The Press Association reveal Arsene Wenger’s disappointment with Mathieu Flamini’s sheepish decision to sign Milan, thus turning his back on the club that helped him develop as a player and emerge into a top-class talent. Unfortunately, when the cash starts getting waved in front of certain players noses, the vision created by the Arsenal manager starts to become a little blurred around the edges. And so it appeared for the French midfielder.
“It is a problem [the salaries on offer] but we did not master this situation [with Flamini] because when a player is out of contract he can sign where he wants,” continued Wenger. “I must say I am disappointed that he did that – but legally he can do it.
“But I hope that 95% of the team, the core of the team, says ‘come on, we have only just lost’. And it is just, because we were leading at Manchester United, we were leading at Chelsea and we were leading at Liverpool in the Champions League – and every time we just lost a little bit of focus and lost the game.
“Let’s come back and show we are winners. That is the real target of the team.”
It remains to be seen whether there will be further high-profile exits at the Emirates Stadium, especially the rumoured transfer of Alexander Hleb to Inter. Although the Gunners came mighty close to winning the league this season, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for a club with a strict wage structure to compete with teams who have big bucks to spend on salaries.