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The Gunners finished the week in which they secured the long-term futures of Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli with a much-needed 2-0 victory over Wolves on Saturday.
The Gunners were in form on Saturday as they oversaw an energized Wolves side to record a 2-0 victory and move to within three points of their opponents.
Strikes from Bukayo Saka and Alexandre Lacazette on either side of the half-time ensured the North London outfit’s first victory over a side that started the day above them in the Premier League table since September 2015.
Arsenal now sit at seventh place in the table, with eight points separating them from fourth place Chelsea who won their game in hand late on Saturday night. Despite the gap between the two sides, Arteta believes that the Gunners could still qualify for next season’s Champions League.
This news must be music to the ears of both Manchester United and Arsenal as the Premier League clubs have reportedly kept tabs on the 28-year-old but were rebuffed by Real’s high initial asking price of the midfielder.
Part of the reason why Los Blancos have dropped their transfer demand of the midfielder to such a low figure is that Rodriguez’ contract with the club runs out in 12 months’ time.
They are therefore amenable to the idea of any club taking him off their hands this summer rather than seeing him leave for free in the next one.
After a week in which they fell 4 points behind leaders Real Madrid in the La Liga table, the Blaugrana travel to face Villarreal on Sunday night.
Samuel Umtiti has joined Ousmane Dembele (hamstring) and Frankie De Jong (calf) on Barcelona’s injured list as the French defender’s knee injury has ruled him out from today’s must-win clash against Villarreal at the Estadio de la Ceramica.
This clash has come on the end of a tough fortnight for the Camp Nou outfit that has seen them surrender their position at the top of the table to rivals Real Madrid.
Inability to secure victories against Celta Vigo and Atletico Madrid means that Barca could be seven points behind Los Blancos, who will face Athletic Bilbao early in the day, by the time the first ball is kicked in this fixture.
However, in addition to focusing on the title race, those tuning in to watch the game will undoubtedly take a keen interest in the body language of Lionel Messi. The Argentine is rumored to leave Barca at the end of next season and will definitely be under the spotlight on Sunday evening.
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