herald

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Arsene defends timing of Cabaye bid

MANAGER Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal must be allowed to go about their transfer business away from public scrutiny – and defended his record in landing quality players as he prepared the depleted Gunners squad for the crucial Champions League play-off first leg away to Fenerbahce tonight.

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew blasted Arsenal for the way they lodged a formal bid for midfielder Yohan Cabaye, believed to be £10million, and claimed it played a major factor in their subsequent 4-0 loss at Manchester City on Monday night.

However, the French coach, now the longest serving manager in the Premier League, went on the defensive as questions on his transfer policy again dominated the agenda at the pre-match press conference in Istanbul ahead of such a key game.

Wenger said: "I live in a public job where there are opinions of everybody. I do with full commitment what I believe is important for the club and the team and prepare for the next game.

"There is nothing to explain (about Cabaye). If we do a transfer we will announce it.

"We always inform you. As for the rest, you have to leave us to do our own things."

Wenger added: "We don't want to hurt anybody, not Newcastle, not anybody.

REPROACH

"You can't reproach us on one side for not buying and yet on the other side when we try to buy to reproach us as well. That is a bit contradictory.

"I would just like to reiterate to you that in the last 16 years we have been very successful with transfers – if you look at the players who play tomorrow, they are top quality players, and you should never forget that.

"It is not always to think what is outside is better than what you have.

"What is important as well is to rate what you have and our fans have to understand that as well."

Fenerbahce's place in European competition is yet subject to a full hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport after being found guilty of match-fixing by UEFA.

Wenger, though, is not going to let any possible repercussions impact his team's preparations.

"Honestly we don't really know the story so we don't want to speak about that. We want to win on the pitch. That's all we want to focus on," he said.

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