December 6 2013 Latest news:
By James Cunliffe
Friday, August 16, 2013
Transfer news: On the eve of Arsenal’s Premier League opener against Aston Villa Arsene Wenger has admitted that his lack of success in the transfer market is a worry but insists he is “optimistic” about landing some targets before the deadline.
The Gunners have endured another frustrating summer with a deal for Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain getting hijacked by Napoli while they have had two bids for wantaway Liverpool hitman Luis Suarez rejected – the latter a £40million plus £1 offer.
The Reds now insist that the Uruguayan will not be leaving Anfield for north London before September 2, when the window slams shut, while this morning another target, Bayern Munich’s Luiz Gustavo, looks set to join Wolfsburg.
Wenger has previously hinted that he will have to resort to plan B in order to bolster his squad which, so far, has only seen the signing of Auxerre teenager Yaya Sanogo.
This morning the manager said: “I don’t disagree that we are a bit light at the moment but there are 18 days to go until the end of the transfer market and we are looking to strengthen our squad.”
It’s a familiar story for Arsenal fans in the transfer market, but exacerbated by chief executive Ivan Gazidis’ claims that the club had a huge war chest to splash on top talent. Wenger admits he is well aware of the feeling among supporters.
“I understand every frustration,” he said. “There are so many frustrated people but what is important is the quality of what you do on the football pitch, so let’s not create a crisis from nothing.
“Let’s not try to convince everybody that the quality of the team that plays tomorrow will be linked just with the number of players we buy between today and tomorrow.”
He added: “It’s not a question of spending the money, it’s a question of finding the right players.
“We are not scared to spend money but we want the right players.”
Asked if he expects to land a big singing, Wenger confirmed: “I’m am optimistic.”
Yet on the subject of making a third bid for Suarez, Wenger was rather coyer, saying: “Look, I don’t want to come out on any specific name because that would not be all right. Usually the press are well informed.”
On the issue of a move for unsettled Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, the manager added: “There, again, I can only repeat the same sentence.”
But with champions Manchester United also yet to land a marquee signing this term under new manager David Moyes, Wenger pointed to the fact that it is not just Arsenal who have been slow in doing their business.
“Ideally you would want it to be quicker but to finalise any transfer you need the agreement of the three parties,” he said.
“You could see that with our main rivals as well. It is not easy.
“You look at us, Chelsea, Man United, it’s difficult to find the quality players to strengthen the team and the squad, who are available at the moment because there is a shortage of top, top players who are available.
“My phone is always open and it rings many times for not good reasons.”
He added: “The transfer market is a worry nowadays and it has always been. With every transfer market you could write a book and a very interesting one.
“It’s maybe more difficult nowadays because there are more quality spenders on the market, especially in France.
“They have bought at a very high level so it’s very difficult.”
Yet, with the transfer deadline drawing ever closer and the likely prospect that no new recruits will join the Gunners ahead of tomorrow’s Villa clash or next week’s crucial Champions League qualifier against Fenerbahce, Wenger is still sticking to his guns that it is quality not quantity that interests him.
“It’s very difficult for me to give you a number [of targets],” he said. “We look more for quality than for numbers.
“They first request is [that players] have the quality to play for Arsenal Football Club.
“We would like two or three players, if possible more but we will not compromise on the quality of the players.”