Arsene Wenger only wants one player for Arsenal this month

I don’t need goalkeepers, midfielders or strikers, says Gunners boss, but I might need a centre-back

ARSENE Wenger has admitted he will wait until the end of the transfer window to decide whether or not to bring in defensive reinforcements for the stricken Thomas Vermaelen.

The Gunners boss has asked his medical team for a final answer on whether or not Vermaelen will be fit to play a part in the second half of the season.

The Belgian defender has not played since August because of an Achilles problem, and Wenger admitted this week he is still in the dark over whether or not the 25-year-old will recover.

“I completely exclude any signings in midfield or the offensive department,” said Wenger on Tuesday.


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“At the back it just depends on Vermaelen. I am waiting to know more about him and at the end of January I will have to make a decision.”

If the diagnosis is a negative one then Wenger will enter the transfer market, and may even consider taking a player on a six-month loan as emergency cover.

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Aston Villa’s Gary Cahill has been a long-term target for the Gunners boss, but Bolton Wanderers have pinned a �20million price tag on the England defender’s head.

Fulham’s Brede Hangeland is another name Wenger knows well, but the Norway international is unlikely to be allowed to leave Craven Cottage.

Meanwhile another player who is on Arsenal’s radar, young Paris St Germain defender Mamadou Sakho, will not be making a January move, according to his agent.

“No, I don’t think he will leave PSG in January,” said Werner Baader, who represents the 20-year-old Frenchman

“It isn’t possible in the January transfer window, but a move in the summer is possible. We will wait and see.”

Other than his defensive concerns, Wenger reported a clean bill of health for his squad in the New Year and feels they are ready to launch an assault for the Premier League title.

“We are confident, we have great belief, we are highly motivated, very hungry to do well and overall physically we are in a good shape,” said Wenger.

“This is the first time we go into a New Year with a squad of this size available. We have no new injuries and lots of players coming back.

“Kieran Gibbs will be available for Saturday, Aaron Ramsey is back from loan, [Henri] Lansbury as well and Abou Diaby will only be a few weeks.

“[The title race] is not so clear this year, there are five teams in the fight. Some teams have a bit more belief than others but that can change very quickly. It promises a very interesting sprint.

“We are in a period of the season now where the team who can be consistent now will do it. You always have a team who finds momentum after Christmas, and that team will win the championship.”

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