Press conference

Wenger on Aubameyang, Giroud, Welbeck, transfers

With just over a week of the January window remaining, there is plenty of speculation about transfers doing the rounds.

Arsene Wenger was asked what the latest was in his press conference on Tuesday and this is what he had to say:

on how confident he is about bringing in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang…
Confident or not confident? I don’t know. At the moment, we are not close to doing any deal, whether it’s Aubameyang or anyone else.

on whether he’d be prepared to allow Giroud to go the other way…
The negotiations are not as far as that.

on how close the negotiations are…
You never know how close they are. These are the kind of things that, at the moment, are one of the possible movements. We have other things in mind as well and we have plenty of opportunities in different positions. The final decision is not made.

on Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan being able to link up…
You look at players and what their qualities are, what they can give to the team. When they are good players, they can always play together.

on reports linking Danny Welbeck with Besiktas…
No, I want Danny Welbeck to stay here.
 
on if other business will be loans in and out…
It depends on the opportunities we have. We can buy players. We are busy on all fronts, so overall I think we are open-minded. Every opportunity we have to strengthen our squad, we’ll take. If people want to buy some of our players, we have [examined that] - players who have less chances to play, we have done it, who deserve to play because they are great players, who have left us. After that, we’ll see at the end. There’s still a lot that will happen as usual on the transfer market.
 
on whether he sees swap deals as the future…
It could happen more yes, because the transfer prices are very high and we are as well in the position where the player had no value in three to four months, so that is of course important in our decision as well.

on the money league and us finishing fifth in terms of revenue - but spending less in terms of recruitment than everyone in top 10…
Yes of course, but you have not to forget that we have as well financial restrictions form the banks because we have built the stadium. it is important, we have to respect the financial plan. As you said, we work very hard to become richer [and] we achieve it. After that, we have to spend the money in the most intelligent way we can on the transfer market that has become ab it out of control. I believe as well, despite all the financial superpowers that we have in the league and in Europe now, I believe it’s very important that we keep the basis of our focus on getting people out [developing players] from inside the club. I’m convinced that the way the football is going, it’s maybe not only to buy players with huge amounts of money, but have players in your team who care about your club, have a sense of belonging and a pride of belonging to the club. I would rather encourage a club to push more on the quality of our youth work, which we are doing, than go into a way where it’s only about millions and not so much about values.

on if he’s worried by some saying we are a ‘selling club’…
No, I’m not worried about that. When the players get to a certain age and they want to go, you have to respect that as well. As I said, all these players had a short contract to go. At some stage, you have to make a decision - do you commit for four years or not at an age where you have to think about it.