Wenger loses again as Song follows Van Persie out the revolving door

After departure of their Dutch talisman, Arsenal now sell midfield mainstay to Barcelona for £15m

Arsenal accepted the loss of as second regular first-team player last night when agreeing a £15million fee with Barcelona for Alex Song, who will have a medical in Spain today. Two days after selling Robin van Persie to Manchester United for £24m, Arsène Wenger agreed it was "frustrating" to lose another senior player, who played 46 games in all competitions last season.

Arsenal may yet bring in a replacement – Real Madrid's Nuri Sahin remains a target – but Wenger insists they are well stocked in midfield. "We have plenty of players at the moment," he wrote in the match programme before yesterday's disappointing goalless draw at home to Sunderland, from which Song was left out. "We have nine or ten and if Alex goes we will still have somebody else in the defensive area."

Mikel Arteta and Alou Diaby, who is back from injury, played there yesterday, with Aaron Ramsey coming on later. After spending £40m on three new players in Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla, Wenger has balanced the books by adding Song's fee to Van Persie's.

Meanwhile, Manchester City hope to sign the Roma midfielder Daniele de Rossi in defence of their Premier League title, although the Italian club say they must increase their offer to nearer €30million (£23.5m). Reports from Italy say City bid €25million for the man, who scored for Italy in their midweek defeat by England.

City's manager Roberto Mancini, having signed only Jack Rodwell from Everton and said that Manchester United are even firmer favourites after securing Robin van Persie from Arsenal, wants two more players in the remaining fortnight before the summer transfer window closes.

Mancini has made defending the Premier League title his club's priority, ahead of the Champions' League, and wants to avoid the sort of unexpected away defeats that almost cost them last season.

City begin their League programme against newly promoted Southampton today at the Etihad, where they were impregnable last season. The manager did not complain about losing at Arsenal and Chelsea but was upset by the other three away defeats. "There are some moments when maybe you can't win because the other team play better but you can't lose a game like Everton, Swansea, Sunderland where you didn't deserve to lose," he said.

United will assess Van Persie's fitness today before deciding whether he starts at Everton tomorrow.

 



Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders