Gunners Back In For Rooney After Suarez Apology
Arsenal FC have reignited their interest in Manchester United’s want-away striker Wayne Rooney. (The Mirror)
The Gunners have purportedly lodged a fresh inquiry for the England international after backing down from the transfer battle earlier this summer in order to pursue Luis Suarez’s signature. Now that the Uruguayan has apologised to Liverpool and a move to the Emirates Stadium seems unlikely, chief exec Ivan Gazidis has gone back for Rooney, who is also high on Chelsea’s shopping list.
While Arsenal have rarely beaten the Blues in the transfer market during the last decade, they do have a slight edge here. They sold Robin van Persie to United only last summer, and their traditional rivalry with the Manchester giants has also mellowed in recent years. On the other hand, Jose Mourinho’s men are a genuine threat to United’s PL title, which means the Red Devils could be more willing to sell Rooney to Arsenal than Chelsea.
Wenger Denies Being Stingy
Arsene Wenger has rubbished accusations that he has been stingy when pursuing transfer targets this summer and reminded that even huge amounts of money are sometimes not enough to sign players of the highest quality. (The Guardian)
Despite bidding big for players such as Luis Suarez, Gonzalo Higuain, Luiz Gustavo, etc, the Gunners haven’t been able to bring in anyone yet except the little known youngster Yaya Sanogo, who arrived on a free transfer from Auxerre. Some experts and critics believe that the club’s long-practiced habit of being prudent in the transfer market is behind their failure to land any top level players, but Wenger disagrees.
He said: “The issue is that the club sometimes does not want to sell at any price. In the example of Suárez … you are Liverpool, you have to calculate if you want to get into the Champions League, who are our rivals and do we want to sell to them? Unless they need the money or they have a clause or things like that, things are not always working just because you put the money up.
“The perception that I am resistant to spending is unfair.Why should I resist? I just defend the idea that you spend the money you have and not the money you don’t have. Today, we have more so we can spend more. I am excited by that prospect.
“What I want to convince you of is that we are ready to spend the money if we feel that the players make us a better team tomorrow morning. If you want absolutely to describe me as greedy [about keeping money in the bank] and you would live with me, you would see that I am not. I am rather generous. I did fight my whole life to pay well the players.”
Wenger, who has also been criticised for undervaluing potential transfer targets and refusing to meet the selling clubs’ demands, admitted that Arsenal’s transfer plans are mostly devised by him. “I have, of course, a big influence on that,” he said.
In the end, he used a lack of quality players in the market as an excuse for his failings and said: “You know all the names that we are chasing. There is not many in Europe, honestly. If you bring me players who are better than those we have, I promise you we will look at them. There is a shortage of top, top talent and many clubs who have money. It is a bit frustrating [when people talk about a crisis]. We just beat Manchester City 3-1 [in a friendly]. Imagine had we lost.”
PL a Six-Horse Race – Wenger
Arsene Wenger has claimed that as many as six clubs will be competing for the Barclays Premier League title in the forthcoming season.
Predicting that any of last season’s top five sides and Liverpool could take the league title, the Arsenal boss said: “It is maybe more open at the moment because you have many teams who can compete for [the title]. If you look across Europe, this is the only country where at the start it is very difficult to predict who is going to win it. That’s less the case in nearly all the other countries and that’s why the Premier League is more interesting. I believe we are picking from six teams, including Liverpool and Tottenham.”
A few weeks ago, Wenger had confidently claimed that the Gunners’ managerial stability would prove to be an advantage for them over their rivals, but his stance was completely changed in this latest presser.
He said: “You don’t know how [the managerial changes] will affect this season. Do you consider [Jose] Mourinho as a new manager at Chelsea? Certainly not. [David] Moyes has experience at the top level and [Manuel] Pellegrini as well. I believe these clubs have stability with the players they have and the managers coming in are all quality, so we cannot expect any weakness from that.”
Laudrup Warns Gunners Off Michu
Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup has told Arsenal FC not to waste time by making late offers for Michu as no amount of money will tempt his club into selling the Spanish striker.
It is believed that the Gunners would turn to Michu late in the tranfer window if they fail to land other high-profile targets. But their Danish boss has made it clear that it is a folly to think such a strategy will be successful.
Laudrup said: “I think economically the club is very good. I know if they (Arsenal) came in with a very late bid, I know that the reaction from the board and chairman will be ‘No’, even if the money is ridiculous, as we will not have time to find a replacement who is near enough to the same standard.
“You can say we would get a lot of money but why be the richest club in the championship? What is that worth? I spoke to Michu last year and he extended his contract and asked me about mine and I said ‘I am going to stay here’, and he said, ‘So am I’.”