December 5 2013 Latest news:
By James Cunliffe
Friday, August 30, 2013
Hopes of Arsenal splashing out big money on a marquee signing were dented today after Arsene Wenger insisted that there are not many players in the world that he values at £50million or more.
The Gunners boss yesterday re-signed Mathieu Flamini for free on a three-year deal to add to teenager Yaya Sanogo, the only other new player Wenger has added to his squad in the last three months – also another free agent.
Though the north Londoners failed in their £40million plus £1 bid for Liverpool’s Luis Suarez it appears unlikely that they will go above that in their search for new recruits, particularly as he said: “We will not panic buy, that is for sure. You can believe me. It’s not my strength to panic.”
Reports have linked Arsenal to Real Madrid trio Mesut Ozil, Angel di Maria and Karem Benzema, but even that was cast in doubt as Wenger said: “Look, for me there are very, very, very, very few players who are economically justify or [it] makes sense [to] pay over £50m [for].”
The manager was speaking ahead of Sunday’s north London derby against Tottenham, with their arch-rivals poised to sell Gareth Bale to Real for a world record transfer fee, despite the La Liga club claiming yesterday that the Premier League side are stalling.
Asked what he thought of Madrid splashing out so much cash, Wenger said: “They are very generous.
“I don’t think at all that the prices are linked with the quality of the players.
“The prices today are linked with the financial power and the finances of the buyer. It’s impossible to asses a market where you can say this is the normal price of a player, because that is his quality.
“That has gone completely because in transfers you go from zero to £10million and £30-£80million, but it’s not linked with the quality of the players at all.”
There are three days remaining before the transfer window shuts and Arsenal appear more in need of new faces after striker Lukas Podolski was ruled out for up to three months with a hamstring injury, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain faces an equally lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Wenger said: “You need good players in every position and you especially need an attitude and a way to play the game.
“The players we have here know how we want to play the game and that is important.
“If we can add players that can integrate that style of play we will do it.
“We work very hard on that and if we cannot do it we will not do anything stupid for the sake of having said we have done something.
“We do what makes sense, that’s simple.”
Still, it appears that Wenger is not short of choice as he revealed: “I can lend you my phone and you will see that I have 50 players offered per day, at least.”
But on the number of offers he has made, he said: “That I would like to keep confidential, but if I give you my phone you will see.”
Yet with so little activity in the market this summer, Wenger insisted that changes do not need to be made to his scouting network.
“I’m completely happy with our people and how we do things,” he said.
“I know that it’s under scrutiny and analysis but I don’t share the critiques that are made of that.”