Arsene Wenger hits back over Chamakh pursuit claims
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has reacted angrily to claims he unsettled Marouane Chamakh and has challenged Bordeaux president Jean-Louis Triaud to a public meeting over his allegations.
Wenger is a huge admirer of Morocco forward Chamakh but no deal was agreed this summer for the 25-year-old, who has a year left on his contract with his French club.
Triaud has questioned Wenger's conduct by suggesting he publicly declared an interest in his player before telling Bordeaux - and he is reluctant to do business with Arsenal if they go back for Chamakh when the transfer window reopens in January.
Wenger said: ''The communication between the president of Bordeaux and myself is very clear - I kept him informed on everything that happened. If he is ready to make a comment, I'm ready to sit down with him here and to explain to you what he said. Then I will answer eye to eye.
''I don't agree at all. It's very difficult for me to understand any statement of that kind from him. I'm ready to make a press conference with him if you want.
''I'm not angry because I look in the mirror and know what I did - I don't need any special comment. We can sit down here with the player and the president of Bordeaux and have an explanation. You will see what I did. I'm sure the president of Bordeaux will agree with what I say.''
Wenger insists the row does not affect his position on Chamakh - but he has hit back at Bordeaux by questioning their role in the transfer saga.
''Not at all (it does not affect my thinking). The boy is fantastic,'' he added. ''I have made nearly 200 transfers and that means nearly 400 have not happened. That is part of any deal. It's not because they are under pressure in Bordeaux that we have to explain everything that happens.
''I feel it is very important to keep confidentiality with everything that happens. I have never seen a story like that where something is in the newspapers every day because they talk. You talk when you sign the player. All the rest is the procedure of any transfer.''