Wenger/ Adams/ Tomas/ Rehmer/ Djetou/ Schwarzer/ Canoville/ Harper/ Ground



By Ian Grant

PLAYERS

According to reports, Arsene Wenger will try to talk skipper Tony Adams out of retiring in 18 months’ time – because he claims there is a real shortage of good young English defenders.

Tony Adams hinted: “It will be a challenge to get the full potential out of this Arsenal squad, but when I finish I don’t want to be in my armchair or going on TV, saying ‘look at the state of Arsenal. I want to walk away with dignity, I want to win more things – I haven’t given up on that.”

Dave Seaman said he would fight for a place in the England team.

Arsenal striker Tomas Danilevicius, who travels on a Greek passport, has been cleared to continue his career at Highbury. A statement from Arsenal on Friday said the British Immigration Service had confirmed the Moscow-born Lithuanian international’s passport was genuine.

Reuters reports that Arsene Wenger has, meanwhile, offered one-year contract extensions to Seaman, Adams and Lee Dixon.

Freddie Ljungberg has been ruled out for a month, following a foot injury at Leicester City.

According to the Mirror, Robert Pires has urged Arsene Wenger nor to buy any more French players.

Patrick Vieira said: “I am very pleased to play with Gilles because it is really easy to play with him. I believe he is under-rated. When I used to play with Manu I stayed back a little bit. But Gilles is more defensive than me. That gives me the opportunity to play up front and have more chances to score.”

WENGERSPEAK

Arsene Wenger was delighted at having been cleared of the main charge of threatening behaviour and violent conduct at the Sunderland game, saying: “That was very important

for me.The fact that I was charged with improper conduct means of course that my reaction was maybe a bit too big. But the fact that I only got a reprimand means that the FA recognised that my intention was clear and right. That is also important for me.”

“I was determined to defend my case. I am not shattered, maybe I just look shattered as Im not 20 years old. It was stressful for everyone. But the most important thing is I’ve got this out of the way and I can do my job and concentrate on tomorrows game at Coventry.”

The FA found him guilty of misconduct and fined him £10K.

Arsene Wenger said:”When I came to Arsenal four years ago,” said Wenger, “the quality of youth was poor. We have invested quite a lot of money and now, at every age level, we have one or two who can make it.”

The Mirror says that Arsene Wenger thinks the Champions League is more important to Arsenal than the FA Cup.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has rejected reports that he is set to take charge of the Japanese national team for the 2002 World Cup finals.

TRANSFERS

Arsenal have swooped for £5m German defender Marko Rehmer. Rehmer, the 6ft 3ins Hertha Berlin stopper, flew into London for extensive talks with Wenger yesterday. The German international has a clause written into his contract that he can leave Hertha Berlin for £5m in the summer, but Arsenal boss Wenger wants him now.

Arsenal, Chelsea and Fulham were on red alert last night after £5m-rated Monaco skipper Martin Djetou, 26, declared his intention to move to London.

According to the Daily Star, Arsenal are ready to make a bid for Middlesbrough goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.

Liverpool could pip Arsenal for £1m rated 17 year-old, Dean Ashton because of their special relationship, says one paper.

Arsene Wenger says Italian clubs will be monitoring Arsenal’s fortunes in the Champions League and weighing up multi-million pound moves for French stars Henry, Pires, Vieira and Wiltord.

The Mirror says Arsenal are watching West Ham’s Michael Carrick.

Arsenal’s Lee Canoville has gone on loan to Northampton Town.

James Harper, the midfield player, has turned down a £250,000 move to Cardiff City, the Nationwide League third division club, after spending a month on loan at Ninian Park. The 20-year-old has returned to Highbury.

GROUND

More than 900 responses have been received over Arsenal bid to relocate to a brownfield site near the current Highbury stadium. Islington Council said this week that the main issues raised in the responses included concerns over the density of homes planned for the existing stadium site, public transport and traffic issues, and the height of the proposed stadium and housing.

MISCELLANEOUS

Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Celtic and Rangers have joined the Geordies in the for Macmillan Cancer Relief campaign.

Arsenal are 4/1 for the FA Cup, Chelsea are 11/2 with Liverpool at 11-4.