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

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."

 

PA

Life and Style
love + sex
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
News
people
Voices
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
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

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn