Arsenal 'not close' to new signings – Wenger

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Arsene Wenger says Arsenal are "not close" to any new signings, as speculation regarding Karim Benzema continues.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has again cooled speculation regarding a move for Karim Benzema, insisting the club are not close to making any new signings.

The Real Madrid striker has been repeatedly linked with a switch to the Emirates Stadium in recent months, though Wenger has frequently denied a move will materialise.

Real boss Rafael Benitez has also been moved to dismiss the prospect and, when asked on Friday, Wenger clarified the club's stance on incoming transfers ahead of the deadline at the end of the month.

"When the season starts the window should be finished," he said.

"It is too big an advantage for clubs that didn't work well during the transfer window.

"The funds are there, people know that you have the resources, but the players are not available. We expect [transfers], like you, but at the moment, we are not close to anybody.

"There is a shortage [of number nines] in the world. There is a difference between financial power and the availability of top-class players.

"In Europe today you maybe have 15 clubs with huge financial resources who don't need the money.

"I'm not against buying if it is really a plus for the team. If it is just buying players at the level of the players you have I am not for that."

Wenger was also quizzed on a potential departure for club-record signing Mesut Ozil, the Germany international having been linked with Galatasaray and Juventus this week.

Ozil impressed during Sunday's 2-1 win over Crystal Palace and Wenger added: "I feel Mesut is now completely committed to the club. He is focused on getting results."