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Thursday, Dec 18th

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Arsenal use family ties to edge ahead of rivals in transfer race

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For once Arsenal have the upper hand in a transfer struggle over their cash rich rivals. The Daily Star reports that yet another teenage prodigy has caught the fancy of Arsene Wenger and the Frenchman will employ all available resources to get his hands on Ethan Ampadu.

Ampadu has developed into quite a sensation at his club Exeter City, so much so that the likes of Brendan Rodgers, Jose Mourinho and Louis Van Gaal have all alerted their scouts to monitor his progress. The midfielder spent three days at an England under-15 training camp, before he eventually chose to play for Wales. The 14 year old impressed in Wales’ under-16 match against England in September, which culminated in a 1-0 defeat for the Three Lions.

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Stoke see off late Arsenal challenge to post win

Stoke bounced back from disappointing results against Liverpool and Manchester United to beat Arsenal 3-2 at the Britannia Stadium in what was quite literally a game of two halves.

Stoke dominated the first half and led 3-0 at the interval through goals from Peter Crouch, Bojan Krkic and Jon Walters. The Potters were unlucky to have a goal ruled out early in the second period before Arsenal mounted their comeback with Santi Cazorla scoring a penalty and Aaron Ramsey too grabbing a much needed goal in a three minute spell.

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Newcastle end Chelsea's quest for Invincibility

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Chelsea's quest for 'Invincibility' was brought to a grinding halt at St. James' Park as Newcastle United picked up their third consecutive home win against the Blues, beating them 2-1 thanks to a brace from substitute Papiss Cisse.

Chelsea were undoubtedly the better side over the course of the 90 minutes, but failed to take their chances with Willian coming close on a couple of occasions in the first half and Eden Hazard hitting the woodwork in the second.

Newcastle lost their keeper Rob Elliot at half-time due to injury and with first choice shot stopper Tim Krul also missing, sent on 21 year old Jak Alnwick or his competitive debut.

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Arsenal looking to make amends in January

Arsene Wenger knows he needs a world class holding midfielder if he is to get beyond the jinxed last 16 of the UEFA Champions League. The professor was widely speculated to correct this particular aberration last summer, but for some unforeseeable reason resisted the urge to do so and has been paying the price ever since. The Express reports that it may not be too late for Arsenal yet as they prepare a bid for Southampton’s midfield guardian Morgan Schneiderlin.

Schneiderlin has been in imperious form for the Saints throughout last season as well as this one. However the 25 year old has made clear his intention of playing in the Champions League and boss Ronald Koeman recently conceded that, “Keeping Morgan here will not be easy. We will have to see what happens."

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Mixed emotions as Arsenal fail in yet another transfer pursuit

Arsenal has failed to prove good enough for yet another player, this time it is Brazilian midfielder Lucas Silva. Therefore on the one hand while the Gunners will bemoan missing out on yet another promising prodigy, on the other hand it may very well turn out to be in their best interest after all.

In excerpts of an interview carried in the Daily Star, Silva said, “Negotiations are still open but if they do take shape it will be dream to play for Madrid. I still don’t know what will happen, but it would be interesting to stay for the Libertadores and then join up with the rest of the players for pre-season.”

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United plan yet another Southampton raid

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Manchester United are leaving no stones unturned as they make a concerted push to bring back the glory days of yesteryears. After already siphoning off Luke Shaw in the summer, the Red Devils are once again preparing to visit Southampton, this time with the intention of attacking their right side of defence.

The Sun reports that Louis Van Gaal is preparing a bid for promising English defender Nathaniel Clyne. The 23 year old has been a breakaway star for the Saints this season and persistent injury to Rafael Da Silva has meant that the 23 year old has received admiring glances from United’s Dutch tactician.

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Arsenal gunning for Championship defender

Instead of going for proven recruits, Arsenal would prefer to invest in potential talents. According to reports in The Telegraph, Arsene Wenger is preparing a move for Ipswich town defender Tyrone Mings.

Yet another product of Southampton’s famous youth academy, Mings is a 6 feet 3 inch left back, who can be adapted into a central defender (a la Calum Chambers). Crystal Palace tried and failed with a £3 million bid for him last summer, the 21 year old has since gone on to ink a contract extension with Ipswich, slated to keep him at the club till 2017. This essentially means that the Championship side can now value their prized asset at £10 million.

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