Arsene Wenger has denied that Arsenal will do business for Schalke’s Julian Draxler in this window, and refused to get drawn into a slanging match with Jose Mourinho over comments about the Juan Mata transfer.
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On Friday afternoon, the Chelsea manager had said it is in Wenger’s nature to “always” complain, after the Arsenal boss had criticised the notion of the January window as a whole and the “unfairness” of teams playing against other opposition with different players.
That stance, of course, would cut across any prospective purchase of Draxler in this window. Despite reports stating that a fee had been agreed for the Germany midfielder, however, Wenger played it down.
Wenger, who had likened a previous Draxler report to a UFO sighting, told reporters after the 4-0 FA Cup win over Coventry City: “That again is an illusion.
“There’s nothing happening. Honestly, no. we have no need for players on the flanks -- we have 17 players on the flanks. We don’t rule it out but at the moment I can’t announce anything.”
Wenger meanwhile stood back from any possible feud with Mourinho, as he maintained he was talking about the window in general, not specifically Mata’s sale to Manchester United.
“What I said was not a complaint, nothing to do with Chelsea. It was just a suggestion. I can accept that we have different opinions. It was just an opinion, not a complaint. People can think that’s wrong and I accept it. I speak about facts and ideas, never about people.”
Wenger also disputed Mourinho’s criticism that Arsenal are given easier fixtures.
He said: “Look... over Christmas, you tell me who had the best fixtures. We have not the same assessment.”