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My preference is to stay, says Arsenal midfielder…. Ozil

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Mesut Ozil says he wants to stay at Arsenal and will discuss his future with the club after a pre-season tour of Australia and China.

The midfielder, 28, is under contract with Arsenal until 2018 but speculation over his future has been widespread.

“It is definitely my preference to stay,” the German said on Wednesday.

“Once everyone is back in London, we will sit down and discuss the future. I have always said that I feel very good at Arsenal.”

Arsenal face Sydney FC on Thursday (11:00 BST) and Western Sydney Wanderers (11:00 BST) on Saturday before heading to China for two further games.

Arsene Wenger’s side meet Bayern Munich (12:20 BST) on 19 July in Shanghai and Chelsea (12:40 BST) on 22 July in Beijing before returning to England.

“For now the most important thing is our pre-season and getting through the tour, training and getting fitness,” added Ozil, who joined Arsenal from Real Madrid for £42.4m in 2013.

“I have always said that I feel very good at Arsenal.”

‘I don’t know about my future’

While Ozil appears keen to stay, the futures of Chile forward Alexis Sanchez and France striker Olivier Giroud remain less clear.

Giroud, 30, has been with Arsenal for five years but has been linked with moves to Premier League rivals Everton and West Ham.

“I’ve been through some difficulty this last year, but always succeed to bounce back,” said the former Montpellier forward.

“I’m still an Arsenal player and try to be professional like I always have done and to prepare well for the next season.”

Meanwhile, Sanchez has been linked with Manchester City.

“It would hit the team quite hard if he left because he is a player who always delivers,” said Ozil.

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Just In:Nigeria Beats Libya 4-0

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Odion Ighalo scores a hat-trick for Nigeria as they trounce visiting Libya national team 4-0 in an African Cup of Nations qualifier on Saturday.

The match was played at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.

Ighalo, who plies his trade with the Chinese club, Changchun Yatai, grabbed the first goal from the penalty spot after a blunder from the Libyan goalkeeper in the second minute.

In the 58th minute, Arsenal’s midfielder, Alex Iwobi, delivered a lovely pass to Ighalo who maintained his composure, dribbled the goalkeeper and scored his second goal for Nigeria. He completed his hat-trick 10 minutes later after latching on a cross from Ahmed Musa.

Samuel Kalu completed the Super Eagles victory at the 91st minute.

The Super Eagles are second on the table with six points from three matches behind South Africa who are on seven

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Thierry Henry: Monaco appoint former Arsenal striker as head coach

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Former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry has been appointed as head coach of Monaco until June 2021.

The 41-year-old Frenchman, who had been Belgium’s assistant manager, began his professional career at Monaco and helped them win Ligue 1 in 1997.

The club are third from bottom in Ligue 1 and sacked manager Leonardo Jardim on Thursday.

“It seems like fate that I will begin my managerial career here,” said Henry, who is Arsenal’s record goalscorer.

The former Juventus, Barcelona and New York Red Bulls player was linked with Aston Villa in recent weeks and said he received some “very attractive offers” over the last few months.

“Monaco will always be close to my heart,” he added. “I’m incredibly excited to be given this opportunity but now the hard work must begin.”

Monaco have won just once all season in all competitions. In Ligue 1 they have six points from nine games with five defeats and they have lost both games in the Champions League.

Henry’s first game in charge will be against Strasbourg in the league on 20 October, before a Champions League tie with Club Brugge four days later.

Portuguese boss Jardim was appointed in 2014 and led the club to the French title in 2017, their first since 2000.

The 44-year-old also guided Monaco to the Champions League semi-finals in 2016-17 and helped develop players such as Paris St-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe, Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Lemar, and Manchester City pair Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy.

Monaco
Monaco announced Henry’s arrival with a retro football sticker

Henry was with Belgium on Friday as they beat Switzerland 2-1 in the Nations League. In July he helped the team finish third at the World Cup.

He started his career at Monaco in 1994 under former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, before joining Juventus in 1999.

After just one year in Italy, he signed for the Gunners and went on to win two Premier League titles and two FA Cups in eight years in north London.

Then came a move to Barcelona, where he won the treble of La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League in 2008-09.

In 2010 he signed for Major League Soccer side Red Bulls, where he spent five seasons and also had a two-month loan spell back at Arsenal in early 2012.

Henry was a World Cup winner with France in 1998 and won the European Championship two years later, scoring 51 goals in 123 appearances for Les Bleus.

He retired as a player in December 2014 to work as a television pundit, before joining Belgium’s coaching staff in 2016.

“His knowledge of football, his passion for the game, his high standards and his commitment to our colours make his nomination a reality,” Monaco chief executive Vadim Vasilyev said.

“Thierry is both aware of the task ahead and eager to start his new job. He can count on our trust and all our support to bring a new dynamic to the team and carry out its mission. ”

Patrick Kwame Ampadu, a coach at Arsenal’s academy and father of Chelsea and Wales player Ethan Ampadu, will join Henry’s coaching staff, alongside Benfica Under-23 coach Joao Carlos Valado Tralhao.

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: Liverpool agree £40m deal for Arsenal midfielder

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Liverpool have agreed a £40m deal to sign Arsenal and England midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The 24-year-old rejected a move to Chelsea on Tuesday after a fee had been agreed.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has started each of Arsenal’s four games so far this season despite telling manager Arsene Wenger he would not sign a new contract.

He has made 198 appearances for Arsenal since joining them from Southampton in August 2011.

BBC Sports reports that the fee would have been Liverpool’s club record deal, but the Reds have agreed to sign RB Leipzig’s Naby Keita next summer for £48m.

So far this summer, Liverpool have signed winger Mohamed Salah from Roma for £34m, full-back Andrew Robertson from Hull for £8m and striker Dominic Solanke after his contract at Chelsea expired.

Liverpool have also been pursuing Monaco’s £75m-rated winger Thomas Lemar and Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk, while the Reds’ Brazil forward Philippe Coutinho remains Barcelona’s number one transfer target.

Belgium striker Divock Origi could leave Anfield and join Bundesliga side Wolfsburg on loan before the transfer window closes on Thursday.

The 22-year-old is highly rated by Reds manager Jurgen Klopp but the imminent arrival of Oxlade-Chamberlain from Arsenal means his chances in attack are likely to be restricted this season.

Origi wants regular football throughout Belgium’s build-up to next summer’s World Cup and Liverpool will also be eager to see the talented young forward continue his progress, so it is expected he will leave Anfield before the deadline.

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