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Sep 12, 2008

Wenger warning over City antics

Arsene Wenger is concerned with the diminishing role of managers following the influx of foreign owners into the Premier League and has has hit out at the new owners of Manchester City for not respecting the rules in pursuit of their new signings.

Manchester City's new owners splashed out a cool £32million to snatch Brazil international Robinho from under the noses of Chelsea - although that move was more than welcomed by Eastlands boss Mark Hughes.

Now they have set their sights on the likes of Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas.

The Gunners are understandably reluctant to part with their Spanish star, with Wenger blasting the transfer methods adopted by today's wealthy super clubs.

"The rules are there. Let's get them respected," he said.

"You cannot come out and say 'next week we pay £250,000 to Ronaldo and £135million' when a player has a contract with Manchester United.

"It's not possible or acceptable."

Wenger went on to question whether City's newest recruit, Robinho, was even aware of which club he was signing for, having been courted by Chelsea for much of the summer.

"What is worrying is that a player signs somewhere and then the next day he does not even know where he has signed," said the Frenchman.

"You cannot say that is a good trend.

"Football is not a supermarket. There is money in the game and I take it in a positive way.

"But the football bodies have to make sure money is ruled properly and used well for the ethic of the game."

While Wenger insists it is up to each club how they conduct their own internal affairs, the situation that saw both Kevin Keegan at Newcastle and former West Ham boss Alan Curbishley leave over a perceived lack of hands-on control over transfers at their clubs, would not fit into the current blueprint for success at Emirates Stadium.

"There's no problem with directors of football so long as you have a very good one - I feel myself and the board are on the same wavelength in that regard," said the Arsenal manager, who transformed the club's fortunes since taking charge in September 1996.

"In life everyone is free to work as you want to work.

"If I go into a job and someone says to me that you have a director of football who buys and sells the players, I accept or don't accept it. If I accept it, I cannot complain.

"I would personally not accept that - but I can understand as well that some people don't want to deal with that and they feel comfortable getting the most out of the players they have because they have come from a different country."

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