Alexis Sanchez raring to face Tottenham in north London derby - transfer roundup

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He may have played 90 minutes against Southampton in the Capital One Cup this week but it seems as though Alexis Sanchez is determined to cram in as much football as he can before Arsenal take on Tottenham Hotspur in the north London derby this weekend.

Sanchez desperate to play

Quotes from teammate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain today reveal that the Chile forward had to be told to take it easy, after trying to put in extra training sessions ahead of the crucial fixture at the Emirates Stadium tomorrow.

Sanchez is said to have attempted to disobey Arsene Wenger’s orders to rest on Wednesday and Thursday, following the defeat to the Saints mid-week, and instead tried to train with the first-team as usual, before being told to rest up by Arsenal coaches.

The Gunners take on Spurs knowing that anything other than a win will be met with a fierce backlash from the fans, and Tottenham’s poor start to the season sees Wenger’s charges entering the tie as favourites to grab three points.

Mertesacker returns

The Arsenal boss has already confirmed that defensive stalwart Per Mertesacker will be fit to start the game, despite fears that injury could keep him sidelined. He’s likely to be partnered by Calum Chambers, with a number of problems ensuring that he still has decisions to be made over who will start on either flank.

Laurent Koscielny could start, though his recent problems have made sure that Arsenal have aired on the side of caution when it comes to playing him. If he does then Chambers will inevitably move to right-back, the position he dutifully manned for Southampton last term, although fellow youngster Hector Bellerin will want to be given another chance to prove himself in the starting XI.

Rabiot interest

Moving onto transfer news it’s yet another defender who will occupy Wenger’s thoughts, as the race hots up for Adrien Rabiot. The youngster is wanted by Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea, though Barcelona’s recent interest could give them all cause for concern.

The La Liga giants can't do anymore business until 2015 thanks to the punishments handing down to them for breaching regulations during their purchase of Neymar, but the fear is that Barca will be able to sign a pre-contractual agreement meaning that Rabiot would effectively be their player, whilst remaining at PSG.

Wenger is a known admirer of the young Frenchman and has a track record which makes him an ideal candidate to be tasked with moulding his career, but that might not be enough to ensure Arsenal get their man this time around.

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Alexis Sanchez
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