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Boss on Vermaelen and transfer activity

Arsène Wenger

Arsene Wenger says it will be "difficult to stand in Thomas Vermaelen's way" if he would like to leave Arsenal.

The Gunners captain has been linked with a move away from Emirates Stadium and Wenger confirmed on Thursday that the club has received bids for the Belgium international.

"Yes… I can't tell you [who they are from], but you will know very soon," said the Arsenal manager.

"I've said since the start of pre-season that Thomas could leave us because he needs to play now. He had an outstanding attitude and behaviour but he's in a position where it's difficult to stand in his way if he finds an interesting opportunity.

"We have still three-and-a-half weeks before the transfer market is closed and we are open to [a signing]. But it has to be a player who can strengthen our squad"

"Ideally yes [I would rather sell Vermaelen abroad]. It is an option. I don’t want to tell you [which clubs are interested] but we have offers from abroad as well."

Wenger, who has yet to make a decision on who will replace Vermaelen as captain should he leave, says he is still open to further business.

"It could happen, yes," he said. "I cannot give you any names specifically who will join us at the moment. We are not close to signing anybody and it will be the wrong information.

"We have still three-and-a-half weeks before the transfer market is closed and we are open to it. But it has to be a player who can strengthen our squad because let's not forget that Joel Campbell has come back plus the addition of Debuchy, Chambers and [Alexis] Sanchez who have joined us.

"We have already bought four players, we have not lost players until now so we have a big squad at the moment. At the moment I can’t give you any news but we have not closed the door."

However, Wenger ruled out a move for Germany international Sami Khedira. "We were never close to signing him because Jack Wilshere has come back fit and in midfield we have quite a few offensive box-to-box players," he explained.

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