Arsenal latest: Wenger 'honoured' by support and Ramsey fitness concern

All the latest news and gossip from the past 24 hours at The Emirates.

After the words of Stan Kroenke this morning, Arsene Wenger is predicting straightforward contract talks with the owner over a renewal to his current deal - which expires at the end of the season.

Kroenke this morning gave his full backing to the future of the club under the stewardship of the Frenchman, who has been in charge of the club for 17 years. And his comments have clearly pleased Wenger:

"The good thing with me is you don't need a lot of talks to extend the contract I have. I am very honoured to have the support of Stan Kroenke - that is a huge confidence vote. I don't believe anyone can question my commitment to this club; I want to feel I do well and then the question of me staying will be secondary after that. What I would like to do as long as I am here is do my best because I love this club."

Team news ahead of the game against Swansea City this weekend. Arsenal are of course without Theo Walcott, after he underwent surgery on a torn abdominal this week. But the return to action of Nicklas Bendtner, Mikel Arteta and Thomas Vermaelen acts as a boost.

Aaron Ramsey needs a fitness check on a thigh problem but should be passed fit while Mathieu Flamini should shake off a shoulder problem.

Other than that, the usual suspects remain on the side-lines including Santi Cazorla, Lukas Podolski and Tomas Rosicky.

Arsenal have missed out on Ciprian Marica. La Liga outfit Getafe today announced the signing of the Romanian free agent - despite competition from Spurs, Rayo Vallecano, Fiorentina and West Ham.

Robert Pires is currently training with the club. The former ‘Invincible’ has not yet officially retired from football - and at the age of 39 is said to be looking for his first club since leaving Aston Villa in 2011.

The winger was seen giving some pearls of wisdom to new signing Mesut Ozil. Whether he is in line for a Mathieu Flamini like comeback remains to be seen.

Thomas Vermaelen however is ready to fight for his place in the Arsenal team. The Belgian recently returned to action after injury, but was already out of the team after Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny earned the starting berths.

But he is confident of earning his place back in the team:

"There are so many games in a year that that opportunity comes anyway. For now the manager picks for Per and Laurent, and you have to accept that.

"You may become frustrated but that does not help you move forward. I am confident that I will get chances again if I keep working on training.’’


image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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