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Arsenal manager admits he loves a good bargain

Arsene Wenger may not have much in common with Black Friday shoppers but the Arsenal boss admits he loves a genuine bargain as much as anyone.

Arsene Wenger was told about Black Friday earlier today. Credit: PA

With Britain braced for another day of massive sales across most retail sectors, Wenger will be preparing his side for Sunday's Premier League trip to Norwich.

The Frenchman has indicated his intention to strengthen his squad during the January transfer window - expected to be a defensively-minded midfielder - and while he knows bargain buys make everyone happy his own idea of a steal may differ from that of the Black Friday masses.

After having the concept explained to him, Wenger said:

I love a bargain. Who doesn't love a bargain? I don't know many people that don't like a bargain. If they need two TVs, yes. But if they don't need one, why should they buy two? That's where you come back to what is a bargain.

What is a bargain for us is to buy players of top quality, because only top quality strengthens our squad. I can tell you I bought Patrick Vieira for £2.5million and it was a top bargain because he was a top-quality player.

We spent nearly £40million on Mesut Ozil but I still consider it a bargain because the player is top quality and the priority has to be the quality of the player.

– Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger


Away football fans banned from Ligue 1 matches

No away fans can watch Ligue 1 matches for the next two weeks. Credit: PA

French Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 matches will be played without away supporters for a second successive weekend on government orders in the wake of the Paris attacks.

The French football league - the LFP - also said the ruling is set to apply for the subsequent three rounds of Ligue 1 games, the next two rounds of Ligue 2 fixtures, along with matches in the Coupe de France, Champions League and Europa League.

It means travelling fans will be able to attend games again on December 18-20, the final weekend before the French game goes on its Christmas break.

A lack of available police for handling the movement of fans led to the ruling, with France in a state of emergency after the terrorism attacks on November 13, and with the COP21 climate change conference in Paris from November 30 to December 11 demanding high security.

Arsene Wenger explains Arsenal January transfer plans

Wenger is looking to strengthen Arsenal's squad in January. Credit: PA

Arsene Wenger is ready to enter the January transfer market to avoid an injury crisis at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners are still missing a host of first-team players heading into Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash at Norwich and were hit with the news that midfielder Francis Coquelin faces three months on the sidelines after injuring his knee in the defeat at West Brom last weekend.

Wenger said:

We are in a position where we want to do something.

If I find the right quality I will do something. (The injury to) Arteta is short term but Coquelin as I told you is much longer but the scans are positive because he does not need any surgery, but it will be 12 weeks.

Walcott goes through a few tests and steps but the first one was successful. He started running again on Tuesday morning and had no reaction. He has no big hurdle to get across today and hopefully he will be successful.

– Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger


Rees banned for seven weeks after stamp on Easter

Former Wales captain Matthew Rees has received a seven-week ban for stamping on Harlequins and England number eight Nick Easter.

Rees was dismissed for the horrible stamp. Credit: PA

Cardiff Blues hooker Rees was sent off following the incident, which happened seven minutes from time during Blues' European Challenge Cup defeat against Quins at the Arms Park last Thursday.

Tournament organisers European Professional Club Rugby said that Rees was suspended following an independent disciplinary hearing in London on Wednesday.

In a statement, EPCR said:

The independent judicial officer, Pat Barriscale (Ireland), heard evidence and submissions from Rees, who accepted he had committed an act of foul play that warranted a red card, from the Cardiff Blues team manager Gafyn Cooper and from the EPCR disciplinary officer Liam McTiernan.

In upholding the red card decision, the judicial officer found that Rees had stamped on Nick Easter and determined that the offence was at the top end of World Rugby's sanctions and selected 12 weeks as the appropriate entry point.

He then reduced the sanction by five weeks, taking into account Rees's guilty plea, timely expression of remorse to Easter and his clean disciplinary record, before imposing a suspension of seven weeks.

– uropean Professional Club Rugby statement
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