Despite the transfer window now being closed there will still be plenty of gossip doing the rounds in the newspapers, so we’ll keep you up-to-date with the latest transfer rumours. Today, Arsene Wenger reveals Arsenal have the money to buy top talent in the summer.
Arsene Wenger claimed he could spend £40m on Radamel Falcao if he wanted to as the Arsenal boss talked openly about the clubs financial situation to the media on Friday.
Wenger was speaking at his weekly press conference yesterday ahead of today’s clash with Aston Villa when he told the Mirror that his spending power has been restricted in recent years as the club has had to pay back the stadium debt and admitted that his main focus during this period has been to keep the club in the Champions League.
Our soon-to-be eight-year trophy drought has been well documented but Arsene believes we’ve been close to lifting the Premier League title over the past few years and feels we now need to ensure we keep hold of our best players, but claims it’s been difficult to do so recently due to what he calls the ‘unfair competition’ we’re up against when it comes to offering wages. He told the Mirror:
“I prepared myself for some suffering when we moved to the Emirates, yes. Because we knew we were under restricted resources for a while.
“The main target was to be in the Champions League, because we had to pay back our stadium. Did I expect to go out against Blackburn [in the FA Cup] and to lose against Bayern? Honestly, no.
“You cannot come out and say, ‘Look, we cannot win the championship’. We were close during this period, you know, we were very close. I feel we had the quality.
“But, I think what angered our fans is that we lost the players we educated, and that was much more difficult to swallow then all the rest, I believe, and that’s what we have to change.
“You can only keep your best players, let’s be realistic, by paying the wages of the market. To pay the wages of the market we have to put the ticket prices up.
“And then the fans turn against you and say, ‘But you lose the best players and we pay high prices for tickets.’ And they are right.
“But that was the consequence of the unfair competition that we faced.”
The Mirror claim the boss will be given around £70m to spend in the summer and Wenger has hinted he’s ready to spend big after revealing the club is now in a much stronger financial position to compete for the very best talent. When asked if he could spend £40m on Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao, Wenger said:
“We can do it [buy Falcao]. If we can afford it, we will not say no. But, today, we have to focus on tomorrow (Saturday’s game against Aston Villa).
“I think, now, we are in a stronger situation where, like you say, we can spend some money. We went out to spend money at Christmas but we didn’t find the players. I’m not reluctant to spend.”
However, while Arsene is willing to bring in the right players if he can find them, he insists the club also has to stay faithful to it’s principals in developing it’s young players. He told Arsenal.com:
“I believe that the problem today is not the money, it about finding the talent that strengthens your team.
“I also believe we have to be faithful to what this club is about, which is to give a chance to the young players we educate – that is vital. Therefore [we should only] bring in the players who really give us a plus.
“If we find tomorrow a player of top, top, top quality, we will take him.”
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It looks like it’s going to be an interesting summer in north London. Wenger has just admitted he has money to spend so he has no excuse not to strengthen the squad at the end of the season. Most fans will understand he’s be restricted in previous transfer windows but it seems that period has now past and he has money available so lets see what he does with it.
Nobody is realistically expecting Falcao to arrive at the Emirates but we should be looking at players a cut-above the likes of Gervinho, Giroud or Mertesacker in my opinion. All were good players when they were bought but we now need to bring in some ‘special’ players to push us to the next level of being able to compete for silverware again.
Do you think Wenger will spend big in the summer? Who would you like to see come in? Get involved in the comments section below.