• The Gunners are believed to be eager to offload several more fringe players before the end of the window.
  • Wenger says it was not easy to convince Ospina to stay, while insisting that Petr Cech's position is not guaranteed.
  • Arsenal boss has tipped Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for greatness amid reports of £25m Chelsea bid.

Arsene Wenger has appeared to suggest that congestion in the transfer market is preventing Arsenal from pressing on with trimming their bloated squad before the end of the month.

Wojciech Szczesny is the headline first-team departure of the current window to date, with the former first-choice goalkeeper joining Juventus last month for a fee of around £10m ($12.9m). Forgotten striker Yaya Sanogo was also released, while Emiliano Martinez and Takuma Asano both exited on loan.

More sales were believed to be planned, with The Mail reporting in July that Wenger, who completed the club-record signing of Alexandre Lacazette earlier this summer, was looking to offload several additional fringe players to help finance a move for AS Monaco winger Thomas Lemar.

Szczesny was included in a list of eight potential departures alongside defensive quartet Kieran Gibbs, Mathieu Debuchy, Calum Chambers and Carl Jenkinson.

Lucas Perez has been told he can leave after a frustrating maiden campaign in English football, while Jack Wilshere's future remains subject to doubt. Striker Olivier Giroud has attracted attention from a host of potential suitors including Everton, West Ham United, Marseille and Lyon.

Asked if any players had moved closer towards the exit door in a press conference held before Friday night's (11 August) Premier League opener against Leicester City, Wenger responded: "No. Yesterday I had the managers' meeting and was talking with the other managers in the other clubs. It looks like everywhere there is many, many players and a bit of congestion at the moment everywhere."

One player who has stayed at Arsenal despite being coveted by the likes of Nantes and Fenerbahce is second-choice goalkeeper David Ospina. The Colombian stopper was limited to cup appearances in 2016-17, and Wenger admits it was difficult to convince him to stay while offering hope that Petr Cech does not have a monopoly on the number one shirt.

"It was not easy, because of course all these players want to play," he said. "They are top level players, they want to go to the World Cup but he will get a number of games here and he will fight with Petr Cech. The fight is quite open. At the moment I play Petr Cech but this battle is not won definitely by Petr Cech because I rate Ospina highly and anyway, we play other competitions and he will play."

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is reported to have been the subject of a £25m bid from Chelsea on Wednesday and Wenger believes the England international, out of contract next summer, has the potential to be great.

"Yes, I think in his career he had some bad moments because he had some small injuries," he added. "Last year he was much more stable. Personally, I think he is a hugely talented player. He is on the way up and he will continue to move up because that potential is there. He is today very conscious of his qualities as well, which he was not always, and I personally believe he will be a very great player."

David Ospina
David Ospina was selected ahead of Petr Cech for the FA Cup final in May