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Hill-Wood slams William Gallas over contract talks

Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood has said that the club will not bow to pressure from William Gallas over his desire for a new contract believed to be around £80,000-a-week and claimed the defender is being ''extravagant'' in his wage demands.

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Gallas is out of contract in the summer and looks set to leave the club if they do not offer him more than a one-year deal on reduced terms, but Arsenal appear to be holding firm.

Hill-Wood told the Daily Star: "His demands are quite extravagant and I don't think we are prepared to go along with it. We would very much like him to stay, but I think for one year, and not on the money he wants. He is a good player, but you have got to draw the line somewhere.

"If he can get the money somewhere else, good luck to him. We still hope he will sign, but if he doesn't, he doesn't. It is not that we are being bloody-minded for the hell of it. We have got to look forward and the cost of players isn't just in transfers, it is in the salaries as well. And we analyse these quite carefully, because we don't want to go bankrupt."

Meanwhile, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed he intends to sign a defender this summer after he admitted his side's performances at the back this year have been ''average''.

Wenger highlighted his side's defensive frailties as the reason why Arsenal have come up short in the trophy hunt again this year after they conceded 41 goals in the league.

Centre half Thomas Vermaelen has been a revelation since his move from Ajax last year but lapses have cost the team dearly as their title push faded towards the end of the campaign.

Wenger now hopes to rectify that by adding a defender to his ranks with Fulham's Brede Hangeland and Senegal defender Pape Diakhate thought to be on the Frenchman's radar.

''If you divide the season into two - going forward we have done very well but defensively we have been average,'' said Wenger. ''When you concede 40 goals you don't win the championship and I want to rectify that.

''My transfer policy this summer will be to keep our strengths going forward, add one player, and add more defensive strength to our team.''

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