Arsenal news

Wenger hopeful of Cesc return

July 18, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Arsene Wenger is hoping Cesc Fabregas will make his return to the pitch this Saturday in Arsenal's pre-season friendly against Bundesliga outfit FC Koln.

Cesc Fabregas
GettyImagesCesc Fabregas missed Arsenal's two-game tour of Asia

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The Arsenal boss has again stated Fabregas will not depart the Emirates for Barcelona this summer, as the skipper prepares to meet with Wenger on Monday after the Spaniard missed the club's recent tour of Asia due to a muscular complaint

"We will have to see how far he is with his injury," Wenger told the English press. "He is not back in full training, he is back running on the pitch and the next step is to be back in full training. I will have to assess him on Monday.

"But of course he is in my plans. The problem is we face speculation from everywhere. But my target is the same, to keep the players and my desire to fight for that is the same."

Another player Wenger is desperate to hold on to is Samir Nasri. The Arsenal manager fumed at Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini last week over what he saw as comments "against the basic rules of football" regarding the France international.

"I have spoken to Samir, of course, because he is in a situation where he has only one year to go [on his contract]," said Wenger. "But we've not spoken about Mancini's statement.

"Things have changed in England and I believe it is important that we go back to normal behaviour on that front. The rules are the rules. They have certainly to be cleaned up, the rules, as well. We will have to see [if the rules have been broken].

"For us, at this period of the season, it is important that give importance to what matters to us. Frankly, it doesn't take sleep away from me.

"I just think it is surprising that we have to face these kind of comments. You have never heard me say any word about a player."