Gunners boss ready to fire more salvos in transfer market

ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger maintains his summer spending has not finished yet.

The Gunners boss may have been out at the World Cup in South Africa working as a pundit for French television, but Wenger has not wasted any time in strengthening his squad.

Long-term target Marouane Chamakh, the Morocco striker, was signed on a free transfer before the tournament, and confirmation of the arrival of promising French centre-back Laurent Koscielny came yesterday in what is understood to be a £10million (€11.9m) deal.

Wenger, though, fully intends to bring in more defensive cover as well as possibly a new goalkeeper, while the matter of the future of captain Cesc Fabregas, who will face team-mate Robin van Persie in Sunday’s World Cup final, remains to be sorted one way or another.

Juventus are open to offers for Brazil midfielder Felipe Melo, who has long been on Wenger’s radar, while Arsenal could also yet move for Joe Cole, the England midfielder now a free agent having left rivals Chelsea.

However, with veterans William Gallas and Mikael Silvestre set to leave after the end of their contracts, and Sol Campbell considering his options, Arsenal are in more pressing need of at least one more body at the back.

The Gunners have been linked with Bolton’s Gary Cahill as well as German international Serdar Tasci.

“Koscielny can be an outstanding addition to our team, but it is not over, we are still open to buy,” Wenger told

“We are still on the market for another defensive player because we have the need for one more.”

The majority of the Arsenal squad have now returned to pre-season training ahead of next weekend's first friendly against Barnet.

Those who have been involved on international duty, however, are not scheduled to meet up with the squad until the trip to Austria, where Arsenal will play against Sturm Graz on July 21.

Wenger has moved to allay fears over the fitness of striker Nicklas Bendtner.

The Denmark international, who missed a large spell of last season because of injury, has been troubled by a groin problem throughout the World Cup and interrupted his holiday to be assessed by the Arsenal medical team.

“We need to check it to see if we have to do something, but no, it is not a big problem,” Wenger said.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger maintains Fabio Capello’s decision to leave Theo Walcott out of the England World Cup was a mistake.

The 21-year-old was a shock omission from the final 23-man squad for South Africa, as the Italian coach instead preferred Manchester City’s Shaun Wright-Phillips and Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon.

Wenger believes the former Southampton star could have made the difference for England in South Africa. Speaking to Kenya newspaper The Standard, Wenger said: “It was a big mistake.

“Walcott is a player who can change a game upside down in the second half in your favour.

“He has speed and can cause a lot of problems for the opponents.”


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