Former England and Aston Villa boss Graham Taylor says Arsenal can fund a new contract for Robin van Persie by clearing out the dead wood. Taylor wrote in the Daily Express: "Maybe to help finance paying Van Persie the big bucks, Arsenal should stop the culture of paying their average players very un-average wages.

"Players such as Nicklas Bendtner, Abou Diaby, Johan Djourou, Carlos Vela, Denilson and Marouane Chamakh do not deserve to be earning between £40,000 and £60,000 a week. If Wenger can sell them, he should - as quickly as possible.

"The overall quality of Arsenal's squad needs to improve.

"The fact they are still in the top four shows they have a good first XI but the lack of depth in the squad is highlighted by the fact they are also out of all the cups."