LONDON — Arsenal have left Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri out of the squad for today’s football match against Newcastle with both close to moves away from the club.
Fabregas is expected to move to Barcelona for £35m with Nasri set for Manchester City for about £23m. Despite their absences, Wenger refused to be drawn on the speculation over the midfielders’ future.
“I expect nobody to leave. There is no news. If there is news, I promise I will give it,” he said.
Fabregas has not appeared for the Gunners in pre-season after suffering a hamstring injury, although Wenger has also previously admitted that his skipper was unsettled by the interest from Barcelona.
Wenger dismissed the suggestion, however, that Fabregas had refused to play for him and insisted his absence was a lack of physical fitness.
“Cesc is not on strike. Cesc is not injured, he’s not match fit. I don’t want to go any deeper than that,” he said. “Nasri went for the national team, he was sick, and he has not completely recovered yet. There are no other aspects why he is not in the squad. I believe the best for us, one day before the Championship to start, is not to focus on possible transfers.”
Robin van Persie will be captain for the side’s first match of the season against the Tynesiders today in Fabregas’ absence.