Last week City manager Roberto Mancini spoke out on his admiration for the Gunners captain, however the Italian admitted that the Dutchman would remain at the Emirates. City will still likely test the waters with a bid anyway as they attempt their annual summer poach after purchasing the likes of Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Adebayor, Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri in the last three years.
Samir Nasri’s sale marked a new low for Wenger who has admitted his frustrations over last summers selling antics and the Frenchman will do everything he can to prevent another mass exodus.
Wenger said at his usual friday press conference:
We will not lose anybody to Manchester City, or to anybody else, because we want to keep our players. We will do everything possible to extend his contract.
Our plan is to keep Robin van Persie even if we buy any player. Our desire is clean and clear. Robin is the leader of our club and I would just like to specify that he is not at the end of his contract.
He is under contract until 2013. So I would say focus on your job, which he does very well, and enjoy your games.
[on loosing Fabregas & Nasri last summer] I was very adamant (not to sell) but, at the end of the day, it was a difficult situation to manage. Last year was the first time we lost the players young. That was a worrying sign and it provoked double trouble. Firstly they went late and secondly we bought late when we were already in a very difficult situation.
One day I’d like to write a book about last summer. The club has been treated very badly because of that and I don’t think the club was guilty of anything during that transfer period. The way it happened was not the responsibility of the club.
Although Wenger said that he doesn’t want to sell anyone to Manchester City, it would be fantastic if they came in for Bendtner and paid through the roof for the wantaway striker. A man can only hope…maybe he can throw in Squillaci as a sweetener?
But anyway if no stars are sold this summer it will be a monumental offseason as I can’t remember the last time Wenger didn’t sell a player that should have remained at the Emirates.
There is a huge potential for the Gunners to be actual title contenders next year if they keep the current first team together with a few additions, but they must sell the likes of Almunia, Bendtner, Vela, Chamakh, Park, Arshavin, Denilson (yes he’s still an Arsenal player!) and Squillaci. That will provide plenty of room for some great acquisitions to come in.
Wenger will be ready this summer, so hopefully all the transfer dealings and contract extensions get wrapped up nice and early as he looks to have learnt from his mistakes last year.