Arsene Wenger ready to make peace with Jose Mourinho

"Look, I'm always open in life for everything, for peace", Wenger told a news conference on Thursday.

"I think I try to respect everybody and I do not want to make a case of any person".

Whereas Arsenal's focus in recent weeks has been fixed firmly on the fight for a top-four place, United have had to juggle commitments in both the league and overseas - all against the backdrop of a mounting injury crisis which has seen Mourinho lose a number of key players.

Jose Mourinho has said he will ring the changes for the match, which takes place between the two legs of United's Europa League semi-final with Celta Vigo.

Arsene Wenger is confident that Arsenal's failure to reach the Champions League would not affect their recruitment plan for the summer.

Alexis Sanchez needs just one goal to register his best-ever return from a single campaign in Europe's big five leagues (currently on 19, tied with 2013/14 for Barcelona).

"I take every competition seriously and the only thing I did over the years was to use the League Cup to give chances to young players".

"What is important when you are a competitor is you give absolutely everything to win the next game", Wenger said.

"Normally a hectic schedule is what you want". But for us more than focusing on the fact it is Manchester United, a big club and a big rivalry over the years, what is important is to have the chance to achieve our target.

"Anyway they have a massive squad with quality players".

The pressure that has closed in on Arsenal for much of a disappointing season tightened last weekend with their defeat at Tottenham Hotspur - which leaves Wenger, for the umpteenth time in recent weeks, calling upon his team to respond.

Asked if, because of those mental stresses and strains, the job of being Arsenal manager is still worth doing, Wenger said: "Yes, because I love the positive side of it".

Arsenal are likely to be without midfielder Granit Xhaka, who still has a swollen ankle from last Sunday's 2-0 loss at Tottenham.

But having seen his relationship with long-time United rival Sir Alex Ferguson turn more courteous toward the end, Wenger would not rule out the same happening with Mourinho.

  • Julie Sanders