Boss on speculation and January window

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Arsène Wenger faced the media ahead of the Premier League clash with Fulhamy. Here are some extra quotes from the boss. For the headlines, visit our Digest page:

on being close to a deal for Draxler…No.on the rumour he had a look around the training ground…That's like a non-identified flying object. Some see them everywhere. on new contracts for Mertesacker and Sagna…We are making good progress and hopefully we can announce something soon. on being linked with Berbatov…You should ask the question, do I rate Berbatov as player? Highly. Have we made any approach to sign Berbatov? No. on whether he will sign Berbatov…I don't think so because we have Bendtner who is coming back, we have Yaya Sanogo who is making very good progress in training. Of course we have lost Theo Walcott and that for us was a big blow but hopefully we can compensate. We have not made any approach. on Mertesacker being curious about the transfer window…I am curious as well, of course I'm curious, it's my nature. But the transfer period lasts until the 31st of January. Are we close to signing anybody? At the moment I would say no. on whether he would scrap the transfer window...Yes, you have my signature straight away. on keeping the same squad for the entire season...[Yes] and then you go to the end of it, that looks to me normal. It is like running a relay, then in the middle of the relay you change your runners.If you have played a team twice before the transfer window, you can have an advantage compared to other teams. on the reason for the January window...It gives teams a chance who are already convicted, it gives some teams hope. But when I arrived in England, the window was open until April, the whole season and it was not a problem.on why the window was changed...To create that high intense activity, and suddenly in January everybody becomes nervous. Before it was the whole season and it did not create any problem. Either you scrap it completely, or you leave it open until as long as possible to the last four games.

on the transfer market…It will not be very busy. The transfer market in January is a low-key transfer market. There is very reduced activity. There will be some of course, but in the last three days as always.on the leadership qualities of Mertesacker...I believe we see that, yes. It comes out, and certainly it was in him. He is more confident in his own game, he knows better his team-mates and he has developed himself as a player.He has changed as a player. You compare the Mertesacker who arrived here and the stature he has today, he is a completely improved player because he puts total focus and commitment into every training session.He is one of the players who maintains the level of urgency and focus inside the team and these are the leaders.


Referee: Lee Probert
Attendance: 60000


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