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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has defended himself against accusations that his club made an illegal approach to sign Sevilla forward Julio Baptista.

Sevilla threatened to report Arsenal to FIFA over the approach after it was revealed that Arsenal had spoken to the player even though Sevilla had turned down Arsenal’s offerl.

“We approached Sevilla first,” Wenger said. “At some stage you have to speak to the player.”

“You do it because you have to know if the player wants to join you.

“When you’re close to ending negotiations with the club, you have to know if you have to put a million more in.”

A number of people, including Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, accused Wenger of double standards after Arsenal had complained to the Premier League over Chelsea’s illegal approach to Ashley Cole.

But Wenger maintained: “I feel that morally we did everything the right way.”

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