Bruno to Arsenal? Kudus to Liverpool? Premier League in USA? Ask Ornstein

Once a week for an hour, The Athletic’s subscribers can ask me for my views on anything from the world of football.

I have pulled together some of my favourite questions and my answers to them from the latest Q&A below. Thanks to all who took part today.

Want to ask me a question? I’ll be back next week for another session.

Skedirah M. asked: How concrete are the Bruno Guimaraes to Arsenal rumours? Is this a player who Mikel Arteta and Edu admire and is there a budget to acquire him? Lastly, what would the acquisition of such a player say about the Newcastle project?

David Ornstein: Arsenal really like Bruno as an option if they are to recruit a No 6. He can also operate at No 8 — but Newcastle, Arsenal and others view him as a No 6. Arsenal also have a long-standing interest in Martin Zubimendi (Real Sociedad) for that position and no doubt there will be more candidates on their list.

However, if it is decided Declan Rice will play at No 6 permanently — and depending on what happens with other Arsenal players in that role, like Thomas Partey and Albert Sambi Lokonga — it is not guaranteed they will recruit a No 6. They may instead focus on a No 8.

Bruno has a £100million ($126m) release clause (with activation dates, as has been reported). I’m not sure if Arsenal or anyone else will want/be able to pay that level of money for him, although there are always other solutions that can be explored to try to make such a signing possible.

Newcastle, however, do not want to lose him. I doubt they would welcome interest for below-the-clause value — unless their PSR (profit and sustainability regulations) situation dictates they have to and the required finance can’t be raised through alternative means. But the fact there is a clause dictates they are not fully in control of this situation.

Bruno seems extremely happy at Newcastle and that works in their favour. That said, few players would decline a move to a club such as Arsenal — especially given what is happening there at the moment — should the sides pursue a deal.

The Newcastle project is hugely ambitious and if sales need to be made to comply with PSR they would much prefer these to be fringe players than Bruno and Alexander Isak. They want to build with them, not without them. But things don’t always work out how you want, so let’s see what the summer brings.


Newcastle don’t want to sell Isak (Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Alex H. asked: You mentioned it is likely Liverpool look for a wide player in the summer, is this search likely to include Mohammed Kudus and do you think his alleged release clause would be a stumbling block? Cheers

Ornstein: As you say, Alex, I mentioned this on Tuesday’s Athletic FC podcast. From what I hear, a wide forward is among the areas Liverpool are exploring heading into the summer window.

I don’t know if Kudus is an option but he is a brilliant player, has enjoyed an excellent debut season and it would be surprising if he wasn’t on the radar of Liverpool and any other leading club looking to strengthen in that part of the pitch. It isn’t an alleged release clause, there is one — as has been reported in various places.

I don’t know the details but Kudus is not alone in having such a mechanism in his contract; Paqueta and other West Ham players do, too. You’ll remember it was one of the reasons why he didn’t end up joining Brighton.

I have no idea if it would be a hindrance or a help… that depends on the terms and the financial situations of his potential suitors. West Ham will of course want to keep Kudus and build with him.

Teddy B. asked: What are the chances Eddie Nketiah is moved on from Arsenal in the summer?

Ornstein: Nketiah’s lack of playing time this season feels telling, Teddy. It suggests he might not be as central a part of their plans as would have been imagined when he signed his new contract. It is also not ideal for someone who is at a stage of his career where he needs and wants to be playing regular football.

There has long been interest in Nketiah from the Premier League (Crystal Palace, for example) and abroad, plus his homegrown status means a sale would represent pure profit from a PSR perspective for Arsenal. So I imagine there is a good chance he moves on, but I’m not aware of any concrete developments yet.


Nketiah has played rarely this season (Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Dan Z. asked: Do you have any info on when the Manchester City/Premier League case will take place? Thanks.

Ornstein: Consensus among other Premier League clubs is that the case is scheduled to be heard in the autumn, with an outcome in 2025. That has been reported by Mike Keegan in the Daily Mail, too.

I know witness statements have been/are being taken, which is normal procedure, but the parties involved and Premier League chief executive Richard Masters have said they have a date, so it feels like we are getting closer to some clarity.

Xavier M. asked: Are Arsenal still interested in Pedro Neto or a similar profile? 

Ornstein: Arsenal have long wanted depth/competition in the wide forward positions and we have reported on their interest in Neto.

Given his injury record and likely price, this is not a deal I would imagine is a priority for them this summer. Also, there are multiple other clubs considering a move for Neto, so even if Arsenal decided to pursue him they would face competition.

Nico Williams (Athletic Bilbao) is among the other options Arsenal like, but they are not his only admirers and there is no guarantee he leaves his club.

Darragh M. asked: There are reports that NBC will push for Premier League games to be played in the United States. Do you think this is something we are going to see happen?

Ornstein: I reported on this almost three years ago, Darragh. And let’s not forget the ’39th game’ proposal from around 2006/07. On the one hand, it feels inevitable something will happen at some point… on the other, some I speak to still strongly doubt that.

The harder people push for it, the stronger the resistance seems to grow. Fan power is reaching new heights and the independent regulator may bolster that movement. It is also worth remembering the prime kick-off slots in the U.S. would not be great for UK audiences.

At present, most of the weekend Premier League games take place in the morning in the U.S, when no other sport is happening.

I also work for NBC and love the output/ambition — but clearly, a lot of conversations need to be had before we know whether Premier League games will be staged in the U.S. or not.

Will B. asked: Is there any chance Gallagher stays at Chelsea?

Ornstein: Of course, Will. It’s possible. Chelsea and Gallagher could decide to continue together on a new contract or Gallagher has the power to enter his final 12 months. But I’m not aware of any significant movement on talks to extend and, in the absence of that, normally a club would look to sell rather than risk losing the player for free a year later.


Gallagher’s Chelsea contract expires in summer 2025 (Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

The interest of Tottenham and others has been well documented, but the price these teams would be looking to pay at this point is lower than what Chelsea would ideally want. As we saw with Mount in 2023, a move could well happen.

But I also accept that Gallagher being so important to the team (Mount was injured and lacked game time) means the situations are not identical. No doubt it will be a big theme in the weeks and months ahead!

Andrew P. asked: Do you have an idea on when the appeal verdict for Nottingham Forest will be, as it was widely reported that it would be announced this week?

Ornstein: I’m expecting it in the early part of next week, Andrew.

Ben asked: Following Mauricio Pochettino’s comments on Sky Sports after the victory over Tottenham, it sounded like he was more a less publicly fighting for his job. Do you have any sense that the odds are against him to stay?

Ornstein: As I’ve consistently reported, Ben, our information is that the situation will be assessed this summer. That’s a year into a two-year contract with an option to extend by 12 months.

I don’t know which way the odds are swinging and there is still time in the season for that to be influenced. The Chelsea hierarchy will, I’m sure, look at all factors and his body of work before making their decision.

Atomic asked: Will Casemiro and Raphael Varane leave United this summer?

Ornstein: It’s pretty well known Man Utd will consider Casemiro’s exit if suitable offers arrive, while Varane is out of contract. So fair to say there is a decent chance both go.

Ben J. asked: Any idea on Aston Villa’s thinking on FFP. Their last accounts looked tight and they extended the deadline for this year to enable sales in June. Any chance of avoiding a big sale if they get Champions League football? Or does it feel inevitable that they will need to sell a big asset?

Ornstein: Champions League football would obviously help, and if that is secured they will then assess how much they still need to raise to stay compliant.

I would expect departures from Villa and many other clubs in order to stick within the rules — that was partly what encouraged Newcastle and others to show interest in Jacob Ramsey in January. But the better the finances, the smaller the hole and the lesser the need to sell your best players!


Ramsey (left) has been linked with a move away to help Villa with PSR (Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Nicholas B. asked: Do West Ham have a preferred managerial candidate? Is it Ruben Amorim still, or is that completely off?

Ornstein: After meeting West Ham, I understand Amorim decided a move there is not for him. If a managerial change is made — which is looking likely but not 100 per cent decided — Julen Lopetegui is thought to be in the frame.

But if there is a preferred candidate, I’m not aware of that yet. And let’s show some respect to David Moyes, who is still in position and has done a fantastic job.

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