Wenger: Gazidis has nothing to do with buying players

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger insists chief executive Ivan Gazidis has “nothing to do” with buying players at the club.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger (right) with chief executive Ivan Gazidis

The Gunners have made two major backroom signings in the past week, with former Borussia Dortmund chief scout Sven Mislintat appointed as head of recruitment, with Raul Sanllehi coming in as head of football relations.

Sanllehi left his job as director of football at Barcelona on Monday and will take up his new post with Arsenal in February, while Mislintat will begin his role next month.

Mislintat worked at Dortmund for a decade and has been credited with helping the Bundesliga club bring through the likes of Shinji Kagawa, Ousmane Dembele, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. His job at Arsenal will cover both first-team and academy recruitment and Wenger has said he will work closely with Mislintat but that Gazidis will not be involved in the recruitment process.

When Wenger was asked if Mislintat would work with himself and chief executive Gazidis on transfers, the Frenchman replied: “With me. Ivan has nothing to do with buying players.

“Today, we have a structure in England, we know everybody. We have taken somebody who has international experience and that is why we made that decision.”

Sanllehi worked at the Camp Nou for 14 years and comes in as Dick Law, Arsenal’s chief transfer fixer, prepares to leave his role.

“Dick Law has retired and has gone back to the States,” Wenger explained ahead of the announcement of Sanllehi’s role.

“He is still with us for a while, but we look for somebody as well who has experience in negotiations. Dick is still working with us on cases where we need to do.

“We have Huss [Fahmy], who is top drawer, but has just joined us one year ago, but is doing an excellent job, I rate him highly. There is still a need.”

Wenger, whose side host Huddersfield tonight looking to keep their place in the Premier League’s top four, reckons his longevity as Arsenal boss has helped him find the best backroom talent in Europe.

“I know them all, because I’ve been in the game before them, so, of course, I know everybody in every club in Europe. Basically, I know them all.”

Wenger expects both Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to stay at Arsenal beyond the January transfer window, unless “something unbelievable” happens.

The pair are out of contract at the end of the season, as both have so far opted against signing new deals at the Emirates Stadium.

Ozil has recently been linked with a move to Barcelona, while Sanchez almost joined Manchester City on the final day of the summer transfer window, only for Arsenal to pull the plug when they failed to land Thomas Lemar as his replacement.

Wenger has reiterated several times since then that he has no concerns over the commitment of the pair.

Yesterday, he did so again.

“Yes, I rule it out,” he replied, when asked if he rejected Ozil and Sanchez would leave in January.

“In my head, they stay until the end of the season and that’s a decision that was taken at the start of the season. Unless something unbelievable happens, I can’t see why that would change.”

Ahead of tonight’s match, Huddersfield head coach David Wagner has described Wenger as “a living legend”.

Wagner said: “He is a living legend and it’s exciting to meet him and his team.

“He has done a lot of things for football in this country.

“We will try everything to perform and hopefully get some points.”


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