Wenger confirms Mexes interest
By Peter O`Rourke. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
ARSENAL boss Arsene Wenger has revealed his interest in Auxerre defender Philippe Mexes after ruling out a move for Rangers star Lorenzo Amoruso.
Wenger is looking to bolster his defence after seeing his side leak too many goals last season and has made a top centre half one of his top summer transfer targets.
Mexes is one of the most sought after defenders in Europe with Liverpool, Manchester United, Juventus and Barcelona all linked with him in the past.
The French international has hinted that he would be interested in a move to Arsenal and he is ready to go to a tribunal to earn his release from Auxerre.
Mexes signed his first professional contract with Auxerre in June 2000, agreeing a five-year deal at the time.
Last December he agreed a one-year extension until 2006 but under new Fifa rules he will be entitled to move in 2003 because he will have played for three years as a professional.
Auxerre want him to honour his contract until 2006, but the player's lawyer Jean-Louis Dupont has asked an industrial tribunal for a ruling against the decision.
Amoruso, who is set to leave Rangers over the summer, had claimed that he was waiting on Arsenal before deciding his future, but Wenger has ended his hopes of making a switch to Highbury.
"Amoruso is a good player no doubt about that," Wenger told The Scottish Mail. "But we are not in the market for a defender at the minute.
"Philippe Mexes of Auxerre and France is an interesting player who we are keeping tabs on but his situation is still complicated.
"Amoruso, good player though he is, is not a target.
"It is simply not accurate to say there has been direct contact between Arsenal and Amoruso."