Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Wenger's Bid to Keep Gallas Could Fail after He Snubs the Arsenal Fans

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Wenger's Bid to Keep Gallas Could Fail after He Snubs the Arsenal Fans

Article excerpt

Byline: James Olley

WILLIAM GALLAS'S future at Arsenal was thrown into further doubt today after it emerged the defender snubbed the club's end-of-season festivities amid reports he has rejected a new two-year contract.

It is understood the 32-year-old did not attend yesterday's 4-0 thrashing of Fulham which concluded with a lap of appreciation in front of fans for the vast majority of the first-team squad.

A club source claimed Gallas had remained in France to continue treatment on his calf problem ahead of tomorrow's announcement of Les Blues' 23-man squad for the World Cup but several of the club's other injured players including Cesc Fabregas, Aaron Ramsey, Alex Song and Manuel Almunia joined up with their team-mates.

Arsene Wenger is thought to have relented on his policy of offering only one-year deals to players over 30 but Gallas, who turns 33 in August, has refused to take a pay cut from his current [pounds sterling]80,000-a-week deal.

Talks are thought to have reached an impasse with neither side willing to budge but Gallas is in control of his destiny as his contract expires next month. Roma, Paris St-Germain and AC Milan are among a number of clubs monitoring the situation with Gallas favouring a move abroad should he fail to agree terms with the Gunners.

Wenger hinted he will look to strengthen in defence, with Gallas, Sol Campbell and Mikael Silvestre all yet to renew their deals.

"The three defenders are players who are free to decide what they do," said Wenger. "You will see in July. It depends not only me, it depends on Sol as well if he signs a new deal.

"Sol is a player who has given us a lot since he has come back and he has been very positive on the pitch and off the pitch.

"We want to improve in quality. It is not necessarily a big number of players needed and overall I believe you don't win the Premier League title when you concede 40 goals."

Striker Robin van Persie believes the club will need to strengthen in the summer but is excited by the prospect of Marouane Chamakh joining from Bordeaux.

The Gunners are expected to confirm the striker's arrival on a free transfer before the World Cup starts on 11 June after the 26-year-old rejected a new deal with the French club. …

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