Wenger Responds To £9m Williams Bid Reports & Discusses Vermaelen’s Future
Arsene Wenger has been in front of the media on Friday and he discussed reports linking him with Ashley Williams as well as discussing Thomas Vermaelens future
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been in front of the media on Friday to conduct his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s clash with Norwich at the Emirates.
Among other things, the boss was asked about reports in the national newspapers today suggesting he’s interested in signing Swansea City captain Ashley Williams as well as whether captain Thomas Vermaelen still has a long-term future at the club.
The Guardian were one of several papers who reported this morning that we’re interested in Williams and had tabled a £9m offer back in January. However, speaking to Arsenal.com, Wenger says there is no truth in the reports and insists he’s not thinking about the transfer market right now as he’s only concentrating on the next game. He told the clubs official website:
on being linked with Ashley Williams…
There is no truth in anything at the moment because we are not at all in the transfer market. We are just focusing on our next game.
All very Wenger-like in his response and you wouldn’t really expect him to say much more than that. We’re at the business end of the season and fighting to finish in the top four, so the boss isn’t going to be giving too much away on potential transfers just yet.
He was also quizzed on the future of Vermaelen. The centre-back has recently lost his place in the starting line-up with Wenger preferring to go with Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny in recent weeks. But the Belgian defender is set to return to action this weekend with Mertesacker suspended and Arsene insists he still has a future at the club, saying periods on the sidelines are part-and-parcel of competitive football. He told Arsenal.com:
on if Vermaelen’s future is at Arsenal…
Yes, of course. He has a long-term contract. He is our captain and periods where you don’t play can happen. That’s part of our job, to be in competition or not.
I don’t think Vermaelen can have too many complaints at being dropped in recent weeks. His form has been well below par since the turn of the year and Mertesacker and Koscielny have forged a solid partnership. But Per’s suspension give’s Thomas an opportunity to stake his claim for first team football and it will be interesting to see what the boss does against Everton if he puts in an impressive performance on Saturday.
Would you like to see Ashley Williams join the club? Will Vermaelen still be here next season? Get involved in the comments section below.