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EUROPE > Wenger targetting to sign fresh faces

BEIJING - Agence France-Presse

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Manager of English Premier League club Arsenal, Arsene Wenger (R), smiles during a press conference at a hotel in Selangor on July 22, 2012. Arsenal are in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur area to play Malaysia XI, a squad culled from the best players of the Malaysia Super League in a friendly which will take place on July 23. AFP PHOTO

Manager of English Premier League club Arsenal, Arsene Wenger (R), smiles during a press conference at a hotel in Selangor on July 22, 2012. Arsenal are in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur area to play Malaysia XI, a squad culled from the best players of the Malaysia Super League in a friendly which will take place on July 23. AFP PHOTO

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger spoke of his desire to bring in fresh faces as his team arrived in China yesterday ahead of a game with Premier League Champions Manchester City.

Wenger also joined Arsenal’s Spanish midfielder Mikel Arteta in praising Malaga winger Santi Cazorla - who is expected to be the Gunners’ third high-profile signing of the summer.

The Arsenal boss has already brought in German striker Lukas Podolski and Frenchman Olivier Giroud.
The return of Abou Diaby and Jack Wilshere from long-term injury will also bolster the Arsenal team for the next campaign, Wenger said.

But the Frenchman said he is keen to add more players to his squad, which finished third in the Premier League last season.

“We have bought (Olivier) Giroud and (Lukas) Podolski and I hope that we have ‘bought’ (Abou) Diaby and (Jack) Wilshere, who didn’t play at all last season,” Wenger said.

“They will add to the squad, hopefully as soon as possible. And we are not at the end of it. We will still bring players in.” Wenger is aiming to prize Spanish midfielder Cazorla away from Malaga, who play in Spain’s La Liga.

Fellow Spaniard Arteta said: “I know him as a player really well and he is a top player. He has a lot of quality and talent.”

Wenger refused to be drawn on the transfer speculation over Cazorla, but added: “I share the opinion of Mikel. He is a great player.”

Arsenal faces Manchester City tomorrow in Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Stadium - the main venue for the 2008 Olympics.

Club officials say the game is “hugely symbolic,” given that the opening ceremony of the 2012 Games takes place simultaneously in London.

The Gunners then travel to Hong Kong to face local side Kitchee on Sunday.

July/26/2012

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