Wenger plays down Hleb talk

09 May 2008 12:23
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has played down reports suggesting Alex Hleb will definitely leave the Emirates Stadium for Internazionale this summer. The 27-year-old Belarus midfielder's agent was quoted as saying Hleb had turned down the offer of a lucrative new contract in favour of joining the Serie A champions-elect at the end of the season. Several reports have also suggested the former Stuttgart playmaker was willing to buy himself out of the remaining two years of his contract. However, Wenger has denied claims that Hleb is definitely on his way in the summer and will follow AC Milan-bound fellow midfielder Mathieu Flamini to Italy. When asked if there were any developments concerning Hleb, he told Arsenal TV: "Frankly, no. "You cannot stop people talking but at the moment there is nothing (to add). "I believe that usually all the players want to stay and I expect this team to say 'let's make a pact together, come back next year and win'. "That's what I expect them to do and my priority is to keep the team together, add what I think can help us to be even better, and then see from there." Meanwhile, Wenger has denied claims that the Gunners board could have done more to keep out-of-contract Flamini at the club. The France international opted to join AC Milan on a free transfer earlier in the week after rejecting the offer of a new contract. "Yes. I believe that even Mathieu would concede that (Arsenal had done everything)," he continued. "We put him in the bracket of where we could go and we made him that offer, but unfortunately it wasn't enough. "We have to accept that because Mathieu was a good servant of the club for four years and he came without costing any transfer fee and left without costing any transfer fee, so he was free to go."

Source: ESA