There have been Arsenal transfer rumours this summer that have linked the club with at least two of the players that ended up signing for our Premier League rivals Manchester United. A few reports put the Gunners in the list of clubs interested in Paul Pogba bot nobody in their right mind actually thought that Arsene Wenger would be going for that mega money deal.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, however, did not seem to be out of our reach, especially as the Swedish striker was out of contract and available for nothing, although his wage demands were always going to be eye watering.
I don’t know the exact figure but the cost of Mkhitaryan was around the £30 million mark and we paid more than that for Granit Xhaka, so a lot of Arsenal fans were left wondering why Arsenal with our place in the Champions League were not in that battle or whether we were beaten too easily.
Listening to the words of Wenger on the subject, it appears that our boss has decided not to try competing with the spending power at Old Trafford, to avoid a bidding war that will push the prices even higher.
He was reported in the Evening Standard saying, “Manchester United are the richest club in the world along with Real Madrid. Not many people can compete with their finances but that doesn’t make the difference because at the moment on the pitch we can compete.”
And on the Arsenal website he said, I said the other day that the price of a player normally depends on his talent, on his expected strengthening of the team, on his age and on his resale value. After that, we are in a system where we are in competition as well and if your opponent pays £40million, then if you want the player you have to pay £45million.
“You focus on your squad and your quality and you try to strengthen where you can. We were not specifically [competing] with Man United on a player, so we have done what we wanted and we want to do more. We try to compete at our level with all the assets we have and we try to compete with them. We showed that last Sunday [against Man City].”
So is Wenger right to stay away from p[layers wanted by Man United and other big spending clubs?