Arsenal's Wilshere could join Burnley

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The Independent Online

Arsene Wenger is ready to let teenage midfielder Jack Wilshere go on loan to Burnley.

The Arsenal manager admitted he was considering letting the 17-year-old, England Under-21 international go to Turf Moor as he took in a Champions League draw which pitched the Gunners against Porto yet again.

Arsenal have faced the Portuguese champions in the Champions League in two of the last three seasons and Wenger said: "It is a 50-50 game. Porto are difficult to play against. The advantage is we have a second game at home. It's important we try to score away from home but it's a difficult draw. It's a cup game now. Difficult but feasible."

Wilshere, however, who has made two first-team appearances and been a part of Arsenal's back-up squad this season as they have battled injuries, is likely to be continuing his football education in the Premier League with Burnley.

Wenger admitted the idea was floated by Burnley manager Owen Coyle before the 1-1 midweek draw at Turf Moor.

Wenger said: "It is possible, with one condition, that he plays. Wilshere needs to play. Burnley is a good club which I respect. They play good football, but Jack must want to do it.

"I like the idea, but at the moment we are a bit short. Jack is in the squad nearly every game."

It is one of the few deals Wenger expects to be doing in a January transfer window he warned would be anything but busy.

Wenger said: "People don't realise there is no money in football, in Europe and in general. We live in dreamland in football. If you look at the number of clubs who struggle in the Premier League and in the Championship in England then it's time for us to get a wake-up call.

"In England, in football, the financial situation overall is very poor. So do not expect a very busy transfer market.

"We found (Andrey) Arshavin last season and he was a good signing. Two years before it was (Emmanuel) Adebayor so we have made some good acquisitions in January. But it is more difficult than in the summer."

There was good news for Wenger on Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who had a scan yesterday which confirmed the hamstring strain he suffered against Burnley was minor.

He misses the game against Hull tomorrow and will be out for eight to 10 days.

Wenger, however was also defiant after a week in which he criticised the Premier League fixture programme which saw Arsenal play Liverpool on Sunday and Burnley on Wednesday before hosting Hull tomorrow, while Phil Brown's side have enjoyed a free week.

The Gunners boss has been slammed by the likes of Stoke's Tony Pulis who told him to "stop moaning like a drain" but Wenger said: "I gave my opinion and there is nothing personal in it and I completely understand other managers might have another opinion.

"The teams who fight with Wolves not to go down are happy that they have thrown away three points at Manchester United. Why should they complain?

"I am one of the few who really says what he thinks. I am not scared. I give my opinion without any aggression."

The Hull match has history in that it was the fixture which sparked a storm when the teams met at the Emirates stadium in an FA Cup quarter-final in March which Arsenal won 2-1.

Hull's assistant manager Brian Horton accused Fabregas of spitting at him after the match and manager Brown launched a verbal attack on the Arsenal captain, who had watched the game from the bench.

Fabregas and Horton also clashed as they made their way down the tunnel.

Wenger, however, insisted: "They are a team I respect because they try to play football and they have a positive attitude. That is more important for me for football than any personal relationship with a manager."

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