Wenger let down by Arshavin comments

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits he has been left disappointed by comments from Andrey Arshavin revealing the Russian's admiration for Barcelona - and maintains all of his players should respect their own club.

The 28-year-old - signed from Zenit St Petersburg during January last year - is currently battling to be fit due to a calf problem, and may not make the trip to Blackburn on Monday night. Earlier this week, though, the Russian playmaker talked up Barcelona, who knocked Arsenal out of the Champions League, and claimed playing for the Spanish giants at some stage would be "would be the peak of my career".

"Yes, I am very disappointed because he shows a completely different attitude," said Wenger. "He wants to extend his contract with us and stay with us, so the noise coming out of Russia is very difficult to explain."

Wenger added: "When you are at Arsenal, you are at Arsenal. When you are somewhere else, you are somewhere else. I believe that your pride makes first that you defend your club.

"Everybody has the freedom to speak, but you want to make sure first of all that you respect your club."

"I just put one question mark behind the things that come back translated. Usually you have direct access to him, you can ask him where that comes from.

"I don't forbid you to talk to him, but I take with a little bit of distance what comes back translated sometimes with the help of some agents who want to move the players."

Wenger, though, concedes he will need to strengthen his squad after another campaign, which was blighted by injury to key men, failed to deliver a trophy.

Marouane Chamakh's arrival is set to be officially confirmed once the Morocco striker's contract with Bordeaux expires in the summer. William Gallas, Sol Campbell and Mikael Silvestre will all see their deals finish at the end of the season, so Wenger may well look to bolster his defence, with Fulham centre-back Brede Hangeland a potential target.

"I will try to do what I want to do as quickly as possible, but it does not only depend on me," he said. "Certainly, we will announce one player before the World Cup, but after that we will see."

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Andrey Arshavin
Blackburn Rovers
Mikael Silvestre
Premier League
Sol Campbell
Brede Hangeland
William Gallas

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