Despite Arsenal’s claims that they would be spending big this summer and their insistence they had the resources to compete with the ‘big boys’ of Europe in the transfer market, the Gunners have yet to make a major signing.
The club’s chief executive Ivan Gazidis came out publicly in June to declare that Arsenal had the financial muscle to spend, for example, £250,000 a week on wages for a top player and the kitty to buy big stars.
Meanwhile, with July now behind us, Arsenal’s only new recruit is 20-year-old Ligue 2 striker Yaya Sanogo who came in on a free transfer from Auxerre at the opening of the window.
Arsenal have been linked with Gonzalo Higuain who has now signed for Napoli, Bernard who appears to be heading to either Porto or Shakhtar Donetsk presently, Wayne Rooney who Manchester United insist is not for sale, and Luis Suarez who Liverpool insist is not for sale.
At the beginning of the window, Arsene Wenger stated he was aiming to get his business wrapped up early on – sooner rather than later – but as we edge closer to the start of the new season and closer to Arsenal’s crucial Champions League qualification play-off, Arsenal still have yet to spend any money.
To the fans this situation is, whilst familiar, an agony – they desperately want to see the fruits of the club’s labour. The Emirates Cup this weekend could have been an opportunity for the fans to see a new signing in action but instead they’ll have to watch Higuain play for Napoli on their own turf.
It’s not only frustrating for the fans but also confusing – something seemed to have gone awry between Arsenal and Real Madrid over Higuain and nobody seems to be sure of whether it was on the Gunners’ part or the Spaniards’.
The general thinking as I understand it is that Real Madrid watched Edinson Cavani sign for Paris Saint-Germain for £55 million and thought they’d up their demands for Higuain which Arsenal ‘baulked’ at and Napoli took advantage of, having lost their star striker.
Meanwhile, Arsenal’s audacious £40,000,001 bid for Luis Suarez at Liverpool suggests they thought they could play hardball with the Merseyside club over their want away striker. But, at present, the Reds have held firm on their stance that the Uruguayan is under contract and will not be sold.
With all that in mind, is there a chance that Arsenal are little out of their depth? There seems to be a consensus building amongst the fans that the club’s negotiators are not coming back with the desired results.
Their dealings with Madrid would suggest as much – Arsenal were talking personal terms with Higuain and then all of a sudden Madrid upped the fee and Arsenal turned their attention to Suarez.
Arsenal have never had this kind of cash to throw around at any point in their history. Even in the last decade Arsene Wenger’s hands were more than a little tied due to their stadium building project and they’ve had to be a little more economical in their approach than the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, and Manchester United.
For Arsenal to suddenly have upwards of £50 million to spend on one player would have been inconceivable in summers passed. I suspect (I don’t know) that the larger the sums of money that are being discussed, the tougher the negotiation process becomes.
Clubs like Real Madrid and Liverpool are more used to haggling over these kinds of big money deals – especially the former. The most Arsenal have ever spent on one player was £15 million. I wonder whether the Gunners are a little out of their depth at this point.