Arsene Wenger has taken a leaf out of Donald Trump’s book to dismiss reports linking Arsenal with a failed £56m offer for Torino striker Andrea Belotti by claiming that the story from Italy should be regarded as “fake news”.
Arsenal are unlikely to bring any players in this month, with Wenger happy with the players at his disposal despite the Gunners currently sitting outside the top four and facing the daunting prospect of Bayern Munich in the Champions League last-16.
The Arsenal manager confirmed that Carl Jenkinson will leave the club in the new few days to join Crystal Palace, and also hinted that Mathieu Debuchy could be on his way out as well, with the admission that “the door is not definitely closed”.
However, it was his response to the reports linking him with a club-record offer for Italy international Belotti, which came from Torino director Gianluca Petrachi suggesting that the Serie A club had rejected a €65m offer for the forward. Arsenal quickly denied his claims, and while his agent came out earlier this week to claim a move will only happen if his €100m release clause is activated, Wenger ruled out any possibility of signing the striker.
Evidently in a good mood ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League trip to Swansea on Saturday, Wenger chose to give a topical response to question about Belotti, and said when asked if he was interested in him: “That’s what today you call fake news.”
The quote was clearly a tongue-in-cheek nod to the President-elect, Donald Trump, after he held a controversial press conference this week to address reports surrounding him and a Russian secret dossier. Trump condemned the rumours as “fake news”, and refused to take questions from a CNN reporter during the press conference in what developed into a heated exchange between the next President of the United States and CNN reporter Jim Acosta.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies