Wenger rules out Gunners spree

Congleton Guardian: Arsene Wenger does not expect too much activity in the summer transfer market Arsene Wenger does not expect too much activity in the summer transfer market

Manager Arsene Wenger expects the transfer market to heat up after the World Cup but maintains Arsenal do not need a "massive" influx of fresh talent.

The Gunners host West Brom on Sunday looking to cement their place in the Barclays Premier League top four ahead of Everton, who tackle Manchester City on Saturday, in the quest to secure a Champions League play-off berth.

Wenger, who has yet to formally agree the offer of a contract extension, feels the FA Cup finalists can bridge the gap to sustain their championship challenge next season, but as always claims it will not be just about adding numbers.

"It will be busy, but the main thing for us will be to keep the stability because we feel we are close (to the title), we want to add something that makes us even stronger, but number-wise it will not be massive," said Wenger.

"At the moment I have people around me who start to look.

"From my experience the World Cup years have always been very quiet until the end of the World Cup, with no players reachable.

"Everybody is focused in the country on their national team and there is not a lot happening, people are away so I believe this year again you will have to wait until July 15 to start going."

Arsenal will not be looking to let anyone leave, with the club still hopeful over the new terms for the likes of goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski and full-back Bacary Sagna.

German forward Lukas Podolski has been suggested as one player possibly set for a summer move away amid suggestions of him being frustrated by being utilised on the left side of attack.

"We have only two players who are out of contract, all the rest need our agreement and they have not got it yet," Wenger said.

The Arsenal manager says Podolski is very much a part of future plans.

"Podolski has been out for four months (with injury) and it has taken him a while to get back to the rhythm of the games again, but he is a very efficient player with the number of goals he has scored and the number of assists," said Wenger.

"He can play as a second striker hanging behind, but he is not a guy who likes contact up front because he likes to run in behind and get the ball to feet.

"Once he gets in the box, and he has a chance to score, he is the one you want to have the ball because he is very accurate, very quick, has a short backlift and is a quick, fantastic finisher.

"That is why everyone says, 'Yes he is a striker', but when he plays completely up front you don't feel he enjoys it. He likes to come to the ball and always come deep.

"He does not agree and certainly thinks he is a striker, but he is a striker with somebody else who is a striker as well and has different qualities than he has."

Arsenal have historically left it late to secure a top-four finish, and this year will see the added pressure of focus switching to the FA Cup final against Hull on May 17 and the quest to end nine years without a trophy.

"We are always in the heat until the last minute of the season and it will be the same this time because we are in the FA Cup final," Wenger said.

"The earlier we do the job, the better it is. Let's hope we can do it over the weekend.

"However, fourth place doesn't guarantee that you play in the Champions League. You first have to go through the qualifier and that is always difficult.

"But that is the target at the moment and we want to do it as quickly as possible."

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