Categories
Soccer

Cristiano Ronaldo faces wait after Juventus star demands fourth Covid-19 test

Cristiano Ronaldo is anxiously awaiting the result of a new coronavirus test he personally requested before deciding his next move.

The 35-year-old was pictured on Tuesday giving the thumbs-up and smiling from the balcony of his room at Portugal squad’s training base on the outskirts of Lisbon where he is currently self-isolating.

Today it emerged the 35-year-old Juventus striker demanded a new test by a different lab to the one the Portuguese FA uses, and is still awaiting the result.

Portuguese sports analyst Rui Pedro Braz described it as the fourth test, after two ‘Gold Standard’ positives which are seen as the most accurate and a third less benchmark one which came back “inconclusive”.

It is not yet clear when the results of the new test will be known, but they will enable the former Real Madrid and Manchester United star to determine his next move.

Reports in Portugal say he is expected to return to Turin to continue his self-isolation if he tests positive for Covid-19 a third time, although it is understood he would have to be taken to Lisbon Airport to board a private plane in an ambulance as part of strict protocols on the movement of people with coronavirus.

Cristiano’s elder sister Elma Aveiro laid bare her brother’s angst about his test results and confusion over how he had caught Covid after so many days locked in with the rest of the Portuguese squad.

  • Cristiano Ronaldo's girlfriend sends star emotional message after positive Covid test

She told respected Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manha: “He wanted to repeat the test.

“He said it was impossible he had the virus because he didn’t feel anything.”

Mr Braz, speaking on Portuguese TV staton TVI and adding to the mystery surrounding Cristiano’s positive tests, said: “The Portuguese players have been together for nearly ten days.

“Cristiano for example travelled after the game that wasn’t played between Juventus and Naples because of positives in the Naples squad.

  • Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi reunion unlikely to happen when Juventus play Barcelona

“In the ten days he’s been with the Portugal team, he’s had eight Gold Standard Covid-19 tests.

“The first six came back negative. The seventh one, which was done on Monday and the results of which came back in the early hours of yesterday (TUE), was positive as was the new one done yesterday.

“He’s now awaiting the results of a third test he’s personally asked for.”

He added, referring to Jose Fonte and Anthony Lopes who are the other two Portuguese internationals who in the past have tested positive for coronavirus: “It’s up to him to decide whether he travels to Turin or remains in Portugal.

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“Jose Fonte tested positive for Covid and travelled to Lille and Anthony Lopes tested positive and travelled to Lyon.

“Cristiano Ronaldo believes that if he tests positive a third time he’ll want to travel to Turin.

“There has been some speculation about another test which has been carried out since his positives and that is the case.

“But it wasn’t a Gold Standard test of the type carried out in the Portuguese FA installations and taken to a lab with a wait of five to six hours for the results.

“It was a normal everyday test which Cristiano wanted to do after his first positive and that one came back inconclusive.”

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Sports News

Final field and barriers 2020 Caulfield Cup

With no late inclusions forcing their way into the final field for Saturday’s $5 million Caulfield Cup via Wednesday’s Coongy Handicap the top class import Anthony Van Dyck was declared as topweight for the big race.

Last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Vow And Declare will carry the No. 3 saddlecloth with the James Cummings-trained Avilius splitting the pair.

Chapada, who forced his way into the Cup field via the Herbert Power last Saturday will carry the lightest weight of 50.5kg under Jye McNeil and wear No. 18, while four emergencies were declared including the Melbourne Cup-bound Oceanex.

TAB ODDS

CAULFIELD CUP

After barrier draw

$4.50 Verry Elleegant

$5 Anthony Van Dyck

$9 Master Of Wine

$11 Finche

$13 Buckhurst

$15 Toffee Tongue

$17 Dashing Willoughby

$21 Mirage Dancer

Warning

Dalasan

Chapada

$26 Prince Of Arran

True Self

$34 Avilius

Vow And Declare

San Huberto (2E)

$51 Le Don De Vie (4E)

$67 The Chosen One

Aktau

$101 Mustajeer

Oceanex (3E)

$201 Raheen House (1E)

MORE RACING NEWS

Sky Racing News Update: 14th October 2020

Sky Racing News Update: 14th October 2020.


Originally published asStar import tops Caulfield Cup final field

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Categories
Soccer

New Zealand PULL OUT of friendly against England at Wembley next month

New Zealand PULL OUT of international friendly against England at Wembley next month… citing ‘travel and player availability complications’ due to the coronavirus pandemic

  • New Zealand will not travel to England for Wembley friendly on November 12
  • The All Whites have pulled out, citing coronavirus travel restrictions as reason
  • A large number of the team’s players would have to quarantine on their return
  • England are now scrambling around for a new opponent for the November game

New Zealand have scrapped their plans to travel to London for an international friendly against England in the next international break.

Citing ‘travel and player availability complications’, the All Whites confirmed the news on Wednesday morning, leaving England scrambling around to find a new opposition for the game on November 12.

In a statement posted on their website, New Zealand Football’s CEO Andrew Pragnell said: ‘It is with deep regret that we have been forced to cancel our participation in the upcoming match against England at Wembley.

Wembley Stadium was set to host a friendly between England and New Zealand in November

New Zealand have pulled out due to coronavirus travel restrictions, it has been announced

‘It is not an action taken lightly, this is a match we all wanted to play, however, as it stands of the last All Whites squad selected for the November 2019 tour, even excluding the New Zealand based players, a significant number of the team would be subject to quarantine or restrictions on their return home. This would heavily disrupt their domestic seasons and potentially jeopardise their professional careers.

‘The shifting nature of travel restrictions and commercial flight availability under Covid means that we do not have certainty we could assemble a squad at Wembley on this day and defaulting on this fixture at the last minute is not an option.

‘Prior to Covid we had a full calendar of fixtures planned for the All Whites, and we have been proactive in seeking out matches for the team since the disruption, but unfortunately it just isn’t possible to make the new games we have scheduled this year happen.

‘We are now looking forward to the March 2021 international window as we begin our qualifying campaign for the FIFA World Cup 2022.’

More to follow.  


Chris Wood (left) and Winston Reid (right) are two of the big names in New Zealand’s team

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Categories
Soccer

Barcelona ‘to move for Pogba on free transfer’ amid Man Utd contract uncertainty

Barcelona are eyeing a move for Paul Pogba once his Manchester United contract expires next summer.

The Frenchman has been heavily linked with a move away from Old Trafford despite constantly receiving the backing of manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

United dug their heels in last summer when it looked as if Pogba was poised to force a United exit with Real Madrid and Juventus heavily linked.

But the midfielder has remained in Manchester, although that has not stopped speculation continuing over his future.

Barcelona have been heavily hit by the global pandemic and do not have the finances to rebuild a team that threw away the La Liga title last term.

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Ronald Koeman has been tasked with returning them to former glories and Pogba's arrival would be a welcome addition – especially on a free.

The Dutchman has been unable to add any major reinforcements this summer with financial constraints meaning his hands are tied.

The World Cup winner is thought to be open to a Nou Camp switch, reports Mundo Deportivo, despite previously confessing his admiration for their arch rivals Madrid.

Pogba again reignited that flame while away on international duty when he maintained that playing for Los Blancos is a "dream".

Should Man Utd cash in on Paul Pogba? Have your say here.

“Many things have been said,” he said in a news conference.

“Of course, every footballer would love to play for Real Madrid and would dream about that. It’s a dream of mine, so why not one day?

“But I’m at Manchester United and I love my club. I play for Manchester United, I want to perform well for them and do everything to get them back to where they deserve to be.”

United will aim to tie down their record signing and have the option of another year beyond the June 2021 expiry date.

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Categories
Soccer

Man Utd hero Paul Scholes urges Ed Woodward to sign striker who could be next Lionel Messi

Manchester United hero Paul Scholes is not convinced Anthony Martial is cut out to be the main striker at Old Trafford. Instead he thinks Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ed Woodward should have moved for Erling Haaland who he thinks could be as good as Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.

United signed Edinson Cavani on deadline day but Scholes thinks the club need to address their No. 9.

The former Red Devil believes Martial has ‘conned’ people into thinking he was the solution last season.

Scholes told Stadium Astro: “These forwards are exceptionally talented lads, we all know that.

“The problem with United’s forwards is that none of them is an actual centre-forward.

JUST IN: Man Utd star Fernandes ‘angry’ over transfer activity and has Solskjaer sack view

“Martial almost conned us into thinking he was one at the end of last season because he scored so many goals and was quite good.

“He’s started this season quite poorly again, which makes you think he isn’t.

“It’s misleading. That’s why I’ve kept saying we need a top-class No. 9.”

Scholes believes United were better off without Jadon Sancho and should go all out to bring Haaland to Old Trafford.

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“I think Haaland is sensational,” Scholes said.

“I think he’ll be up there with your Ronaldo’s and Messi’s levels possibly from what I’ve seen so far.

“That’s why I just never felt Sancho was the right type of player because we’ve got three of that type of player already.

“To spend £100m or whatever, I didn’t think it was right. I wasn’t that disappointed.

“Look, he’s a brilliant player and he’ll probably improve any team but I just didn’t think there was the need for him this year.”

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United return to action on Saturday against Newcastle in the Premier League (9am).

Solskjaer has a decision to make on who starts as the main striker as top-flight football returns following the international break.

Martial is suspended after being sent off in the 6-1 defeat to Tottenham and Cavani is still quarantining after joining the club.

That leaves Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Odion Ighalo as the options available to Solskjaer.

It means Cavani could make his United debut against his former side Paris Saint-Germain next Tuesday in the Champions League.

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Categories
MLB

Passan: Braves are making the improbable real against the Dodgers in NLCS

    ESPN MLB insider
    Author of “The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports”

ARLINGTON, Texas — For a National League Championship Series that seems to relish bringing the improbable to life, even this was outlandish. It was the ninth inning of Game 2, and Atlanta Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies yanked a fastball toward left-center field. The ball flew over the fence — and directly into the glove of Mark Melancon, the Braves’ closer, who grinned and galloped gleefully around the team’s bullpen. Relievers occasionally snag home run balls, sure, but from the same batter in the same inning off the same pitch type in the same series? Melancon had done it in Game 1, too.

The theme of improbability linking Monday to Tuesday wasn’t limited to reliever cosplaying outfielder. The Braves beat the Los Angeles Dodgers again. The same Dodgers who only four times this year lost back-to-back games. The same Dodgers who entered this series in Las Vegas as 70% favorites, the third-highest percentage in an LCS in two decades, even though Atlanta had similarly run roughshod over its wild-card and division series opponents.

There is but one undefeated team remaining in this postseason, and it’s the Braves, whose 8-7 victory was an NL record-tying seventh in a row to start the playoffs — and far more convincing than the final score indicated. The Dodgers tattooed Josh Tomlin, the Braves’ mop-up guy, for three runs in the ninth inning before Melancon worked around an error and triple to record a one-out save. Going into the ninth, Atlanta held an 8-3 lead and was primed to post back-to-back wins by at least four runs against the Dodgers. In four-run games during the regular season, the Dodgers were 23-3.

In other words, the Braves are doing to the Dodgers what the Dodgers did to everyone else this year.

“There’s no reason for anyone to take their foot off the gas,” Melancon said. “Nobody’s won anything yet.”

Melancon’s caution is understandable, and yet what he and his 27 teammates have done in the first two games of the NLCS is what none of the nine other West division teams nor the Milwaukee Brewers could do with the Dodgers: make them look human. Los Angeles finished the regular season 43-17, a 116-win pace in a typical season. The Dodgers hit, the Dodgers pitched and the Dodgers fielded, an orchestral blend of talent. Their depth reinforced them on offense and buttressed them in the bullpen. This wasn’t just a good team. It was a great team.

And it might still be, though the hole from which Los Angeles must dig itself grew troublingly deep Tuesday. The day had begun with the Dodgers scratching starter Clayton Kershaw from his scheduled start because of a back spasm. Los Angeles moved up rookie Tony Gonsolin, whom the Braves knocked around for five runs in 4⅓ innings while their rookie starter, Ian Anderson, tiptoed around trouble and tossed four shutout innings to extend his postseason scoreless streak to 15⅔ frames.

Atlanta’s routine was familiar: a dose of power from MVP-to-be Freddie Freeman, who homered for the second consecutive day to put the Braves ahead 2-0, and bend-and-bend-and-bend-some-more-but-don’t-break pitching by their staff. Through the top of the seventh inning, when Atlanta held a 7-0 lead, the team’s postseason earned-run average was 0.84.

That the Braves proceeded to give up more runs over the next three innings (seven) than they had in the first 6⅔ games (six) wasn’t exactly ideal, but then one can’t expect the Dodgers’ somnambulism to continue. As good as the Braves are — as worthy an opponent as they’ve proven themselves — the notion that Los Angeles will roll over doesn’t resonate with Atlanta.

“I didn’t feel good with a big lead because these guys are too powerful,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “That’s a good ballgame to win. They all are now.”

It’s not just that the Braves are winning but how they’re doing it. Atlanta entered the postseason with two clear starting pitchers: Max Fried, their burgeoning ace, and Anderson, who didn’t even debut until Aug. 26 and entered the playoffs with six major league starts. The Braves did boast a deep and underappreciated bullpen that hadn’t shown a fissure, let alone a crack, until Corey Seager cranked a three-run home run in the seventh Tuesday and Max Muncy dropped a two-run shot in the ninth.

What had buoyed Atlanta after the brutal Achilles tear of young ace Mike Soroka and myriad other pitching foibles was its lineup, with Ronald Acuña Jr. and Marcell Ozuna and Travis d’Arnaud and Albies and especially Freeman.

“He just keeps reiterating why he’s the MVP, right?” Melancon said. “Freddie’s one of the most consistent players I’ve ever seen, played against, with, been around. That’s just who he is. If there’s one word to sum him up, it’s consistency.”

Funny enough, that word sums up the 2020 Dodgers as well. Snitker called them a group that has “been through those wars,” and whether it was losing the 2017 or 2018 World Series or imploding in the division series against eventual champion Washington last season, the Dodgers do understand adversity.

So when their manager, Dave Roberts, said that “us showing life late — that was really good to see,” it sounded more prognostication than platitude. With Fried and Anderson unavailable for Games 3 and 4, the Dodgers have their opening. Roberts said he expected to pitch Kershaw in Game 4 on Thursday, though first Los Angeles must contend in Game 3 with 25-year-old Kyle Wright, who in his first playoff start threw six shutout innings against Miami and clinched the division series.

Not once this year have the Dodgers dropped three consecutive games, an eye-popping number that illustrates how good they have been and why so many considered their advance to the World Series a fait accompli. The Braves put an end to that talk, and another win would go a long way to putting an end to the NLCS.

“Hopefully,” Melancon said, “[Wednesday] night is three in a row.”

Actually, he was talking about catching another Albies home run ball. But if the sentiment applies instead to the Dodgers, he’ll happily forsake playing outfielder again.

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Soccer

Ryan Giggs: Wales can hurt Bulgaria despite Aaron Ramsey and David Brooks among absentees

Ryan Giggs insists Wales still have the players to hurt Bulgaria despite missing a number of key names for Wednesday’s Nations League game.

Aaron Ramsey, David Brooks and Hal Robson-Kanu have all had to withdraw from Giggs’ initial squad through injury, while striker Kieffer Moore and midfielder Joe Morrell are suspended for the clash in Sofia.

  • Ramsey withdraws ahead of Bulgaria clash
  • Live on Sky: Bulgaria vs Wales preview
  • Wales’ Euro 2020 fixtures

Despite being held to a 0-0 draw away at Republic of Ireland on Sunday, Wales remain top of their UEFA Nations League group and are unbeaten having collected seven points from their opening three games, without conceding a goal.

Reflecting on the match in Dublin, Giggs said: “You look back over the game and it’s never as good or bad as you think. It’s always a difficult game against Ireland, with not many chances.

“We need to improve, we need to be braver with the ball and have more composure. When we did show that we looked dangerous and like a good team.

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“We look solid at the moment, it’s just that next part in the final third where we need to be better.

“It’s been difficult with two away games on the bounce. We’re looking to solidify our standing at the top of the group. We’re looking to win and then we’re in a good position with two home games coming up in the next camp.

“We want to keep this unbeaten run going. It won’t be easy, it never is away from home in Europe but we’ve got the players to hurt Bulgaria.”

Wales struggled to create chances in the Dublin stalemate on Sunday and Giggs admitted his side will need to adopt a plan B in the absence of imposing centre-forward Moore, but is confident they can adapt.

“We haven’t got another play like Kieffer so we’ll have to change the way we play, which we can do no problem,” Giggs said.

“We haven’t had a lot of time to work on stuff but I’ve had a few things in my head in case we did miss Kieffer. We’ve got players who can come in.”

LAST CHANCE To Land The £1m!

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Rugby

Herbert: Auckland aura a myth

Former Test centre Daniel Herbert says the Wallabies shouldn’t be fooled by the so-called mystique of Eden Park as they attempt to win at the Auckland venue on Sunday for the first time in 34 years.

The Wallabies matched the might of the All Blacks in last weekend’s thrilling 16-16 draw in the first Bledisloe Cup Test in Wellington.

But toppling New Zealand at Eden Park, where the Wallabies last won in 1986, is likely to be a tougher task.

Herbert never won with the Wallabies at Eden Park, but tasted success there with Queensland.

“There are certain grounds around the world where the hometown advantage seems to work, but it didn’t work for a lot of years for Auckland as a province,” Herbert said.

“The All Blacks just tend to go well there, and more so they go well against us,

Kieran Read and the imposing All Blacks performs the Haka with team mates before the Bledisloe Cup Test at Eden Park last year (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

“If you ask (then Wallabies captain) Andrew Slack what his guys did in 1986, I don’t think there’s anything different to what they did in that game to many others. They just got it right on the day.

“Our guys now have just got to get it right om the day”

Herbert said there nothing unusual about Eden Park or Auckland that should prevent the Wallabies from winning there.

“There is nothing different that I ever found there compared to anywhere else,” he said.

“In Wellington, you’ve got to deal with the wind, which can be a real factor but in Auckland it’s just like anywhere else.

“It doesn’t have any of those unique factors that you sometimes find.”

🦘 Welcome to the family, Lipo! Wallaby no.931. #Wallabies #BledisloeCup #NZLvAUS pic.twitter.com/pRcLoQIrfO

Herbert called for another “no fear” performance from the Wallabies after their brave weekend performance in Wellington.

“No-one’s ever happy with a draw but from a fan’s perspective, you look at that game and it gives you a bit of belief,” he said.

“We’ve had a few false dawns in the past so you just hope they back it up this week but they played with a hell of a lot of commitment, and they showed they’re fit.

“New Zealand will be better this week. They won’t take too kindly to that result, but our guys have lot of potential as well, and you’d like to think Australia has a lot of improvement in them as well.”

Herbert, also a Rugby Australia board member, was hopeful the four-nation Rugby Championship would proceed as planned despite South Africa threatening to withdraw from the first three rounds of the tournament due “player welfare” concern because of a recent lack of football.

“For (South Africa) coming off a World Cup win last year, they’d like a better preparation but we all would,” Herbert said.

“New Zealand had the best preparation of anyone … but it showed on the weekend that anything can happen on the day.”

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Soccer

Mason Mount: Jack Grealish and I connect, we can play together for England

Mason Mount says he has a “connection” with Jack Grealish and believes they can play together in England’s midfield.

Grealish was England’s standout performer in the 3-0 win over Wales at Wembley last week, making an assist and looking the most creative player on the pitch.

But the Aston Villa midfielder was omitted from the starting line-up against Belgium on Sunday and remained an unused substitute in the 2-1 Nations League win.

  • Why Southgate prefers Mount over Grealish
  • Live on Sky: England vs Denmark preview

Gareth Southgate opted for Mason Mount instead, with the Chelsea youngster lining up on the right-hand side of England’s attack and going on to score the winning goal.

Speaking ahead of England’s next Nations League game against Denmark on Wednesday, live on Sky Sports, Mount told Sky Sports he would like to think there could be room for both of them in the side.

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“I love watching him [Grealish] play as well. He’s brilliant to be around. Obviously we all know what he can do, what a brilliant player he is,” said Mount.



England
Denmark

“I get on very well with Jack. He’s a brilliant player and, yes, we always want to play together.

“We have such a strong group with loads of top, top players. You always want to play with the best and when you come away with England you’re doing that.

“It means so much to come away and play with the likes of Jack and the top, top players in the group.

“You’re learning all the time. Sometimes when you come away you don’t really know what kind of moves they make on the ball.

“You have to kind of learn about the players while you’re away training. You don’t get much time, but when you’re playing the games you kind of have that connection and I think me and Jack do definitely have that.

“You always want to play with the best players, win a lot of games as a group.

“We want to win things, we’re definitely on that path to keep working hard and to get better and better.”

Jamie Redknapp said on Sky Sports after the win over Belgium that Mount could potentially become England’s Kevin De Bruyne.

But the 21-year-old played down the suggestion and said there is a long way to go before he can match the Manchester City midfielder.

“Seeing De Bruyne up close and personal there’s a lot I need to do to improve my game to get anywhere near him,” added Mount.

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“The game was very tough, they’re a very good side, have world-class players so you’re not going to have many chances.

“We had to be at the top of our game [against Belgium] and I thought we were throughout the game.

“They’re a very good team and there are reasons why they are the number one team in the world.”

Southgate: Kane 100 per cent fit, we don’t risk players

Gareth Southgate insists there are no fitness concerns with Harry Kane and says England “don’t risk players” during international duty.

The striker was a doubt for Sunday’s Nations League game against Belgium, but emerged as a 66th-minute substitute as England won 2-1 at Wembley.

Full story here…

Is club vs country row brewing over Kane?

A club versus country row is brewing between Tottenham and England over the fitness and availability of Harry Kane, according to Sky Sports reporter Kaveh Solhekol.

Jose Mourinho expressed concerns this month over Kane’s workload and called on Southgate to protect the striker by not playing him in all of England’s games during the international break.

Kane was seen training with the rest of his team-mates at England’s Bagshot base on Tuesday morning, but should he be risked against Denmark?

Full story here…

LAST CHANCE To Land The £1m!

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Soccer

Martin Keown hammers Arsenal over William Saliba treatment ahead of loan switch

Martin Keown has ripped into Arsenal over their handling of William Saliba.

The Frenchman finally arrived at the Gunners in the summer after signing the year before but staying at Saint-Etienne on loan for a season.

Fans have been anticipating his arrival with glee after earmarking him as a potential star.

Mikel Arteta has been desperate to bolster his defence and in Saliba, they had a perfect player to mold into the role.

Or at least that was what was thought, but the 19-year-old has yet to make a professional appearance for Arsenal.

David Luiz and new signing Gabriel Magalhaes have been Arteta's preferred partnership.

And Rob Holding has been acting as deputy to those, with Saliba not getting a look in.

It had led to talk of a loan move away for the season, with Ligue 1 teams taking an interest, but the deadline passed and no offer was accepted.

Talk of a move to the Championship has grown, who have a deadline until Friday before their window shuts.

Arsenal legend Keown has been left bemused by his former club's treatment of the teenager, who he believes they should be nurturing.

He said: “It’s bizarre. We’ve just not seen the kid.

“You want to see him to see how he performs say in the Championship to see if he’s good enough.

“I’m anxious to see. The feeling was that this was going to be the one. Gabriel has come in and been an outstanding signing.

“Maybe they feel he’s too young and want him to go out to pastures new.

“To then loan him out when there was a real problem there last season seems a real mystery.”

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Arteta insisted that Saliba was not ready for the vigours of the Premier League just yet and wanted him out on a temporary basis to continue his development.

But that may not be the case unless a club comes in and makes an acceptable bid for the Frenchman prior to the market shutting.

“He had year last where Arsenal essentially loaned him to Saint-Etienne and that was a transition year for him,” said Arteta earlier this month.

“For many reasons, that wasn’t the transition year that he needed because he had a lot of injuries.

"He had some personal issues and obviously with COVID and the French league getting cancelled, he didn’t have that year. So he needs that year of transition.

“He needs that year of transition and we are trying to make the right decisions for him to make the best possible year of transition for him to have the player we want for our future.”

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