9 Jul 2011

Wenger says he'll hold onto midfielders

12:39 pm on 9 July 2011

The Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger has vowed that he will do everything in his power to prevent midfield pair Cesc Fabragas and Samir Nasri from leaving the English football club.

Fabregas, who was at the centre of a transfer wrangle last year as Barcelona tried to prise him away, is again wanted at the Camp Nou with the Catalans having made an offer of more than 50 million dollars.

Arsenal have rejected the offer but 24-year-old Fabregas is known to want to return to the club he has supported since he was a child.

He joined the Barca youth academy aged 10 before moving to Arsenal at 16.

Frenchman Nasri, also 24, still has 12 months to run on his contract but has caught the attention of Manchester United who are reported to be preparing a bid for almost 40 million dollars.

Wenger has already seen defender Gael Clichy leave the club this week in a deal that took him to Manchester City.

Arsenal finished fourth in the Premier League last season and will take part in the qualifiers for the Champions League. They reached the final of the League Cup where they lost to Birmingham City.