Arsenal takeover LIVE: £2.5bn bid 'may tempt Kroenke', Daniel Ek 'secures the funds', transfer news LATEST

SPOTIFY CEO Daniel Ek claims he has secured the funds to take over Arsenal from unpopular owners the Kroenke family.

But the Swede is said to only value the club at £1.8bn while a bid of £2.5bn would be the minimum needed to get Stan Kroenke talking.

Meanwhile the Gunners – who lost 2-1 to Villarreal in the Europa League last night – have reportedly put Alexandre Lacazette and Hector Bellerin up for sale as they look to raise £120m for new signings.

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Stay up to date with every twist and turn from North London in our live blog…

  • James Orr

    LEN ON ME

    Boss Mikel Arteta praised keeper Bernd Leno for 'saving' their season after a pair of superb stops inspired a fightback in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final against Villarreal.

    The Gunners were on the ropes at 2-0 down in Spain and it could have gotten worse for the North London side had their German shot-stopper not brilliantly denied Gerard Moreno on two occasions in the second half.

    As reported by the BBC, the Arsenal manager said: "We didn't want to come here and lose but after the way the game developed, you have to take the result. If you have to lose it is probably the best result we could have.

    "Two different halves. We started to be us, in the first half there were so many moments we weren't.

    "We started to chase and were not precise with the ball, didn't have enough control. We didn't have enough threat or desire to attack the box, in the second half it was completely different.

    "Bernd Leno was very good, at 2-0, the chance with Gerard Moreno, he saved us.

  • Richard Forrester

    GOOD MORNING GOONERS,

    Ten-men Arsenal fought back dramatically in defeat to leave this Europa League semi-final well poised for the Emirates return.

    Manu Trigueros and Raul Albiol put Villarreal 2-0 up inside the opening half-hour from the Spaniards’ first two proper chances.

    And despite Dani Ceballos seeing red on 57 minutes for his second booking, Nicolas Pepe notched what could be a vital away goal from the penalty spot.

    Mikel Arteta revealed after that he was satisfied with the result, based on how things transpired.

    The Spaniard also praised Bernd Leno for his performance between the sticks and claimed he is confident the Gunners will go through.

    He told BT Sport: “Yeah, of course we didn’t want to come here and lose but after the way the game developed you have to take the result. We started to be us, in the first half there were so many
    moments where we weren’t us.

    “Yeah he [Leno] was very good when we needed him at 2-0. He saved us and at the end we had a big chance with Auba [Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang] but we weren’t able to equalise.

    “I am confident if we are us we are going to have a chance to win”

    Meanwhile, on the takeover front, Daniel Ek’s proposed bid is in doubt following reports that the Spotify co-founder will need to stump up way more than he’s currently offering.

    Matt Slater told the Athletic: “The number getting to Daniel Ek has been suggested that he thinks Arsenal is worth £1.8b.

    “I’m sorry – that’s not going to get Kroenke out of bed. If he came at him with £2.5b, there’s a starting point for a conversation.

    “Ek, I’ve learnt, has been thinking about football for a while. Could Ek, or other guys afford Arsenal, afford the type of offer Kroenke would take seriously? Yes. Is it going to happen soon? No.”

    And finally, Arsenal target Nabil Fekir has boosted his Premier League admirers by confirming his Real Betis future is uncertain.

    He told AS: “For now I am happy at Betis.

    “We are going to do everything possible to go to Europe. It’s what I think about now.

    “In football we can never know the future. We must look at season after season.

    “It is always important to play in Europe. I was playing the Champions League and Europa League and I want to play there again.”

  • Joe Brophy

    ARTETA REACTS

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is satisfied with the result, based on how things transpired, praised Bernd Leno for his performance between the sticks and is confident the Gunners will go through.

    He told BT Sport: "Yeah, of course we didn’t want to come here and lose but after the way the game developed you have to take the result. We started to be us, in the first half there were so many moments where we weren’t us.

    "Yeah he [Leno] was very good when we needed him at 2-0. He saved us and at the end we had a big chance with Auba [Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang] but we weren't able to equalise.

    "I am confident if we are us we are going to have a chance to win."

  • Joe Brophy

    PEPE GLOW

    Ten-men Arsenal fought back dramatically in defeat to leave this Europa League semi-final well poised for the Emirates return.

    Manu Trigueros and Raul Albiol put Villarreal 2-0 up inside the opening half-hour from the Spaniards' first two proper chances.

    And despite Dani Ceballos seeing red on 57 minutes for his second booking, Nicolas Pepe notched what could be a vital away goal from the penalty spot.

  • Joe Brophy

    VILLARREAL 2 ARSENAL 1

    A huge moment in the tie as the ten-men visitors grab the priceless away goal with a penalty after Bukayo Saka was brought down in the box.

  • Joe Brophy

    GRAB NAB

    Arsenal target Nabil Fekir has boosted his Premier League admirers by confirming his Real Betis future is uncertain.

    He told AS: "For now I am happy at Betis.

    "We are going to do everything possible to go to Europe. It's what I think about now.

    "In football we can never know the future. We must look at season after season.

    "It is always important to play in Europe. I was playing the Champions League and Europa League and I want to play there again."

  • Joe Brophy

    PAIN IN SPAIN

    Arsenal have had a horror start to their semi-final with Villarreal two goals to the good in the first-half.

  • Joe Brophy

    WHITE HOT BEN

    Exclusive by Charlie Wyett: Borussia Dortmund have joined the race for Brighton defender Ben White.

    Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and Arsenal remain interested in one of the Premier League’s most talented young central defenders.

    Brighton will demand about £35million for White, having turned down three bids from Leeds last summer – with the final offer totalling £25m.

    White spent a successful season on loan in the Championship with Leeds last term and has gone from strength to strength on the south coast this year.

  • Joe Brophy

    VILLARREAL VS ARSENAL

    Ten minutes until kick-off for the first-leg of the Europa League semi-final.

    For minute by minute action, click HERE for SunSport’s Live Blog!!!

  • Joe Brophy

    POLE POSITION

    Arsenal are preparing early for the Europa League final – with hopes of a coronavirus-secure bubble to fly 1,900 fans to Gdansk.

    The Gunners must first overcome Villarreal in the two-legged semis, while Manchester United take on Roma.

    UEFA and Polish authorities hope to host around 10,000 supporters at the final on May 26.

    And it is thought Arsenal are proposing a single travel option for their potential date in Poland – a flight package run by the club.

    That tightly-controlled measure, to combat the risk of Covid-19, would reportedly be followed by a coach from the airport to the ground.

    And there would be no travelling around the large Baltic coast city of Gdansk itself.

    The stadium, home to Lechia Gdansk, has a capacity of 41,000.

  • Joe Brophy

    ODE TO JOY

    Martin Odegaard starts for Arsenal tonight while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is only fit enough for the bench.

  • Joe Brophy

    BUILD A FUTURE

    Alex Song has laid the foundations for a new career… by setting up a construction company.

    The ex-Arsenal star recently captained his new club AS Arta Solar to the Djibouti national title.

    But less than a month after lifting the Premier League, midfielder Song is already building for his retirement after founding his property empire in Cameroon.

    The 33-year-old posted pictures on Instagram of building work and artists' impressions of his planned apartment block in home town Douala.

    He captioned them: "Nokay 17 Residences, number two," and added three hourglass emojis.

  • Joe Brophy

    MORE FROM ORNSTEIN

    The Athletic's Arsenal correspondent shed some more light on the Gunners failed Super League plans and the proposed takeover.

    He said: “My hunch & from speaking to a number of people is that events of recent weeks – the protest, the Super League that never was for now – is likely to embolden & strengthen Kroenke’s resolve to keep hold of Arsenal.

    “What we’re hearing from Daniel Ek is that he’s here to stay, he’s not going anywhere just because of the [Kroenke] statement, Arteta’s public compliments towards the ownership of Arsenal. Ek is here, he’s going to play the long game.”

  • Joe Brophy

    WHAT THE EK

    Daniel Ek's Arsenal takeover is in doubt following reports that the Spotify co-founder will need to stump up way more than he's currently offering.

    Matt Slater told the Athletic: “The number getting to Daniel Ek has been suggested that he thinks Arsenal is worth £1.8b.

    “I’m sorry – that’s not going to get Kroenke out of bed. If he came at him with £2.5b, there’s a starting point for a conversation.

    “Ek, I’ve learnt, has been thinking about football for a while. Could Ek, or other guys afford Arsenal, afford the type of offer Kroenke would take seriously? Yes. Is it going to happen soon? No.”

  • Joe Brophy

    WALC THIS WAY

    A stunning finish from former Arsenal star Theo Walcott on the last time the Gunners faced tonight's opposition.

  • Joe Brophy

    FORCE OF NATURE

    Simon Jordan has expressed his doubt that Daniel Ek will convince the ‘Darth Vader of English football’ into selling Arsenal.

    He told talkSPORT: “Daniel Ek can’t lose this conversation because the awareness of him as an individual has accelerated ten fold over the last week.

    “He’s chosen to start that fire. There is a lack of dignity because it’s a shameless grab of awareness.

    “He can write a cheque to Stan Kroenke. Stan Kroenke is not going to buckle to public pressure.

    “If you think Stan Kroenke is going to take a billion less because x amount of fans in London are screaming at him then you’re dafter than you look.

    “He is only going to take one deal, which is the deal he’s prepared to take.

    “If Daniel Ek is a media guy, the one thing he’s going to use is the media. It’s interesting to say it’s a long game.

    “He can’t lose because he’s always got this dark force, the Darth Vader of English football Stan Kroenke that’s going to sit there, say nothing and send his son out to do his dirty deeds for him.

    “So with the greatest will in the world, it’s an interesting play, I just can’t see it [happening].

    “I don’t think it’s a play that happens and not at £1.8bn, which is what he’s currently offering.

    “I’ll tell you what compelling is, when Stan Kroenke tells you it’s compelling, not when someone who wants to buy the football club tells you it’s compelling.”

  • Josh Graham

    REINFORCEMENTS AT THE BACK

    Arsenal could sign both a centre-back and right back this summer, according to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano.

    He reports Hector Bellerin could leave the club in the summer and a replacement for the Spanish right-back would be needed.

    And the Gunners are also said to be poised to add a central defender to the squad.

    Brazilian veteran David Luiz could also leave, freeing up the former Chelsea man's spot in Mikel Arteta's playing strength.

  • Josh Graham

    JOURNEY SO FAR

    Remind yourself how Arsenal got to the Europa League semi-final where they face Villarreal tonight.

  • Josh Graham

    REAL DEAL

    Villarreal winger Samuel Chukwueze is dreaming of winning the Europa League and revealed he isn't scared of Arsenal ahead of tonight's semi-final first leg.

    LaLiga ambassador Chukwueze, speaking at an event for LiveScore, said: "When the time comes, it will be up to the coach and the tactics he chooses – all I need to do is just enter the field using the skills I have practiced and give everything I have.

    "We are going to play our football as normal. We are not scared or anything, we are just going to play our football as a team.

    "I’d like you to tell me that I am going to win the Europa League, just tell me that! I want to win the Europa League, thanks!"

  • Josh Graham

    CHANGE OF LUC

    Lucas Torreira will not play for Arsenal this year, according to his father.

    The midfielder is on loan at Atletico Madrid but has made multiple impassioned pleas to be allowed to join boyhood sign Boca Juniors.

    The Uruguayan wants to return to South America to be closer to his family after the death of his mother from Covid-19.

    Dad Ricardo told TNT Sports: "I do not think Lucas will play for Arsenal this year. If it’s not Boca, his destiny will be Italy or France.

    "We are left with the desire, instead of generating joy we generate an inconvenience to Boca’s leadership."

    Credit: AFP
  • Josh Graham

    IN WITH THE OLD

    Arsenal face Villarreal and Mikel Arteta goes head to head with his predecessor Unai Emery in the Europa League tonight.

    How Unai Emery and Mikel Arteta compared after 50 Premier League games
  • Josh Graham

    HARSH WINTER

    Arsenal legend Nigel Winterburn claimed it is the young players propping up Mikel Arteta's flops and the boss would be lost without them.

    Winterburn told Bookmakers.co.uk: "Points wise they’re not a million miles off but the performances suggest, to me, that we’re still way short of the mark.

    “We still don’t know who our best centre-half pairing is, the right-back position looks as though it will need to be filled, we don’t know about the futures of [Martin] Odegaard and [Dani] Ceballos.

    “And then there’s [Alexandre] Lacazette closing in on the end of his contract, [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang has had a poor season.

    “Really, when you look at it, the young players have kept everything going this season as far as I’m concerned.

    “The young players coming through and performing to a high level have enabled the fans to be slightly more patient than they would be under normal circumstances."

  • Josh Graham

    SPAIN AGAIN

    Arsenal have tasted success in Spain before…

    Tonight the Gunners face Villarreal in the Europa League semi-final first leg.

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Arsenal Official (@arsenal)

  • Josh Graham

    ROUD AWAKENING

    Former Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud is reportedly set to depart Chelsea on a free transfer in the summer as he is reluctant to sign a new deal at Stamford Bridge.

    The 34-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season, and while the Blues would be open to extending his stay, the striker is claimed to be close to departing.

    According to Goal, the French World Cup winner is unlikely to sign a new deal in West London after falling down the pecking order.

    Giroud – who has started just eight Premier League matches this term – has played just once in the top-flight since the 0-0 draw against Manchester United in February.

    And it has been said that the ex-Gunners ace is considering his options regarding his next club as he looks for regular game time.

    Credit: Reuters
  • Josh Graham

    FEEL THE BURN

    Arsenal legend Nigel Winterburn says the Gunners are unrecognisable amid a turgid season on the pitch.

    Mikel Arteta's men have the chance to take something from their campaign and face old manager Unai Emery's Villarreal in the Europa League semi-final tonight.

    Winterburn told Bookmakers.co.uk: "They’re going to have to make a few more changes to the squad. How much they’ll do, I don’t know.

    “If I’m honest with you, I think there’s still a huge amount of questions to be asked about the team and Mikel Arteta would probably say so himself if he was asked at the end of the season.

    “There are times when you see glimpses of how good Arsenal can be, and then there are times when you feel as though it’s just not the club we all recognise.

    “The levels can vary from week to week and that inconsistency is a big problem for me. Until they find a solution, Arsenal are going to struggle to get back into the top four.”

    Credit: Getty – Contributor

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