Wenger coy on Jenas
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Arsene Wenger has not ruled out a move for Newcastle midfielder Jermaine Jenas.Arsene Wenger has not ruled out a move for Jermaine Jenas as he looks to find a replacement for departed Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira.
The France international's transfer to Juventus has left Wenger with a gaping hole in his midfield and The Gunners have been strongly linked with Newcastle ace Jenas.
The Magpies insist Jenas is not for sale and have also stated he would cost more than the é¼20 million (£13.5 million) Arsenal received for Vieira.
Wenger has already settled on his new skipper after confirming Thierry Henry in the role but he has yet to nominate a successor to Vieira in the engine room.
The Arsenal boss did not expand on any interest in Jenas but dropped a veiled hint that a bid for the England international could be on the horizon.
"We haven't made an approach, for the moment, for Jenas," Wenger told Sky Sports News.
The FA Cup winners are also chasing Julio Baptista and have had two bids for the Sevilla striker rejected thus far.
Sevilla appear resigned to losing the Brazil international but Wenger again shied away from committing himself to a swoop for Baptista.
"Well, negotiations don't need to be in the newspapers," added Wenger. "When we sign the player we always inform you.
"I feel the club has the right to be quite secret with who they want to sign and where and how."
Speaking after Arsenal opened their pre-season campaign with a 4-1 victory over Barnet, Wenger also confirmed Robin van Persie has been given a fortnight's holiday.
Van Persie has been questioned by police in his native Holland over allegations of rape and Wenger believes the young striker needs some time off.
"He was under immense pressure and I felt he needed some time to reflect on the situation and to recover as well," continued the Frenchman.
"I feel he will come back in very good shape."