Monday, 23 July 2012

Coy Wenger IS after Cazorla -Diaby's chance -Wilshere's return -Ganso gunner stay

Morning Gooners.

Welcome to another week and one in which we'll get to see Arsenal play three times in pre-season fixtures. It's great to have some games to watch after what feels like an eternity.

Its been a busy 24 hours in Arsenal land. The team has arrived in Kuala Lumpur and Arsene Wenger has spoken to the media for the first time this season. Of course he ended up defending the club's transfer policy after Robin van P€r$i€'s statement that he wouldn't renew his contract.

After his infamous statement last summer about the club not being ambitious if it sold its best players, Wenger was careful not to be led into making a similar statement this time round.

He said:
"We are very, very ambitious. You know that. Not only very ambitious but also very proud of the way we run our club.  
"Van Persie is a world-class striker and I am a big supporter of him. I have supported him throughout. 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." 
In an ideal world it would be nice to have shot of van P€r$i€ before the start of the season. Unfortunately we don't live in an one. And the club could sell him now on the cheap but where does that get us with signing a replacement who is going to cost twice the £12m we've been offered?

At the moment van P€r$i€ is stuck in London. He's been isolated from the main group and Wenger thinks that's a good thing for fostering a good team spirit. It certainly appears the other players aren't missing their captain, with Alex Oxlade Chamberlain talking up the arrival of Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud.

And the manager has admitted the pre-season tour is vital for the future of Abou Diaby. Having made just two appearances for the first team last term, you'd have to consider this season as make or break for the Frenchman.

But Wenger has admitted he's not in a position to sign Yann M'Vila, unless one of his players - Diaby, Wilshere or AN Other, has a set back in pre-season.

Wenger said:

"No [I am not interested]. We wait on Diaby and Wilshere. 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."

The manager has also not set a date on Wilshere's return, although it appears from his statement that it won't be before October at the earliest.

However there does appear to be some interest in Malaga's Santi Cazorla. The manager was trying to play it cool when asked about the Spain midfielder and would only say while grinning: "I don’t know this guy!"  Having missed out on him last summer, it appears the manager is monitoring the situation closely. So watch this space.

Meanwhile away from the tour, Brazil midfielder Ganso looks set to stay at Santos for another season.

He said:
"Today, my future is at Santos. I have a contract until 2015, and right now I am focused on winning the gold at the Olympic Games."
I'm sure Wenger will continue to watch him. Perhaps next summer is a more realistic time for a move.

And finally, it's good to hear that Steve Bould is having an immediate impact on the players, especially the defence. Wojciech Szczesny was singing his praises in yesterday's press conference. Let's hope all the hard work on the training pitches results in the team conceding fewer goals this season.

That's it for today. More tomorrow.

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