Arsene Wenger fears 'difficult mental climate' if Arsenal exiles are not sold

James Benge
Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Arsene Wenger remains eager to trim the Arsenal squad, but declined to specify who he would like to move on for fear of creating "a difficult mental climate."

Arsenal have made the likes of Kieran Gibbs, Mathieu Debuchy, Carl Jenkinson and Lucas Perez available for transfer and are keen to trim the wage bill before making any further additions. The likes of Jack Wilshere and Chuba Akpom also face uncertain futures.

But with the exception of Wojciech Szczesny, who joined Juventus for an initial £10million as he entered the final 12 months of his contract, Arsenal have found it difficult to move on the players they no longer need.

The Gunners have proven to be rigid on their asking price for the likes of Lucas and Gibbs but Wenger, who refused to name those he wanted to move on following Friday night's 4-3 win against Leicester, admitted that it would be problematic to keep his 32-man squad in place before the transfer window closes.

"It’s difficult to speak about that," Wenger said. "If the players don’t get an opportunity to go and they stay here and you know you wanted them to go it creates a difficult mental climate.

"We are open, there’s not any specific [players] I want out because they all have great attitude.

"But in some areas when you have three or four players in the same position it’s better that they have a chance to play somewhere else."

The case of Lucas is indicative of the problems Arsenal are having.

The Gunners have set a £13.4million price tag on the latter and declined an offer worth almost £11m from Deportivo La Coruna, who will struggle to increase that bid.

They are also reluctant to allow him to move to Newcastle on loan and would prefer a permanent deal that is likely to be beyond the Magpies' budget.

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