• Premier League

Wenger reveals Podolski and Pogba transfer stance

ESPN staff
November 17, 2014
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Arsene Wenger has stood firm with Lukas Podolski and told the Arsenal forward he is not for sale, while also revealing that he tried to sign Paul Pogba from Manchester United.

Podolski, 29, has made just one start for Arsenal in the current campaign after a truncated pre-season due to Germany's World Cup success last summer.

The Germany international has suggested he will leave in the January transfer window if his situation does not improve, but Wenger is adamant the former Bayern Munich man, who moved to north London from Cologne in summer 2012, will be going nowhere.

"He plays in a position where there is a lot of competition, where I have the most players," Wenger, who has given Podolski four Premier League run-outs as a substitute with three further cameo appearances in the Champions League, told BeIN Sports.

Podolski hits out ... again

Lukas Podolski's only goal this season was a last-minute winner in Anderlecht © Getty Images
  • Lukas Podolski has bemoaned his lack of opportunities at Arsenal once again as a transfer in the winter looks increasingly likely.
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"He arrived very late because of Germany's run at the World Cup, and he took some time to get back into shape. And it is not at all agreed that he will leave at Christmas, believe me. I am the one who sets the price, and we are very far away from the £5 million estimated. He's not for sale."

And speaking to the Daily Mirror, Wenger said he made a move for Pogba but was refused permission to contact the French starlet.

"We were interested by Pogba when he was at Manchester [United]" Wenger revealed.

"We tried to get him, but it was complicated. I was surprised to see Manchester let him go. We did not have the right to contact him."

Meanwhile, Abou Diaby, 28, looks unlikely to leave Arsenal, despite his continuing injury problems.

After featuring in his side's 2-1 League defeat to Southampton in September, the French midfielder has not played again and is now sidelined until the new year with a hamstring tear.

The former Auxerre prodigy has made just a single Premier League appearance in the last two campaigns and is out of contract in June.

Wenger, however, admitted Diaby will get a new deal if he can come back from his latest setback in a litany of injuries his boss claims are the result of him breaking his ankle in a challenge from Sunderland's Dan Smith in May 2006.

"He's a player for whom I have a huge amount of respect. Imagine that each time he comes back there's another injury. You have to start all over again. He works six-to-eight hours every day to get back into shape, and each time he comes back, he gets injured again. He's a player who was destroyed by competition, by a bad tackle, which has never been highlighted," Wenger said.

"The main problem is that a footballer needs his ankle, and the mobility of his ankle. When the mobility of your ankle is reduced, you compensate for that in all your movements. That's what has caused Diaby's misfortune.

"He was tackled at Sunderland, six or seven years ago, a killer tackle from behind that was never punished and which changed the mobility of his ankle. People say he's a fragile player, he's not a fragile player.

"He's a player who was destroyed by a bad challenge, and I hope he's now going to come back. Of course, if he comes back, I'm going to keep him. I have always extended his contract, because I have always believed in him. I have a lot of respect for the mental strength that he has shown in the last six or seven years. He has gone through some incredible things."

Arsene Wenger said he could not believe Manchester United were selling Paul Pogba © PA Photos
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