Arsenal paid Lille £72million last summer to sign Nicolas Pepe (Picture: Getty)‘I wouldn’t want to say any more as I respect the player too much. The mechanism I have in place, and we saw that work so well with Nico [Nicolas Pepe], is that I have a certain price in mind for a player, and at the end of the day it’s the player’s choice to go and play where he wants to play – that’s the respect that I have for them.‘I feel he is among the top five dominant central defenders in Europe right now. His statistics, which aren’t well covered outside of France, shows that his percentage for winning duels is pretty unheard of in a league that’s extremely physical.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal‘He’s an absolute machine, so to me, he’s well on his way – if not this year – to potentially a really big club. I’m certain he’s on his way to the Brazilian national team at some point.‘He’s been linked to two clubs in the UK and he’s clearly been linked to other clubs that have either enquired or moved forward with proposals for him. But we’re not in a hurry and we’re not playing right now. The player isn’t on the pitch.’MORE: David Luiz reveals his doubts about Arsenal after Chelsea transferMORE: Barcelona boss Quique Setien makes U-turn over Philippe Coutinho’s future amid Chelsea interestRead the latest updates: Coronavirus news live Comment Advertisement Chelsea and Arsenal transfer target Gabriel set to join ‘really big club’ confirms Lille president Lille defender Gabriel has been linked with a number of Premier League clubs, including Chelsea and Arsenal (Picture: Getty)Lille president Gerard Lopez believes Gabriel Magalhaes is on course to join a ‘really big club’ amid interest from the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal.The Brazilian centre-half impressed against Frank Lampard’s side in the Champions League this season and is a former teammate of Arsenal’s record signing Nicolas Pepe.Mikel Arteta has overseen a significant improvement in Arsenal’s defence since his appointment in December and reinforced his backline with the loan additions of Cedric Soares and Pablo Mari in January, but is believed to remain keen on strengthening further in that area of the pitch.Lampard, meanwhile, has chopped and changed his central defenders this season but has failed to find a settled combination. Everton are also among the Premier League clubs chasing the 22-year-old’s services and Lopez believes whoever eventually signs the player will be getting a ‘machine’.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTHe told Sky Sports: ‘It’s true that he would like to go and try something else out. We haven’t taken that decision yet, but he’s received a number of offers. I feel he’s closer to one club than others, but nothing’s done yet so we’ll see. Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterFriday 17 Apr 2020 7:40 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link2.8kShares
The UK’s £3.8bn (€4.4bn) National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) has launched a trial of a savings product to sit alongside its auto-enrolment pension fund service.At an event last night in London, the pension provider – set up by the UK government to lead the establishment of auto-enrolment into pension funds – announced it was testing a “sidecar” savings product with one of its clients.Guy Opperman, pensions and financial inclusion minister, described the trial as a “ground-breaking project” that “has the full support of the Department for Work and Pensions and the Treasury”.The minister also called for the financial services groups supporting the launch to get their staff involved in the trial. Timpsons, a high street chain of shops specialising in shoe repairs, will be the first employer to trial the savings account. It will roll out the service across its 5,600-strong workforce from the start of next year.Opperman told attendees at the launch event: “I can’t be financial inclusion minister without pointing out the opportunity to ensure your staff are signed on for something like this…“If you’re not motivated to support this, I question why you’re here. This really matters.”How it works Timpsons will be the first employer to trial the ‘sidecar’ savings conceptDesigned to improve “financial resilience”, the service will involve individual employees saving into what NEST has dubbed “jars”, with any pension contributions above the auto-enrolment minimum (currently 8% of salary) diverted into the savings account.This account is subject to a cap, set at £1,000 for the trial. Once the cap is hit, all contributions will go to the pension fund.Investors will be able to access the savings account – NEST’s research explored the application of barriers to accessing this account, but it has not implemented any formal restrictions. A spokeswoman for NEST said the account would be labelled “for emergencies”, as studies had shown that this kind of framing could influence how people used the money.Once the savings account falls back below the cap, contributions will automatically split again to pay into both accounts, until the savings account hits its limit again.Caroline Rookes, a trustee at NEST and chief executive of the UK’s Money Advice Service (MAS), said roughly a quarter of the UK population had no savings, and giving them the ability to save “absolutely transforms people’s lives”.Michael Royce, strategic lead on budgeting and saving at MAS, added: “We hope that [the trial] builds on emerging evidence that workplace savings initiatives can be an effective means of helping people enhance their financial resilience throughout their working lives both for the short-to-medium term and for when they move into retirement.”The model was developed by NEST and backed by research from the Harvard Kennedy School in the US.JP Morgan Chase’s charitable foundation and MAS are providing financial resources for the trial, while Salary Finance will provide the savings accounts.