Arsenal boss reveals shock after Manchester United's surprise transfer bid
PUBLISHED: 06:40 20 February 2016
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Arsene Wenger admits he was surprised when Manchester United attempted to sign Mathieu Debuchy on loan in January.
Debuchy had been out of favour at the Emirates Stadium after Hector Bellerin emerged as the club’s first-choice right back, and Wenger was keen to send the Frenchman on a loan spell to gain regular football.
The likes of Aston Villa and Sunderland were interested in the 30-year-old but Wenger was stunned when title rivals Manchester United made a cheeky offer to take him until the end of the season.
Debuchy completed a loan move to Bordeaux on deadline day and the defender has since revealed that Wenger was personally responsible for blocking the switch to Old Trafford.
The Arsenal boss stuck by that decision when asked about it ahead of Arsenal’s FA Cup game against Hull this weekend.
“I hope that’s not surprising to you!” Wenger laughed. “If Manchester United wants to buy a player, fine.
“But you loan players out to clubs who don’t have the resources, not to direct opponents. There was nothing shocking in that decision and it’s true – I stand up for that.
“I was surprised by the move. I can understand it but I found that [decision] logical.”
Wenger was on the receiving end of a similar situation in 2014, when Arsenal wanted to sign Danny Welbeck on loan from Manchester United but the Red Devils suddenly demanded a permanent deal.
The Gunners ended up paying £16m to sign the England international, who scored the winner against Leicester last weekend after almost 10 months out with a knee injury.