Board promises signings after giving backing to besieged Wenger

 

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Arsène Wenger has been given the full backing of Arsenal's majority shareholder, Stan Kroenke, and the club's board in the aftermath of his team's crushing 8-2 defeat at Old Trafford on Sunday.

For the first time in Wenger's 15 years in charge of Arsenal there have been serious questions raised outside the club about the viability of his long-term project, especially in the light of a summer of player trading that has left Wenger (right) cash-rich, but light in terms of experienced, top-level players following the exit of both Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas.

Yesterday a source at the club said that there was no question of Wenger's position being unstable in spite of Sunday's defeat to Manchester United, which leaves the club with one point from their first three games. A source close to the club board said yesterday: "The club is 100 per cent behind Arsène. The guy has given us 15 years of unprecedented success and that is not going to change. It is not even an issue.

"Everyone is right behind him from Stan [who owns 63 per cent of the club] to Ivan [Gazidis, the club's American chief executive] and we are working hard to bring some players in before the end of the [transfer] window [tomorrow]. We have a strong squad and we believe we are in a good place, we just need a few more in between now and our next game. There will not be any knee-jerk reactions and that comes right from the very top."

The club envisage bringing in more than one signing and are confident that South Korea's international captain, Park Chu-young, will sign from Monaco today. They are aware the striker, who is 26 and is also wanted by Lille, is obliged to do two years' national service with the South Korean armed forces. Arsenal's understanding is that Park will be able to give the club three seasons.

There is also still interest from Arsenal in Bolton centre-half Gary Cahill and the Sochaux midfielder Marvin Martin, a France international. Given Arsenal have been drawn in the same Champions League group as Marseilles, their proposed loan move for the Argentine midfielder Lucho Gonzalez, who plays for the French club, would appear to be a non-starter. They also retain an interest in Yann M'Vila of Rennes.

Arsenal announced that as compensation for Sunday's defeat the club will cover the cost of a ticket for another away game for those 3,000 fans in the away section at Old Trafford.

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