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Arsenal boss Arteta hints deal to replace Pepe

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Mikel Arteta said on Friday Arsenal could sign a replacement for Nicolas Pepe after the Ivory Coast winger left the Premier League leaders to join Nice.

Pepe’s loan move to Ligue 1 has increased the chances of Arsenal making another move into the transfer market before the summer window closes on September 1.

Arsenal has been linked with a move for Wolves winger Pedro Neto and Arteta admitted he could adapt his transfer philosophy after prioritising early deals for Manchester City duo Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko at the start of the window.

“We have done it in a different way. At the start of the window we signed players before getting other players out,” Arteta told reporters.

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“Now we have done something different, we have let a player go and maybe we’ll be able to recruit somebody.

“But it’s not a guarantee because the players are still not here. What I guarantee is the day the window closes, for me, this is the best team in the world and I will try to get the best out of them, that’s it.”

Arsenal are the only club to boast a perfect start to the Premier League season with three successive wins.
They host Fulham on Saturday looking to consolidate their surprise position at the top of the table.

Pepe’s departure removes one distraction after Arsenal’s club record £72 million failed to live up to the hefty price tag following his 2019 move from Lille.

Arteta praised Pepe’s attitude during his struggles but conceded the loan move was best for a player who scored 27 goals in 111 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal.

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“I think Nico has tried to deal with that in the best possible way, he is not responsible for the price a club pays for him,” Arteta said.

“He has tried everything, his attitude is just phenomenal. You just have to meet the person because you just love him for the way he is.

“It’s been three years and he had some very good moments, some others where he hasn’t really contributed much in terms of minutes.

“We decided for every party it was the best decision to allow him to go. He needs to play minutes, he needs to play football. He was really adamant to do that and we decided that it would be best for everybody to do it.”

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Olise’s late strike gets Palace point against United

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Michael Olise has helped Crystal Palace get a point against Manchester United in their 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park Stadium on Wednesday night.

The midfielder’s late strike in extra-time, 91′, levelled the game against United, who had controlled the lead since the 43rd minute of the first half after Bruno Fernandes’ fine finish put the Red Devils ahead just before the break.

A relentless Olise scored from a free kick with a left-footed shot to the top right corner. The equalising goal saw United’s dream of replacing defending EPL champions City in the second place on the league table, fade away, as they remain third with 39 points, having played a game more than City.

Crystal Palace remains in 12th place with 23 points.

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Atletico Madrid head coach speaks on leaving Atletico Madrid

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Atletico Madrid head coach, Diego Simeone, has insisted that nobody has personally told him to leave the club.

Rumours have persisted that Simeone, 52, could be set to end this 11-year stay at Atletico Madrid at the end of the season.

However, the Argentine has now stated that no one at the club has asked him to quit the La Liga giants.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Atletico Madrid’s Copa del Rey tie with Levante on Wednesday night, Simeone said when asked about reports suggesting he would leave the club at the end of the season: “No one has personally asked me to leave.”

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However, having already been eliminated from UEFA Champions League and sitting 13 points behind leaders Barcelona in the La Liga table, the Copa del Rey is Atletico Madrid’s last realistic opportunity for a trophy this season.

It has been a disappointing campaign for Simeone’s side, as they sit fourth in the league.

Simeone added, “The boys are enthusiastic to reverse this situation that we have experienced since the break and prior to the World Cup. It’s been a regular to a bad season. For me, there is growth after the break, hopefully, we will continue in that line.”

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EPL: Frank Lampard won’t run away – Shaun Wright-Phillips

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Former Chelsea player, Shaun Wright-Phillips has backed his former teammate, Frank Lampard to stay at Goodison Park and turn things around.

Wright-Phillips said his former team-mate does not run away from challenges such as Everton is facing now but would face them squarely

Lampard is in danger of being sacked any moment from now after yet another defeat on Friday.

Everton crashed out of the FA Cup on Friday after they were beaten 3-1 by Manchester United at Old Trafford

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Frank Lampard has now led Toffees to six defeats in their last seven matches and they have also crashed out of the Carabao Cup and are currently 18th in the Premier League.

“Frank Lampard has always been a player and a person that won’t run away from things not going well,” Wright-Phillips told the BBC.

“He is the type of person to try and solve it or try and make the situation a lot better…”

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