December 16, 2011

LONDON (Reuters) -- Arsenal have no intention of buying Cologne striker Lukas Podolski in the January transfer window, Arsene Wenger said on Friday ahead of their Premier League game against Manchester City on Sunday.

British press reported the former Bayern Munich player was heading for London in the January transfer window to bolster Arsenal's attack, which is set to be further deprived after Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh depart for the African Cup of Nations in January.

But when asked whether Arsenal planned to buy Podolski in January, Wenger replied: "no".

However, the Frenchman did not completely rule out the possibility of buying a striker in next month's transfer window. "I don't know yet. That was an honest answer," he said.

Arsenal face City on Sunday (16.10GMT), with Wenger hoping his rejuvenated team will erase the memories of their last trip to Manchester, when they lost 8-2 to Manchester United in August.

"It is a big is about the form and performance of the day - that makes the difference. You ask me, can we beat them, I say yes. If we play at our best we can beat them, so let's be at our best on Sunday," Wenger said.

City, who have 38 points to United's 36, have been the pace setting team this season and have lost only once in the league, 2-1 at Chelsea on Monday.

Contrastingly, Wenger endured his worst start to the season but his team have managed to turn their form around, rising from 15th in the league to fifth in space of nine weeks.

Arsenal now have 29 points in the league, still nine behind City, but a repeat of last season's 3-0 away victory over Roberto Mancini's men would put them right back in the mix.

Wenger, who has no fresh injury concerns, is also hoping Arsenal can replicate the spirited performance of their 5-3 victory against Chelsea in late October which boosted confidence after a torrid run of results.

"The turning point in our season was the test at Chelsea because we had not won away before that game," Wenger said.

"[The City game] is the second big test away from home for us. It's a massive test and we know that we want to be at our best. We are ready for it physically and mentally. We are prepared and will give absolutely everything to win the game."

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