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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger targets defensive signings

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
Wenger says Arsenal have been average in defence this year

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed he intends to strengthen his defence this summer after a fifth season in a row without silverware.

"Going forward we have done very well but defensively we have been average," said Wenger.

"When you concede 40 goals you don't win the title. I want to rectify that.

"My transfer policy this summer will be to keep our strengths going forward, add one player, and add more defensive strength to our team."

The Gunners rounded off their Premier League campaign with a 4-0 win over Fulham on Sunday and pipped rivals Tottenham to third place.

But failure in both of the domestic cup competitions and a Champions League exit at the hands of Barcelona this year means Arsenal have now gone five seasons without winning a trophy.

606: DEBATE
Rob

Centre-half Thomas Vermaelen has been a revelation since his move from Ajax last year but lapses have cost the team as their title push faded towards the end of the campaign.

And Fulham's Brede Hangeland and Senegal defender Pape Diakhate are thought to be on Wenger's radar as he looks to shore up his shaky rearguard, although William Gallas could be on his way out of the club.

Gallas, 32, and fellow centre-backs Sol Campbell and Mikael Silvestre are all out of contract in June and Gunners chairman Peter Hill-Wood described Gallas's demands for a new contract as "quite extravagant".

"I don't think we are prepared to go along with it. We would very much like him to stay but I think for one year - and not on the money he wants," added Hill-Wood.

"He is a good player but you have got to draw the line somewhere.

I want to stay and I want to give it my all for at least another year

Arsenal defender Sol Campbell

"If he can get the money somewhere else, good luck to him. We still hope he will sign but if he doesn't, he doesn't."

Campbell, who will be 36 in September, returned to his old club during January on a short-term deal and impressed after stepping in to bolster an injury-hit rearguard.

Wenger is keen to keep the former England captain - who led Arsenal through their unbeaten campaign of 2003/2004 - to bring some much-needed experience and Campbell sees no reason why he should not be at the Emirates Stadium next season.

"I fancy staying, of course I do," Campbell told the club's official website. "I want to stay and I want to give it my all for at least another year. I could do two but the manager never gives out two.

"Give me one year and I will work every day and try to win a trophy and bring some kind of glory back to Arsenal.

"We will sit down, it has started, and we will try to thrash something out.

"The negotiations are either going to be done in a week or two or it might take until July - you just don't know how things will pan out.

"We will have to see how Arsene sees me at the club."



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see also
Fabregas 'on schedule' for Spain
09 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Wenger eyes two or three recruits
29 Apr 10 |  Arsenal


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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES
The World Game Van Persie calls for steel - 14 hrs ago
Sporting Life VAN PERSIE: GUNNERS MUST SHOW STEEL - 17 hrs ago
The Independent Arsenal must 'toughen up' says van Persie - 19 hrs ago
PremierLeague.com Wenger to strengthen defence - 43 hrs ago
ESPN Soccernet Hill-Wood slams William Gallas over contract talks - 50 hrs ago


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