Arsenal news

Arsenal set for £23m player cull - report

March 28, 2012
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is plotting a summer cull of his fringe players in a bid to save around £23 million in wages, according to a report in the Daily Mail.

Andrei Arshavin, Arsene Wenger
GettyImagesArshavin has not proved popular this season

Wenger is keen to add quality to the side and persuade star striker Robin van Persie to sign a new deal reported to be worth around £120,000-a-week - a contract that would break the Gunners' established wage ceiling.

However, recently reports showed that the club's wage bill has increased by £20m - despite the summer sales of Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy - and the manager needs to cut costs on players who have not matched up to expectations.

Indeed, he is expected to let the likes of Andrey Arshavin (£75,000-a-week); Marouane Chamakh (£60,000); along with Sebastien Squillaci, Nicklas Bendtner, Denilson and Carlos Vela (all on £50,000) leave at the end of the season. Goalkeeper Manuel Almunia, who is on £60,000-a-week, will also be let go once his current deal expires.

The Mail insists that 18-year-old Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is in line for a new contract after some impressive performances in his first season in the Premier League and influential midfielder Alex Song is also set for a pay rise to take him to around £75,000-a-week.

But Arsenal also need to buy and, along with the expected arrival of German international Lukas Podolski for £11 million, suggestions are that at least two new players will arrive at the Emirates. Although Dortmund's Mario Gotze will not be one of them as he signed a new contract at the club on Tuesday until 2016.