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Arsenal not in talks with Alvaro Morata... or any Real Madrid players, says Wenger

Alvaro Morata of Real Madrid. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images Alvaro Morata of Real Madrid. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Friday, January 10, 2014
11:09 AM

Arsene Wenger has denied that Arsenal are in transfer talks to sign Alvaro Morata – or any Real Madrid players.

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The Gunners, Tottenham and Liverpool have all been linked with the striker during this January window after the 21-year-old suggested he could leave the La Liga giants if he wasn’t given a “relevant role in the team”.

But today, ahead of Monday’s Premier League clash at Aston Villa, Wenger scotched rumours that the north Londoners are, as yet, in talks to sign anyone.

“We are not in talks with Real about anybody,” the Arsenal boss said.

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has also denied that he is looking to offload the Spanish striker, saying: “Morata will stay. He hasn’t asked to leave, either.”

Monday’s news that Arsenal striker Theo Walcott will miss the rest of the season and the World Cup - after suffering a anterior cruciate knee ligament injury in the weekend’s 2-0 FA Cup third round win over Tottenham - has increased Wenger’s need for a new striker.

But he admits it will be “very difficult” to bring in new signings this month.

“[Walcott’s injury] has accelerated [transfer] speculation first and of course my desire as well - but let’s not forget about Serge Gnabry who can play in the first team,” Wenger added.

“We have Oxlade-Chamberlain back and we have many other players who can play on the flanks so to find better solutions than what we have internally will not be easy.

“Up front we lose Theo as a potential central forward and that’s maybe where we have to look outside, but we hopefully have [Nicklas] Bendtner back in three weeks.

“We are there for the opportunities, but it is very difficult at the moment.”

The Arsenal boss addded: “The transfer market is a distraction that for me is not welcome.

“I think it would be much better that there is no transfer market at all in January and the team starts and finishes with the same players would be fair unless you have big injuries.

“For the rest what is important is that we focus on the quality of our performances because it’s a period that is very sensitive at the moment and every game is now a massive game.”

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