Football - Wenger: Panic buying shows weakness

Arsene Wenger believes panic buying in the January transfer window is a symptom of what is wrong with the modern game and a manager must be "strong enough to do nothing".

PA Sport

Despite clamour from supporters to recruit, the Arsenal boss only intends to add to his squad by Thursday's deadline if a player can enhance his current side.

Wenger revealed former England captain David Beckham will train at Arsenal's Hertfordshire training base, but would not confirm an interest in Spain striker David Villa, saying only that Barcelona do not wish to sell.

"It's just like you go out and you buy anyone just to give people hope," Wenger said.

"I think what is important is that you bring in players who can strengthen your team, or you do nothing, you're strong enough to do nothing.

"I always said that what is important is to bring a player in who can strengthen the squad. `Anyone', for me, means just exactly what is today the modern game has become.

"In January it's very difficult to find players who strengthen your team when you're in our position."

Villa would undoubtedly improve the Arsenal squad, but Wenger is happy with the forwards at his disposal - Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott and Gervinho, who is currently at the African Nations Cup with Ivory Coast.

Wenger added: "It doesn't go away, but Barcelona doesn't want to sell David Villa. They have made that very, very clear. As numbers we have enough. We have plenty of quality strikers."

Wenger does not believe there is room to negotiate with Barcelona. "You respect the desire (to keep a player)," he said. "If I say that somebody is not for transfer I expect the other clubs not to try to buy him."

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