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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will not offer Didier Drogba a way back into the Premier League

Published: September 14, 2012 | 7:24 am
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Arsene Wenger maintains Arsenal are not planning to offer Shanghai Shenhua striker Didier Drogba an escape route back to England from China.

After helping Chelsea win the Champions League final in a dramatic penalty shoot-out, the 34-year-old Ivory Coast striker left Stamford Bridge for the Chinese club on a lucrative free-transfer.
However, following an apparent power struggle behind the scenes at the Chinese Super League club, it had been reported Drogba was looking for a way out and could even be released from his deal, said to be worth in excess of £200,000 a week – with Liverpool and Real Madrid also possible destinations.
Those suggestions, however, have since been played down by the striker’s UK management company.
Arsenal previously tracked Drogba when he was at Le Mans and Guingamp, but Wenger claims the Gunners were not preparing to go back into the market for the former Monaco frontman, who gave their defence so much trouble during his eight years at Chelsea.
“At the moment no. In my opinion he is not free. He has just left England,” said the Arsenal manager.

“I don’t know about the situation because he came out with a completely different statement.
“You hear he might go to Real Madrid – but then he says ‘I am staying in China’. Is it just because he wants to be paid off? I don’t know.”
Arsenal host Southampton on Saturday, and will have goalkeeper Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny fit again following a rib injury.
Winger Theo Walcott will be assessed after missing England’s game against Ukraine with a virus, while midfielder Abou Diaby is rated as 50/50 after picking up a minor knee problem while on international duty with France and may be rested ahead of next week’s start of the Champions League campaign in Montpellier.
Midfielder Jack Wilshere also continues his rehabilitation from an ankle problem which sidelined him all last season.
“Jack is making quick progress now,” Wenger said. “He will join in with full training soon.”


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