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Transfer news: Isak to Arsenal, Rudiger opens talks

Robbie Mustoe and Tim Howard recap another wild day of Premier League action, headlined by Chelsea and Liverpool's pivotal and thrilling 2-2 draw in West London.

The transfer news continues to flow as the January window is open and the latest reports link Alexander Isak to Arsenal, while Antonio Rudiger has opened talks with several European giants.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

Mikel Arteta is building momentum and will be pushing for incomings in January and this summer to turn his young Arsenal side into contenders once again.

As for Rudiger, he’s been chasing by top clubs in Europe as his contract is up this summer at Chelsea.

Let’s break down these latest reports, shall we?

Alexander Isak to Arsenal

The Swedish striker is reportedly being lined up as Arsenal’s replacement for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

According to a report in Spanish outlet El Nacional, Real Sociedad will not sell Isak to Barcelona to strengthen a rival. Instead, they are willing to sell the youngster to Arsenal. It is reported that Isak has a $100 million release clause in his contract.

Isak, 22, has scored eight times for Real Sociedad in La Liga this season and he had a very good EURO 2020 with Sweden last summer.

Given the current situation Aubameyang at Arsenal, it’s clear that he will likely be moved on this month or in the summer. The Gabonese striker was stripped of the Arsenal captaincy after his latest off-field issue and he hasn’t hit the heights of his first few years at the Gunners since he signed a big contract extension in the summer of 2020.

Isak would certainly fit Arsenal’s system well and given that Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah may also be moving on this summer when their contracts expire, Arsenal could be short of strikers a few months from now.

Although Isak hasn’t been prolific during his career (38 goals in 101 appearances for Sociedad isn’t bad), he works so hard and the space he could create for Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli would really suit Arsenal’s incisive, direct style of play.

This move would also fit with Arteta’s model of buying exciting, young, hungry players ans Isak has a lot of international experience (32 games and nine goals for Sweden) at a very young age.

European clubs open talks with Antonio Rudiger

Chelsea and Germany center back Antonio Rudiger, 28, is out of contract this summer and is a wanted man.

Our partners in the UK at Sky Sports have the latest on Rudiger’s situation, as he is now free to talk to non-English teams about signing a pre-contract agreement to join for free in the summer.

“Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich and Juventus have opened talks with Antonio Rudiger’s representatives over a pre-contract agreement this month. Rudiger’s Chelsea contract is up in the summer. Chelsea want to extend Rudiger’s contract. Staying at Chelsea has not been ruled out.

“Chelsea’s last contract offer in the summer was not considered as it was worth half of what Chelsea’s top earners are on. Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick is a long term admirer of the defender and knows Rudiger’s brother - and agent - very well.

“Rudiger remains 100 per cent focussed and committed to Chelsea and Thomas Tuchel continues to count on him. Rudiger has started 20 Premier League games this season – the most of any Chelsea outfield player.”

Chelsea rely heavily on Rudiger but he, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta are all out of contract this summer and all three seem to be seriously thinking about moving on.

Rudiger’s name will dominate the January window as he looks to try and sort out his future, and there’s no doubt every top club in Europe will be trying to sign him on a free. He has been consistently excellent over the last 12 months and is perfect for Thomas Tuchel’s system with a three-man central defense.

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