Wenger says Berbatov is not on his wish list

2014-01-03 16:57

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London – Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has maintained that Fulham striker Dimitar Berbatov is not on his wish list for the January transfer window.

Wenger added that he would wait to discover the extent of Nicklas Bendtner's ankle injury before deciding whether to bring in another striker during the window.

The Premier League leaders host north London rivals Tottenham in the FA Cup third round on Saturday as they face a selection headache in attack.

Lead frontman Olivier Giroud missed the 2-0 win over Cardiff on New Year’s Day because of an ankle problem and has now been hit by a sickness bug.

Bendtner came off the bench to score with just two minutes left, but suffered a sprained ankle when putting the ball past goalkeeper David Marshall. The club are awaiting results of a scan for a more detailed diagnosis.

Wenger admitted that Arsenal would not rule out a move for a top-calibre player if the opportunity arose this month, but he was guarded on the 32-year-old Bulgarian, Berbatov.

“He [Berbatov] is not a name that we have considered at the moment. We have not even been out on the transfer market, we have not contacted anybody,” Wenger said.

“We are just analysing the situation, being very cautious until we are well informed about Bendtner and [Yaya] Sanogo as well because he is back in training now. We will make a decision after that.”

Wenger continued: “It depends on how long he [Bendtner] will be out for. But I don’t want to go into speculation on any specific name because that would not help where the player plays at the moment and would be disrespectful to the player’s club. At the moment, we are just considering our options.

“I must confess they are quite restricted – in the way that the players available can strengthen our squad are not on the road, they are all under contract, most of the clubs are in competitions where they need their best players.

“I don’t rule anything out, but I first have to assess our internal situations with the injuries and the players coming back.”

Press reports in Britain have also strongly linked Arsenal with a move for Atletico Madrid’s Brazilian-born striker Diego Costa. He has scored 19 goals in 17 games this season and Arsenal are said to be ready to trigger the £32 million (R558 million) buyout clause in his contract.

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