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Mar 28, 2012

Arsenal set for £23m player cull - report

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is plotting a summer cull of his fringe players in a bid to save around £23 million in wages, according to a report in the Daily Mail.

Wenger is keen to add quality to the side and persuade star striker Robin van Persie to sign a new deal reported to be worth around £120,000-a-week - a contract that would break the Gunners' established wage ceiling.

However, recently reports showed that the club's wage bill has increased by £20m - despite the summer sales of Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy - and the manager needs to cut costs on players who have not matched up to expectations.

Indeed, he is expected to let the likes of Andrey Arshavin (£75,000-a-week); Marouane Chamakh (£60,000); along with Sebastien Squillaci, Nicklas Bendtner, Denilson and Carlos Vela (all on £50,000) leave at the end of the season. Goalkeeper Manuel Almunia, who is on £60,000-a-week, will also be let go once his current deal expires.

The Mail insists that 18-year-old Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is in line for a new contract after some impressive performances in his first season in the Premier League and influential midfielder Alex Song is also set for a pay rise to take him to around £75,000-a-week.

But Arsenal also need to buy and, along with the expected arrival of German international Lukas Podolski for £11 million, suggestions are that at least two new players will arrive at the Emirates. Although Dortmund's Mario Gotze will not be one of them as he signed a new contract at the club on Tuesday until 2016.

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