Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, admitted that new signings for the Premier League leaders in January are “unlikely” and is shocked that Chelsea are prepared to sell Juan Mata to Manchester United.
The Gunners boss was believed to be keen on signing a new striker to help ease the burden on Olivier Giroud, but it seems as he can’t close in on a realistic transfer target until next Friday.
Lately, Arsenal has been linked with a move for Schalke’s Julian Draxler, and the young German midfielder remains a long-term Gunners target, but Wenger is unconvinced anything can be concluded before the January transfer window shuts.
“It looks unlikely that we will sign anyone. We are not close to anything,” Wenger said.
“If something exceptional turns up of course we will do it.”
The Frenchman, however, was positive on the contract negotiations with Per Mertesacker, Tomas Rosicky and Bacary Sagna and is also prepared to offer his bench-warming captain, Thomas Vermaelen, a new contract.
When asked on an update, Wenger said: “We are close on most of them, but not all of them."
”I’m ready to extend Vermaelen’s contract. He is a quality player and I’m open to it.”
The Arsenal manager also commented on a nearing Mata-move to Old Trafford and once again criticised the January transfer window in light of Mata’s transfer from Chelsea to United – who already played each other twice.
"I am (suprised) because Juan Mata is a great player, and they are selling great player to a direct opponent," the Frenchman added.
"Some teams have already played twice against one opponent and some others not and I think if you want to respect the fairness for everybody, that should not happen.
“I wouldn't go as far as that, I just think you would want that everybody is at the same level. I can understand completely what Chelsea are doing, it's within the rules but maybe the rules should be adapted for fairness."
Chelsea’s direct title contenders, Arsenal and Manchester City, both still need to play Manchester United, who will surely be stronger with Mata, and this fact is rumoured to have influenced Mourinho’s decision to let the Spaniard go.
Can Arsenal stay on top without making any new additions to their squad? Have your say in the comment section below.