Sunday 17 December 2017

Business as usual for Wenger despite sales talk

Jamie Holland

ARSENE WENGER remains firmly focused on Arsenal's preparations for the new season, despite all the speculation surrounding Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, who made a 25-minute cameo appearance in the Gunners' 4-0 victory over a Malaysia XI at the Bukit Jalil Stadium yesterday.

Fabregas did not travel with the rest of the squad on their Asia tour, remaining in London to nurse a troublesome hamstring amid reports of a transfer to Barcelona.

Barca midfielder Xavi claims he has been in contact with Fabregas, who told him that has been "suffering" because of his desire to rejoin the Catalan club -- a latest statement which is understood to have left Arsenal less than impressed.

Nasri has also found himself the centre of intense rumours as the France international has yet to sign a new deal.

Arsenal, though, showed few signs of being unsettled as they produced a confident display, with youngsters Ryo Miyaichi, back from a successful loan spell at Feyenoord, and right-back Carl Jenkinson, who signed from Charlton earlier this summer, named in the starting XI.

Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey opened the scoring with a fifth-minute penalty, before Theo Walcott lobbed in a second ahead of the break. Carlos Vela's chip and a stoppage-time header from Tomas Rosicky sealed a comfortable win.

"We are a big club with many good young players, so we are confronted with many rumours and speculation, but it doesn't affect much what's happening inside the club," said Wenger.

"We have to live with that and you could see when he (Nasri) played that he wasn't disturbed by that. He has always had a very good attitude."

Should Nasri not sign a new deal and Arsenal stand firm in their resolve to spurn £20m-plus advances from Manchester City and Manchester United, then the France international could leave for nothing in a year's time.

United boss Alex Ferguson believes that would not sit well with the money men at Emirates Stadium.

However, Wenger insisted: "I believe that is no problem. It is a technical decision.

"On one hand, people say I don't spend enough and when I spend people say I spend too much. It's very difficult to find the right medium.

"What is important is that the club has a good team and is in a strong financial situation."

Irish Independent

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