'I don't expect my opponents to relax'

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The Independent Football

Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, insisted he was not worried by the prospect of Manchester United signing Wayne Rooney from Everton.

Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, insisted he was not worried by the prospect of Manchester United signing Wayne Rooney from Everton.

Wenger has been an admirer of the teenager's talent ever since he scored his first League goal against the Gunners almost two years ago. When asked if Rooney could have an impact on the title if he moved to Old Trafford, Wenger said: "It could. My intuition tells me that he is more likely to move east (to Manchester) than north (to Newcastle). Then again, Roman Abramovich must be on holiday.

"But United will soon get Rio Ferdinand back and if they sign Rooney, as well as having Gabriel Heinze and Cristiano Ronaldo back, then they would suddenly look much stronger on paper. I'm not worried though.

"I don't expect my main opponents to sit in a relaxed chair, looking at us just cruising through the League. They will try to build a big side and I'm conscious of that. I rate Rooney. The talent is there for him to be a great player and, as he's 18 years old, his price looks quite normal for a striker," he added.

Wenger said Arsenal wanted to sign the Spanish midfielder Miguel Angel Angulo and still hope to sign the Ajax defender Hatem Trabelsi, but a deal may not be possible before the transfer window closes next week.

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