Friday, August 22, 2008

Arsenal Target Long-Awaited Midfielder: Wenger Hope On Silvestre

Arsene Wenger is still in the market for a central midfielder with 10 days left to go before the transfer window closes and has not ruled out a move for Aston Villa’s England international Gareth Barry.

After springing a major surprise by signing Manchester United left-back Mikael Silvestre from one of his title rivals on Wednesday, Wenger is in the mood to produce another with Barry, so long mooted for Liverpool, a prime target.But Aston Villa, who have fought long and hard to keep Barry, would have to lower their £18million valuation by around £3m or so for Wenger to get his man.

After seeing Mathieu Flamini, Alexander Hleb and Gilberto Silva all depart in the last three months, Wenger is keen to bring in a midfielder who has experience.Asked about Barry, Wenger said:

“There is always interest. I cannot tell you much more. He’s one of the players we follow.

“I find Barry a good player. the problems with players who are 27, 28, is that you pay big money but you get nothing back, no resale.”

And, even though Barry has played for Villa in the Uefa Cup, meaning he would not be eligible for the Champions League until February, it would not necessarily put Wenger off.

The Arsenal manager, who is expecting Alex Song, Abou Diaby and Tomas Rosicky back soon, added:

“We’re not quite as short as we were, one more is possible. It wouldn’t be a problem.

“Once somebody cannot play for you in Europe, it devalues the player for the season. It doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t buy him.

“The transfer window? You see I can surprise you sometimes, because there was one in who you didn’t suspect.

“There still might be one more player in a position you know.” Silvestre is the first Manchester United player sold to Arsenal since striker Brian Kidd in 1974, and Wenger revealed he had tried to get him years ago, finally hijacking Manchester City’s bid to get the French defender at the last moment last night.

Wenger, asked if this was one of his best transfer coups, said:

“I don’t know yet, we’ll see in a few months.

“I believe he is a good player. I wanted already to take him a few years ago when they extended his contract with Manchester United. He can play centre-back and left-back. He has a great team attitude and we’re a bit light experience-wise in the dressing room.

“How easy is it to do business with Manchester United? Easy. And we are very pleased to have got him.”

Wenger, who did not speak to United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, said that there were no conditions preventing the transfer.

“If you tell him he can go for that price and without any restrictions, you cannot stop him,” said Wenger,

“He’s 31, for a striker that’s quite a reasonable age, but for a central defender he’s still good. Central defenders can play until 34 at the top level without any problems.”

Wenger pounced with Silvestre having a medical with City, the player then coming to London after hearing of Arsenal’s interest.Asked how late he came in, Wenger said intriguingly:

“You might find out why, very soon. He was in advanced talks with Manchester City already.

“I don’t know whether he finished the medical or not, he can explain to you, but I heard he was completely free.”
Barry is a good signing for now. Silvestre also can be a good player in Arsenal. Wenger surely won't do any mistake in taking player to be in his team. What do you think gooners?

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