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Wenger on Alexis, Palace, future

There was lots up for discussion at Arsène Wenger’s pre-Crystal Palace press conference on Friday morning.

The manager was asked about Alexis, Yohan Cabaye and his future. Read on to see how he answered:

on Yohan Cabaye not playing on Monday…Yohan Cabaye is a good player because we were interested in him at some stage when he was at Newcastle, but we do not speculate on any weakness. Cabaye is a very good passer of the ball but Crystal Palace are like Arsenal because they have a big squad with many good players. In the Premier League, having one player out or in is not a big problem anymore for these clubs.

on whether Palace’s win over Chelsea changed his thinking for the game…Look, what was for sure is that it was a big surprise, because they played away from home and overall certainly it was a shock for Chelsea as well. But we know I would just say the win of Crystal Palace at Chelsea is in the continuity of what we have seen in the Premier League since the start of the season. Surprising results because the difference between the teams has become shorter and smaller, so anything can happen in any game. But it doesn’t change basically my thinking about the game. We know we have to play at our best to win the game.

on why Alexis hasn’t signed a new contract…I believe that he basically wants to stay at the club, and it’s down to finding an agreement with his agent.

on whether it’s Alexis’ demands holding it up…The players have to first see whether they are happy at the club. Most of the time it’s down to finding an agreement and the finances are involved in it, yes.

on whether he has been offered a two-year deal…I spoke enough about that.

on if there is any offer on the table…I have nothing to add on that.

on if he has been made an offer… I cannot tell you anything more than what I said many times, you know. I can understand that the subject is maybe of interest, but for me what is of interest is what’s happening on the football pitch.

on whether the announcement will come from him or the club…From the club.

on whether a contract is there to be signed…I have nothing to add to that.

on whether he is making plans for pre-season games…Of course.

on that suggesting he’ll stay…No, it’s just that I do my job. That’s to plan for the future of the club.

on whether the club will announce it before the end of the season…I cannot tell you now because I don’t know. I’m focused on our next game.