Wenger rules out Arshavin exit
Arsene Wenger insists Andrey Arshavin is going nowhere and has backed the player to find his best form.
By Pete O'Rourke - Follow me on Twitter @skysportspeteo
Last Updated: 15/01/11 11:12am
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger insists Andrey Arshavin is going nowhere and has backed the player to find his best form.
Arshavin has come in for criticism this season for some below-par performances, and was again bitterly disappointing in the 1-0 Carling Cup defeat at Ipswich on Wednesday night, replaced for the final 10 minutes by Carlos Vela.
It has been suggested Juventus were lining up a move for the Russian international in this month's transfer window.
However, Wenger insists the attacker is staying in North London and that he remains a key member of the Gunners squad.
"We have had no contact," Wenger said.
"As soon as a player doesn't play fantastically well, he is criticised. We all know that. I am very happy with Arshavin.
Great player"I believe he is a great player - he is going through a period where it is more difficult for him at the moment.
"But he works very hard in training - his attitude is fantastic and I am desperate to keep him.
"He played almost every single game since the start of the season and has played for his national team as well. Physically he is a bit less fresh.
"After a breather of a few games he will come back stronger than ever because he works very hard in training.
"As far as I know, I believe he and his wife are happy in London, but what is very important as well is that I am very happy with him."
CoyArsenal are in the market for a central defender, but Wenger refused to give away any clues as to who he is chasing after being linked with a host of names.
"The players we have signed recently, especially the defenders, you would never have guessed - not [Thomas] Vermaelen or [Laurent] Koscielny. Let us surprise you if we do something," added Wenger.
Wenger is also remaining coy on his interest in Southampton starlet Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, claiming he is not close to signing anyone
"One day this player goes to Chelsea, one day to Man United, one day to Liverpool and one day to Arsenal. We are not close to signing anybody at the moment," Wenger said.