Arsenal boss sidesteps Pardew row over bid for Newcastle star
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Arsene Wenger has refused to be drawn into a fresh row with old adversary Alan Pardew after Newcastle dismissed Arsenal’s bid for midfielder Yohan Cabaye.
The Magpies boss was angered by Arsenal’s £10m offer for Cabaye in the build-up to his side’s opening Premier League game at Manchester City on Monday.
Cabaye was left out of the Newcastle side that suffered a 4-0 defeat, prompting Pardew to accuse the Gunners of ‘failing to do us the respect and the honour of waiting’ until after the match.
Wenger, who has been criticised for his failure to significantly strengthen the squad as the transfer window draws to a close, responded by saying: “There is nothing to explain. First of all, you [the media] don’t know what we have done, you don’t know if we did bid and you have come to a conclusion without knowing everything that has happened.
“It is quite amazing that all of the people don’t know and yet they always have opinions about things they don’t know. If we do a transfer we will announce it.
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“We don’t want to hurt anybody – not Newcastle, not anybody. You can’t reproach us on one side for not buying and yet on the other side when we try to buy to reproach us as well – that is a bit contradictory.”
Wenger and the Newcastle manager have a history of disagreement dating back to 2006, when Pardew criticised Arsenal for fielding an entirely foreign team in their Champions League tie against Real Madrid.
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The pair were then involved in a touchline scuffle later that year when the Gunners lost to West Ham, then managed by Pardew.
Meanwhile, Arsenal have been hit by news that midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be sidelined until at least October after sustaining a knee injury in their first game of the season, a 3-1 defeat by Aston Villa.
“He will be out for at least six weeks,” added Wenger. “He has a posterior cruciate problem, a ligament which is stretched. We don’t think it will need surgery.”