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Arsenal boss Wenger: I did consider January signing

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admits he seriously considered making a signing in the winter market.

Despite seeing his options limited by both injuries to key men like Robin van Persie and the absence of trio Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Eboue and Alex Song at the African Nations Cup, Wenger elected not to strengthen the Arsenal squad this month.

Indeed, the departure of midfielder Lassana Diarra for Portsmouth was the main move, with youngsters Kieran Gibbs and Mark Randall allowed out on loan while highly-rated 15-year-old prospect Luke Freeman coming in from Gillingham.

Wenger, though, revealed he was not short of offers from would-be sellers as his phone barely stopped ringing over the past four weeks.

The Arsenal manager said: "I did flash on one player who was available. I got lots of calls because the agents are always [calling], especially in the final four or five days, but nothing hit me.

"I never count how many calls I get, it depends on the days as well. You can get 10 to 20 to 30. When you are busy as well with one player, you can call the same agent 10 times in one day.

"In fairness as well, when the transfer market opens you think 'oh, a lot will happen' but at the end of the day, look at what happens - not a lot.

Wenger, who continues to work without a director of football, added: "I must say I have done less calls than ever this year, because I was really in a position where I knew I didn't want to buy, and I didn't really want to sell.

"The only problem we had was with Diarra and that was sorted out quite quickly."

The sale of Frenchman Diarra for a fee believed to be around £5.5million represented a healthy profit for Arsenal on a player who had only arrived from Chelsea during August.

Wenger knows the importance of prudence in the modern transfer market, which is often artificially inflated.

"I feel that your club being in a good financial situation is very important, for your stability, and you have a responsibility not to get the club bankrupt," he said.

"I would not like to come out here and say the club is absolutely on bare bones.

"[Being in credit] is down to the quality of work. I don't feel managers get enough credit for that."

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Tribal Football Staff

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