Writer: Tim Stillman
Date:Monday July 23 2012
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has broadly hinted that the club are willing to do business as quickly as possible for wantaway captain Robin van Persie. Wenger told a press conference in Malaysia, "We are very, very ambitious. You know that. Not only very ambitious, but also very proud of the way we run our club."
Arsene is rarely candid about even the most mutinous of players but I guess the next sentence is as close to a dig as you`re ever likely to get from him, "Van Persie is a world-class striker and I am a big supporter of him. I have supported him through his whole career." Nevertheless, the manager all but conceded that a transfer was likely, "He has one year left and is in demand but our desire is to keep him.
'However, we will do what is in best interest of the club. If you have a decoder in your head you can decode that. The official transfer deadline is August 31 but then we can create an internal deadline. I believe the transfer market should stop before the season starts anyway."
Wenger also dismissed the prospect of midfield reinforcement, preferring instead to see how Abou Diaby fares in Asia, "You can't imagine how happy I am firstly to have him in the squad, because he is an exceptional player," Wenger said. "I am cautious but confident because he had two hard weeks and came through it well.
"This tour is another decider for him. He will play on Tuesday night and now it is down to uncontrolled movement in games: how does your body react to that? I am confident with what I have seen in training that he will do it."
He flatly denied interest in Yann M`Villa saying, "No [I am not interested]. We wait on Diaby and Wilshere," he said. "When you look we have Song, Ramsey, Coquelin, Wilshere, Arteta and Diaby.
"In defensive midfielders and box-to-box players we are not short if they are all coming back. If we have setbacks in pre-season it could be different."
Date:Monday July 23 2012
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Audio - Wenger On Sunderland Draw (Thursday May 21 2015)
Stats: Arsenal v Sunderland (Thursday May 21 2015)
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