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Wenger dodges questions on Vidal and Benzema interest

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Vidal could join his Chilean team-mate Alexis Sanchez at Arsenal
Vidal could join his Chilean team-mate Alexis Sanchez at Arsenal

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed that he is a big admirer of Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal, but he has declined to comment on reports that he is lining up a summer move for the Chilean midfield enforcer.

Reports in South America suggest Vidal is ready to join Arsenal this summer, with the midfielder who was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United last year the ideal candidate to fill the midfield enforcer role in Wenger's line-up.

Yet the Arsenal boss was keen to play down suggestions that he has made a move to sign Vidal, as he insisted his mind had not yet turned to transfer business.

"If you want me to say I like Arturo Vidal, then yes I like Arturo Vidal," said Wenger with a smile. "If you ask am I in a transfer mode, I say no."

He was also quizzed on rumours that he may be tempted to make a move for Real Madrid's French forward Karim Benzema, who is said to be available this summer as the Spanish giants look to reshape their squad as Rafael Benitez prepares to take over as the club's head coach.

"We will deal with the transfers after the FA Cup final," stressed Wenger. "I do not think about transfers. Nobody know what will happen at Real Madrid yet It is all suspicions."

Wenger confirmed that his striker Danny Welbeck will miss Saturday's FA Cup final against Aston Villa, where the Gunners boss will look to win the competition for a record-equalling sixth time.