Arsene Wenger has revealed that Nicklas Bendtner and Manuel Almunia are both in talks regarding moves away from Arsenal, and has further reiterated that both Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri are set to remain at the Emirates this season.
Bendtner and Almunia both failed to arrive with the Gunners squad for the pre-season tour of Malaysia. As we posted yesterday, the duo will instead use the time to pursue new employers during the summer transfer window.
“Both of them are possible departures,” Wenger confirmed. “They are talking to other clubs at the moment. I cannot tell you which ones.”
Wenger’s also commented on the futures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, who have been strongly linked to Barcelona and Manchester City respectively. The Arsenal boss said he expects both to stay, and is even hopeful of tying Nasri to a new contract which is essential so there is not a repeat of the Flamini fiasco a few years back where he escaped on a Bosman Free transfer to AC Milan. He had this to say on the matter: “Samir’s situation is clear for me, he stays. We are in a [financial] position where we can say ‘No’ and we will, in the case of Samir.”
He further added that it was better to keep Nasri for another season and risk losing him for nothing than to sell him to United or City before the closure of the transfer window, even if it represented a £20m gamble.
Wenger further described his perspective of the rumours surrounding our two star players saying: “Fábregas is in no-man’s land … Imagine the worst situation, that we lose Fábregas and Nasri; you cannot convince people that you are ambitious after that.” A statement alone that says at least one of the two is set to stay, which will be a relief to many Arsenal fans.
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Wenger also commented on his left-back situation, following the sale of Gael Clichy to Manchester City, revealing he is ready to put his faith in youngster Kieran Gibbs. “The plan for left-back is that we have Kieran Gibbs, Armand Traore, and Thomas Vermaelen can play there too. So we have what we need.”
This is indeed worrying as, lets face it, Gibbs WILL get injured and with Arsenal likely to face up to 3 games a week during grueling periods of the 2011/12 season he will also need to be rested. Traore to put it bluntly is sh*t, unless of course he has miraculously improved over the past season on loan at Juventus, however he only played 10 games there and was predominantly on the bench. We NEED at least one more left back really, someone that can challenge Gibbs for place, or alternatively 2 decent centrebacks such as Cahill, Samba or Per Mertesacker
Juan Mata latest
The chance of Arsenal gaining Juan Mata is unfortunately fading day by day, especially now that Valencia president Manuel Llorente has ruled out letting the 23-year-old midfielder leave his club. Mata had been earmarked as a £20million target of Arsene Wenger and was also targeted by Liverpool.
But Llorente said: “Juan Mata is not for sale. We have not received any offers for the player.
“We have a very good squad at Valencia and our priority now is to sign a central defender.”
Maybe it was just too good to be true…