Arsene Wenger has explained why Arsenal failed to sign Jonny Evans during the January transfer window – we couldn’t afford him.
Evans was a target for Arsenal throughout the January transfer window, but were unable to sign him.
After signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, they reportedly went in with a late bid for Evans that was below West Brom’s asking price.
When asked why the deal didn’t go ahead, Wenger told BT Sport (via Goal.com): “I said many times that we did what we wanted to do but not all that we wanted to do.
“He was not available for what we could afford.”
He was then asked why he didn’t request more money from the club’s majority shareholder, Stan Kroenke.
“If Kroenke gives you £200m, Man City then get £400m,” he explained.
If Wenger’s comments are correct, it could mean that the club had spent the majority of its budget on Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang.
After factoring in wages and agent fees, they may not have had enough left for Evans, hard as that is to believe. What that’s got to do with Manchester City, who were no longer trying to sign Evans, is anyone’s guess.
Whatever the real reason, Arsenal were unable to strengthen their defence like they desperately needed to.
We’ll now see if Evans is a priority in the summer, or if the club pursues other targets. Like another couple of attacking midfielders, perhaps.