Arsenal warned they will have to pay high price to secure Atletico Madrid star Thomas Lemar

Embed from Getty Images

Arsenal will have to make an ‘important’ offer to Atletico Madrid if they are to land winger Thomas Lemar in January, according to reports.

A winger is apparently one of new boss Mikel Arteta’s top targets in January, given the struggles that summer signing Nicolas Pepe has had this season.

Lemar has long been a transfer target for the Gunners, and they were in the race to sign him from Monaco in summer 2018. However, Atletico won the race, signing the French international for £53 million.

However, that interest has apparently not dulled and Arsenal are encouraged to make a bid given that Lemar is not a regular starter in Diego Simeone’s side.

That said, he is under contract until 2023 and Spanish newspaper AS has reported Atletico bosses saying that it would take an important’ offer for them to consider selling the 24-year-old.

It is not known how big a transfer kitty Arteta will be given by the Gunners hierarchy, but given their struggles this season – including leaky defence and under-performing midfield – the new boss may look to make several signings.

The kitty could be boosted if Granit Xhaka leaves in January – Herta Berlin are apparently interested in taking the Swiss midfielder to the Bundesliga.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic in talks over shock Everton move

Embed from Getty Images

Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic is reportedly in talks with Everton over a shock return to the Premier League.

Ibrahimovic, 38, is currently without a club, having left MLS side LA Galaxy after his contract expired in November.

It has previously been reported that he was close to agreeing a deal to rejoin Serie A side AC Milan, where he won the Scudetto in his first stint there from 2010-12. However, The Sun, and others, have reported that he could instead head to Merseyside.

It is thought that Carlo Ancelotti could be about to take over the hotseat at Everton, replacing Marco Silva who was sacked earlier in the month after a run of form that left them in the Premier League’s relegation zone. If Ancelotti does take over at Goodison Park, then it is thought that he wants Ibrahimovic to be his first signing.

Ancelotti was also thought to be interested in signing him at his previous club, Napoli. He managed Ibrahimovic for a season at Paris St-Germain in 2012-13, where he scored 35 goals as the side romped to the Ligue Un title.

It is well known that Everton need a figurehead up front to score goals – something they have lacked since Romelu Lukaku left for Manchester United more than two years ago.

It is thought Everton could offer a bigger wage packet than AC Milan could, although a return to Italy is still a big pull factor for Ibrahimovic. However, as everyone knows, Ibrahimovic does whatever he wants, so his next move cannot be predicted.

All the factz on Wolverhampton Wanderers v Tottenham Hotspur

Embed from Getty Images

Molineux is the venue for an intriguing clash between two sides looking to close the gap on the clubs in the top 4 as Wolverhampton Wanderers take on Tottenham Hotspur.

Both sides have had good form recently – and played in Europe in midweek – and are separated by one point and one place in the Premier League table.

The match kicks off at 2pm. It isn’t live on TV in the UK, but it can be followed on various radio stations. Here are the factz you need to know:

* Wolves are unbeaten in their last 11 Premier League matches – their best run in the top flight since 1959. They lifted the title that season.
* Meanwhile Spurs have enjoyed a renaissance under Jose Mourinho, winning 3 of their 4 Premier League games under him – as many as they managed in the last 15 matches of Mauricio Pochettino’s reign.
* Wolves are the Premier League’s draw specialists – 9 of their 16 matches have ended all square.
* Spurs haven’t kept a clean sheet away from home in the league in 15 matches – a run stretching back to New Year’s Day.
* Wolves have only been beaten once at home in their last 16 Premier League matches there – winning 9.

All the factz on Manchester United v Everton, including which TV channel its on

Embed from Getty Images

There are three fixtures in the Premier League today, with the opener seeing Everton make the relatively short trip to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United.

United have found some form in recent weeks and will be looking to continue that today. However, Everton rediscovered their fight last time out under caretaker boss Duncan Ferguson, so this is set to be an intriguing clash.

The match kicks off at 2pm and it is live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League. Here are the factz you need to know:

* United won this fixture 2-1 last season. However, the Toffees thumped them 4-0 in the return at Goodison Park.
* The Red Devils are unbeaten in their last 10 matches in all competitions at Old Trafford.
* Meanwhile Everton have lost 6 of their last 7 away matches in the Premier League.
* United haven’t registered a clean sheet in their last 10 Premier League matches.
* Everton best Chelsea last time out, but haven’t won consecutive matches in the Premier League since April.

Alll the factz on the December 14 3pm kick offs in the Premier League

Embed from Getty Images

There are four matches kicking off at 3pm in the Premier League today, with interest at both ends of the table.

As always in the UK, none of the matches are live on TV but you can follow the action on local and national radio, as well as various TV results services.

Here are the factz you need to know:

Burnley v Newcastle United

* Newcastle did the double over the Clarets last season.
* Burnley’s easily season form seems to have evaporated: they’ve lost 6 of their last 8 matches.
* Meanwhile Newcastle have won 4 of their last 6 PL matches, losing once.
* Sean Dyche has called on just 19 players in the league this season.

* Newcastle are the only Premier League side yet to be awarded a penalty this season. Not getting penalties was a traditional gripe for Dyche.

Chelsea v AFC Bournemouth

* Chelsea won this fixture 2-0 last season. However, the Cherries won the return match 4-0.
* After a good run, Chelsea have lost 3 of their last 4 matches.
* But Bournemouth are on an even worse run – they’ve lost 5 consecutive Premier League matches.
* Chelsea have yet to gain a point after going behind this season.

* Set pieces are Bournemouth’s strength – they’ve scored 9 so far this season from deadball situations.

Leicester City v Norwich City

* Leicester are in amazing form – they’ve won their last 8 PL matches, scoring at least twice in each game.
* Jamie Vardy has also scored in every one of those matches. He once scored in 11 straight matches back in 2015.
* Meanwhile Norwich are on a run of 1 win in 11 with 8 defeats in that sequence.
* The Canaries have also conceded at least twice in 13 of their 16 matches this season.

* Leicester have conceded just 10 goals this season – the best record in the division.

Sheffield United v Aston Villa

* When the sides met last season in the Championship both were goal fests: in this fixture, United ran out 4-1 winners. In the return, the Blades were 0-3 up with 10 minutes to go, but Villa staged an amazing comeback to draw 3-3.

* United have lost just one of their last 9 PL matches, although they have drawn 5 in that run.
* Villa have lost 5 of their last 7 matches, but in that run they have played all of the current top 6.
* Only Leicester and Liverpool have a better defensive record than Sheffield United in the PL this season.
* Getting a lead isn’t Villa’s problem – it’s keeping it. They’ve lost 13 points from winning positions so far this season.