Transfer news: Arsene Wenger bites back at Jose Mourinho as Arsenal move for Julian Draxler refuses to go away

Wenger confirms a deal for Draxler isn't complete but refuses to rule it out while he also responds to Mourinho's jibe over the Gunners' fixture list

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Arsene Wenger has dismissed reports that Arsenal are set to sign Schalke attacking midfielder Julian Draxler.

The Gunners have been heavily linked with a £37million move for the German playmaker as they attempt to maintain a trophy challenge on three fronts this season.

Wenger's men advanced to the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 4-0 win over Coventry on Friday night and they currently sit at the top of the Barclays Premier League with a Champions League clash with Bayern Munich to come next month.

That sort of schedule would suggest that Wenger may look to strengthen his squad in the transfer window but the Frenchman has denied that a deal for Draxler is set to be done, insisting he has enough players capable of going forward from midfield.

"That is an illusion. There is nothing happening, honestly no," Wenger said when asked about the 20-year-old.

"We don't need to take players on the flanks - we have 17 players on the flanks."

Wenger responded to criticism from Jose Mourinho on Friday by stating the Chelsea boss is entitled to his opinion.

Mourinho declared that Wenger "complaining is normal, because he always does" after the Frenchman described the Blues' sale of Juan Mata to Manchester United as unfair.

The Portuguese also highlighted what he views as the Gunners' favourable fixture list.

"Look at Christmas and you tell me who had the best fixtures," Wenger said.

"We played on Sunday against Everton, on Wednesday in Naples and on Saturday morning at Man City. So we do have not the same assessment on that front.

"What I said was not a complaint, it has nothing to do with Chelsea. It was just a suggestion of do you think it is right or wrong.

"Everybody is free in life to have his opinion about people. I never speak about people. I speak about facts and ideas. Never about people."

Wenger had previously suggested Mata's transfer was unfair as Chelsea have already played United twice this season and will not have to face Spaniard this term, unlike other title contenders.

Wenger said on Friday night: "If we have a chance it is down to our performances. Only about that. That is what we have to focus on.

"I was asked a question, I gave an honest answer. I am still naive enough to believe people are more interested in the ideas than about creating conflicts. But no, this is an illusion."

Lukas Podolski struck twice as Arsenal cruised into the fifth round at the Emirates, while Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla also scored.

"Podolski can score goals. When you have a good chance you want him to have it because he is a clinical finisher," Wenger said.

"He has an unbelievable short and quick backlift and he is very accurate in his finishing.

"He can score goals when he starts, when he comes on he is always dangerous."