Arsenal’s Premier League rivals Manchester United have moved ahead of the Gunners in the race to sign Benfica’s Darwin Nunez as Bukayo Saka recalls an ’embarrassing’ lesson
Arsenal have suffered a blow to their hopes of signing Benfica striker Darwin Nunez this summer.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta is keen to bring in a new centre-forward, with both Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah looking likely to follow Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out of the club when their contracts expire at the end of the season. And the club had reportedly sent scouts to watch Benfica ace Nunez, although they face strong competition to secure the player’s signature.
It comes as Bukayo Saka has opened up on being “embarrassed” by Barcelona legend Sergio Busquets during his early days in the Arsenal fist-team. And The Gunners have received a boost to their hopes of landing a top four spot in the Premier League and securing Champions League qualification.
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Arsenal have received a timely boost to their hopes of landing a place in the Premier League’s top four – after bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur have been dealt an injury blow.
Spurs moved three points clear of Arsenal in the Premier League table at the weekend as they secured a 4-0 win over Aston Villa after the Gunners fell to a disappointing 2-1 defeat at home to Brighton. But Arsenal still have a game in hand on Spurs, who have also suffered the bitter blow of having full-back Matt Doherty’s campaign ended through a knee injury during the win over Villa.
The defender is set for 12 weeks on the sidelines after he ruptured his medial collateral ligament in his knee – just as he was hitting form for Antonio Conte’s side.
Saka recalls ’embarrassing’ lesson
Bukayo Saka says Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets “embarrassed” him when the two players faced each other in a pre-season in 2019 – but it taught him a valuable lesson he still carries on to the pitch with him now.
The Gunners fell to a 2-1 defeat in the match after an Ainsley Maitland-Niles own-goal cancelled out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s opener before Luis Suarez struck a 90th-minute winner. But it was an incident with Busquets that Saka still remembers from the game that helped him realise exactly what’s needed to become an ‘elite’ player.
Saka recalled the match, saying that as he went to press Busquets the Barca star turned him “so elegantly” – and it was in that moment that he realised the very best players are “three steps ahead of everyone”.
Nunez transfer blow
Arsenal have suffered a blow to their hopes of signing Benfica striker Darwin Nunez this summer, with Manchester United moving ahead of them in the queue for his signature.
Nunez appears set to leave the Portuguese side this summer after confirming he had changed agents in order to help facilitate a move. The Uruguayan has attracted interest from across Europe after netting 27 goals in all competitions this year, leading to United and Arsenal sending scouts to watch his performance against Liverpool in the Champions League last week.
But reports suggest United, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain are the three teams in pole position to win the race to sign Nunez as initial talks are expected to conclude in the coming week.