By Chris Harris

A summer of transfer speculation is no excuse for a poor start to the season, according to Arsène Wenger.

The Frenchman has had to field questions about Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri since he returned from his holidays but, as Arsenal prepare to kick off the new Barclays Premier League campaign at Newcastle, their futures remain unresolved.

Wenger admits that the constant rumours have disrupted his preparations for the 2011/12 season but he expects his players to be completely focused at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

“The transfer speculation is disruptive but not an excuse,” said the manager.

“We have to deal with that, it is part of our job. People come in and out. What is important is that people are focused on achieving things for this club.

“The transfer speculation, since I have been here, we have been in the middle of it. It was like this with Vieira, with Petit, with Overmars, with Bergkamp. We had that every year. I believe it is part of our job and we have to deal with that.”

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12 Aug 2011