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Saturday 10 December 2016

Arsene Wenger ponders late moves for Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain

Usmanov backs Arsenal boss to bring club to true greatness - by buying just one more player

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has got the backing of the club’s second biggest shareholder.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has got the backing of the club’s second biggest shareholder.

Arsenal's second biggest shareholder Alisher Usmanov has given Arsene Wenger a massive vote of confidence at a crucial time in the transfer window, with deals for Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain apparently still in the balance.

Usmanov has described Wenger as a "gift" to Arsenal and claims that the Frenchman has sacrificed ten of his best years to guide the Gunners' through the Emirates Stadium development and out the other side in the black.

But now he believes that Arsenal is on the brink of greatness again. "With the team that Arsene has put together, except for one position, I think it's a club that's ready to successfully fight for European cups," he said.

That one position could yet be filled by Benzema with the latest speculation suggesting that a £45million bid might be enough to break Real Madrid's resolve to keep him. Arsenal fans' dream ticket would include another long-time target Gonzalo Higuain, who has turned down a new contract and is primed to leave Napoli.

His brother and agent, Nicolas Higuain, said: "I don't think we'll accept the president's offer, because the contract isn't that different to the one we signed before."

3Soccer: pages 58-63

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