Wenger denies Hleb exit

The Arsenal manager plays down reports of another departure from his team.

    Alexander Hleb, right, may be on
    his way to Italy [GALLO/GETTY]
    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has played down reports that Alexander Hleb is about to follow Mathieu Flamini out of the English Premier League club.

    Hleb's agent, Nikolai Shpilevski, has been quoted as saying that the Belarusian is leaving and may be on his way to Inter Milan.

    But Wenger said he has heard nothing from the midfielder, who joined the Gunners from Stuttgart three seasons ago.

    "You cannot stop people talking but at the moment there is nothing,'' the Arsenal manager said ahead of Sunday's final game of the season at Sunderland.

    "I believe that, usually, all the players want to stay, and I expect this team to say 'let's make a pact together, come back next year and win'. That's what I expect them to do and my priority is to keep the team together, add what I think can help us to even be better and then see from there.''

    Flamini exit

    Flamini's move to AC Milan this week has sparked speculation that Wenger's young team may start to break up because of Arsenal's comparatively low wages compared with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United.

    Wenger said that the club made the French midfielder the best offer it could afford.

    "Yes. I believe that even Mathieu would concede that,'' he said.

    "We put him in the bracket of where we could go (financially), and we made him that offer, but unfortunately it wasn't enough.

    "We have to accept that, because Mathieu was a good servant of the club for four years and he came without costing any transfer fee and left without costing any transfer fee, he was free to go.''

    SOURCE: Agencies


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