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Wenger: We Must Sell Before We Can Buy

Arsene Wenger says that he wants to slim down his Arsenal squad before making any further signings during the summer transfer window.

The Gunners defensive shortcomings were exposed during a 1-0 defeat at Stoke on Saturday. Afterwards Wenger said that he has not ruled out more signings before the transfer window closes at the end of the month, but his immediate priority is to move out unwanted players.

‘I expect to sell players first,’ the Frenchman said. ‘We have too many players. It is not manageable. Many clubs are in this situation – that is why the transfer market is quiet.

‘We have 33 players at the moment. We have too many players.’

Mathieu Debuchy, Kieran Gibbs, Carl Jenkinson, Lucas Perez and Joel Campbell all have been asked to find new clubs, but none is close to a move now.

Gibbs’ move to Watford has fallen through over wages and Newcastle cannot afford Perez’s fee nor his wages.

The position of Jack Wilshere is unclear. The club aren’t actively seeking a buyer but even when he gets fit he looks to be well behind in the midfield pecking order and with just one more year on his contract, the club will have to sell in the next three weeks or be likely to lose him on a free.

But there is increasing concern over Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s future. The winger is seen as integral to the future but with Chelsea keen to sign and with one year left on his contract, Arsenal have left themselves vulnerable to losing him.