Wenger: Pressure is to spend right
Published 03/08/2013 | 07:32
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger accepts he is under pressure to spend big this summer, but will only do so for the right player - which could yet be Luis Suarez.
The Gunners head into this weekend's Emirates Cup - which kicks off against Napoli later on Saturday afternoon - without a marquee summer signing, despite chief executive Ivan Gazidis having talked up the club's new "financial firepower" at the end of last season.
Argentinian international Gonzalo Higuain had been high on Wenger's wanted list, but as the Gunners failed to push through a £30million deal, the forward opted to join Rafael Benitez at Napoli instead.
The pursuit of wantaway striker Suarez looked to have stalled following a second improved bid of £40million plus £1, which had been intended to trigger a clause that would allow them to discuss terms with the Uruguayan.
On Thursday, Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre insisted the Anfield club had no intentions of selling their key man, who joined up with Brendan Rodgers' squad on the tour of Australia.
Wenger, though, on Friday indicated Arsenal remained hopeful of eventually negotiating an "amicable" deal before the end of the summer transfer window.
"We are working very hard to strengthen our squad, not only on the case you name (Suarez), but on other different cases," he said. "I always try to make the decision I feel is right for the club. That doesn't mean I always manage to do it, but I work with that conscience.
"If you say we are under pressure to spend money then yes we are, but I feel more under pressure to spend the money in the right way. That is what I will try to do."
Wenger refused to be drawn on any details of the Suarez negotiations, but there was no suggestion Arsenal were about to drop their pursuit.
"I don't want to speak about Suarez, because that is between Liverpool and Arsenal. We will completely respect what Liverpool wants to do. We want to (sign the player) if it is feasible in an amicable way," Wenger said.
Suarez is currently serving a domestic 10-game ban imposed by the Football Association for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic at the end of last season, and had previously received a suspension and £40,000 fine for racially abusing Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra in December 2011.
Wenger maintained that should the striker become an Arsenal player, his future behaviour would be paramount.
"The values that are very important for this club have to be respected by every player, no matter where he comes from. That will be with every potential signing," he said.
Wenger has made one new acquisition with a free transfer of France Under-20 forward Yaya Sanogo from Auxerre, who along with Santi Cazorla, the Spain midfielder now back after extra time off following the Confederations Cup, would both get some game-time this weekend, with Sunday's friendly against Galatasaray.
"We have signed Sanogo, he has not made the headlines. Why? Because he is not £50m to £100million, but I am quite confident he will make them soon on the pitch, and that for me is the most important," the Arsenal boss said.
Defender Nacho Monreal is set to return to training on Monday, while club captain Thomas Vermaelen continues his rehabilitation from a stress fracture in his back which is expected to take around six more weeks.