ARSENAL will not play again in the Premier League until at least May after Premier League extended its coronavirus suspension by four weeks.
But the Gunners have revealed plans to help deal with the crisis, including donating money to charity and helping out the youngsters in the local area.
Meanwhile, Henrikh Mkhitaryan is ready to take a massive Arsenal pay cut — but only if he can remain at Roma.
Get all the latest Arsenal news and gossip here…
MORNING, GUNNERS FANS
Arsenal are increasingly confident they can keep Dani Ceballos on loan from Real Madrid if – or surely when – the Premier League season is greatly extended by the coronavirus crisis.
The Spanish playmaker was in his best Emirates form just weeks ago when Covid-19 forced football into its enforced break.
Meanwhile, the Gunners have reportedly joined Manchester City and Liverpool in the hunt for Schalke centre-back Malick Thiaw, 18.
Two players linked with Arsenal, Newcastle stars Sean and Matty Longstaff, have swapped agents – as suitors like Manchester United and Inter Milan jostle for pole position.
But one ace seemingly not keen to return despite being a Gunners player is wideman Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
The Armenian is said to be willing to accept a huge pay cut – but only if Arsenal let him stay on loan with Roma.
That news is almost as unusual is having a day virtually clear of speculation over Arsenal skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
But that's what happened in the last 24 hours – after Barcelona's interest seemed to dim, leaving United and Chelsea in the driving seat should he exit the Emirates as expected in the summer.
Away from transfer talk, the Gunners are thought to among eight Prem clubs reportedly determined to stop Manchester City from delaying their Champions League ban, pending an appeal.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan is ready to take a massive Arsenal pay cut — but only if he can remain on loan at Roma for another year.
The Armenian winger, 31, knows he does not figure in the plans of Gunners boss Mikel Arteta and wants to extend his stay with the Serie A club.
But Roma are unwilling to match Arsenal’s £22million asking price.
And the north Londoners will not allow him to spend another year away on loan if he has only 12 months left on his contract because that would result in him leaving for nothing in 2021.
That has led to Mkhitaryan’s agent Mino Raiola hinting the player might be willing to sign a new Arsenal deal on around half of his £180,000-a-week wages.
But he would only extend his contract if the Gunners allowed him to remain in the Italian capital for another season.
Football's bid to resume the season could face legal challenges on health grounds from players and clubs.
As it stands, it is even unclear when it will be LEGAL for players to train, let alone play matches.
Sports lawyer Nick De Marco QC believes individual players or whole clubs could refuse to return, in disputes that may end up in court.
De Marco, who has represented high-profile clients such as Harry Kane, Tyson Fury and a number of Premier League clubs, said: “I think it’s quite likely to happen.
“We’ve seen a great divergence of opinion when and if you should have a lockdown, and its extent.
“There are decisions being made for political and commercial reasons, and there are different medical opinions. So the likelihood of some people thinking it’s safe to return back to work earlier than others must be quite high.”
TAKING THE MKH
Roma loanee Henrikh Mkhitaryan has claimed that his side are playing “better football” than his parent club were during his time in North London.
The Armenian, borrowed by the Serie A side this season, has enjoyed his season in Italy, scoring six goals in 13 appearances in his new league.
And he told The Times: ” When I was at Arsenal, I had different things asked from me by the coach, people were expecting different things from here.
“The philosophy of Emery was different from Fonseca, but here I’m feeling much better because we’re playing better football and I think it matched me.
“I prefer Fonseca’s football because we’re playing very offensively, we’re trying to have the ball all the time here and of course I like this kind of game.”
Arsenal are interested in signing Chris Smalling from Manchester United, according to reports.
The 30-year-old has played well on loan at Roma this season, making 21 appearances in Serie A.
And according to Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport, the Gunners have already made a bid for the defender.
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