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Arsene Wenger puts the kibosh on Alex Song’s return

Apr 18, 2013, 5:55 PM EST

Barcelona's Song heads the ball during a training session at Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper in Sant Joan Despi

Arsenal are in need of a physically imposing holding midfielder.

Alex Song is in need of a club that appreciates his services.

Arsenal once loved Song.

Song once loved Arsenal.

Sounds like a match made in heaven, right?

Well, maybe. But it’s still not happening, says Arsene Wenger.

The Frenchman put the rumors to bed on Thursday when he explained that there is no buy-back clause in Song’s contract. Wenger explained the situation after Song’s cousin – Rigobert Song, announced that the player was not enjoying life in Spain.

“This season he has only been a substitute,” Rigobert said. “He is not happy. At Arsenal he was a leader on and off the field – he doesn’t feel like this in Spain and it makes him feel bad.”

It probably didn’t make Alex feel much better to have his cousin blow up his spot, but hey, that’s what family is for, right? Problem was, not only did it prompt Wenger to put the kibosh on Song returning to Arsenal this season, but it convinced the manager to explain that Song actually needs to stay longer at Barcelona.

“I heard he wants to give it a go for another season, which you can understand because it’s the first season,” Wenger said. “I think he’s a quality player and sometimes the players have to insist when it doesn’t go well and not change his mind too soon.

“My personal advice for him would be to give it another go and after two seasons he can still make a decision.”

Wenger’s comments, while undoubtedly depressing to Song and his cousin, underline the respect the manager has for players owned by other clubs and his refusal to perpetuate transfer rumors. Ironically enough, it was the Frenchman who, for two years, had to deal with incessant rumors and comments out of Barcelona when the Blaugrana had its sights fixed on Cesc Fabregas.

The rumblings were never addressed or diffused by authority figures at Barcelona. Not that they had to be – the vast majority of football clubs do little to silence transfer rumors that could potentially disrupt a club. Point being, for all the grief Wenger gets as a manager there are few classier individuals in the game.

As for Arsenal’s holding midfield options, few rumors have been circulating although West Ham’s Mohamed Diame, Everton’s Marouane Fellaini and Bayern Munich’s Luiz Gustavo are all players who would seemingly fit the bill.

  1. goonah4life - Apr 19, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    Finally someone gives Wenger credit for always carrying himself with class and composure. The press may love to attack him and Barca may pillage the youthful talent he spent years developing but he would never sink to either of their levels.

    One of the great men in football!

  2. nygiantstones - Apr 19, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    Cry me a river, Song! He was seriously delusional to think he was going to be an every day starter at Barcelona. I remember the quotes from him about what a dream it was to go play for Barcelona. Well, dream fulfilled and good luck warming the bench. Glad we got some cash out of that transaction and I didn’t spend a second considering the loss. He had good stats last year, but spent too much time out of position and exposing the back line.

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