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Arsene Wenger ends interest in Luis Suarez as Arsenal triumph in Turkey

Updated: Thursday, 22 Aug 2013 11:26 | Comments

Arsene Wenger has compared the transfer market to poker
Arsene Wenger has compared the transfer market to poker

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger confirmed he had ended his pursuit of Luis Suarez in the aftermath of his side’s resounding 3-0 Champions League play-off first leg win against Fenerbahce in Turkey.

Wenger has been under fire following a lack of summer spending and a 3-1 loss at home to Aston Villa on the opening afternoon of the Barclays Premier League season.

However, there was no hangover on Wednesday evening as the Gunners coasted to victory at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium with second-half goals from Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud.

"It was of course the environment, we faced was difficult but the only way to do it is to go out there and play football like you want to play," said Wenger, who confirmed the club were continuing to work on transfers other than the Liverpool striker after a failed £40 million + £1 bid.

"This team has shown a lot of mental strength. I told you that you had forgotten that this team has lost only one game since March under very, very special circumstance.

"I believe we played in a very, very heated atmosphere against a good team, but we had a proactive attitude from the first minute on, and that was certainly was very important.

"We did not come in shaking, but came in resolute and determined and with a desire to take the game to them and overall we were in control."

The win, though, came at a cost as defender Laurent Koscielny was forced off with a cut head following a high boot from Pierre Webo, which left the France international needing hospital treatment.

Wenger was less than impressed by the challenge. He said: "Laurent Koscielny has opened very deeply the skull and we had to take him to hospital.

"I was not happy with the kick because I feel always that you can ease a bit off. Only the player in the end will know what he did."

Wenger, who missed out on the signing of Gonzalo Higuain earlier this summer, feels the transfer market will now kick-start, but ruled out making an improved bid for Suarez.

"(There is) absolutely no chance of that," said Wenger when asked about Suarez.

The Gunners boss, though, stressed he was looking to strengthen, especially in midfield, with Mikel Arteta and Abou Diaby both also sidelined. Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye and Real Madrid's striker Karim Benzema are reported targets.

"We tried to bring one in, but we are working on that. You have to understand there is still a long way to go," he said.

"The transfer market starts for me now and a lot of activity will happen between now and 2 September.

"From 21 August until 2 September you have 12 days, so a lot will happen. It starts now."

"The transfer market starts for me now and a lot of activity will happen between now and 2 September" - Arsene Wenge

Wenger continued: "It is like a poker game. People hold their cards as long as possible and see what is happening out there. In the end, they go for decisions."

Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain missed the Turkey trip because of a knee injury, but Wenger hopes the England international will not be sidelined for a lengthy spell.

He said: "It could be a bit longer than what I said (last night). There is no surgery - it will be between six and 12 weeks."

Fenerbahce coach Ersun Yanal, meanwhile, admitted his side could not keep pace with Arsenal.

He said: "We had held a balance, but then they scored and we were playing against a team with high-tempo, and were too low."

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