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Dec 1, 2009

Wenger admits he will dip into January market

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has slammed the international football setup that has caused him an injury headache and admitted he is likely to dip into the transfer market in January to find a temporary replacement for Robin Van Persie.

• Bordeaux deny Chamakh talk
• Wenger slams Dutch FA

The Gunners will be without key striker Van Persie until at least April after the Holland forward suffered ankle ligament damage (which turned out to be worse than first expected) while on international duty.

Wenger revealed he will be forced to search for a striker in January, although the Frenchman re-iterated that he will only part with the club's cash for the right price. Asked if Van Persie's absence would now influence his thoughts for January, the Arsenal manager replied: "It has to. I did not feel we were in need to buy anybody but we will be out on the market that is for sure - however, we will only make a decision if it suits us.''

The absence of Van Persie - who had scored eight goals for the Gunners this season - was painfully clear as Arsenal failed to stretch the Chelsea defence in the 3-0 home defeat on Sunday.

Wenger may well step up his interest in Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh, who was believed to be close to a deal over the summer. Italian under-21 international Mario Balotelli is another reported target - and former Gunner Ian Wright has called on his old club to bring former Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy back to England.

Better news for Arsenal is that forward Nicklas Bendtner back following groin surgery later this month. The Denmark striker did not pick up his injury while away with the national team but the manner in which players can be treated while playing for their countries leaves Wenger frustrated.

"We will not accept that situation to go on like that,'' Wenger told Arsenal TV. A player like (Abou) Diaby goes away and is injured and you cannot even get him back because they (France) decided to keep him.

"They knew from the first day on that he would never play for them but they didn't want to call another player up. So they decided to keep him and make everybody think he would play.

"The result? He comes back; the next day tries to have a little run and gets a setback and we have to deal with the consequences. It is disrespectful to the clubs, and it is not acceptable for the clubs. We pay the wages.

"For political reasons they keep the players in the squad and we have not a say, how can that work? Three days later you have to play a game and you have to win it. They don't care. Something has to change in there.''

Wenger added: "In every other sport it is the club who decides if the player stays in the national team when he is injured. Only in our sport it is the federation who decides to keep the player if they want to keep the player. Why?

"That means they decide they are in a better situation to treat the player than you. Then they have to pay the player at the end of the month. Then they can decide, that would be logical. But you can do nothing because they have the rule in their favour.''

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