Wenger to consider potential signings

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The Independent Football

Arsene Wenger admits he has some thinking to do this week as he looks to finalise his Arsenal squad for the new season - which could yet include a move for former captain Patrick Vieira.

The Gunners swept aside Scottish champions Rangers 3-0 yesterday to lift the Emirates Cup, with youngster Jack Wilshere netting twice as he completed an impressive weekend.

Although Arsenal have sold both striker Emmanuel Adebayor and defender Kolo Toure to Manchester City, while seeing midfielder Samir Nasri ruled out for a couple of months with a broken leg, the return to match fitness of Czech international Tomas Rosicky and Croatia hitman Eduardo has given Wenger more options.

Centre-back Thomas Vermaelen, signed from Ajax for £10million, is expected to recover from a slight hamstring problem to be available for the opening game against Everton, which will be swiftly followed by the first leg of a Champions League play-off.

By then, Wenger will have decided on the make up of his squad, with the Arsenal manager ruling out any more departures.

The Gunners boss, though, will give deep consideration as to whether to develop a move for Vieira, his long-time midfield enforcer who left in 2005, is now 33 and reportedly ready to leave Inter Milan.

"Patrick is a great player. I have not considered it yet to bring him back, but it is a possibility I have to think about," said Wenger.

"First of all, it is not sure he will decide to join us if I decide try to make him come.

"There are a lot of thoughts to be done."

Arsenal have been linked with 22-year-old St Etienne midfielder Blaise Mutuidi, as well as Bordeaux's Moroccan striker Marouane Chamakh and Real Madrid forward Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

Wenger, though, prefers to do his negotiations in private.

"We don't make any comment about the transfers. If we sign someone we will come out with it," he said.

"I read in the newspapers that I have called him and called him, I go for so much, but I never speak about that because you have to accept that it might disturb the player, it might disturb the club.

"If transfers don't happen you have an unhappy player, so I keep it as quiet as possible."

One player who certainly is set to feature for the Gunners next season is 17-year-old Wilshere.

With national team manager Fabio Capello at Emirates Stadium yesterday and English football about to embark on a campaign which will hopefully end at the 2010 World Cup finals, attention is bound to be extra focussed on the potential of any home-grown talent.

Wilshere is already an England youth international, and won the FA Youth Cup with Arsenal last season, having broken the club's record for their youngest player to appear in the first team.

Wenger, though, urged on the side of caution to allow the Hertfordshire-born midfielder the required time to develop.

"I sped him up by putting him in the dressing room and giving him a chance to practice every day with the first team," said Wenger.

"If I had taken him out of the youth team now, you would not have seen what we did today, that means he has benefited a lot from special treatment and an acceleration of his education."

Wenger admitted: "I do not know how much he will play. It is very difficult to predict.

"The only problem in England, knowing the impatience of English people, is that it will be difficult to keep the right pace in his progress.

"Let's be calm and quiet. There is still a year to go to the World Cup, and let's see how he improves, how he is consistent.

"Let's not make stars in just two games. You have to respect the development of the players."