By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
Arsene Wenger has admitted he blocked a move from Manchester United to sign Mathieu Debuchy in the January window.
Debuchy’s loan deal to Bordeaux only went through on deadline day after a drawn-out process that had seen him hold talks with Aston Villa and Sunderland.
The Frenchman said he was also disappointed that Wenger refused to let him join United, who made a late attempt to take him on loan.
Asked for his version of events, the Arsenal manager was unusually open about preventing Debuchy from moving to Old Trafford.
“I hope that’s not surprising to you,” Wenger said at his media briefing on Friday. “You loan players to clubs who don’t have resources, not direct rivals.”
Debuchy pushed hard for a move away from Arsenal after losing his starting place to Hector Bellerin and was interested in United’s proposal.
“Yes, at the end of the transfer window they came in,” Debuchy said earlier this month. “They contacted my agents. I was disappointed, obviously. If I had the chance to go to Manchester United it would have been magnificent.
“Unfortunately it wasn’t the case. I discussed it with the coach too, who said that obviously he couldn’t help out a rival.”
Debuchy joined Arsenal in 2014 from Newcastle but struggled with injuries in his first season, which gave Bellerin the chance to come in and stake his claim to the position.
In other Arsenal transfer news, the Gunners had a deadline day-bid for emerging England star Ryan Sessegnon rejected by Fulham.