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6pm Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Willian contract offered, NINE players up for sale, Aubameyang ‘demands Dembele’

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6pm arsenal transfer news live willian contract offered nine players up for sale aubameyang demands dembele
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PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG is reportedly willing to stay at Arsenal following their FA Cup final victory, but wants the club to sign Ousmane Dembele.

And the Gunners are stepping up their pursuit of Willian, with reports claiming they have offered the Chelsea man a three-year deal.

Get all the latest news and transfer gossip from North London here…

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Lewis Hamilton’s winning formula: Brawn, brains… and now he is set for new £120m Mercedes deal

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lewis hamiltons winning formula brawn brains and now he is set for new 120m mercedes deal

How differently Formula One history might have turned out but for Lewis Hamilton standing outside his mother’s house directing in a guest who was to change his life.

There would have been no 96th pole position achieved here, ahead of the Russian Grand Prix, in dramatic circumstances.

Nor Sunday’s potential landmark drive to match Michael Schumacher’s record 91 victories, a feat once so distant but now just 53 clean laps away.

Lewis Hamilton will equal Michael Schumacher's record of 91 victories with a win in Sochi

Lewis Hamilton will equal Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 victories with a win in Sochi

Nor would Hamilton — as we reveal on Sunday — be close to agreeing a new three-year deal to remain at Mercedes until the eve of his 39th birthday. For he might never have joined them to start with.

But we go from Sochi on the Black Sea coast to mum Carmen’s house in Knebworth, Hertfordshire, on the day Ross Brawn, then team principal of the team which was to go on to dominate Formula One, turned up for secret talks to entice Lewis away from McLaren.

Brawn, now F1’s head of motorsport, reveals the inside story of that courtship, saying: ‘Those early talks were one-to-ones at his mum’s house. We wanted to keep it a little bit quiet, so as not to antagonise Ron (Dennis, the McLaren chairman). So I used to drive there and meet Lewis.

‘I remember the first time I couldn’t find my way. Lewis told me to keep driving and I found him in the middle of the road, waving me into his mother’s drive. That’s not very discreet, is it? A semi-clandestine meeting and he is out there for anyone to see!’

Lewis Hamilton waves to the 30,000 fans present during qualifying at Russian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton waves to the 30,000 fans present during qualifying at Russian Grand Prix

Brawn outlined his ambitions, while Bernie Ecclestone pulled some strings behind the scenes. And Hamilton, after 21 wins at McLaren, made one of the biggest decisions of his life to move.

With Hamilton now on the brink of his 70th victory in Silver Arrow machinery, Brawn draws on his experience of the two most successful drivers in history.

As technical director of Benetton and Ferrari, he was a mastermind of Schumacher’s seven world titles and set the blueprint for Hamilton’s success, despite making way for Toto Wolff a year after the British driver’s arrival.

Ross Brawn recalls the meeting with Lewis Hamilton to complete the Mercedes move

Ross Brawn recalls the meeting with Lewis Hamilton to complete the Mercedes move

Brawn admits he 'cannot think of more different characters' than Hamilton and Schumacher

Brawn admits he ‘cannot think of more different characters’ than Hamilton and Schumacher

‘In terms of the sharp end, in the car, they are clearly both exceptional talents,’ he said. ‘Out of the car, I cannot think of more different characters. When I started working with Lewis I was shocked by him. I had been used to Michael and his single-minded approach. He had very few distractions and was very much family- orientated.

‘So Lewis’s lifestyle, with the travelling, the music, the fashion shows, was odd to me. He was much more flamboyant. Yet Lewis has proved, and everybody now acknowledges this, that these other things are part of his success.

‘It was easy to see the dedication in Michael but not so easy with Lewis — outwardly, I mean. He hid it. But once you got used to his style, you could see a total desire to succeed in motor racing. And they could both do things in racing cars that very few people can: produce the exceptional lap.

The Briton secured pole for the 96th time in his career despite a couple of obstacles in Q2

The Briton secured pole for the 96th time in his career despite a couple of obstacles in Q2

‘Alain Prost was a very successful racing driver but you wouldn’t say his one-lap speed was amazing. However, these two guys, Lewis and Michael, find something from you don’t know where. Their colleagues in the pit lane just stand there thinking, “Wow”.’

Hamilton’s ability to find speed that trumps the rest was evidenced again here where, for the first time this season, fans returned — some 30,000 of them. Only in Russia, where Covid is fake news!

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Hamilton’s 96th pole came despite a couple of obstacles in Q2. First, his time was wiped because he ran off the track. That plunged him down to 16th. His problems intensified as he tried to set a lap quick enough to crack into Q2, only for Sebastian Vettel to spin and hit the tyre wall to bring about a red flag.

There would be two minutes and 15 seconds remaining once the Ferrari was cleared away and qualifying restarted.

Hamilton queued up eighth in the pit lane ready for the resumption. He had to get in an out-lap before the clock ran out to have even a shot at registering another time.

He ran wide in his anxiety, and it was touch and go whether he would make it. He did, with a second-and-a-half to spare. He duly catapulted himself up to fourth. Then came the inevitable pole, more than 0.5sec ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen with Mercedes’ No 2 Valtteri Bottas in third.

But winning will not be straightforward. Unlike his rivals, Hamilton will start on the less durable soft tyres as a consequence of his Q2 difficulties.

He also has to hold off Verstappen in the long, 900-yard chase into the opening bends.

Hamilton's pole on Saturday in Sochi came despite a couple of obstacles in qualifying two

Hamilton’s pole on Saturday in Sochi came despite a couple of obstacles in qualifying two

Returning to the two greats: which of them, I wonder, was the more vulnerable — Lewis, who often wears his heart on his sleeve, or Schumacher, who tried during his long career, not always successfully, to hide his emotions from the world?

Brawn replies immediately. ‘Michael, funnily enough. On first appearances you would say he was stronger, and even appeared arrogant, but he had a lot of insecurities. That is why he was so obsessed with his driving.

‘He could not work out why he was so lucky. He needed the right sort of people around him, a reassuring group — people like Jean Todt, myself, Rory (Byrne) — whereas I don’t think Lewis is so dependent on people.

‘The other passions in Lewis’s life may give him a bit of extra longevity. Michael was a bit worn out by 2006, when he stopped with Ferrari. Lewis is driving as well as I can remember or have ever seen.

‘By all accounts Mercedes are looking at another agreement with him for three more years.’

That is ample time not only to beat Schumacher’s records but to drive clean out of sight.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Chelsea ‘to make £40m move for Declan Rice’ and Frank Lampard is convinced Hammers will sell

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chelsea to make 40m move for declan rice and frank lampard is convinced hammers will sell

Chelsea are eager to sign West Ham midfielder Declan Rice before the closure of the transfer window.

Frank Lampard wants to bring in a defensive midfielder and Chelsea are set to make a bid of more than £40million before the October 5 deadline, as reported by The Sun.

Chelsea are confident of signing the England international as they believe that West Ham are desperate for funds.

Chelsea are set to launch an offer of more than £40m for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice

Chelsea are set to launch an offer of more than £40m for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice

Rice, who was released by Chelsea as a 14 year old, has already made 100 Premier League appearances at the age of 21. 

His contract runs until the summer of 2024, but West Ham could be tempted to sell him, especially with co-chairman David Sullivan admitting that the club have found it difficult sign new players due to a lack of funds. 

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is eager to secure a deal for the England international

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is eager to secure a deal for the England international

West Ham co-owner David Sullivan spoke about his frustration over a lack of transfer funds

West Ham co-owner David Sullivan spoke about his frustration over a lack of transfer funds

Chelsea have been heavily active in the transfer market, securing deals for Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva, Kai Havertz and Edouard Mendy.

However, it seems clear that it may take some time for Lampard to figure out how to get the best of the players at his disposal.

Chelsea have taken four points from their first three Premier League games and had to come from three goals down to draw 3-3 away to West Brom on Saturday. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Josh Taylor dismantles Apinun Khongsong with first-round KO in first world title defence

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josh taylor dismantles apinun khongsong with first round ko in first world title defence scaled

TARTAN TORNADO Josh Taylor waited 11 months for a world title defence and blasted Apinun Khongsong out inside 160 seconds.

The 29-year-old southpaw star became the unified boxing super-lightweight king back in October with an iconic win over American Regis Prograis.

Josh Taylor dismantled Apinun Khongsong with a first-round KO in his first world title defence

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Josh Taylor dismantled Apinun Khongsong with a first-round KO in his first world title defenceCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
Taylor needed just 160 seconds to win the bout

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Taylor needed just 160 seconds to win the boutCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd

And he is waiting on a career-defining undisputed decider with WBC and WBO champ Jose Ramirez next year.

The Scot described the undefeated Thai hardman – who arrived in London with a scary 16-0 record and 13 KOs – as a giant hurdle in the way of his dreams.

But Taylor blitzed him with his first serious punch of the night that left the arena stunned.

Khonsong looked impressive when he stripped off for the 10st York Hall clash. 

And he threw a couple of purposeful right hands in the opening two minutes.

But when the pair clinched on the ropes, Taylor cocked his left hand and thundered a hook into the challenger’s ribs that left him crippled with pain and wriggling around on the floor.

Ringside pundits David Haye and Carl Frampton were as confused as the press pack on the balcony by what looked like a phantom punch.

But replays showed it was a magnificent punch that connected with the 27-year-old’s unguarded torso.

DD COMPOSITE UPCOMING BOXING FIGHTS v1 1

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Taylor is gearing up for a fight with WBC and WBO champ Jose Ramirez next year

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Taylor is gearing up for a fight with WBC and WBO champ Jose Ramirez next yearCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd

And he folded into the canvas before being carried out of the ring on a stretcher.

Earlier in the night ex fly-weight champ Charlie Edwards announced his comeback with a one-sided points win over Kyle Williams.

The Sheffield-based ace is targeting a second world title reign at super-fly after dropping his crown last year after the weight cut became too brutal.

Josh Taylor training with Tyson Fury’s ex-coach Ben Davison after split from Shane McGuigan

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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