By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger has played down reports of a 'rift' between Denilson and Cesc Fabregas and insists that the Arsenal captain is an "outstanding leader".

In an interview with Arsenal Brasil, during a wider discussion about leadership, Denilson said that Fabregas was "not a leader" in the traditional sense. His quotes made headlines in the tabloids but Fabregas himself explained on Wednesday that his team-mate's comments had been taken out of context.

Wenger was asked for his view after Arsenal's 3-1 win over Leeds in the FA Cup and the Frenchman poured cold water on reports of a problem between his two midfielders.

"Firstly, I must say I don’t know exactly what was [said] in the interview and I do not want to answer what has been reported in the newspapers when I have not heard exactly what he said," said Wenger.

"But they are two good friends and have a lot of respect for each other. Cesc Fabregas is our captain and Robin van Persie is our vice captain, we have many leaders in our team and we are very happy with our captain.

"We have a shared leadership in our team but Fabregas is our captain. I believe Fabregas is an outstanding leader. [On Wednesday night] Nasri was captain, so we have many. The way we want to play football it’s important that everybody takes responsibility."

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
20 Jan 2011