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Wenger expects tough battle for targets

Arsenal
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Wenger rejects Pato, Morata rumours

London club Arsenal has been linked with a loan move for up-and-coming Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has rejected speculation the club could sign Alexandre Pato and Alvaro Morata in the January transfer window.

Alexandre Pato
Pato has been linked with a move to the Premier League.

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Despite Arsenal's strong start to the season which sees them top of the Premier League table, some have expressed concerns about their lack of striking depth beyond first-choice Olivier Giroud.

Corinthians' Pato and Real Madrid’s Morata have both been linked with the Gunners this week, but Wenger insists there is nothing in the rumours.

"No, there’s no truth in that,” Wenger said at his prematch news conference. "That’s all I can say. I’m not in touch with them.

"I am not concerned about that [new signings]. We have at the moment Yaya Sanogo who is a striker we brought in during the summer, who is coming back from injury in January. Hopefully he will help us in the second part of the season."

Wenger suggested the club's record signing Mesut Ozil was among those who looked tired in Saturday’s 3-0 win at Cardiff, with the Arsenal boss confirming he is intending to rotate his squad as he prepares for a month that will see side play seven Premier League games.

“I rotate considering the level of fatigue,” he said. “We have some indications, some objective data and as well some positions where it’s more demanding on the physical front than others.

“We have so many games that in some positions I will have to change; the full-back position is one that is very demanding. Central defence is a little bit less demanding on the physical side, it’s more on the concentration side.

“When you play so many games of that intensity, we expect to lose one or two players. In every single game I [will rotate]. I try to limit the number because I do not want to disrupt the balance of the team, so I do that in every single game.

“Our strength this season is we really look like a team. You see every player is doing extremely well and I would praise all the team. Not just [Aaron] Ramsey, not anyone in particular.

“What we know is all the games we have coming up will have no meaning if we fail [against Hull]. This is why I say this is the most important game for us to think about.”

Wenger confirmed that defender Bacary Sagna will miss the game against Hull as he nurses a hamstring problem, with Carl Jenkinson set to take his place.

There is some good news for the Arsenal boss as Germany forward Lukas Podolski is set to resume full training later this week.

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