Premier League

Money no object for Wenger

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Fri, 07 Jun 2013 07:11:00

Arsene Wenger will pay no attention to "price tags" when he looks to strengthen his Arsenal squad, according to chief executive Ivan Gazidis.

The Gunners are determined to improve the side ahead of next season to mount a long-overdue sustained assault on the Barclays Premier League championship, and have been linked with marquee signings such as Wayne Rooney - should the England striker be sold by Manchester United - and Real Madrid frontman Gonzalo Higuain.

The Deloitte Annual Review of Football Finance 2013 showed the Gunners were behind only United and Chelsea in terms of revenue of ?235million for 2011/2012.

That figure is to further increase as the north-London club feel the full effect of their move to the 60,000-seater Emirates Stadium, which generates around ?3.3million per match.

Arsenal also are understood to be able to tap into additional revenue from new commercial deals which are now coming on board - which could be as much as ?70million, moving them up into the same territory as European Champions Bayern Munich.

When added to the already healthy cash reserves following sales of Samir Nasri, Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie in successive summers, Gazidis revealed Arsenal can more than compete in the transfer market.

"It is going to be the players that Arsene believes in," chief executive Gazidis told reporters from the boardroom at Highbury House, which overlooks the Emirates Stadium.

"He is pretty blind to price tags, he looks at what he sees with his eyes and makes judgements based on that, and not on reputations and prices."

When asked by reporters if meeting a transfer fee of some ?20million and ?200,000-per-week salary was now within the club's budget, the chief executive added: "Of course we could do that. We could do more than that.

"We have a certain amount which we have held in reserve.

"We also have new revenue streams coming on board and all of these things mean we can do some things which would excite you, (but) what excites Arsene isn't necessarily what excites you."

Gazidis believes Arsenal's careful commercial strategy will ultimately prove dividends on the pitch.

"This year we are beginning to see something we have been planning for some time, which is the escalation in our financial firepower," he said.

"That is going to happen partly into next season, it is part way available now in the summer, but the following season as well.

"It is a progression over the next two seasons and is quite significant for the club."

Arsenal's wage bill of some ?143millon was around 61% of their overall revenue, but is set to be reduced this summer by the confirmed expected departures of Andrey Arshavin, Denilson and Sebastien Squillaci, while several other surplus fringe players should also be off loaded - such as Marouane Chamakh, Nicklas Bendtner and Korean forward Park Chu-young.

Wenger has already begun his summer rebuilding plans, pushing through a deal for France Under-21 forward Yaya Sanogo, on a free from Auxerre, and Arsenal are said to be tracking Real Madrid frontman Higuain along with several other high-calibre reinforcements.

"We should (eventually) be able to compete at a level like a club such as Bayern Munich," Gazidis added.

"I am not saying we are there by any means, we have a way to go before we can put ourselves on that level, but this whole journey over the past 10 years really has been with that goal in mind."

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