Saturday 15 December 2018

New Gunners boss restricted to £50m kitty

Arsene Wenger. Photo: PA
Arsene Wenger. Photo: PA

Jeremy Wilson

Arsene Wenger's successor as Arsenal manager will have to work with a restricted summer budget of around £50 million following two club-record transfers and three major new contracts in the last 12 months.

Unlike new managers over recent seasons at the two Manchester clubs, Arsenal's new appointment will not be able to transform the squad with a large spending spree without first making big-money sales himself.

Arsenal have begun sounding out some of Wenger's potential replacements, with former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique emerging as a strong candidate and understood to be keen, but chief executive Ivan Gazidis is committed to a thorough process.

Max Allegri, Mikel Arteta, Leonardo Jardim, Julian Nagelsmann and Joachim Loew are among the other leading options.

As well as a manager who will continue to play attacking football and give young players their chance, Arsenal also want high standards of discipline.

One criticism of Wenger has been that he has been too easy-going with his first-team squad.

Arsenal spent more than £100m on Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during the past two transfer windows alone, but also hugely significant is how they committed themselves to three huge contracts in January for Aubameyang, Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

The summer before was also the biggest total spend in Arsenal's history following the signings of Shkodran Mustafi, Granit Xhaka, Rob Holding and Lucas Perez.

It suggests that, although the new manager should be able to make one major signing this summer, other significant additions are likely to come down to a choice between sales or working to improve the existing group. (© Daily Telegraph)

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