- Premier League
Wenger admits defeat in chase of Luis Suarez
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has finally admitted he has "no chance" of signing Luis Suarez from Liverpool, but claims his transfer business is about to explode into life.
A relieved Wenger was speaking with increased confidence after his side all but secured their place in the Champions League group stages with a 3-0 play-off win against Fenerbahce in Turkey. But when asked if the deal for Suarez was dead, he replied: "Yes. Absolutely no chance of that."
Yet while he concedes his lengthy pursuit of Suarez has finally come to an end, he sounds determined to silence his critics with a splurge of spending that could begin with an increased offer for Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye.
Arsenal are also reported to be in talks with Real Madrid over the double signing of France striker Karim Benzema and Argentina's Angel Di Maria, as the Spanish giants prepare to sell players to fund the signing of Tottenham's Gareth Bale.
"The transfer market starts for me now and a lot of activity will happen between now and September 2," stated Wenger.
"From August 21 until September 2 you have 12 days, so a lot will happen. It starts now and it is like a poker game. People hold their cards as long as possible and see what is happening out there. In the end, they go for decisions.
"First everybody goes on holiday and nobody wants to do anything, then in many clubs there are manager changes. They need to know the squad before they make a decision. It is always like that."
Wenger claimed his side's convincing win in Turkey should banish talk of a crisis engulfing the club after defeat against Aston Villa on the opening weekend of the Premier League season, as he insisted he is not ready to hit the panic button.
"This team has shown a lot of mental strength and we did not come into this game shaking," he added.
"I believe we played in a very, very heated atmosphere against a good team, but we had a proactive attitude from the first minute on, and that was certainly was very important tonight."
Wenger was dealt another injury blow in Istanbul, after Laurent Koscielny was forced off with a cut head following a high boot from Pierre Webo, which left the France international needing hospital treatment to what Wenger described as 'a very, very deep cut' that forced him to be taken to hospital.
Meanwhile, Wenger had cleared up the confusing surrounding Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's knee problem, admitting the winger will be out for 'between six to 12 weeks' after sustaining the injury in last Saturday's Premier League loss to Villa.