8.15am Arsenal news LIVE: Bellerin leads tense wage cut talks, Kroenke cash injection, Kurzawa transfer ‘very close’ – The Sun

ARSENAL are preparing for the return of the Premier League, but boss Mikel Arteta admits they have a number of transfer plans depending on how the coronavirus crisis turns out.

And Hector Bellerin is said to be leading negotiations on a potential pay cut, with the Gunners players said to have rejected one proposal by a single vote.

Get all the latest Gunners news and gossip here…

  • FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS

    Arsenal appear to be edging ever closer to agreeing a pay cut, with one proposal reportedly rejected by a single vote.

    David Ornstein wrote for The Athletic: “It is unclear how the players who rejected the proposal, which has not yet been formally signed off by all parties, will be affected.

    “The development is a dramatic turnaround given the initial response to the letter sent to the squad via Hector Bellerin, who has acted as a conduit in negotiations owing to his position as the club’s Professional Footballers’ Association representative.

    “Each player was invited to reply through WhatsApp with a tick or a cross over the weekend and the result was thought have been 13 in favour and 14 against.”

  • LEIP OF FAITH

    Dayot Upamecano has been urged to carry on his development at RB Leipzig for at least another season by German legend Lothar Matthaus.

    The 21-year-old defender has had a breakthrough campaign with 29 appearances in all competitions leading to transfer interest from Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea.

    But the Frenchman has been advised by Bayern Munich legend and World Cup winner Matthaus to continue building experience with Leipzig before rushing into a mega-money move.

    He told Sky Sports: “I can see him playing for all the big clubs when he gets more experience.

    “He’s a young player, highly rated, fast, has a good positional game and uses his body well for a 21-year-old. But a year or two in Leipzig would not hurt him.

    “Leipzig are a top team – one of the last eight remaining in the Champions League.

    “I can still see one or two per cent where he can learn, but he’s a huge player and that’s why I’m not surprised that top clubs in Europe are after him.”

  • MORNING, ARSENAL FANS

    The Gunners appear closer to pay cuts for their players but further away from keeping skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – while owner Stan Kroenke reportedly prepares to pump millions into the club to ease their coronavirus financial problems.

    PFA representative Hector Bellerin is the go-between as Arsenal chiefs want a year-long wage reduction of 12.5 per cent, compared to the 30 per cent salary deferral offered by the squad.

    Arsenal and the rest of the Premier League's Big Six will unite to fight calls for a cut-off date for the season.

    SunSport earlierrevealed some other clubs want a June 30 guillotine on the table at a meeting today.

    Back to Aubameyang, and some reports suggest the Gabon striker ”wants to

    quit this summer” amid clams he is already in talks with Manchester United.

    Barcelona again and now Real Madrid are said to still be monitoring moves for a 30-year-old entering the final 12 months of his contract.

    Talking of Barca, overnight reports from Spain suggest they now want to keep ex-Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho.

    The Brazil midfielder has been linked with Arsenal, although more strongly with Chelsea.

    And a bit left-field this last one – the Gunners are Wolves are reportedly monitoring Liverpool target Ousseynou Ba.

    The Olympiacos centre-back, 24, is said to have been recommended to the Reds by Senegal team-mate Sadio Mane.

  • KROENKE'S GUNNER BOOST FUNDS

    ARSENAL owner Stan Kroenke will make a large cash injection to the club to ease the financial worries amid the coronavirus crisis, according to reports.

    The Gunners have decided against furloughing any of their staff while the players are closing in on a 12.5 per cent pay cut.

    Kroenke has regularly come under criticism from fans for his lack of spending in the transfer window.

    But the Daily Mail say he is now set to pump in a huge amount of money to help the burden.

    This is thought to be worth millions of pounds and will help balance out the losses incurred as a result of Covid-19, which has suspended the season.

    And it comes with Kroenke's NFL franchise the LA Rams currently facing massive costs to complete their new stadium – which is a reported £1.6billion over budget.

    Meanwhile, negotiations have been ongoing between the club and squad with PFA representative Hector Bellerin acting as a go-between to secure the pay cut.

  • BLOCKED FOR SIX

    The Premier League's Big Six will join forces and dismiss calls to set a cut-off date for the season.

    SunSport reported how a number of top clubs want a June 30 guillotine on the table at a meeting today.

    But the Big Six have put up a united front in their determination to play out the season in full.

    That would mean they are just one club short of being able to block the rest of the Prem’s push for a definitive closing date.

    And with league chiefs also firmly opposed to any idea of an early finish, the rebel alliance will be under pressure to back down.

    One of clubs’ biggest concerns is player contracts ending on June 30, potentially making a nonsense of the rest of the season.

    But one well-known club executive said: “This is simply not the time to be having these conversations. It is far, far too early.”

    League chiefs have modelled a number of return scenarios, looking at resuming in June, July or August. Even the latter would allow next season to start in September and finish by mid-May although top clubs may have to sacrifice the Carabao Cup.

    With the Big Six staring at total losses of £580m if the season is cut off — more than the other 14 clubs put together — there is no sign of resolve being loosened.

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