Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Wenger prepares for tour

Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger maintains he is working hard day and night to bring new players to Arsenal - but could offer no guarantees captain Cesc Fabregas and contract rebel Samir Nasri would still be part of the squad next season.

The Gunners will head out on a Far East tour without their skipper, who is nursing a niggling hamstring problem, while the future of Nasri - whose current deal will expire in 12 months' time - remains unresolved.

Although not being drawn on specific targets, Wenger confirmed he was looking for some more fresh faces to bolster his squad. He said: "I can promise you that we will work very hard and we have had some long nights to achieve what we want to achieve."

Wenger certainly has funds available, with the full-back Gael Clichy sold to Manchester City last week in a £7million deal.

Lille striker Gervinho is understood to have undergone a medical, with confirmation of a four-year deal expected shortly.

However, Wenger rejected suggestions he would buy just for the sake of it. "If there were an obvious choice, people would have already made their decisions," he said.

"Everybody needs the same players for the same positions. We are at the top level and therefore need exceptional quality to strengthen our side.

"I can understand that people say 'you have money, just go out and buy', but it's not only that, we want to find the quality we need."

Wenger is also determined to keep the young squad together as long as possible, even though it would appear Fabregas' patience has finally run out while Manchester United are thought to be ready to test Arsenal's resolve with a £20million offer for Nasri, who would be able to walk away for nothing in a year's time.

"Our position is always the same - we want to keep Cesc and I will fight as hard as I can to keep him. Samir Nasri is exactly the same. We will do everything we can to keep him," Wenger said.

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