Van Persie to City is a lie, insists Wenger


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The Independent Online

Arsène Wenger last night poured scorn on the suggestion that Robin van Persie would be the latest Arsenal player to join Manchester City. Van Persie (right), who has less than two years left on his Arsenal contract, is attractive to City given the likely departure of Carlos Tevez in January.

Since the summer of 2009, Arsenal have sold Emmanuel Adebayor, Kolo Touré, Gaël Clichy and Samir Nasri to City. Although Arsenal fought harder for some than for others, Van Persie, their captain and leader in attack, is one they are desperate to keep.

The Arsenal manager insisted there was nothing in reports Van Persie was to leave. "This is a story created to create a story," he said. "There is no truth in it." He demanded that if City were interested in buying Van Persie, they should deal directly with him rather than going through any other channels: "Anybody who wants to sign one of our players, can call me."

When asked whether a bid from City might come as early as January, Wenger questioned City's need for a new forward, given those that they have already loaned out elsewhere. "Why should we sell players in January?" he asked. "Man City already have problems because they have too many strikers, they pay half of the League for them to play away somewhere. Why should they want to buy strikers?"

One of Manchester City's strikers who is out on-loan is Emmanuel Adebayor, who will face his former club in the white of Tottenham tomorrow. Despite the controversy between Adebayor and Arsenal, based around one contentious match in September 2009, Wenger was keen to praise his former striker saying. "He is a great player."

This is Adebayor's big chance to upset Arsenal: Lee Dixon, p56&57