Friday 22 November 2019

Wenger: Gunners had no choice

Arsene Wenger yesterday insisted Arsenal had "no choice" but to allow Robin van Persie to join Manchester United.

However, he maintained that summer additions Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski will "offset" the loss, as will the arrival of Spain midfielder Santi Cazorla.

"It is never great to lose players of that quality, but he only had a year contract so we do not have a choice," said Wenger (pictured).

"We wanted to avoid that at all cost, but we weren't able to. I'd have preferred to sell him abroad, to PSG, for example, over Manchester United.

"They have the advantage of having played against him and knowing his great class. He's truly an exceptional player in every sense of the word.

"We have already recruited since we bought (Olivier) Giroud and (Lukas) Podolski, who originally were intended to offset the departure of Van Persie."

There could yet be more departures from Arsenal before the end of transfer window, with Barcelona said to be close to agreeing a £15m deal for Cameroon midfielder Alex Song, while Andrey Arshavin and striker Nicklas Bendtner could also move on.

Wenger, though, is also likely to look to use some of the extra cash generated to finalise his team, with long-time target Yann M'Vila still on the radar, as Rennes hold out for a £17m fee.

Irish Independent

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