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Wenger faces Mertesacker, Gabriel choice

Arsenal
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Batistuta allays fears over health

Argentina legend Gabriel Batistuta has dismissed reports in Italy suggesting he is suffering with a chronic knee condition that is causing him to struggle to walk.

Batistuta, 42, retired six years ago after a glittering career that took in Newell's Old Boys, River Plate, Boca Juniors, Fiorentina, Roma , Inter Milan and Al Arabi.

The former striker, who became a cult figure in Italy during his nine-year spell with La Viola, moved back to his native Argentina after hanging up his boots and chose not to remain heavily involved in football.

Stories had begun to circulate in the Italian press that Batistuta was having trouble walking because of a knee injury related to his football career, but he insists they are wide of the mark.

"I know what people are saying in Italy, but I'm doing well," Batistuta told Il Giornale della Toscana. "A lot of people are worried about my health, but I'm fine. The people I met in Florence a month ago can confirm that.

"I can walk without any problems and I even played golf with Italy boss Cesare Prandelli. My knees have never really given me any great problems, even if I have had difficulties with my ankles. I don't play football anymore, but I walk, run, and enjoy myself playing polo and golf."

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