Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Diego admits Arsenal, Southampton interest; Wenger wanted Thauvin

VfL Wolfsburg No. 10 Diego has confirmed English Premier League duo Arsenal and Southampton are interested in signing him in the summer.

VfL Wolfsburg No. 10 Diego has confirmed English Premier League duo Arsenal and Southampton are interested in signing him in the summer.

The former Brazil international, 28, joined Wolfsburg from Italian giants Juventus for a club record transfer fee of €15.5 million in 2010.

After one season at the Volkswagen Arena, Diego was sent to Atlético Madrid on a season-long loan deal, where he tallied six goals and 10 assists in 43 appearances across all competitions.

Since returning to Wolfsburg last summer, the 28-year-old midfielder has been a central figure and first-team regular for the club.

However, Diego is set to become a free agent when his current contract expires at the end of the season.

Plenty of clubs across Europe will surely be interested in Diego, but the Brazilian ace has hinted that a move to the Premier Leagued could be on the cards.

“I know there is interest from Premier League clubs. I have heard Arsenal is one of them,” Diego told The Sun.

“It would be the ideal destination for me because their style suits my characteristics perfectly. Of course I would say yes to Arsenal.

“Southampton have great organisation and discipline and big talents like Adam Lallana. But again there is nothing concrete.

“Playing in England is a very attractive option at the peak of my career but I’m focusing on helping Wolfsburg get to the Champions League.”

Wolfsburg will play host to Hamburg at the Volkswagen Arena on Friday evening.

Wolfburg (17/20); Hamburg (3/1); Draw (11/4)

Wenger wanted Thauvin

In other news, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed he wanted to sign French starlet Florian Thauvin before he joined Lille in January, The Mirror understands.

Thauvin, 20, signed a four-and-a-half year deal with Lille in January, with Bastia receiving a transfer fee of around €3.5 million.

After impressing at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Turkey, Thauvin was able to force through a shocking €15 million move to Olympique de Marseille.

Lille pocketed €11.5 million in the transaction, but were nonetheless incensed with the player’s ‘unacceptable attitude.’

“It was a surprise transfer for me. We were following him and we were interested in him before he joined Lille,” said Wenger ahead of the Gunners’ UEFA Champions League clash against Marseille at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.

“For me, he is one of the big prospects of French football. He will go higher. He is only 20. His progress now will not depend on his talent but on his mentality.

“We saw in the summer that he showed a great mental strength, but you can also question his mentality for the way he behaved towards Lille.

“Only the future will tell us.”

Thauvin — 20/1 to open the scoring against Arsenal on Tuesday night — has bagged four goals and two assists in 13 competitive appearances for Marseille this season.


Shawn Etemadi



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