6pm Arsenal news LIVE: Emery backed after Enrique says no, Xhaka to AC Milan, Messi and Ronaldo nearly joined – The Sun
ARSENAL have some thinking to do as they head into the international break off the back of a disappointing 2-0 loss at Leicester.
Top of the board's list of priorities will be deciding whether to keep manager Unai Emery after picking up just two points from four Premier League games.
Yet, it could get a whole lot worse, with Bayern Munich keen to take Bernd Leno back to Germany.
Get all the latest Gunners news here…
MANCHESTER CITY attacker Riyad Mahrez has revealed his “frustration” at not being able to leave Leicester earlier and join a “top team” like Arsenal in 2016.
The Algerian won his second Premier League title last season, adding to his against-all-odds triumph with the Foxes back in the 2015/16 season.
But the 28-year-old feels that he wasted two years of his career fighting relegation, when he should have been at a big club challenging for honours.
Mahrez saw crucial team-mate Ngolo Kante depart for Chelsea, where he won another title in 2017 – with Danny Drinkwater following suit a year later.
Although star-striker Jamie Vardy stayed – Leicester were not the same force.
And Mahrez told France Football: “After the title, if I'd left for a top team, it wouldn't have been the same story.
“For me, it's clear that I lost two years at the highest level. I lost two years! Because instead of arriving at City at 27, I could have been there at 24, 25.
“Leicester blocked me. They told me: 'You're not leaving, you're not leaving'.
“My agent had spoken to (Arsene) Wenger who really wanted me. It was nearly all done with Arsenal in 2016. I was really frustrated.
“It wasn't easy to go from being the best player in the Premier League to being a part of a team fighting against relegation.
“It's not the same job. Everyone is waiting for you around the corner.”
ARSENE WENGER has once again frustrated Arsenal fans with a claim that he almost signed Cristiano Ronaldo and tried to sign Lionel Messi.
The 70-year-old is notorious for his audacious claims over players he “nearly” brought to North London.
Having previously revealed stories of attempts to sign the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane among others – Arsenal fans have grown bored of the three-time Premier League winner's claims.
It was even revealed earlier this year that Wenger had bungled the chance to sign Liverpool superstar Sadio Mane for just £4million in 2012.
So when a clip circulated on Sunday of their former manager claiming he nearly signed Cristiano Ronaldo and tried to get Lionel Messi, Gunners fans were not impressed.
One wrote: “goes on about the same thing every week”, prefaced with a snoring emoji.
Another joked: “And I almost met Santa Claus..”
While another was scathing: “They couldn't have been the players they're today..”
UNAI EMERY has received the backing of Arsenal chiefs at a pre-planned staff meeting this afternoon.
Gunners big-wigs Raul Sanllehi and Vinai Venkatesham stood behind the Spaniard in the face of serious criticism he has received from fans and pundits alike.
The pair told the meeting: “We are as disappointed as everyone else with both our results and performances at this stage of the season.
“We share the frustration with our fans, Unai, players and all our staff as they are not at the level we want or expect.
“Things need to improve to meet our objectives for the season, and we firmly believe Unai is the right man for the job, together with the backroom team we have in place.
“We are all working intensively behind the scenes to turn things around and are confident we will.
“We never take our fantastic support for granted. We hope we can all stick together and get behind the team in this challenging period, as together we are stronger.”
ERLING HAALAND'S stock continues to rapidly rise after scoring a remarkable fifth hat-trick at the weekend.
The Arsenal target bagged all three in a 3-0 victory over Wolfsberger to ensure his unbelievable goalscoring form continues.
Haaland has now scored 27 goals already this season in just 18 club appearances.
It is no wonder Europe's biggest clubs are circling for his signature as he continues to cement his reputation as one of the most prolific strikers in world football.
RIYAD MAHREZ has revealed how close he came to joining Arsenal in 2016.
He told France Football: “After the title, if I'd left for a top team, it wouldn't have been the same story.
“For me, it's clear that I lost two years at the highest level. I lost two years!
“Because of instead of arriving at City at 27, I could have been there at 24, 25.
“Leicester blocked me. They told me: 'You're not leaving, you're not leaving.
“My agent had spoken to [Arsene] Wenger who really wanted me. It was nearly all done with Arsenal in 2016. I was really frustrated.”
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