Cristiano Ronaldo explains brutal Arsenal snub as Edu given Martin Zubimendi transfer verdict

Our opinion on some of the latest Arsenal news and transfer gossip, including updates on Cristiano Ronaldo, Martin Zubimendi and Pedro Neto

Cristiano Ronaldo, football player of Al Nassr, looks on during the Day of Reckoning: Fight Night at Kingdom Arena on December 23, 2023

Mikel Arteta will have been delighted to return to winning ways at the weekend. Arsenal headed into the Crystal Palace clash off the back of three successive defeats across all competitions, losing to West Ham and Fulham before Liverpool dumped them out of the FA Cup.

The Gunners will be keen to build some momentum now, with a trip to the City Ground on the horizon. Then, in their first game after the January transfer window, Arsenal will face Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium – and Jurgen Klopp’s side could be without Mohamed Salah of all people!

So, if Arteta wants to get any big names through the door ahead of the title showdown then he better pull his finger out. With that being said, football.london has taken a look at some of the biggest Arsenal stories on Tuesday, January 23.

Ronaldo overlooks the Gunners

Cristiano Ronaldo has dismissed Arsenal’s chances of winning the Champions League this season, tipping Manchester City to retain their crown. The Manchester United legend also named Real Madrid and Bayern Munich as contenders for the competition.

“I think Manchester City has a great chance of winning the Champions League again this season,” said Ronaldo. “I hope not, but I think they have a chance. Favourites? Man City, Real Madrid, Bayern [Munich].

“Manchester City did amazing. Congratulations on their season. Players, coach. Superb. Finally they win the Champions League, they probably deserved it two years ago. I enjoy seeing them play.”

football.london says: Ronaldo is right, I’m afraid. City are just far too good and, with that experience of winning the Champions League last season, they’ll only get stronger. As for Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, Carlo Ancelotti’s side look back to their best, although I’m not entirely convinced that the German giants have what it takes this term.

Zubimendi bid unlikely

Mikel Arteta has been dealt a major blow to his hopes of further bolstering his squad during the January transfer window. Martin Zubimendi is highly unlikely to be joining Arsenal this month, football.london understands.

The Spaniard is a target for the Gunners, who are looking for a long-term solution in the defensive midfield position. The Gunners invested a club-record £105million in Declan Rice last summer, but beyond the England international the future is uncertain.

Thomas Partey has missed much of the season due to a spate of muscle injuries, the most recent of which has seen him miss nearly three months with a thigh strain. The Ghanaian is now on the wrong side of 30 and will have just one year remaining on his contract in north London. Arsenal were willing to listen to offers for him in the first part of last summer and would be open to a sale if a suitable bid came in.

football.london says: If Arsenal considered themselves serious contenders in the Premier League title race then they’d be all over a deal for Zubimendi. The youngster was heavily linked with a move to London Colney in the summer, but Edu didn’t pull the trigger.

Personally, a striker should be a priority signing for Arteta – like Ivan Toney or even Victor Osimhen. But a new face in the middle of the park wouldn’t go a miss either, especially with Partey often nursing an injury and Kai Havertz yet to warrant his eye-watering £65million price tag.

Neto move collapsed

Super agent Jorge Mendes insists his client Pedro Neto would have secured a mega-money move away from Wolverhampton Wanderers had it not been for a serious knee injury. Speaking to the Portuguese publication Record, he said: “Pedro Neto had played five minutes at Braga and left for Lazio because the president trusted what we told him.

“In the meantime, he got back what he had paid – at the time Pedro Neto was about to go to Benfica, but he went to Wolverhampton. And he wasn’t sold for more than 100 million euros (£86m) because he got injured. It’s my life and what fulfils me and what I’ll continue to do.”

Neto enjoyed a brilliant start to the Premier League campaign, racking up nine goals and assists in the opening 10 games. But at the end of October, he suffered a hamstring injury against Newcastle. After nearly two months on the sidelines, the Portugal international has since made his return from the treatment room.

football.london says: Pedro Neto would’ve been a superb signing for Arsenal in the summer! I think he could still be a huge asset for the Gunners, but I’d wait until the summer to sign the Portuguese star. Let him build some momentum, see if he can end the season well and then make a decision.

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