything they had. We couldn’t ask more of them.

“We played on the front foot, put them under pressure. I felt we might get the second goal after Negredo scored.

“The ball just wouldn’t drop in the box for us. We put them under tremendous pressure.”

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger: “We responded well. I think it was not perfect but the commitment and focus was there. At 1-1 we found a response and managed to win.

“It was a big test, Middlesbrough gave everything. It’s one of their last chances to stay in the league.

“It [the top four] is mathematically still alive. We knew we needed to win. Now we have a little break with the FA Cup and then we come back again to the league.

“We have to win every game to have a chance to get in the top four, starting tonight. I think it will make the team a bit more serene.”

Scoreline

Middlesbrough
Negredo (50′ minutes)

Arsenal
Sánchez (42′ minutes)
Özil (71′ minutes)

Crystal Palace 3-0 Arsenal. Premier League.

Crystal Palace took their winning momentum and continued their recent revival to boost their Premier League survival hopes which left Arsenal struggling to maintain their top four finish hopes under Arsene Wenger.

Palace led the scoreline with Andros Townsend’s close-range finish, which was followed up by Yohan Cabaye with a 63rd minute shot.

Luka Milivojevic sealed the victory with a low penalty as Palace moved six points clear of the relegation zone.

Sixth-placed Arsenal did not manage a shot on target in a poor second half.

This poor performance led to some Gunners fans calling for manager Wenger, who has led Arsenal to top-four finishes in each of his previous 20 seasons at the helm, to leave the club.

The Frenchman’s side are seven points adrift of fourth-placed Manchester City with eight games remaining.

The 67-year-old has already faced protests from some supporters urging him to leave, with more calls clearly audible – along with the barracking of his players in the latter stages – at Selhurst Park.

Wenger’s contract expires at the end of the season and the club has offered him a new two-year deal, although he is still to announce whether he intends to carry on.

SCORELINE

Crystal Palace
Townsend (17′ minutes)
Cabaye (63′ minutes)
Milivojevic (68′ minutes pen)

Arsenal

Crystal Palace took their winning momentum and continued their recent revival to boost their Premier League survival hopes which left Arsenal struggling to maintain their top four finish hopes under Arsene Wenger.

Palace led the scoreline with Andros Townsend’s close-range finish, which was followed up by Yohan Cabaye with a 63rd minute shot.

Luka Milivojevic sealed the victory with a low penalty as Palace moved six points clear of the relegation zone.

Sixth-placed Arsenal did not manage a shot on target in a poor second half.

This poor performance led to some Gunners fans calling for manager Wenger, who has led Arsenal to top-four finishes in each of his previous 20 seasons at the helm, to leave the club.

The Frenchman’s side are seven points adrift of fourth-placed Manchester City with eight games remaining.

The 67-year-old has already faced protests from some supporters urging him to leave, with more calls clearly audible – along with the barracking of his players in the latter stages – at Selhurst Park.

Wenger’s contract expires at the end of the season and the club has offered him a new two-year deal, although he is still to announce whether he intends to carry on.

SCORELINE

Crystal Palace
Townsend (17′ minutes)
Cabaye (63′ minutes)
Milivojevic (68′ minutes pen)

Arsenal