Arsene Wenger refused to be drawn on speculation linking Arsenal with Raheem Sterling and James Milner, insisting the club are not in “transfer mode”.
Sterling’s Liverpool future is shrouded in doubt after reports emerged on Monday that he is planning to tell the club he wants to leave at the end of the season, with Arsenal long thought to be interested in the forward.
Manchester City’s Milner, an England team-mate of Sterling, has also been tipped with a move to the Emirates Stadium with the midfielder out of contract at the end of the campaign.
But manager Wenger insists his only focus is on Wednesday’s Premier League contest against Sunderland and helping Arsenal achieve a second-placed finish.
On Sterling, he said: “At the moment we are not in transfer mode. We want to finish well our season.
“We have put in a massive effort to come back in a potential good position and we have to focus to finish well.
“After the effort we have put in it would be stupid not to finish well.
“I do not bid for anybody at the moment. In the summer I will bid for people, yes, but at the moment we are not in transfer mode at all. I don’t like to lie.”
Wenger added on Milner: “29 is not old. We have a big squad at the moment and that is not in mind at all. I make my decisions after the season.
“We are in front of a big game and are focused on that.”
Wenger has a doubt over centre-back Laurent Koscielny (flu) for the midweek clash at the Emirates, while Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain (groin) and Danny Welbeck (knee) remain absent.
Sunderland need a point from their last two matches to ensure top-flight safety and Wenger believes Dick Advocaat could prove crucial in their fight against the drop.
“Advocaat has used his vast experience to give them confidence and players certainly question themselves and respond always with a few games to go,” he said.
“I think they will survive. Who will go down? I don’t know. It depends on the last game and I wouldn’t like to bring any bad luck to anybody.”
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