Arsenal head of football Raul Sanllehi told club staff in a phone call that transfers aren’t a priority this summer, according to a report.

Vinai Venkatesham and Raul Sanllehi via Arsenal FC
Vinai Venkatesham and Raul Sanllehi via Arsenal FC

The Evening Standard write that Raul Sanllehi suggested to club staff that transfers aren’t a priority right now. He held a weekly video call with non-playing employees recently and explicitly played down the prospect of expensive signings this summer.

This isn’t exactly surprising. Arsenal pushed through a lot of pay-related cuts over the last month or so. The executive team took a 30% cut for the next year, whilst the squad took 12.5%. This was to ensure non-playing staff could still collect their usual wages.

If the club go out and spend £50m+ on a new defender, and then a further coronavirus setback means they can no longer afford to pay those employees, the players will wonder why they took a cut in the first place.

Football.London report that Arsenal’s recruitment department remain active. They’re still monitoring players and identifying targets as usual. They just aren’t making offers or preparing deals until they know the full extent of the situation.

If football returns this summer, and Arsenal finish the season in a Champions League place and the players get their wages back, it’s a different scenario. At that point, major transfers look a lot more reasonable. It’s a big ‘if’.