Wenger – “Just because United have offered more money, doesn't mean it's the end”

By Avenell Dave

Just heard that Arsene Wenger has confirmed that he’s still in the race for Fulham’s Chris Smalling.

I’ve got to be honest, before last week, I hadn’t even heard of the guy but the fact that we and M*nure are both after him says that he must have some talent.

There have been reports that CEO Ivan Gazidis has had initial discussions with Fulham but M*nure have had a bid accepted.

The fact that Wenger confirmed today that he’s not given up on the player suggests the interest is genuine.

Do we need him?

Well, we could end up with three centre backs leaving in the summer.

Although I thought he did well, will Sol Campbell be offered an extended deal and will he be happy to stay as a reserve?

Will Mikael Silvestre be offered a new deal or will Le Boss see sense and get rid of him?

And will Wiliam Gallas get a two or three year deal at the money he wants or decide to return to France or go somewhere else that offers him a longer and more lucrative deal?

The fact is, we just don’t know.

The only thing we DO know is that Phil Senderos is off and we won’t get a penny for him, which is a shame.

M*nure could argue that Rio Ferdinand is struggling with back injuries, Vidic looks unsettled and Smalling could become a mainstay of their defence.

We could say the same, but with Wenger’s record of bringing players through, that may work to our advantage as it did when we signed Aaron Ramsey from under RedNose’s …er, nose.

The other thing to contemplate is whether it will hinder the progress of Kyle Bartley, of whom there are high hopes, or even Johann Djourou, both of whom are young and potential long term first teamers if they step up.

It’s going to be a fascinating few days of the transfer window – just a shame Le Boss said he’s not looking at any strikers right now.