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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul, 23, 2008

Wenger searching for 'one more body'

Arsene Wenger admits he needs 'one more body' in his Arsenal midfield - but refused to be drawn on whether that would be Gareth Barry.

The Gunners last night fielded a youthful side for the first match of their pre-season training camp in Austria against Hungarian side Szombathelyi Haladas, which finished 1-1 and saw Mexican teenager Carlos Vela make his debut.

Wenger has seen his options in the middle of the park depleted following the departures of Mathieu Flamini, veteran Brazilian Gilberto and winger Alexander Hleb.

While youngsters Aaron Ramsey, the Wales Under-21 international, and Samir Nasri have arrived, Wenger is looking to add an experienced head before the transfer window closes next month.

However, the Arsenal manager would not go into specific targets, with wantaway Barry - booed by Aston Villa fans in their friendly at Walsall - rated around £18million which could prove too high a price tag for the Gunners.

'We will need one more body in there,' Wenger told Arsenal's website. 'At the moment we do not have Alex Song who is going to the Olympic games, Abou Diaby was not here [against Szombathelyi] and nor was [Cesc] Fabregas.

'If we find a reasonable target then we will do it - but there is no special name on the list. We have some time. We have until August 31.'

Arsenal will play a Burgenland XI in Ritzing, Austria on Monday night before meeting Stuttgart on July 30 - a match which could see veteran German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann face his old club.

Wenger is happy enough with the squad's preparations so far for the new season, which will begin with a Champions League qualifier on August 12/13.

'We integrated three games into our training camp and this was the first,' he said.

'Of course the international players were not here, but it was a good test.'

Wenger also insisted it was business as usual concerning Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor, who has so far sent out mixed messages over his future amid suggestions of a lucrative move away from Emirates Stadium.

'I speak to everybody. We don't make a case of anybody especially,' Wenger maintained. 'We prepare as a team and we focus on preparing well. Adebayor is like everybody else.'

The Arsenal manager added: 'The day we sell someone we will inform you like we always did. As for the rest we will not go into individual happenings on the football market. Otherwise we would never finish.'

Arsenal may, meanwhile, have cause for concern over the fitness of defender Kolo Toure, who is understood to have contracted a mild strain of malaria while on a holiday to his native Ivory Coast.

Wenger, meanwhile, revealed he expected Croatia striker Eduardo da Silva to make a successful return following his rehabilitation from a broken leg.

The 25-year-old is making good progress having spent time back in his native Brazil, and is on target to meet his nine-month recovery schedule.

Eduardo is set to return to England and watch his team-mates in the Emirates Cup on August 2, after which he will be assessed by the Arsenal medical team.

'We hoped he would be back earlier, but it is very difficult to say,' Wenger said. 'It will be three or four weeks more [until he comes back to England], but I don't really know yet.'

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