Wenger in 'No Man's Land'
Arsene Wenger admits Arsenal are in 'No Man's Land' regarding Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri.
Last Updated: 14/08/11 1:03pm
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits the club are in 'No Man's Land' amid the ongoing uncertainty over the futures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri.
Fabregas seems to be on the brink of joining Barcelona and the European champions' manager, Pep Guardiola, believes there is a good chance of completing the deal.
At the same time, France international Nasri is wanted by Manchester City and is expected to follow Gael Clichy in moving to the Etihad Stadium this summer.
Fabregas and Nasri were not involved in Arsenal's 0-0 draw at Newcastle on the opening day of the new Premier League season, when Gervinho was sent off after a clash with Joey Barton.
And Wenger told Arsenal's official website after the match: "We are, on both fronts, in No Man's Land. At the moment, they are players of Arsenal football club."
Asked directly about an approach from City for Nasri, the Frenchman said: "I wouldn't like to comment on that. We will keep you informed."
Wenger did voice his frustration at the prospect of losing Fabregas and Nasri, as he said: "Yes, we are concerned by that because when you take players at 16, 17, 18 years old and you play them in the Premier League, you need to be brave.
"But you do it first of all because you think they deserve it, but secondly as well because you think the club will be rewarded when they are 23, 24 and are in a position to deliver.
"It is a concern, of course - but if the financial fair play comes in, I think we will be in a very strong position. But at the moment, it doesn't exist."
During the draw at St James' Park, Arsenal fans voiced their frustration at a lack of big-money summer signings.
When questioned about his recruitment policy, Wenger said: "I am not against spending money if the players we buy can improve our squad.
"We have a big squad and if some players leave we will try to bring players in. We request top quality and we are not scared to spend money."
Meanwhile, Wenger believes Newcastle midfielder Barton should have joined Gervinho in being shown a red card after the pair were involved in an unseemly second-half incident.
Ivory Coast forward Gervinho, making his competitive debut following his summer move from Lille, went down under a challenge in the box and Barton hauled him to his feet.
Gervinho slapped Barton in response, and was sent off by referee Peter Walton, who booked Barton.
Wenger felt the referee was influenced by his assistant and suggested he might appeal against Gervinho's dismissal.
He said: "I think Gervinho didn't deserve a red card, he should give a red to the two players or a yellow to the two.
"I feel the referee has not seen it and the linesman has not seen it properly. I'm 100% sure that the referee did not see the incident so I would like to know who made the decision."