Arsene Wenger has ruled out the possibility of signing West Ham's unhappy midfielder Dimitri Payet as he already has enough creative midfielders on his hands at Arsenal, and also warned the likes of Alexis Sanchez against the perils of accepting a lucrative move to China.
While Sanchez is currently negotiating a contract extension with Arsenal – where progress has proven slow – Payet has taken the alternative path to try and force a transfer away from West Ham, and found himself banished from the first team as a result.
After telling manager Slaven Bilic that he no longer wished to play for the Hammers, Payet was dropped from training with the first team squad, and was pictured on Wednesday going through drills on his own under the watch of one of Bilic’s coaching staff.
Marseille have already seen two bids rejected for Payet, though the French club are expected to make a third offer this week in an attempt to re-sign the midfielder they sold to West Ham in 2015, but there have also been suggestions that Payet could be on his way to Premier league rivals Arsenal.
However, Wenger was quick to reject the reports, and reaffirmed his claim that there will not be any new signings at Arsenal this month, with the club planning on doing their transfer business in the summer when they have more options available.
“I rate Payet but I don’t need Payet because we have so many creative players,” Wenger said at his pre-match press conference ahead of this weekend’s Premier League visit of Burnley to the Emirates Stadium.
“We have many players who can play in this position.
Wenger also touched on the recent wave of offers that Premier League clubs have received from China, with notable inclusions being Chelsea’s Diego Costa and Arsenal’s top goalscorer this season in Sanchez.
Costa was believed to have been offered a deal worth a staggering £575,000-a-week, but despite the lucrative offers being thrown at just about every top-level player in Europe, Wenger urged caution for any elite footballer who plans on moving to the Chinese Super League.
“My thought if you want to be a footballer is you want to play in the best league against the best players,” he said.
Asked if there was an update on the contract situations of Sanchez and Özil – who like Sanchez is out of contract in the summer of 2018 and locked in renegotiations – Wenger replied with a definitive “no”.
One player who was thought to be on his way out of the club is right-back Carl Jenkinson, with both Wenger and Sam Allardyce confirming that talks were progressing over a permanent move to Crystal Palace.
However, Wenger appeared to cast doubt on the move, and revealed that the hold-up was due to talks between the player and club, given that Arsenal have already accepted an offer from the relegation-battlers.
"Jenkinson is a possibility to go to Palace but it is not finalised,” said Wenger. “It is down to him to find an agreement with them."
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