By Richard Clarke
Arsène Wenger has swiped away suggestions that media speculation linking Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona will affect his side.
The Spaniard will be named in the Arsenal squad against Manchester City on Saturday for the first time since injurying knee ligaments against Liverpool back on December 21.
His return has coincided with a revival in stories surrounding Fabregas and his home town club. Barca president Joan Laporta was even quoted in some newspapers and a figure of £45 million was being bandied around.
That fuelled a flood of questions at Friday’s pre-match press conference but Wenger remained phlegmatic.
“Why should I be disappointed?” he replied to one. “If I was disappointed, that would mean I should expect another behaviour, but I do not.
“No, [it does not annoy me]. What is important is how well we deal with this kind of thing inside the Club. That is more important than what people say.
“Any distraction would be a weakness from our side and a wrong excuse. We do not want that. We cannot influence what people say, or write or think. We can influence how much success we can achieve together.
“The period which is in front of us can be a formidable human experience for our players, and that is what I want it to be. What is the most important is that we do as well as we can.”Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 3 Apr 2009