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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug, 22, 2006

Wenger leaves out want-away Cole for Euro tie

Ashley Cole will not be selected for Arsenal's Champions League qualifier second leg against Dinamo Zagreb tomorrow night.

The on-going transfer saga with Chelsea over the future of the England defender means Arsene Wenger will again leave out the left-back.

'The transfer possibility is not closed and if he plays tomorrow night he might go to a team who plays in the Champions League and could not play for them any more,' said Wenger.

'It can happen, but at the moment we are still in no-man's land.'

The Arsenal boss added: 'I am very keen for it all to be resolved because you want your squad to be settled and focused.

'The fact I spend nearly every press conference talking about players who do not play tells you a lot.

'What is important is the players on the pitch, those who play and make the club successful.'

Cole did not play in Arsenal's league opener against Aston Villa on Saturday, despite making himself available.

'We still have a rapport with Ashley Cole and just because there is a chance of a transfer doesn't mean we are not talking to him anymore.'

Goalkeeper Jens Lehmann will also be missing tomorrow night.

The German - who was suspended from the first leg following his red card in last season's European Cup final - has a slight knee problem.

Summer signing Tomas Rosicky and winger Jose Antonio Reyes, linked with Real Madrid, are unavailable (both groin).

Wenger must also decide whether to rest captain Thierry Henry, who has been struggling for full match fitness after his World Cup exploits with France.

Theo Walcott came off the bench to make his debut in Saturday's Barclays Premiership clash with Aston Villa and could feature tomorrow.

Gael Clichy (foot), Philippe Senderos (shoulder), Abou Diaby (ankle) and Lauren (knee) are all longer-term absentees.

Provisional squad: Almunia, Hoyte, Eboue, Toure, Djourou, Fabregas, Gilberto, Ljungberg, Hleb, Van Persie, Adebayor, Poom, Henry, Walcott, Flamini, Aliadiere, Cygan, Traore, Song.


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