By Far The Greatest Team

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Wenger’s history of transfer denials – From RvP to Henry and Cole to Nasri

Unfortunately for Arsenal, Arsene Wenger has a history of categorically stating that players will not leave the club, only for them to request a transfer and sign elsewhere shortly afterwards.

This summer’s players were Robin van Persie and Alex Song and they are the latest of a long line of ex-Arsenal players that the manager was certain would stay.


Alex Song
August 14th 2012
Wenger: “There’s nothing going on with Song. There’s nothing in that. Song has three years’ contract, he’s not in the same situation as Robin Van Persie.”

August 20th 2012 – Song signs for Barcelona

Robin van Persie
June 20th 2012
Wenger: “He will stay at Arsenal.”

August 17th 2012 – Van Persie signs for Manchester United
Van Persie: “I’ve thought long and hard about it, but I have decided not to extend my contract.”

Samir Nasri
July 12th 2011
Wenger: “Samir’s situation is clear for me. He stays. We are in a position where we can say ‘no’ and we will.”

August 24th 2011 – Nasri signs Manchester City
Nasri: “Why didn’t I extend at Arsenal last autumn? They made me an offer and my advisers made another one. In this last one there was a clause that Arsenal officials didn’t really accept. When they came back to offer me again in June, I made my decision. In my mind I wanted to leave, above all after the very difficult end to last season and I also already had nice contacts. You play football because you like it, but above all to win trophies. I am still dreaming about a national title, a cup or Champions League just like a kid.”

Cesc Fabregas
July 12th 2011
Wenger: “Imagine the worst situation – we lose Fabregas and Nasri – you cannot convince people you are ambitious after that. You talk about Fabregas leaving, Nasri leaving. If you give that message out, you cannot pretend you are a big club, because a big club first of all holds onto its big players and gives a message out to all the other big clubs that they just cannot come in and take away from you. We worked very hard with these players for years to develop them, and now it’s a time for us to keep them together.”

August 15th 2011 – Fabregas signs for Barcelona
Fabregas: “I was just a servant and spent eight years there when I gave absolutely everything. It didn’t show in the cabinet, I only won one FA Cup really, and this is the biggest regret I will have in my career, probably, not to be able to lift a trophy as Arsenal captain.”

William Gallas
March 11th 2010
Wenger: “I am not concerned. He is under contract until the 30th of June. William is speaking to us and our desire is to keep him here. He wants to stay here.”

August 20th 2010 – Gallas signs for Tottenham Hotspur

Emmanuel Adebayor
May 22nd 2009
Wenger: “My gut feeling is he will be here. At the moment his future is at the club. He has a long contract and we want to keep him at the club.”

July 18th 2009 – Adebayor signs for Manchester City

Mathieu Flamini
March 9th 2008
Wenger: “We are very positive about Flamini. I believe he will stay. He wants to stay, I want him to stay – so we have a good understanding from the start.”

May 5th 2008 – Flamini signs for AC Milan
Asked if winning the title would have made a difference, Flamini said: “That would have weighed in the balance. It would certainly have counted. I actually wanted to sign a new contract at Arsenal last July but it didn’t happen. AC Milan did so much to sign me I couldn’t refuse. What happened to us after leading the league for so long was the most painful experience I had during four years at Arsenal.”

Thierry Henry
April 6th 2007
Wenger: “It’s not an issue because I had a chat with Thierry Henry. He is clear he wants to stay, I am clear I want him to stay. It’s not an issue at all. That is a story that has been created by somebody, not by our club and not by Henry because we are both on the same wavelength.”

June 25th 2007 – Henry signs for Barcelona
Henry: “It means a lot to come here and play with some of the best players in the world. It is incredible and I am looking forward to playing in the Camp Nou and helping the team in every way I can. It is an honour to be here and I am sure I will represent FC Barcelona the best I can. Barca is more than a club. Everybody knows about Barca.”

Jose Antonio Reyes
July 31st 2006
Wenger: “If you’ve come to ask me about the situation surrounding Reyes or Cesc then I can tell you that they are not for sale. I will be counting on them next season.”

August 31st 2006 – Reyes joins Real Madrid on loan before being sold to Atletico Madrid

Ashley Cole
February 25th 2006
Wenger: “I feel he is more committed. His attitude has never been a problem to me this season. He was always highly focused and committed. It is not a problem, frankly. At the end of the season he has two years, so we will start [contract talks] maybe in September or October.”

August 31st 2006 – Cole signs for Chelsea

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