Wenger disputes Rummenigge claims

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger last night hit back at Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge after the German launched a stinging criticism of his policy of signing players from overseas at a very young age.

Rummenigge hit out at the Frenchman in an interview with Sport Bild magazine, attacking the way the Gunners have recruited players from abroad such as Cesc Fabregas. The Spaniard moved to London from the Barcelona youth set-up when he was just 16.

But Wenger insisted Bayern used exactly the same tactics to strengthen their own squad, citing the example of Paraguayan striker Roque Santa Cruz who moved to Germany from South America when he was still 17.

When asked about Rummenigge’s comments after last night’s Champions League match against Manchester United, Wenger said: “It is an old speech. Look at Santa Cruz at Blackburn. Ask him what age he came to Bayern Munich. Then you have an answer for Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.”

Former West Germany striker Rummenigge told Sport Bild: “Wenger seems to take a host of players from France or wherever else each year and this has got to be prevented.”


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