The Times report that Arsene Wenger will be given whatever cash he needs to secure new signings before the transfer window closes.
The article is relatively low-key, there’s no mention of ‘EXCLUSIVE’ and it’s only a couple of hundred words, but it certainly reads like a leak from the board.
Deputy Football Correspondent, Matt Hughes, writes: “Arsenal had planned to limit their summer transfer spending to £100 million…but the club acknowledge that they may have to part with more than another £70 million to provide Wenger with the players he wants in an inflated market.”
The article goes on to name Alexandre Lacazette and Shkodran Mustafi as the top targets.
Back in May, Arsene Wenger dismissed a Hughes’ ‘exclusive‘ which claimed the Frenchman, at a time when his future was the subject of intense debate, had been offered a new two-year contract. The boss was very miffed stating in a press conference:
“That’s completely wrong and I don’t know where this information comes from. You can treat that as just an invention. Another one. It’s absolutely false. And I would like this press to check the information before they give it out because they could have checked with the club or with myself and we’d both have denied it.”
Given the proliferation of references to Stan Kroenke in Hughes’ contract story it seemed pretty clear that he’d been tipped off from on high. We’re now wondering if the same source is responsible for this story going public. You’d be surprised if it were Ivan Gazidis, given his recent comments. Maybe Lord Harris of Peckham, who this time last year went public on our financial muscle?
As was the case in May, the latest story firmly puts the ball in Wenger’s court and covers the board from criticism if he decides against splashing the cash.
We await Wenger’s response, likely to come in the build-up to Friday’s friendly with Viking in Norway, but suspect he’ll stay coy on suggestions we’re absolutely loaded (which we are) given it weakens our hand in negotiations.