Arsene Wenger coy over Arsenal loan link to Monaco striker Radamel Falcao
LONDON -- Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has dodged questions on a possible move for Monaco striker Radamel Falcao, as he again insisted he was in no rush to sign an additional forward in the final days of the transfer window.
Olivier Giroud's tibia injury has ruled him out of the reckoning for the rest of 2014, leading many observers to believe Wenger would make a move to sign a striker ahead of Monday's transfer deadline, with widespread reports linking him with a loan move for Colombia international Falcao.
"It is very difficult to go into all that because once again all the negotiations need to be as secret as possible," Wenger said at a pregame news conference on Friday. "I promise you that if we sign Falcao, you will be informed.
"It is harder to buy top, top, top players in the final days [of the window]. The last few days are poker games. There are a lot of lies there. Everyone is interested in the same player, but we have experience of this. We can call it bluff.
"On transfer deadline day, I will be actively involved. I will be on alert until the last minute of the transfer deadline."
Wenger was then asked whether his side could challenge for major honours without signing an additional striker, and again suggested reinforcements were not required.
"If I give you the number of strikers I have at the moment it is absolutely unbelievable," he continued. "We have [Yaya] Sanogo, we have [Alexis] Sanchez, we have [Theo] Walcott, we have [Lukas] Podolski. We still have Giroud, who will come back during the season. [Joel] Campbell can play centre-forward as well.
"Of course we can be successful [without signing another striker]. The success of a season does not depend on one player that you buy or not. You do it when you think it strengthens your squad, when you find the right player. We have shown in the last two seasons that when we think money has to be spend, we do it, but we want to do it in the right way.
"We live in a society of opinions. People are better informed today. Many of them are even better informed than I am. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but it does not necessarily mean they are right. The easiest thing to do is have opinions."
Wenger confirmed his captain Mikel Arteta will not be fit for Sunday's game at Leicester, while full-back Kieran Gibbs is also short of fitness for the trip to the King Power Stadium.
"Leicester are a team with a lot of threat," he added. "They have been impressive in their first two games. They had a good result against Everton and not only that, they came back [from behind]. That shows mental strength. Then at Chelsea they played very well. They will be a big, big challenge for us."
Champions League group stage
A: Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Olympiakos, Malmo
B: Real Madrid, Basel, Liverpool, Ludogorets
C: Benfica, Zenit, Leverkusen, Monaco
D: Arsenal, Dortmund, Galatasaray, Anderlecht
E: Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow, Man City, Roma
F: Barcelona, PSG, Ajax, APOEL
G: Chelsea, Schalke, Sporting, Maribor
H: Porto, Shakhtar, Athletic Bilbao, BATE