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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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Dunne slams City chief Cook over Eastlands exit

Richard Dunne has stepped up his assault on former club Manchester City by claiming that executive chairman Garry Cook had been actively trying to force him out since the start of the summer.

The defender is furious with Cook, claiming he "doesn't really understand football" while questioning his obsession with big money transfers.

Dunne's move to Aston Villa was finally rubber-stamped on Wednesday after the player ironed out financial issues with his former employers.

On Thursday, the Ireland international admitted his "hurt" at the way Manchester City dealt with his departure and now he has named names.

Dunne said on Friday: "From the day after the Bulgaria v Republic game in June, I was getting phone calls from people saying Garry Cook has been trying to sell me behind my back. That was two months after me going to him and saying if he has any problems to come and deal with me.

"I'm disappointed with people who say one thing and then completely do the other. I'm not a baby, I'm not going to cry just because the club want to sell me. I don't mind, just don't do it behind my back.

"Garry Cook has come in and he doesn't really understand football. All he wants is big-money players. He doesn't understand the core of the club and where it begins.

"I have been honest enough with them - they should have been the same with me rather than doing stuff behind my back. They told me they have a certain amount of money they have to recoup each season to make things look better on the books. I could understand if I was getting sold for €200m but it was a bit strange really.

"It just needed people to be honest with me, there were a lot of things going on throughout the summer.''

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