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Premier League

Wenger prepares to make two early signings

Arsène Wenger, the Arsenal manager, intends to have his summer transfer business concluded sooner rather than later and has warned it would be "dangerous" to buy a player just because they are a hit at the World Cup.

The Gunners are set to finish third following another campaign which promised so much, yet has failed to delivery a trophy for the fifth successive year. Wenger accepts "one or two" additions are needed to help turn the undoubted potential of youth into a side capable of staying the distance next season.

However, the Arsenal manager is also aware of the impact the new Premier League squad restrictions will have next season, while also not wanting to hamper the continued development of young players like Alex Song, Denilson, Wales international Aaron Ramsey and England Under-21 defender Kieran Gibbs, who are both recovering from serious injury. "With the season drawing to a close, people are inevitably looking to discuss our transfer targets," Wenger said. "I do have targets and have been talking to people, but I cannot mention any names of players at the moment.

"What I can say is that the World Cup will not affect our recruitment, unless there is an exception that nobody could foretell."

Looking ahead to events in South Africa, Wenger added: "In my view it is dangerous to buy on the back of a World Cup – for one thing the prices afterwards are always artificial, and for another you have to bear in mind that anyone can have three weeks of glory on a football field. To have 10 years of success is quite different.

"All told, I believe that the earlier you settle your teams for the next season, the better it is and the less anxiety you have."