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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted he is an admirer of midfielder Jermaine Jenas, but has been put off making a bid because of the price demanded by Newcastle.

Wenger was originally quoted £20m for the England international, when he enquired about Jenas, although that figure has now dropped to £15m.

Wenger said: “I like Jenas but I’m not intent on any player at the moment.

“When I heard Graeme Souness’ statement a few weeks ago, it was discouraging. He spoke in the region of £20m – we are not interested at that price.”

Souness has admitted that Jenas is unsettled on Tyneside, while Wenger is looking for a replacement for Patrick Vieira.

Cesc Fabregas filled that role against Chelsea in the Community Shield and the Gunners boss said he was satisfied with the 18-year-old’s display.

“Patrick goes and Fabregas plays and you have to accept that Fabregas had an outstanding game for 90 minutes,” said Wenger.

“He scored, he didn’t lose the ball, he controlled the game and for me was outstanding.”

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