Wenger: I’ve had players ‘bought’

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger claims he has previously managed players that were paid off by opposition teams to throw games.

Wenger blasted the performance of referee Martin Hansson in the Gunners’ Champions League last-16 first-leg defeat in Porto but said on Friday that he will view his display as "incompetent" rather than cheating.

Nothing would surprise Wenger, however, who implied he has managed players who had taken bribes to fix games.

"I believe he is incompetent or dishonest, so I prefer to believe he is not competent," Wenger said of Hansson.

Quoted in several national newspapers on Saturday, he added: "I have seen much worse than that in my life – my own players were bought by the opponent. And I didn’t become paranoid."

The former Nancy, Monaco and Nagoya Grampus Eight coach did not give any details over the club or players concerned, however.

"I do not want to come out on the past," he said. "In my job, you always have reasons to become paranoid, so I do not want to go the way to think that people are not honest."