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Wenger: Real Madrid right to protect contracted Benzema

Arsene Wenger said the ball is in Real Madrid’s court regarding Arsenal’s links to striker Karim Benzema.

Following their home 0-0 draw to Liverpool on Monday to continue a lacklustre start to their Premier League campaign, Arsenal boss Wenger said it was up to Real to decide if they are open to allowing the Frenchman to leave the Santiago Bernabeu.

Benzema slammed the speculation on Monday via Twitter, posting a picture of himself smiling and with thumbs up in a Real shirt and the words: “For all those clowns who want to make believe things at my fans. Here this is my home!”

“When the players are contracted, the club wants the contract to decide, Real Madrid has come out many times to say that,” Wenger said of the Benzema link. 

“Like [how] we want to master the situation of the players who are under contract with us.”

Benzema is signed up in the Spanish capital until 2019.

Wenger dismissed criticism from Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville, who claimed the Arsenal tactician was arrogant not to bring in attacking stars – with Petr Cech his only addition in the close-season.

“I don’t know what that has to do with arrogance,” the coach responded. 

“You find all kind of attributes for me since I’m here, so I’m quite used to it – I try to do well in my job, that’s all I try to do for nearly 20 years. 

“After that, I leave the judgement to everybody to give assessment on the quality of my work.”

While Wenger admitted Arsenal’s start to the Premier League was “very average” due to their lack of a home goal in two outings, he said reinforcements would alter their fortunes.

Jack Wilshere (ankle), out until mid-September, and Danny Welbeck remain on the sidelines – the latter set to return after the international break.

“But you know we had Wilshere [out] tonight, Welbeck out, [Alexis] Sanchez not completely yet at his best, we know that we can score goals and we can score goals again,” he said.

Tue 25 Aug, 2015
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