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

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
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935