Wenger to stick with his squad

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The Independent Online

The Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is not planning to buy any new players in the January transfer window, despite revealing that Chelsea's spending spree upped the pressure on his team to regain the premier league title.

The Londoners, double winners in 2001-02, added only German keeper Jens Lehmann to their squad in the close season while Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich splashed out more than £100mon fresh talent from around Europe. Wenger told a news conference on Tuesday he could see no immediate need to bolster his squad, joint second with Chelsea, a point behind leaders Manchester United.

"At the moment I'm not in the market," he said. "Money is available. If I change my mind, I'll let you know but we don't want to buy for the sake of buying."

"The fact that Chelsea and Manchester United bought so many players pushed us to think, come on, if we want to be up there we really have to go for it, and that's maybe why we are still there," he added.

"We have big confidence and the players feel they've worked very hard to be in an ideal situation, but they know that Man United and Chelsea are there. The hunger from not winning [the league] last year is there."

Chelsea have indicated their Russian billionaire owner may curb his spending during the January transfer window.

Wenger, whose team play bottom club Wolverhampton Wanderers at Highbury on Friday, believes Arsenal's experience as a unit gives them an edge over Chelsea who have only been playing together this season.

Alex Ferguson's United may be looking for a replacement for defender Rio Ferdinand, who was banned for eight months by the Football Association last week for missing a drugs test.

The Arsenal manager said he was delighted with Lehmann's success following his move in July from Borussia Dortmund.

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