Monday 11 December 2017

Gunners linked with £37m Germany star Draxler

Julian Draxler of Germany warms up during a training session
Julian Draxler of Germany warms up during a training session

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wants his team to focus on their own strengths and not get carried away in the hype surrounding Manchester City as their Premier League title rivals look to chalk up 100 goals.

Despite all of the plaudits coming the way of Manuel Pellegrini's free-scoring side, however, it is Arsenal who remain a point clear at the top of the table ahead of this afternoon's match with Fulham.

Wenger insists that while Arsenal may always be playing catch-up on City in terms of financial muscle, they can prove their own worth with consistency on the pitch.

"In terms of their resources, no (we cannot compete) because they have unlimited resources. But with our resources available, we are ready to fight," said Wenger.

Wenger remains confident Arsenal can prove the bookmakers wrong and last the distance in the title race.

"Let people make Man City or Chelsea the favourites, we can accept that," he said. "The reality is that at 3.0, that is where you can perform and where we have an opportunity to convince people that we are serious about what we want to achieve."

Wenger's current deal expires in the summer and talks have been going on for some time to tie up the long-term future of the French coach.

The 64-year-old was again pressed on the contract negotiations, and whether there was any time frame in which a decision had to be reached.

"There is a point where you have to decide and there is a point where you have to make your decision public," he said. When asked if that meant he had already made his decision, Wenger replied: "You can take that sentence the way you want it."

Arsenal are expected to bring in some attacking reinforcements this month to try to help offset the loss of England forward Theo Walcott to a serious knee injury, with Schalke's German international Julian Draxler, who is said to have a £37m buy-out clause, touted as a potential target -- with some reports suggesting the player had been spotted on a tour of Arsenal's training complex.

Wenger, though, insisted nothing was imminent: "Are we close to signing anybody? At the moment I would say no."

ARSENAL V FULHAM

LIVE, SETANTA SPORTS 1, 3.0

Irish Independent

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