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31 Jan 2018 07:47
Waving goodbye? (Reuters)
Arsene Wenger is resigned to losing Olivier Giroud on transfer deadline day but has yet to confirm Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is definitely joining the club.
Aubameyang may have spent Tuesday afternoon at the club’s training ground, but the Gunners manager was reluctant to say the club record £60 million deal for the Borussia Dortmund striker would be concluded for certain on Wednesday.
Just moments after seeing his team lose at 3-1 resurgent Swansea City on Tuesday, Wenger would not be drawn on whether he felt Giroud’s anticipated £18 million move to Chelsea would be offset by Aubameyang’s arrival.
“I will inform you tomorrow,” said Wenger, when asked if the transfer was about to be completed.
Asked whether he was confident it would go through, he added: “Confidence does not help, because nowadays the deals can be so complicated.”
Wenger also refused to say Giroud had played his final match for the club after the Frenchman came on as a late substitute, but was unable to prevent his club from losing to the Premier League strugglers.
“That will all be decided tomorrow,” said Wenger when asked about Giroud’s future, with Dortmund also a possible destination if the Chelsea deal falls through.
But the fact that Wenger talked about Giroud in the past tense suggested the striker is about to end his six-year association with Arsenal.
“Olivier is a guy who gave great service to the club, who never let us down and saved us many times. I asked him if he could commit tonight and he had no problem with that,” he said.
“He became a strong international player for France.
He has always been top class.
“But I don’t want to talk too much about where he goes.
“He is an Arsenal man, but he needs to play as well.
Wenger’s side are still without an away victory in 2018 after they lost a first-half lead, given to them by Nacho Monreal, within 60 seconds.
Sam Clucas equalised for Swansea and then scored his second four minutes from time, but the game turned on a dreadful error by Arsenal keeper Petr Cech, which allowed Swansea’s Jordan Ayew to put his side 2-1 ahead.
“We were not convincing, offensively or defensively,” Wenger added.
“You make mistakes and there is not always a rational explanation. But perhaps it highlights the whole lack of quality and concentration we showed tonight.
“They (Swansea) were more decisive. Maybe there is a confidence problem as well.”
For Swansea manager Carlos Carvalhal the victory was his third in five Premier League matches since he took charge and lifted his club from bottom of the table to above the relegation zone.
Carvalhal is yet to sign a single player in the January transfer window, but expects his club’s improved position to be decisive in making deadline day deals.
“I hope this victory will help with the decisions, because some don’t want to come,” said Carvalhal.
“It is not because of good offers, but the reality some do not want to come, so we must wait.
“When we arrived we were breathing like a dying man, then we had some oxygen against Watford, now we are alive, we are breathing, we are not dead.
“The word I kept hearing when I came was miracle. I said miracles do not happen, this depends on men and we can do it.
“But we have achieved nothing so far. We are in a good position and the way they are playing, the commitment they are showing, it is promising.” – Agence France-Presse
Read more from Graham Thomas
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