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Branislav Ivanovic ‘ready for the challenge’ and has plenty to offer after West Brom sign veteran former Chelsea defender

Ivanovic joins WBA from Zenit

Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic says he has plenty to offer West Bromwich Albion after the 36-year-old free agent joined the promoted Premier League side on a season-long deal.

Ivanovic made more than 350 appearances for Chelsea and won nine major titles with the London club before leaving for Russian side Zenit Saint Petersburg in 2017.

He returns to England’s top flight as Slaven Bilic’s sixth signing since West Brom’s promotion, following the arrivals of Grady Diangana, Matheus Pereira, Cedric Kipre, David Button and Callum Robinson.

“I’m so happy to be back,” Ivanovic told West Brom’s website.

“I know Slaven from before. He’s amazing and I hope together we’re going to be a success. He understands football and looks like a guy who everyone wants to play for.

“I missed English football … I looked to be back in the previous year but it didn’t happen, so now I’m happy to be here and I’ll try and do my best. I can give something more. I’m completely different… I’m ready for the challenge.”

Ivanovic’s arrival is a boost for West Brom, who conceded three goals without reply in a Premier League defeat by Leicester City on Sunday.

They host Harrogate Town in the League Cup later on Wednesday before travelling to Everton in the league on Saturday.

Reuters

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ARSENAL SEND MESSAGE TO MARTINEZ AFTER VILLA MOVE

Arsenal thanked Emiliano Martinez for his service shortly after his move to Aston Villa was confirmed.

The Argentine was in superb form late last season having stepped in for the injured Bernd Leno.

That earned him a £20m switch to Villa, where he is expected to be first choice.

“Everyone at Arsenal thanks Emi for his contribution to club over the past 10 years and we wish him all the best for the future,” a statement on the club’s website read.

Callum Rice-Coates16 September 2020 11:11

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ARTETA GIVES VERDICT ON NEW AUBAMEYANG DEAL

Mikel Arteta has highlighted the importance of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s new contract at Arsenal.

The Gabonese forward had just a year remaining on his previous deal and there was widespread speculation of a potential exit.

But he has now committed his future to the club, to the delight of his manager.

“It was important for Pierre-Emerick to stay with us. He’s a superb player with an incredible mentality,” Arteta told Arsenal’s official website.

“Being the player to have taken the least amount of time to reach 50 goals with this club tells you everything you need to know about him and his way of working.

“He’s an important leader for the team and a big part of what we’re building. He wants to be up there with the best players in the world and leave his mark. He can achieve that here.”

Callum Rice-Coates16 September 2020 10:59

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FORMER ARSENAL STRIKER SET TO JOIN MIDDLESBROUGH

Ex-Arsenal forward Chuba Akpom is on his way to Middlesbrough after a €3m deal was agreed with PAOK Thessaloniki, according to On Sports.

The 24-year-old came through the youth ranks at Arsenal and is now set to return to England after two years in Greece.

Akpom has scored 27 goals in 79 appearances for PAOK, who he signed for in 2018 having failed to make the cut with the Gunners.

(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Callum Rice-Coates16 September 2020 10:44

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ARSENAL LEGEND PAYS TRIBUTE TO MARTINEZ

Emiliano Martinez’s Arsenal chapter may have come to an end, but he remains a popular figure at the club.

There were plenty of tributes to the goalkeeper when he wrote an emotional farewell to the club on Instagram before his Aston Villa move was confirmed.

The most notable of them was from Ian Wright, who responded: “We love you Emi. Always one of us.”

Callum Rice-Coates16 September 2020 10:27

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VILLA CONFIRM MARTINEZ SIGNING

Aston Villa have confirmed the signing of Emiliano Martinez from Arsenal.

The goalkeeper joins the club in a £20m deal having impressed with the Gunners towards the end of last season, following injury to Bernd Leno

The latter’s return meant Martinez was again second choice, but his performances have earned him a move elsewhere.

The Argentine leaves Arsenal after ten years at the club.

Callum Rice-Coates16 September 2020 10:13

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ATLETICO TO OFFER TWO PLAYERS IN EXCHANGE FOR ARSENAL STRIKER

Atletico Madrid will offer Arsenal two players as part of a deal to sign Alexandre Lacazette, report Marca.

Los Rojiblancos are still determined to sign the Frenchman, who insisted he is happy where he is after scoring against Fulham last weekend.

But Atletico could look to tempt Arsenal with wingers Vitolo and Thomas Lemar.

It remains to be seen if such a deal would interest the Gunners.

Callum Rice-Coates16 September 2020 10:01

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BUNDESLIGA SIDE TO OPEN TALKS WITH ARSENAL DEFENDER

Bayer Leverkusen are set to begin talks over a deal to sign Arsenal’s Sead Kolasinac, according to a report from Sport Bild.

The Gunners are open to offers for the defender, who has fallen down the pecking order under Mikel Arteta.

And he could be set for a return to Germany, with Leverkusen expected to meet Arsenal’s €10m asking price.

Kolasinac’s €9m a year salary at the Emirates could prove a stumbling block, but Leverkusen are reportedly confident a compromise can be reached.

(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Callum Rice-Coates16 September 2020 09:50

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MARTINEZ GIVES EMOTIONAL FAREWELL

Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez has taken to Instagram to say goodbye to Gunners fans ahead of his move to Aston Villa.

“Thank you Arsenal,” he said. “For me, I could not be happier to leave through the front door with the Arsenal fanbase supporting me and the club supporting me.

“I had 11 years at the club, and even if it was a hard road for me, and I suffered through my time at Arsenal, today I am happy and I tried to show young goalies how work pays off.  

“When you work hard, you are not going to be happy the whole time, you are going to have frustration, bad times in life. “They all understood at Arsenal and they support me for my decision. The Arsenal fanbase were always there for me, I felt their love.  

 “Even when Bernd got injured this season, I received loads of messages like ‘we trust in you’, ‘you are our goalie’. That made me confident, made me win games and made me the keeper I am today. “

 “They understood my story and they love the way I worked in the club. I am so glad to be part of the Arsenal family for 11 years.”

Callum Rice-Coates16 September 2020 09:35

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WALCOTT AND IWOBI COULD BE SOLD BEFORE CLOSE OF WINDOW

Some transfer news indirectly related to Arsenal here. Plenty of Gunners fans will have continued to follow the progress of Theo Walcott and Alex Iwobi, but it seems both could be surplus to requirements at Everton.

The Toffees, according to the Times, are looking to move on several players in an attempt to raise some funds after spending big on the likes of James Rodriguez and Allan this summer.

Walcott and Iwobi could be forced to find new clubs, having fallen out of favour under Carlo Ancelotti.

Callum Rice-Coates16 September 2020 09:22

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LYON CHIEF RESPONDS TO AOUAR SPECULATION

Lyon sporting director Juninho has claimed the club have received no contact from Arsenal over a transfer for midfielder Houssem Aouar.

There is growing speculation that the Gunners are set to move for the Frenchman, but as yet there have been no bids.

“We have not received anything for Houssem, we have not received anything for Memphis,” said Juninho, also addressing Barcelona’s reported interest in Memphis Depay.

Callum Rice-Coates16 September 2020 09:09

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