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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 August 2006, 13:51 GMT 14:51 UK
Wenger bids for Chelsea's Gallas
Ashley Cole (l) and William Gallas
Arsenal are believed to want Gallas (r) in part-exchange for Cole
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed he has made an offer for Chelsea defender William Gallas, as the Ashley Cole saga rumbles on.

Wenger, who is reported to want Gallas in part-exchange for Cole, said Cole's departure remains "50/50".

He added: "We are still in no man's land surrounding Cole's move. I made an offer for William Gallas and that is how far we are.

"I am very keen to resolve all of this. I want the squad to be settled."

Arsenal and Chelsea have been involved in a lengthy battle for 25-year-old England defender Cole, with Chelsea reportedly offering 20m but Arsenal holding out for 25m.

Last week Wenger said: "It is not true that we have turned any offer down.

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"Chelsea have had June, July, August. Everybody says Chelsea are interested in buying Ashley Cole but they have had three months now to buy him."

Cole was left out of the Gunners' squad for the Premiership opener against Aston Villa.

His move across London remains uncertain - and Chelsea have recently signed Dutch international defender Khalid Boulahrouz from Hamburg.

"We are ready" said Wenger last week. "From our part there's no problem. Why don't you ask Chelsea what the problem is? I don't know.

"It's also difficult for us. We have a player and we cannot really count on him. Is he with us or not?

If nobody gives us the right offer what can you do

Arsene Wenger
"We have to sort this situation out quite quickly. The numbers are not so important for Chelsea. They just bought a player.

"This situation is not a money situation. We have not turned down an offer. The problem is not between us and Chelsea.

"He doesn't need to ask for a transfer because we gave him permission to leave when he extended his contract at the end of last season.

"He has permission to leave if a club come in and makes the right offer.

"If that doesn't happen the consequence will be that he will stay. If nobody gives us the right offer what can you do?"

The Arsenal boss insists he will play Cole when he thinks he is ready, although will not be in Wednesday's Champions League qualifier second leg against Dinamo Zagreb.

The Gunners are 3-0 up from the first leg and playing Cole would cup-tie him and add an extra complication to the transfer.

Cole made himself available for Saturday's opening league game at the Emirates Stadium.

He said: "I maintain I have no problem with the fans and the manager. They've been very supportive of me."

Cole has been at odds with Arsenal since June 2005 when he was fined for meeting with Chelsea representatives, including Blues boss Jose Mourinho, without his club's knowledge.

In the aftermath Cole blamed Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein for his contract dispute and in June 2005 told the News of the World newspaper: "I blame David Dein for trying to force me out of the club I love."

And in promotional material for his new book this summer the defender criticised the club for making him a "scapegoat" over the tapping-up affair.



SEE ALSO
Arsenal 1-1 Aston Villa
19 Aug 06 |  Premiership
Henry fears over Cole departure
09 Aug 06 |  Arsenal
Cole signs new deal with Arsenal
18 Jul 05 |  Arsenal
Chelsea, Mourinho and Cole fined
01 Jun 05 |  Premiership


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