Arsenal boss criticises current state of transfer market in football.
Arsene Wenger has risked further wrath from Arsenal fans who implore the Frenchman to secure big-money transfers before the 23:00 BST closure of the summer window by claiming that there are 'very few players' worth in excess of £50m.
Much has been made of the financial situation the Gunners finally found themselves in at the start of the summer, a time when Ivan Gazidis proclaimed the club to have a £70m budget set aside for transfers in the current window.
Wenger, though, has yet to spend any of those funds as he has instead brought in two players, Yaya Sanogo and Mathieu Flamini, on free transfers, despite admitting that he is 'offered 50 players a day'.
Clinical striker Gonzalo Higuain, a primary target for the N5 side just two months ago, slipped away from Wenger's grasp and instead joined Napoli as the manager and the player's former club, Real Madrid, differed on the valuation of the Argentine goal-scorer.
In a summer in which Gareth Bale could switch sides for £86m, Edinson Cavani was sold to Paris Saint Germain for £55m, Radamel Falcao was bought by Monaco for £51m and Barcelona acquired Neymar for £48.6m, Wenger has hit out at the transfer fees that are disproportionate to the respective talents of the corresponding players.
'[Transfers have risen] from 0-£10m, and afterwards to £30m-£80m, but they're not linked with the quality of the players… it’s just the financial power of the buyer,' said the 63-year-old to the media today.
'For me, there are very very very few players for whom it makes sense to pay over £50m,' he added, in what is perhaps a jab at what he feels is the exorbitant negotiation between Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur over Welsh forward and triple-crowning player of the year, Bale.
Wenger's latest statements will provide little comfort to Arsenal fans still hoping of a deadline day coup that could see the club raid Real Madrid for potentially transfer-listed players such Karim Benzema, Angel di Maria, Mesut Ozil and, even, Kaka, should the club want to make way for Bale.
The manager, though, shows little signs of changing his perceived frugal policy: 'I’m completely happy with what we do and how we do things,' he said defiantly. 'I know that it’s under scrutiny, but I don’t share the criticisms that are made.'
He continued: 'I don’t think the prices are linked with the quality of the players this summer. The prices today are just linked with the financial power and the desire of the buyer. It’s impossible to assess a market where you can say that this is the normal price for this player because that is his quality – that has gone completely.'
See below for a list of the highest transfer fees paid in the history of football. Currently, four of the top ten were sealed during the current window, however, all of the top three were made in 2009.
Top ten highest transfer fees paid
|Cristiano Ronaldo||Manchester United||Real Madrid||£80m||2009|
|Kaka||AC Milan||Real Madrid||£56m||2009|
|Edinson Cavani||Napoli||Paris Saint Germain||£55m||2013|
|Radamel Falcao||Atletico Madrid||AS Monaco||£51m||2013|
|Carlos Tevez||Manchester United/MSI||Manchester City||£47m||2009|
|Zinedine Zidane||Juventus||Real Madrid||£46m||2001|
|James Rodriguez||FC Porto||AS Monaco||£38.5m||2013|
image: © Jan S0L0