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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug, 8, 2006

Reyes not for sale, despite not playing - Wenger

Arsene Wenger felt the speculation surrounding Jose Antonio Reyes meant the Spaniard was unsettled ahead of Tuesday night's Champions League qualifier against Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia - but again insisted he was not for sale.

Real Madrid are reported to be ready to up their interest in the winger - but only if he was not cup-tied for Europe's top competition.

Wenger elected to leave Reyes on the bench as his makeshift side cruised to a 3-0 win with second-half goals from Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie.

The Arsenal manager, who also handed summer signing Tomas Rosicky a competitive debut on the wing, said: 'I feel Tomas was ready physically to play and that Reyes, with all the noises made about his transfer with Real Madrid, has been unsettled.

'I did not think he had the right concentration to play.'

However, Wenger maintained: 'I just considered tonight's game and the fact he will be cup-tied or not did not come into my mind.

'I played the team tonight which I thought had a good chance to win the game.'

Asked if he believed Reyes would still be with Arsenal when the transfer window closes, Wenger insisted: 'I am confident, yes.

'I do not send messages out - you do that. I send a good team out with chance to win. You can take all the conclusions you want.

'You cannot see behind every decision I make [whether it is] to transfer players.'

The future of England defender Ashley Cole - who did not travel to Croatia - also looks set to be resolved in the coming days.

Wenger reflected: 'Many big players have left the club in my nine years.

'However, Ashley Cole has not left yet, and if he does, we still have players who can come in for him or we can buy.'

Wenger, though, insisted he had not yet moved for France winger Franck Ribery.

The Arsenal boss declared: 'I have not made a bid for Frank Ribery - I categorically deny that.

'I have not made a bid for anybody. Will I? Frankly, I do not know.

'It depends if somebody goes or not - but even if somebody goes it is not sure I will make a bid for anybody.

'We have left an impressive list of players behind tonight.

'To add players to the team to just be spectacular, I am not going to do.'

Wenger was more than happy with the way his side coped tonight.

'We mastered well our passing and physically were quite sharp,' the Arsenal manager said.

'The main problem was not to get frustrated and to keep passing and wait for an opportunity to score - that is what we did.'

Wenger added: 'It is a big step for qualification, but we want to finish the job at home.

'We had a very young team out and it shows this team is full of promise because they are not scared to play.'

Dinamo coach Josip Kuze was disappointed to concede three goals so deep into the game after starting so well.

Kuze said: 'We played shoulder to shoulder for 50-60 minutes. We are not satisfied with the final result - but Arsenal are a better team of more quality and strength.

'We decided to play a compact game and try to counter-attack.

'We had some good chances and if we had taken the lead, it would have been a motivation for us to do more but when Arsenal took the lead, they took charge.'

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