by Lewis Ambrose

Speaking to the Daily Mail Arsenal director Lord Harris made some big claims on Friday, but Arsène Wenger has played down what some have inferred from Harris’ comments.

The 72 year-old revealed that there is £200M in club accounts but that doesn’t, as some have suggested, mean that the club could spend that much.

“At the moment there are no plans to sign anyone, unless he finds a real superstar like Mesut Özil or Alexis Sánchez,” Lord Harris revealed. “He’s looking for one of those but there aren’t many available. We would back him to break the club’s transfer record. If he wanted the man, he could have him. Apart from [Lionel] Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo, he could have any player.”

That isn’t strictly true. If clubs refuse to sell Arsenal simply won’t be able to sign them. The likes of Sergio Agüero, Paul Pogba or Sergio Busquets simply are not available to any club in the world, regardless of money. The point does still stand, though, that Arsenal have the financial capability to sign any star that becomes available this summer. Waiting for them to become available is the problem, and it applies to the man that Harris’ claims Wenger wants.

“We will probably have to break the club record to get the man he wants,” the director revealed.

“We get a list of the players that Wenger wants.

“On the list is a centre forward, but I’m not going to tell you who he is. You’ve got to get the other team to want to sell him.

“It basically comes down to whether the other team can find a superstar to replace him, because they don’t have to sell.”

Well I’m glad that’s cleared up, Arsenal couldn’t just happily and easily sign anyone other than Messi or Ronaldo.

And the money? Arsenal can’t actually spend £200M as Jeremy Wilson of the Telegraph explained on Twitter:

 

Opportunity

Arsène Wenger himself has now commented on Harris’ remarks, completely playing down the rumours that Arsenal have £200M to spend and the idea that he is after a striker.

“Whether his comments are helpful or not doesn’t matter,” Wenger said on Friday. “He’s gone a bit overboard. It’s not true. We are in a situation where we are working hard if an opportunity comes up to do something.”

The Arsenal manager insisted that he has enough firepower in the current squad but insists that if a top player becomes available the club is in a position to make a move.

“Last week I had to answer questions about what I was going to do with all the players who are available and the next week it’s why don’t you buy? Last week we scored goals without [Alexis] Sánchez and [Danny] Welbeck. We are in a strong position with a strong squad I am happy with. If the opportunity turns up, we could still do something.”

Arsenal clearly have the money to spend on the right players, but there is no guarantee that those players are available. Harris’ comments may have been misjudged but they have also been taken out of context and misconstrued. Quite simply, the club can’t spend £200M this summer and to do so would be inappropriate.

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Usually found watching or talking about English or German football. Interested in tactics (but often despairing a lack of them). Favourite players: Bergkamp, Arteta, Özil