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Wenger: Transfer plans hinge on Bendtner return

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said he will have no option but to dip into the transfer market this month if Nicklas Bendtner's comeback from injury is delayed.

• Wenger ''fears the worst'' over Merida

Bendtner, out of action since October, expects to return to training in the next few days, but may yet require a second operation to cure his injury. The Dane will be examined on Friday, with Wenger's transfer plans dependent on the result.

Wenger said: "There is no way we can carry on with only one striker. The real test will be in the next two weeks with the projection on Bendtner.

"If he is out for two months, there is no way we can cope. We will need someone, absolutely. We look anyway and if we find a good bargain, we will still do it."

According to reports, Wenger is preparing to launch a £9 million bid for Carlton Cole if Bendtner is ruled out despite the West Ham striker being out of action since November.

However, the Arsenal manager maintains as yet, there are no fresh developments.

''Ideally because of the number of games you have in January, you want to act as quickly as possible, but at the moment it is very quiet,'' he said. ''You hear here and there a player is going, but there is always more talk in the media than movement and more speculation than acting.''

Meanwhile, Wenger has confirmed he will seek to extend the contract of French defender William Gallas, whose future at Arsenal was placed in real doubt last season when he was stripped of the captaincy following public criticism of his team-mates.

"William has been amazing the whole season," Wenger said. "He does what you dream of as a manager - he does not talk and plays well. What you respect is how well he responded when he was not captain any more.

"At some stage I considered Gallas might leave, but he's learned that being appreciated is important. The young players respect him. It is always the same in life: if you have the right attitude then people will rate you. He had the right attitude that means he has maybe found appetite again for the club."


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