Ashley Cole's chances of leaving Arsenal are 50:50 according to Arsène Wenger.

The England left back has been given permission to depart Emirates Stadium but a widely-reported deal to Chelsea is yet to be concluded. The issue means he will be again omitted from the Arsenal squad ahead of this evening's Champions League qualifier with Dinamo Zagreb.

"The transfer possibility is not closed," explained Wenger. "If he plays, he might go to a team who competes in the Champions League and could not play for them anymore. It can happen but at the moment we are still in no-man's land.

"No man's land is no man's land - you can go right or left. But it is now a 50:50 situation."

Wenger defended his decision to allow Cole to continue to practice with Arsenal - but he added he'd like his team settled as soon as possible.

"There is no problem with Ashley in training," he replied. "Because you want to move, it does not mean that nobody talks to you anymore. It does not mean there is no rapport with any other people.

"I would not say that it is damaging at the moment," the manager added. "But it is not helping as well.

"In the longer-term it is of course damaging because you want everybody to go in the same direction all together.

"That can only be done when people feel completely committed to the cause."

14/1 - Arsenal to win the 2006/07 Champions League

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23 Aug 2006