Arsene Wenger has revealed that neither Cesc Fabregas or Samir Nasri will be in Arsenal's matchday squad to face Newcastle on Saturday but stood firm on the pair's futures, insisting he does not expect them to leave.
Fabregas and Nasri are widely reported to be on the verge of moves to Barcelona and Manchester City respectively, though Wenger refused to entertain that prospect in his pre-match press conference of Friday.
"I expect nobody to leave,'' Wenger said. "The best thing for us one day before the championship starts is not to focus on possible transfers. At the moment there is no news. If there is news I promise I will give it. I will decide what's best for the club.
"My personal feelings are not important. What is important is the club and how well we do. I have not been disappointed with their attitudes. They are professionals. I take nothing personally. The transfer speculation is disruptive but that is not an excuse.''
On the pair's absence from the Premier League opener against Newcastler, Wenger said: "He [Nasri] has had a sickness. No other issue ... Cesc is not injured, he's not match fit. I don't want to go any deeper than that. "
Wenger responded defiantly when quizzed further on the potential sales of Fabregas and Nasri, whose departures would leave the Gunners shorn of two of their most influential players.
"Manchester United sold Ronaldo. Does that mean they are not a big club?" Wenger said. "We want to have a fully committed squad on the pitch. What is important is that the players who play give 100%.
"At the moment we have too big a squad. We are not in a position where we are short of players."
Contrary to Wenger's claims about not expecting any of his players to leave, Roberto Mancini insisted City are "still working" towards a deal for Nasri.
"The clubs are still working on this, it's not easy - I hope we complete our team quickly," Mancini said."
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