Arsene Wenger: Arsenal will not but anyone following David Villa refusal

Arsenal manager risks angering fans who want to see new arrivals

Arsène Wenger has said that he would be "strong enough to resist" signing sub-standard players before the January transfer deadline and admitted that Arsenal's attempts to sign David Villa from Barcelona were all but over.

It is likely that the club will try one more time for the striker. However, Wenger prepared Arsenal fans for the possibility that their already weakened squad might not be augmented this month.

Wenger, who insisted it was "not on the agenda" that David Beckham, a 37-year-old free agent who is training with the club, could sign, said: "I have to try not to get caught up in that [transfers] in January. People expect us to buy someone of top quality but I have to be strong enough to resist or you have a player for four or five years who will never play a game... an average player who you know at the start is average. If I do that, I don't do my job."

The Arsenal manager argued that in Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski and Gervinho – "the best striker" at the African Cup of Nations, he said – there was enough experience among his forwards to challenge for a Champions League place this season.

Arsenal have looked at a number of possibilities this month, including the likes of Villa, but Wenger said that Barça had made it "very clear" that the 31-year-old was not for sale. "You respect the desire [of the club]," he said. "If I say that somebody is not for transfer, I expect the other clubs not to try to buy him."

Asked whether he had been scarred by the signing of Park Ju-young, a late buy in the summer of 2011, Wenger said his worse fear was buying "a normal player" who would then block the progress of young players.

As for his current striking options, Wenger added: "If Walcott had left, everybody would have said you lost a top striker. Giroud is getting there, I believe. If you look at the African Nations, the best striker is Gervinho and after we have one or two good young players who will get a chance.

"We have Podolski, who we bought to play as a central striker so we have quality strikers. If you look at the number of goals we've scored we've scored more than last year when we had the best striker in the Premier League [Robin van Persie]. That means the players who play have some qualities to score goals."

Arsenal have announced a freeze on ticket prices for next season.

Odds Arsenal 13-10 Draw 12-5 Liverpool 2-1

Kick-off 7.45pm (Sky Sports 2; Highlights BBC 1, 10.35pm)

Referee K Friend (Lancashire)

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Supporting role: at the Supreme Court, Rhodes was accompanied by a famous friend, the actor Benedict Cumberbatch
booksPianist James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to stop the injunction of his memoirs
Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan
filmDheepan, film review
Sport
Steven Gerrard scores for Liverpool
sport
Arts and Entertainment
Bob Dylan
art
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?