Belfast Telegraph

Wenger reveals Almunia concern

Arsene Wenger accepts transfer speculation is unsettling Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia - but warned competition is part of life at a top football club.

The Gunners have been heavily linked with Australia international Mark Schwarzer all summer, with Fulham maintaining they have turned down two bids for the 37-year-old, believed to be in the region of £2million. Wenger will keep faith with Almunia for Saturday's visit of newly promoted Blackpool, but maintained no one player can be guaranteed a place in the starting XI.

"It is a very sensitive subject which is difficult for me to talk about. You can understand that he is unsettled by that situation, but on the other hand, when you play at Arsenal, that is what you have to deal with," said Wenger.

"You have to be strong enough to deal with that and I believe he is.

"Jens Lehmann had to deal with that situation because at some stage I took him out of the team and played Almunia, so competition is part of our world. We have to accept that."

Wenger, however, refused to be drawn on the Schwarzer situation.

"I never speak about the transfers, the offers, anything made about the players, because we have so many talks in football that are never concluded," he said.

"It is always simple if you want to buy a player and the club doesn't agree: they say no, so there is not a lot to talk about."


From Belfast Telegraph