As expected Arsene Wenger was heavily quizzed on his transfer strategy this morning as the media arrived at London Colney for the first press conference of the new season.
While shying away, as ever, from talking about specific names the boss accepted that his squad is short on numbers at the moment before making clear he’s still looking to sign two or three players.
“I don’t disagree that we are a bit light at the moment,” he said.
“There are 18 days to go until the end of the transfer market and we are of course looking to strengthen our squad. I don’t want to come out on any specific name because that would not be right. Usually in the press, you are well informed.
“Ideally you would want it to be quicker, but to finalise any transfer you need the agreement of three parties. You can see from our main rivals that it is not easy.
“At us, Chelsea, Machester United, it is difficult to find the quality players to strengthen the team and the squad who are available at the moment but there are a shortage of top, top, top players who are available.
With it being public knowledge that Arsenal are willing to nearly triple their record transfer fee he continued:
“It’s not a question of spending the money, it’s a question of finding the right players. As I told you, you are well informed, you certainly heard that we are not scared to spend money. But we want the right players.
“I am optimistic of course [of making signings] but it is very difficult for me to give you a number.
“We look more for quality than for numbers. The first request is to have the quality to play for Arsenal Football Club, after the number comes in. Yes, we would like two or three players if possible but we will not compromise on the quality of the players.”
Rather worryingly Wenger also touched on how the transfer market has become an increasingly difficult beast to shackle. Stopping just short of name-checking mega-rich Monaco, PSG and Manchester City he stated:
“The transfer market is a worry nowadays and it has always been basically. With every transfer market you could write a book, and a very interesting one. So it is a worry, I don’t deny that.
“It is maybe more difficult nowadays because there are more quality spenders on the market, especially in France. They have come on the market as well and bought at a very high level, so it is difficult.”
There’s nothing particularly new in any of the above. The boss is often more cagey when the cameras are rolling compared with the ‘intimate’ chats with newspaper journalists which follow. We’ll wait to see if they’ve secured anything juicier when their embargoes end later this evening.15,638 views