Arsenal’s non-executive director Lord Harris of Peckham says Arsene Wenger can target pretty much any player he likes this summer claiming the club’s budget means it would be easy to eclipse the £42.5 million fee paid for Mesut Ozil.
Speaking to The Times (paywalled), Harris – who has been on the Gunners’ board since 2005 – made clear that the end-game of the club’s transfer business is to create a squad capable of winning the Premier League and Champions League.
“We want to win the Premier League and the Champions League. If we buy two or three players then I think we can.
“We want to win. We don’t want to be second, we don’t want to be third and we don’t want to be fourth. We will support Arsene with the players he wants to buy. He has always been encouraged to spend.”
Unwilling to be drawn on an exact ‘warchest’ figure, the 71-year-old did let on that breaking Arsenal’s record transfer fee was well within grasp, if the manager felt the right player was available.
“We would. It would be easy. I wouldn’t say it [the total transfer budget] is £100 million, I wouldn’t say it’s £50 million and I wouldn’t say it’s £150 million.
“If Arsene has asked for any player then we have always backed him to go and buy. With the exception of Messi, Ronaldo or Bale, we could buy most players.”
Harris also touched on Arsene Wenger’s contract situation revealing that the Frenchman had verbally committed himself to a new deal as far back as the autumn before joking the 64-year-old could stay on past his mooted three-year deal were he to keep winning trophies.
“He gave us his word back in the autumn, just after the season started, and it was just a case of sorting it out.
“If he wins the league and the cup and the Champions League in the next three years, then I am sure he will stay [on after that].”
Unsurprisingly positive stuff from the club’s hierarchy given last weekend’s FA Cup win. And yes, for you cynics out there, the Gold Level season ticket renewal deadline is 1 June.