By Richard Clarke

Kolo Toure did put in a transfer request but has since withdrawn it.

Arsène Wenger revealed the news at his press conference ahead of the FA Cup tie with Plymouth. It confirmed media reports that had emerged this week but the manager refuted the suggestion that Toure’s actions had been prompted by an irrevocable falling out with William Gallas.

Despite rumoured interest from Manchester City, it seems the Ivorian will be staying at Emirates Stadium.

“The situation is that he is a player who has a two-and–a-half year contract and will remain with us,” said Wenger.

“I am happy with players who are committed and Kolo is a big example for that. There was a minor incident that you could multiply by 20. It happens every day in every club and is sorted out now. Kolo is happy here.”

Later, the manager was asked if Toure had asked to leave.

“Yes,” replied Wenger. “But we spoke about it with him and I think he has changed his mind.

The Frenchman was then asked if the centre back had actually withdrawn his request.

“Yes,” he replied.

Toure has found it difficult to get in the Arsenal side in recent months because Wenger has been reluctant to pair Gallas and Toure together at centre back.

Before Johan Djourou’s 11th-hour injury forced the latter’s inclusion at Aston Villa on Boxing Day, the duo had not featured in tandem in the Premier League since October 4. However the manager says that is down to their height not their personalities.

“It’s not a question of Kolo Toure or William Gallas,” said Wenger. “It is that the two together are a bit short in the air. We needed to add some size centrally.

“I think they get on, personally. They get on much better than people think and if you lived with us every day you would see that. Anyway nobody can prove fantastic friendships help you to win football games.

“Kolo did have a little problem when he came back from the African Nations Cup [earlier this year]. He wasn’t exactly the same sharpness any more. Now, he has come back to his best level and he works very hard in training.

“He is a fantastic guy, Kolo Toure.”

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
2 Jan 2009