Arsene Wenger on the look out for the exceptional
The Arsenal boss though won’t buy just for the sake of it despite recent injuries
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger (R)shakes hands with Fulham’s Rene Meulensteen before an English Premier League soccer match at the Emirates stadium. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA
Manager Arsene Wenger admits Arsenal will remain on the lookout for “something exceptional” during the final eight days of the January transfer window, but insists there are no imminent deals in the pipeline.
The Gunners are in the market for some additional attacking cover following the season-ending knee injury to England forward Theo Walcott.
However, with Denmark forward Nicklas Bendtner set to return from an ankle injury to the squad for tomorrow night’s FA Cup fourth-round tie against Coventry and Yaya Sanogo also closing in on full match fitness, Wenger does not appear overly concerned about Arsenal’s attacking options.
Wenger was photographed at Heathrow Airport yesterday, sparking rumours of a dash to Europe to seal a transfer. However, Arsenal sources insist the manager was on a personal trip rather than setting off for a scouting mission.
Indeed, Wenger himself insisted at today’s media conference suggestions he was watching Levante being beaten by Barcelona and keeping an eye on Cristian Tello were wide of the mark.
Wenger, though, stressed he had not yet lined up any bids.
“Unfortunately no. I feel a bit guilty always going to a press conference during the transfer market and having nobody to announce, but I don’t want to lie,” the Arsenal manager said.
“It (new signings) looks very unlikely. We are 23rd January today and at the moment I must say we are not close to doing anything.”
Other clubs may be making moves this January, with Manchester United looking set to sign Juan Mata from Chelsea, who have already brought Serbia midfielder Nemanja Matic back from Benfica in a #21million deal.
However, Wenger feels just bringing in new faces does not necessarily make the squad stronger.
“We have just had (Alex) Oxlade-Chamberlain back, Bendtner back, I hope to have (Mikel) Arteta back next week and (Aaron) Ramsey. Overall I feel we have the needed squad,” the Arsenal manager said.
“We also have Yaya Sanogo coming back into the squad next week as well.
“Overall we have a very strong squad. If something exceptional turns up we will do it, but not everyone will strengthen — they buy, but that does not always mean strengthen.”
Czech midfielder Thomas Rosicky, though, will not be involved following his broken nose against Aston Villa, which has seen him train in a protective mask.