Arsenal latest: Including Gervinho and Vermaelen fitness updates

Gervinho, Podolski, Vermaelen, Mertesacker Celebrate

All the latest Arsenal news and gossip.

While the football world recovers from the 'battle of the Bernabeu', attentions at Arsenal are shifting to the FA Cup clash with Blackburn Rovers which kicks off at 3pm on Saturday. Centre-back Per Mertesacker has described it as a priority over the Bayern Munich game, a good sign showing intent that Arsene Wenger should field a full strength side as the Gunner seek to win silverware this season.

Arsenal's website report Arsene Wenger as saying Thomas Vermaelen is looking 'quite good' and expects him to be in the squad for Saturday's game. Wenger faces a tough decision over whether to start the Belgian, he won't want to aggravate his ankle injury - but he will want to give him a run out ahead of the Bayern clash, while also wanting to field his strongest team.

Jack Wilshere is a 'doubt' for Saturday, with Wenger stating he will have another test on his calf tomorrow, and while the manager said he was looking better, it is still uncertain whether he will too start. The manager has said Laurent Koscielny's injury situation is exactly the same and the Gunners will know more after similar tests tomorrow on his calf, an injury he sustained playing for France.

Ivory Coast winger Gervinho could also feature for Arsenal. Arsene Wenger confirmed last week he had returned ahead of the Sunderland clash, but would be given five days off. This rest period has now expired and the attacker will resume training tomorrow and hope to go into the squad for the weekend.

Cesc Fabregas has stated that he has no intention of returning to play for Arsenal, saying he wants to see out his career at Barcelona, but this is on contrast to Thierry Henry, who said he would return to Arsenal 'in any capacity going' and also hit out at fans criticising Arsene Wenger, commenting that it makes him 'sad' to hear such talk and it's difficult to hear.

Arsenal loanee Ryo Miyaichi is nearing a return for his current side Wigan, after three months out with an ankle injury and hopes to inspire the Latics, worst in the league on current form over the past six matches, to safety and is targeting the clash with Reading in the Premier League in a week's time as his return date.

Today on HITC we have taken a look at Andrei Arshavin, almost exactly two years on from his dramatic winner over Barcelona, asking whether he can still offer anything to the club. You can also watch the video of his memorable strike here.

In transfer news we provided an update on Ghanaian left-back Abdul Baba, an 18-year-old who has broken into Bundesliga side Greuther Furth last season. He was subject of interest from Arsenal last summer according to the German media who have dubbed him the 'million jewel' because of his rare talent.

The Express report that Barcelona have 'named their price' for striker David Villa, at £17 million. Spain's record goalscorer is also interesting Atletico Madrid.

And finally, The Star claim that Arsenal are interested in signing German under-21 international Sebastian Rode. The Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder has 18 months left on his contract and is also being monitored by rivals Tottenham.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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