Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger targets Real Madrid pair Mesut Özil and Ángel ... -

The potential signings of Özil and Di María do suggest, however, that Wenger is losing hope of adding an out-and-out striker and is looking at alternative ways of improving the club's attack.

Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott and Yaya Sanogo are all regarded as viable options as the main centre forward, with Wenger admitting on Monday that Giroud and Podolski had been "proving a point" by scoring five goals in three games.

Wenger also said that he had never known a more "difficult" transfer window and had a blunt message for his fellow Premier League managers.

Asked if there was too much talking, he said: "Yes. Everybody has a good opinion about what other managers should do but they do not look at themselves.

"It's better that you shut up and don't say anything.

"You could see that many of the disputes all over the country are because the coaches or managers speak about the players.

"Be discreet in our job and try to make things happen."

David Moyes, the Manchester United manager, has spoken openly about Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines, while Jose Mourinho have been similarly outspoken about Wayne Rooney .

Of Arsenal's own transfer situation, Wenger said: "It has been difficult for two reasons: I already have quality players and the competition for players is absolutely massive in the international market. Before, we were privileged – a bit more lonely. Now, everybody knows everybody."

Wenger also wants to make additions in central midfield following long-term injuries to Mikel Arteta and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

A £15?million bid is expected for Newcastle's Yohan Cabaye while Mathieu Flamini will also be offered a contract. It is understood that Flamini's agent, Darren Dein, and Arsenal's negotiator, Dick Law, held talks on Monday at the club's training ground.

Should Flamini sign, Wenger is unlikely to add another defender. He could still add a goalkeeper and, having had a £6?million bid rejected, is likely to return for Valencia's Vicente Guaita.

Arsenal face Fenerbahce on Tuesday night in the second leg of their Champions League play-off, with Wenger preparing to field his strongest team despite their 3-0 first-leg advantage.

Probable teams

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Szczesny; Jenkinson, Sagna, Mertesacker, Monreal; Ramsey, Wilshere; Walcott, Cazorla, Podolski; Giroud.
Fenerbahce (4-4-2): Demirel; Itregun, Alves, Korkmaz, Ali Kaldirim; Kuyt, Cristian, Meireles, Potuk; Emenike, Sow.

Referee: C Carballo (Spain).

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