Wenger in no rush to sell
Arsene Wenger has refused to rule out further departures from the Emirates, but insists players will have to come in before they do.
Both Johan Djourou and Marouane Chamakh have left on loan, to Hannover and West Ham respectively, while Sebastien Squillaci and Andrey Arshavin have both been linked with moves away from north London.
“At the moment no, (no one is leaving),” Wenger told Arsenal Player. “We have a good squad, a balanced one. At the moment nobody can go out, unless we buy somebody.
“At the moment our focus is to keep everybody. In every position we have two players. Three is too many and one is not enough.”
Arsenal, remain hopeful of pushing through an improved contract offer for Theo Walcott, with reports suggesting a new five-year deal worth around £90,000 a week could even be signed ahead of the City game.
Wenger has been linked with a string of players including Barcelona forward David Villa,
His former Barca team-mate Yaya Toure will be missing for Manchester City for Sunday’s match at the Emirates and midfielder Aaron Ramsey feels Arsenal can make the most of his absence.
The Blues were beaten 1-0 at Emirates Stadium last season, where they have not scored in the Barclays Premier League in five visits and last won away over the Gunners back in 1975.
City will be without their midfield enforcer Toure, who once had a trial at Arsenal, as he prepares for the African Nations Cup with Ivory Coast.
Ramsey believes that could work to Arsenal’s advantage as they look to stay within striking distance of the top four.
“It will give us an extra bit of belief,” he added. “We beat them last year at home and with Yaya Toure gone to the Africa Cup of Nations, it is a big loss for them.
“He is a big player for them and so influential, so hopefully we can take full advantage of that and get another good result.”
Arsenal have also seen their attacking options hit by the African Nations Cup, as forward Gervinho is away with the Ivory Coast, and France international Olivier Giroud is rated as 50/50 because of the knee injury he picked up in the FA Cup tie at Swansea.
Wenger could see his midfield options boosted by the return of Abou Diaby.
The injury-plagued France international played for the under-21s in their midweek draw against West Brom in what was a first competitive fixture since hobbling out against Chelsea on September 29 with a thigh problem.
The Gunners start a run of potentially six crunch fixtures before the end of January – with a Champions League last-16 tie against Bayern Munich also looming on the not-too-distant horizon.
After an FA Cup replay against Swansea at Emirates Stadium next Wednesday, Arsenal then travel to Chelsea on January 20, before tackling West Ham in their rearranged Boxing Day fixture which is followed by a possible FA Cup fourth-round tie at Brighton ahead of the visit of Liverpool.
Wales international Ramsey, however, insists the squad have the strength of character to cope with such a demanding schedule.
“It is a big month for us. We play some teams who are above us (in the Premier League) and we have an FA Cup game as well, so it is important to take these opportunities,” Ramsey said on Arsenal Player.
“We have Manchester City at home and Chelsea away, games that we did well in last season, so hopefully we can do the same again this year and that will set us up nicely for the run in to the end of the season.”