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Arsenal closing in on signature of ‘Iranian Lionel Messi’

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Arsenal are closing in on a deal to sign Sardar Azmoun from Zenit St Petersburg this summer.

Zenit v Ural - Russian Premier League

Sardar Azmoun of Zenit Saint Petersburg in action during the Russian Premier League match between FC Zenit Saint Petersburg and FC Ural Ekaterinburg on March 14, 2020 at Gazprom Arena in Saint Petersburg, Russia. (Photo by Mike Kireev/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Gunners are believed to be on the lookout for a new forward this summer, with both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette currently linked with the exit door.

One possible signing could well be Azmoun, with Mikel Arteta and Andrei Arshavin’s relationship claimed to be a positive point for our bid to land the forward, TeamTalk reports.

The 25 year-old has been labelled the ‘Iranian Lionel Messi’, and has been impressing since joining Zenit in February 2019, notching up 19 league goals in his 31 outings thus far.

He may now find himself given the opportunity to make the jump to the Premier League, with the Arsenal boss apparently eyeing his signature.

Zenit v Villarreal - UEFA Europa League Round Of 16: First Leg

Sardar Azmoun of FC Zenit Saint Petersburg vie for the ball during the UEFA Europa League round of 16 First Leg match between Villarreal CF and FC Zenit St. Petersburg at the Saint Petersburg Stadium on March 07, 2019 in St.Petersburg, Russia. (Photo by Igor Russak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Sport Witness claims that our manager and Arshavin are in talks over a move, but it remains to be seen whether he would be viewed as a potential replacement for either Laca or Aubz, who we are believed to working on keeping beyond the summer.

Aubameyang is nearing the final 12 months of his playing deal, while the French striker nears the final two years of his contract, and Arsenal are claimed to be keen to line up new deals for both stars.

Azmoun plays the majority of his football as the centre-forward for Zenit St Petersburg, but does also feature just in behind the striker, and could well be viewed as an option for that role instead.

Which positions do Arsenal most need to strengthen? Will most of our arrivals this summer be replacements for outgoing stars?

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PICTURES: Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell join Chelsea training

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Chelsea returned to training today (Wednesday) at Cobham, and there were two new faces joining the rest of the squad, Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell. The two summer arrivals had yet to train with the squad since signing, dealing with quarantine (presumably) and heel injury issues, respectively.

It’s unclear if either will be fit and ready for this weekend’s match against Liverpool, but it’s still nice to see them in training with the rest of the group! (Those who played on Monday apparently had a lighter session, but were all out there nonetheless.)

There’s no word on how close Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic may be. Ziyech is probably still a couple weeks out with his knee problem, at least, but Pulisic was supposed to be close before suffering a potential setback with his hamstring late last week. Neither were pictured in training, and one would assume their presence would get emphasized had they been there.

Pointing the way Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Pointing the way Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

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