Petr Cech says he plans to play for the gunners for the next seven years and won’t discuss retirement until he’s 40.

The goalkeeper completed an £11million switch to the Emirates Stadium this week from Chelsea.

He turned 33 last month but despite his advancing years, Cech says he won’t be retiring any time soon and is approaching his peak years.

‘I don’t want to speak about retirement for another seven years,’ he told the Sun.

‘That’s my target and then I will see.

‘You can have a plan but, sometimes, it doesn’t turn out the way you want.

‘In football you never know what’s round the corner and retirement is something I don’t plan.’

A rising number of top goalkeepers are playing on towards their 40s, and Cech looks set to be the latest.

That £11m fee is looking a bigger bargain by the day…

Arsenal have confirmed that they have released midfielderAbou Diaby after nine years with the club.

The Frenchman joined the Gunners from Auxerre in 2006, but a succession of serious injuries curtailed his career in North London.

Academy players Jack Jebb, Austin Lipman, Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill and Josh Vickers, are also leaving the Emirates Stadium, following the expiry of their contracts.

"Arsenal would like to take this opportunity to thank Abou, Jack, Austin, Brandon and Josh for their contribution to the club and to wish them well for the future," a statement on the club's official website read.

Diaby made 182 appearances for Arsenal.

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Nigel Winterburn wants Arsene Wenger to spend

Former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn has stated thatArsene Wenger must invest in his squad this summer if he wants to win the Premier League title next season.

The Gunners, who have not lifted the league title for 11 years, have won back-to-back FA Cups in the past two seasons.

However, Winterburn believes that his former club are not at the level of their title rivals yet and this must be addressed by Wenger.

"If you look at it, he has got to spend money because the Premier League is the one," Winterburn told talk SPORT.

"Chelsea were better this year and more consistent. He's not missing too many players, he just needs two or three players – they still need a leader."

Winterburn played for Arsenal between 1987 and 2000.... 8/6/15

Galatasaray are no longer interested in signing Lukas Podolski

The 30-year-old is widely expected to depart north London having failed to impress on loan at Inter but the Turkish champions insist they are not in contention

Galatasaray are not planning a summer move for out-of-favour Arsenal striker Lukas Podolski, according to the club's manager Hamza Hamzaoglu.

Podolski joined Inter on loan in January having failed to establish himself as a regular starter at the Emirates Stadium but fared little better in Serie A, scoring just one goal in 19 appearances in all competitions.

The Germany international is widely expected to leave the Gunners this summer in search of first-team football and Galatasaray, who were in the market for him in January, have been mooted as a potential destination.

But Hamzaoglu insists the Turkish champions are no longer pursuing a summer move for Podolski.

“Podolski is not on our radar right now," the Galatasaray boss told TRT. "He was in the winter but not right now.”... 6/8/15

Arsenal Football Club have received just over £96.5 million in total for the 2014/2015 season as the Premier League announced the amounts paid to all 20 clubs for their performances in the league campaign that has just ended.

The value of central income payments has been revealed, with champions Chelsea earning just short of £99 million and bottom-placed QPR pocketing £64.8 million, resulting in a 1.53 to 1 ratio between clubs finishing top and bottom.

Under the terms of the Premier League Founders Members’ Agreement of 1992, 50% of UK broadcast revenue and all international broadcast revenue are split equally between 20 clubs, whereas 25% of UK broadcast revenue is paid based on finishing position and another 25% paid in Facility Fees each time a club’s games are shown live in the UK.

While achieving a third-place finish in the league standings, Arsenal came fourth in the earnings table, getting some £250,000 less than fourth-placed Manchester United.

Nevertheless, the hefty payments will definitely come in handy as the club prepares for what could be one of the most important seasons in recent years, and no doubt the fans will be eager to see Arsene Wenger spend some of the cash at his disposal.

Arsene Wenger targeted Premier League glory after guiding Arsenal to a record-breaking 12th FA Cup win. 

Wenger's side ripped Aston Villa apart at Wembley on Saturday to retain the oldest knockout trophy in football.

Theo Walcott, Alexis Sanchez, Per Mertesacker and Olivier Giroud found the net as Arsenal recorded the biggest win in an FA Cup final since 1994.

Wenger may have had has critics over the second half of his 19-year Arsenal reign, but he is now only foreign manager to have won the FA Cup six times. The only other man to have achieved that feat is George Ramsay, who managed Villa from 1884-1926. "I am very proud of that," the Arsenal manager said. "If it has not been done [since then], it shows it is not easy and all of us want to achieve things that are difficult.

For the club it is great, we won it 12 times, more than any club. Personally I managed in seven finals and we won six." Wenger has improved Arsenal's standing in the league this season, finishing third to guarantee direct entry into the Champions League.

The Arsenal boss hopes the momentum gained from this emphatic win will help his team finish two places higher next season. "I think of course we can push on," he said. "Why not? We have won the league in the past when we had the potential to do it and that is what we want to do again." 

Jack Wilshere has told how having children at an early age has inspired him to “do anything he can” to help young people suffering from serious illnesses.

The 23-year-old, who has a son Archie, three, and daughter Delilah, one, with partner Lauren Neal, was speaking as he was announced as the new ambassador Muscular Dystrophy UK.

The organisation funds pioneering research and offers support for people with the muscle-wasting condition and their families.

This week he met a number of children and young adults affected by various forms of muscular dystrophy for a football coaching session.

Wilshere said: “I had children quite young and it makes you grow up. It makes you value life. I want to do anything I can do to help others.”

After learning that he was the favourite player of Duchenne muscular dystrophy sufferer Archie Hill, 10, Wilshere met the family and decided to get involved with the charity.

Muscle-wasting conditions affect 70,000 children and adults in the UK.... Source Evening Standard

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry attempts to defuse row with Olivier Giroud

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has attempted to clarify his comments regarding current Gunners centre-forward Olivier Giroud.

The Sky Sports pundit appeared to criticise his compatriot following the goalless draw against Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium last month, in which he implied that his former club will not win the Premier League with Giroud as the first choice striker.

Giroud seemed to take offence to those comments and responded last week in the French publicationL’Equipe (via Mirror Online) and described Henry’s criticism as ‘dull’.

But speaking on Sky Sports’ league review show on Bank Holiday Monday, Henry tried to defuse the situation by saying that Giroud needs help up-front and that Arsenal need competition in attack if they are to challenge for the league:

“I said what I said [about Giroud] and people took it a bit the wrong way.” he said. (via Mirror Online)

“I believe also that Olivier Giroud needs help.”

“I think Arsenal need another striker – that’s what I said the other day – that has other characteristics than Giroud.”

Henry  added.Despite missing three months of the campaign, the 28-year-old has still managed to score 14 goals in the league but has failed to find the back of net since the 4-1 victory over Liverpool at the start of last month.

Arsenal loan star Joel Campbell ended his Villarreal loan spell on a sour note as his side crashed to a final day 4-0 La Liga defeat at Athletic Bilbao.

The Costa Rica international struggled for games with the Gunners and was restricted to just a handful of substitute appearances in the Premier League and League Cup.

Boss Arsene Wenger made the decision to loan him out during the January transfer window – Campbell’s fourth loan spell in as many seasons.

Joining Villarreal seemed a smart move, as the Yellow Submarines were going strong in the Spanish top-flight, the Copa del Rey and the Europa League.

However, despite showing promise as a striker during Costa Rica’s fabulous World Cup campaign in Brazil, the 22-year-old has largely been placed out wide in a conventional 4-4-2 formation at Villarreal.

He has made a total of 16 La Liga starts at the El Madrigal Stadium, yet with only one goal to his name it’s looking increasingly like a wasted loan spell and a hindrance to his progress.

On Saturday, his time at Valencian outfit came to an end in rather dramatic fashion as his side were swept aside by an Athletic Bilbao side buzzing ahead of their Copa del Rey final showdown with Barcelona.

Arsene Wenger is looking to get the best out of Jack Wilshere after standing by the midfielder throughout his injury-hit career.

Wilshere made his first start for the Gunners since November in the 0-0 draw with Sunderland two weeks ago. He starred in last weekend’s 4-1 win over West Brom and could be set for a place in the side in today’s FA Cup final against Aston Villa at Wembley.

The Englishman has been linked with a move to Manchester City in the past few weeks as he is rumoured to be frustrated with his playing time at the Emirates Stadium.

He said in an interview with the Mail on Sunday last week that he simply wants to feel wanted at Arsenal, and manager Wenger insists that the club are keen to keep hold of the 23-year-old.

“He knows he is wanted,” Wenger said. “I made Jack Wilshere start at 17 years of age, you cannot show a bigger desire for a player. “We have extended his contract and been very patient with all his injuries.

“At some stage I think he must feel wanted because we always stood by him in every difficult moment and that means we want him to stay for a longer period. “We want to benefit from his talent now. “Like all the other talented players [whether he starts] depends on the day, on the form.

But of course he is considered a regular player.” Wenger will choose from the likes of Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin to occupy the middle of the park behind Mesut Ozil at Wembley. Two of that quartet will play in the centre of midfield, while another will likely feature on the right flank and one unlucky man will miss out on a starting spot.

Jack Wilshere has warned his Arsenal teammates that their season hinges on beating Aston Villa in Saturday's FA Cup final at Wembley.

The Gunners, who came third, finished a disappointing 13 points behind Premier League champions Chelsea and also saw their bid to finish second scuppered late on.

Arsene Wenger's side face the Villans this weekend hoping to salvage another piece of silverware for the second year running, having also won the competition last year.

The 23-year-old told BBC Sport: "I think that will define if we have a good season or not.

"We wanted to get to second this year but unfortunately we couldn't manage that so now we're looking to finish the season off with the cup."

The North Londoners edged out Hull City 3-2 after extra time to clinch the title in 2014.

Arsene Wenger addressed the media ahead of Arsenal’s last Premier League encounter against West Bromwich Albion, to be played at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon.

After releasing the latest injury updates about the continued absence of striker Danny Welbeck and the return of Mathieu Debuchy and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, the manager gave his thoughts on Roy Hodgson’s latest selection for the forthcoming international fixtures.

The Three Lions are set to play against the Republic of Ireland in an international friendly before facing off with Slovenia in a European Championship qualifier, all to be played at the end of the season.

Danny Welbeck has been selected in the 24-man squad despite the fact that he is currently recuperating from a knee injury while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain failed to make the list despite returning to full training on Friday after a long hiatus due to injury.

In a bid to justify the selection, Wenger said: "The difference is that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has not played in any competition for a long time. That lack of competition takes some time to come back to a good competitive level. Danny Welbeck has not been out for a long time and he has nothing at all on any scan, just bone bruising on his knee. That’s just the pain that will decide if he is fit or not."

The manger  however distanced himself from the decision, insisting that he never gave Hodgson any advice.

"I didn’t tell him not to pick him. He has looked at when he played his last game and has then decided. I didn’t tell him not to pick Oxlade-Chamberlain".

ALEX OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN claims Francis Coquelin has developed into Arsenal’s most important player.

And the Arsenal winger insists his unsung hero is currently out-performing everyone else at the club.

Frenchman Coquelin has been in the form of his life in the Arsenal engine room this season.

Oxlade-Chamberlain said: “At the moment he’s the first person I’d put on my teamsheet.

“When I’m playing alongside Francis, there’s nobody better to play with.

“He brings that security and confidence that you have someone like that who can pick the ball up, intercept balls that should never be intercepted, win tackles that you don’t think he can win, and he’s also a quality player on the ball as well.

“You can never take away his technical ability and that goes unnoticed at times because he just does his job, but he’s probably one of the best technicians in our side as well.

“I love watching him play and it’s not often that you tend to say that.

“You love watching the Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozils of the world play, and someone who does the work which goes unnoticed you don’t really appreciate.”

Aaron Ramsey has admitted that he prefers to play in a central role for the club rather than out wide.

The Welshman had played on the right flank for the Gunners for the past few months of the season before being shifted back into the middle for his side's matches against Manchester United and Sunderland.

Although Ramsey has insisted that he is happy to do whatever Arsene Wenger asks of him, he has conceded that he favours plying his trade in the middle of the park.

He told reporters: "I'm not hiding away from it, I want to be playing in the middle. I've had chats with the manager about it. I showed at Manchester United what I'm capable of doing when I go into the middle of the park.

"But the manager said he wants me do a job out there for the moment and obviously I'll do that for him. But I prefer to play in the middle. We have wingers on the bench, but he's still picking me out wide.

"Santi Cazorla is the one in my position. He's the one who plays alongside Francis Coquelin and tries to get forward. I am trying to get that back."

Ramsey has made 39 appearances for the Gunners in all competitions this season, scoring 10 goals.

Wojciech Szczesny insists he will not leave the Emirates Stadium this summer and is "here for good".

The Poland international recorded a clean sheet as the Gunners defeated Aston Villa 4-0 to win the FA Cup at Wembley on Saturday. However, Szczesny has not played in the Barclays Premier League since being dropped following the defeat at Southampton on New Year's Day, which had been another inconsistent display and one after which he was disciplined for smoking in the showers.

Colombia international David Ospina, signed from Nice last summer, has produced a number of solid displays since coming into the team, which will provide some stern competition for the goalkeeper's jersey next season. Arsenal, however, are also said to be weighing up a £10million move for Petr Cech with the experienced stopper expected to leave Chelsea. Szczesny, though, sees no reason to feel his long-term position at Arsenal should be the subject of any backpage headlines.

"I am very grateful for the manager, he has been good with me over these last couple of months and has shown all the faith in the world in me and I am very thankful for the chance to play in the cup final and am very glad of a clean sheet,

" the 25-year-old said. "You (media) like to speculate, but I am happy where I am. "I have got all the support in the world from the manager and I have fantastic relations with him, so you can stop the gossip now because I am here for good. I will stay." 

Hector Bellerin says it is vital for the club to finish in the top three of the Premier League this season.

“It is really important and it will be a weight taken off our shoulders, because we have had to play in that game every year and sometimes, like last year in Besiktas, when we had to play away in Turkey, it is always hard conditions,” 

“I think with the second part of the season we have been doing really well and if we did not finish in the top three, it would be really disappointing for us. But I think the team has got it in us and we can get more points, starting this Sunday against Manchester.

“We beat them in the FA Cup, so I think we need to play the same type of game and stick together. We had a little accident against Swansea at home the other day, but we need to think about all the other games that we have played before that game, and we know that we have been doing great.”

Bellerin, 20, has also predicted “big things” from this Arsenal team next season after the form the club have shown in the league since the turn of the year.

“By the way we have played, especially since January, I think we have showed everyone that next year in this form, we can do big things – League, Champions League, whatever is in front of us – I think we can challenge for it,” said the Spaniard.

“We have some great players – I am not sure if more players are coming in the summer – and I think the team feels way stronger than it was before. All the new players that have come in are now all together and every new signing is feeling like an important player, which is good.

“I think that we just need to finish the season on a high, so then hopefully we can pick up at the beginning of next season and start the league and the competitions with a bit more authority, which is something we did not do this season. And then hopefully it will not be too late, like this season.”

Olympique Lyonnais, Villarreal and VfL Wolfsburg will join Arsenal for the Emirates Cup 2015 on Saturday, July 25 and Sunday, July 26.

It will be the eighth staging of the tournament, which has been a regular part of the club’s pre-season schedule since the move to Emirates Stadium.

As in previous years, supporters will enjoy two matches on both Saturday and Sunday, with one ticket giving access to both matches on a particular day.

Nicklas Bendtner is set to return to Emirates Stadium with Bundesliga side Wolfsburg, who will take on Santi Cazorla’s former club Villarreal in the opening match of the tournament at 2pm on Saturday, July 25. Arsenal will then host Lyon at 4.20pm.

ARSENAL boss Arsene Wenger believes his side should’ve beaten Manchester United yesterday.

The Gunners drew 1-1 with Red Devils thanks to a late own goal from Tyler Blackett.

The draw at Old Trafford leaves Wenger’s men two points clear of the Red Devils - who took the lead in the tie through summer signing Ander Herrera.

Speaking after the match, Wenger admitted that United dominated the first-half of the contest but claimed his side were the better team in the second period.

“They started stronger than us,” he said.

“We were not totally in there but in the second-half we dominated completely.”

“Unfortunately we couldn’t score a second goal but the chances were there.”

Arsene Wenger has admitted that he is delighted to hear that midfielder Jack Wilshere wants to stay at Arsenal.

Wilshere, 23, has been linked with a £30m summer moveto Manchester City but recently pledged his loyalty to the Gunners, whom he joined as a nine-year-old.

The England international netted a wonder goal inSunday's end-of-season win over West Bromwich Albion, and Wenger is glad to know that he has no plans on leaving.

"He wants to stay at the club? I hope so!," he told the club's official website.

"He has been educated here and he's Arsenal through and through. He and Kieran Gibbs are.

"He arrived at nine years of age and Gibbs at 12. You want them to be the future of the team and the core of the team."

Wilshere recently returned from injury after a five-month layoff.

ARSENE WENGER last night insisted Francis Coquelin has looked like a £40m player this season.

The Gunners boss reckons the French midfielder has put in so many big performances that his value has rocketed.

Wenger said: "The world has changed. The appreciation today of the quality of a player is just down with the money you spend.

"If we had bought Coquelin at Christmas for £40m, everyone would say 'what a signing'.

"I am sorry he didn't cost any money - he is still a good player.

"He has shown he has the capacity to play for us and play a big part in the success of the team. I think nobody would dispute that his performances have been convincing."

Defensive midfielder Coquelin, 24, has been with the Gunners from the age of 17.

Since returning from a loan spell at Charlton in late November, he has made 27 appearances for Wenger and become a key player in his team and looks sure to face Sunderland tonight.

Wenger also laughed off claims from Jose Mourinho on Monday that Chelsea's 3-0 defeat at West Brom was down to other clubs like Arsenal allowing them to win the title so easily.

He said: "I don't listen to what people say. When he was asked if that applied even to Mourinho, he said: "Exactly!"

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