Monday 20 October 2014

Arsenal hand Wenger £70m war chest in bid to match Europe's elite

Published 07/06/2013 | 05:00

Arsene Wenger

Arsenal are preparing to join Manchester United and Bayern Munich among the financial superpowers of world football and want Arsene Wenger to lead the club into this new era of enhanced wealth.

Wenger's contract expires next year, but Arsenal expect their manager to reject interest from Paris Saint-Germain to realise a vision that was conceived fully 15 years ago with the plan to build a new stadium.

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has also backed Wenger to successfully adapt his managerial style to the imminent increase of £70m to his annual spending power. "We hope that Arsene wants to do what he is doing for the long term – I believe he does," said Gazidis. "We think we have got the right person to make the kind of choices and decisions we are going to have.

"This year we are beginning to see something we have been planning for some time, which is the escalation in our financial firepower. We should be able to compete at a level like a club such as Bayern Munich. I'm not saying we are there by any means, but this whole journey over the past 10 years really has been with that goal in mind. It is time us to turn that into sporting success. We have a certain amount of money which we've held in reserve. We can do some things which would excite you."

The new money, which within two years, should allow the club to jump from their current annual turnover of £234.9m to join only Real Madrid, Barcelona, Man United and Bayern Munich in generating over £300m.

It will finally allow Wenger (left) to compete on a more equal footing for the world's elite players. Asked if Arsenal were now in a position to pay a £25m transfer fee and wages of £200,000 a week for one player, Gazidis said: "Of course we could."

The club's priority this summer is a new striker, with Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuain the chief target and they are also considering a move for Wayne Rooney.

Irish Independent

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