The Premiership’s 2005-2006 campaign is yet to kick off, but Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is already in mid-season form, wasting little time firing a verbal volley directed at Stamford Bridge. From the Guardian’s Arindam Rej :

Arsène Wenger believes the transfer market has been split in two by Chelsea and that the situation has priced many of the champions’ competitors out of signings.

The Arsenal manager claimed Shaun Wright-Phillips (above) cost roughly double his real value. “Do you really think Wright-Phillips would have cost £21m had Chelsea not come in for him?” Wenger asked, before agreeing that the price would have been £10m to £12m.

“There’s two markets,” said Wenger. “One that Chelsea is in, which is quite lively and high. The one that Chelsea is not in is morose. You cannot take Chelsea as a reference for the market place.”

Michael Owen has been one of the players linked to Arsenal. “I have nothing against Michael Owen. I love him,” said Wenger before discussing why a potential pairing with Thierry Henry might not be sensible. “Can they live together? I don’t know frankly. Thierry is not yet the age to play a little bit deeper.”

Owen would not have been guaranteed first team football at Arsenal and Wenger feels that to sign Owen without changing the situation he is currently in at Real Madrid would be “dishonest”.