Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has channelled his inner Donald Trump by branding a latest rash of transfer rumours as "fake news". The Gunners boss was responding to links with Torino forward Andrea Belotti and Real Madrid's Alvaro Morata when he coined the phrase which was a major theme of the US president-elect's first press conference six weeks since his election victory on Wednesday (11 January).
Italian club Torino have rejected an offer for top scorer Belotti, and have slapped a €100m (£87m) price tag on the striker who has netted 15 goals in 20 matches this term. Spanish publication Ok Diario has also claimed that Wenger is interested in bringing Morata to the Premier League, just six months on from the Spaniard returning to the Bernabeu from Juventus.
Wenger has often employed unique ways of dodging questions regarding his transfer plans and now seems to have a new way of dismissing the latest speculation. After President-elect Trump dismissed leaked information from intelligence agencies as 'fake news', the Arsenal boss has used a similar deflection tactic in an effort to distance his side from the latest transfer speculation.
"That is what you call today fake news," he told reporters when asked about interest in Boletti. "We have Welbeck coming, we have [Olivier] Giroud, we have [Alexis] Sanc hez, we have Walcott we have plenty of strikers, Perez, who is doing very well. Chuba Akpom coming back too. We have [Yaya] Sanogo, we have a high number of strikers."
Meanwhile, Wenger confirmed that defender Carl Jenkinson was close to leaving the club for good in the January transfer window. The England international has made just one Premier League start this season and despite injuries to Hector Bellerin and Mathieu Debuchy has not been named in a matchday squad for a top flight game since November.
The Sun understands Crystal Palace have lodged a £3m bid for the 24-year-old, who Sam Allardyce is looking to make his first signing since moving to Selhurst Park. Jenkinson played under the former England boss in the first of two seasons on loan at West Ham United in the 2014-15 campaign.
"Carl it's a possibility that he will move yes, in the next two, three days it is a possibility," he confirmed ahead of the clash with Swansea City. "It's possible yes but I cannot tell you much more because we have not come to any conclusion yet."
Debuchy's hamstring injury, which is expected to keep him sidelined for at least another week, had initially appeared to thwart any chance of him leaving Arsenal, following his minimal impact this term. The France international has seen just 16 minutes of action this term but Wenger said of a possible exit: "The door is not definitely closed but it depends on the quality of the opportunities he may have."
A succession of defensive departures will leave Arsenal with gaps in their squad, yet Wenger appeared unperturbed when asked whether he could add to his squad. The Gunners have to balance the demands of the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League in the coming months, but the fixture pile-up will not tempt Wenger into spending.
"We still have Mathieu Debuchy who is injured, we have Gabriel and other players there as well," he added on the club's defensive personnel. "We have Bellerin so we are not short in this position that is why we allow one of the players to go out because they have less opportunities to play."