'It is an illusion' - Wenger denies Arsenal deal for Draxler

Reports have once again surfaced suggesting the 20-year-old is close to signing with the Gunners, but the Frenchman insists there are no new transfer developments to announce
By Liam Twomey at the Emirates Stadium

Arsene Wenger has once again denied that Arsenal have agreed a deal to sign Schalke midfielder Julian Draxler, but admits he cannot rule out a possible January move.

Reports suggested the two clubs had agreed a fee for the 20-year-old playmaker during the Gunners' 4-0 FA Cup fourth-round victory over Coventry City on Friday night.

Goal revealed earlier this month that Wenger was weighing up a move for Draxler as he looks to reinforce his squad in the winter window, but after the match the Frenchman played down the speculation.

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"That is an illusion," Wenger told reporters when asked about Draxler. "There’s nothing happening. Honestly no. We have no need for players on the flanks - we have 17 players on the flanks!

"We don’t rule it out but at the moment I can’t announce anything."

Wenger also refused to be drawn into a war of words with Jose Mourinho, who hit out at the Frenchman for suggesting that Chelsea's decision to sell Juan Mata to Manchester United was unfair.

"What I said was not a complaint - it had nothing to do with Chelsea," he insisted. "I was asked a question and gave an honest answer.

"It was just a suggestion. I can accept that we have different opinions. It was just an opinion, not a complaint. People can think that’s wrong and I accept it. I speak about facts and ideas, never about people."

Arsenal cruised into the FA Cup fifth round courtesy of goals from Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla, and afterwards Wenger paid tribute to the German, who struck twice.

"Podolski can score goals and if you get a chance you want him to have it," he added. "He’s a clinical finisher.

"His performances have been more convincing on the flank than through the middle, but he can score goals when he starts or comes on. He’s always dangerous."

Coventry boss Steven Pressley remained upbeat about his side's performance despite their heavy defeat, drawing particular attention to their rally at the start of the second half.

"I'm exceptionally proud [of the performance]," he insisted. In the first half we adopted a slightly deeper press than normal and if you don’t get in contact with Arsenal they have top class players.

"We adopted higher pressing in the second half and really forced Arsenal back. At 2-0 down it’s easy to go under but I think we looked more likely to score.
"Our passing in the second half was devastating at times. The team we were playing are renowned for their passing and I thought we matched them in the second half.

"In the last 10 minutes Arsenal’s quality showed, but in the end 4-0 was a little bit harsh on us."