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Arsenal chairman slams ex-Real Madrid president

SoccerNews in English Premier League, La Liga 25 Jan 2009

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Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood has branded Florentino Perez as “very rude” after the Real Madrid presidential candidate said he would bring Gunners manager Arsene Wenger to the Bernabeu if elected.

There is a vacancy at the top of the Spanish giants’ administrative set-up following the resignation of Ramon Calderon earlier this month and Perez has promised Real fans he will bring Wenger on board if he wins the election for club president scheduled for the end of the season.

But Hill-Wood, whose family have had a seat on the Arsenal board for decades, said there was no question of Wenger leaving the north London side, where the Frenchman has been the manager since 1996, for the Spanish capital.

“I think it is laughable,” Hill-Wood told the Sunday Mirror. “It is disrespectful and very rude.

“I cannot believe that Arsene would go there for all the tea in China. He would be played around like a puppet.

“It cannot be right to talk in such a way about a manager who is under contract at another club.”

Wenger still has three years to run on his current deal and Hill-Wood added: “I am very comfortable with the fact that Arsene will be staying with us. He is under contract until 2012 and has never broken a contract in his life.”

Hill-Wood also dismissed speculation linking Arsenal captain and Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas with a move to Real.

“He is not for sale to Madrid or anybody else. Absolutely not. He is a very sensible young man and he is very happy at Arsenal.

“I would be surprised if he wanted to leave Arsenal and go to Madrid. Very surprised,” Hill-Wood said.

Real under Calderon angered another of England’s major teams by their repeated attempts to lure star winger Cristiano Ronaldo away from English, European and world champions Manchester United.

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