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Wenger won't be drawn on possible Sterling bid

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Wenger not talking about a bid for Raheem Sterling
Wenger not talking about a bid for Raheem Sterling

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has side stepped questions on his interest in signing Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling, as he prepares to face Brendan Rodgers Reds at Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Sterling's contact dispute with Liverpool has been one of the big talking points in English football in recent days, with the winger suggesting he was 'flattered' to be linked with a move to Arsenal.

Yet Wenger was keen to play down those reports, as he declined to answer questions on his interest in the 20-year-old England winger at his latest press briefing.

“Look I do not want to speak about any moves,” stated Wenger. “We are not in a transfer window and we are in front of a bid game. I respect Liverpool and do not want to go into any supposed move for any of their players.

“Raheem Sterling is a top player. Everybody knows that in the country now. He is an important player for Liverpool.

"I don’t want to interfere in that 48 hours before a match. That is down to Liverpool. It’s not my problem.”

Wenger also rejected claims from Palmero President Maurizio Zamparini that Arsenal have made a bid for his forward Paulo Dybala, with the Argentine rated as a £30m player by his club.

“Ask him to show you the offer,” was Wenger’s challenge to Zamparini, before he was asked whether he had any interest in the Dybala and he responded: “Not at all.”

Wenger also offered a glowing tribute to Steven Gerrard, as he prepares to face the Liverpool captain for the final time in the Premier League this weekend.

“For long, long periods when Liverpool were in trouble, they looked to Steven Gerrard and said; "Do something for us". Nine times out of ten, he did it" added Wenger.

“He is a huge player. What I like and what you don’t see any more is that he has shown a great loyalty through his whole career. He had the calibre to anywhere and at any big club. He stayed loyal to Liverpool and I have a big respect for that.

“When you look at his qualities, it was difficult to see what he didn’t have in the locker. He was quick, he had a good long pass, he had good technique, he could score goals.

"He is a dream midfielder. Overall, I believe he had every quality that you dream to have when you play in midfield."