Wenger - Almunia unsettled
Arsene Wenger admits that Manuel Almunia has become increasingly unsettled by the interest in Mark Schwarzer.
By Razwan Mirza
Last Updated: 20/08/10 3:36pm
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that goalkeeper Manuel Almunia has become increasingly unsettled by the club's interest in Mark Schwarzer.
The Gunners have been heavily linked with Schwarzer in recent weeks with Fulham understood to have turned down two bids in the region of £2million for the 37-year-old.
The Spaniard admitted after last week's draw against Liverpool that the ongoing rumours surrounding his position as No.1 were unsettling him and if the Gunners were to bring in the Australia international, then he would consider his own future.
Wenger, however, admits that competition is part of life in the top flight and maintained that no one player can be guaranteed a place in the starting XI.
The Frenchman is expected to keep faith with the 33-year-old for the visit of newly promoted Blackpool on Saturday.
"For us what is important at the moment in front of a big game is that we focus on the players we have," said Wenger.
"Almunia is No.1 - it is important that we give him the needed confidence, that we trust him, that we focus on Saturday's game."
Wenger, though, accepted: "It is a very sensitive subject which is difficult for me to talk about.
"You can understand that he is unsettled by that situation, but on the other hand, when you play at Arsenal, that is what you have to deal with.
"You have to be strong enough to deal with that and I believe he is.
"Jens Lehmann had to deal with that situation because at some stage I took him out of the team and played Almunia, so competition is part of our world. We have to accept that."
The Arsenal manager refused to be drawn on the Schwarzer situation, saying: "I never speak about the transfers, the offers, anything made about the players, because we have so many talks in football that are never concluded.
"It is always simple if you want to buy a player and the club doesn't agree: they say no, so there is not a lot to talk about."