Tuesday 16 January 2018

Arsenal transfer news: Wenger targets "superstar" striker - and he has green light to sign him

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

Jeremy Wilson

Arsenal director Lord Harris has claimed that Arsene Wenger wants to sign a “superstar” striker this summer and that the club are willing to shatter the £42 million transfer record that was paid for Mesut Ozil.

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has long been prominent on Wenger’s list of desired signings and, although Lord Harris says there is more than £200 million in the bank, the club’s summer transfer budget is around £50 million.

“We get a list of the players that Wenger wants,” said Lord Harris.

“‘On the list is a centre forward, but I’m not going to tell you who he is. I think he wants to come.

"It basically comes down to whether the other team can find a superstar to replace him. We could go into the market and probably buy any player in the world, apart from half a dozen who are unbuyable.

“At the moment there are no plans to sign anyone, unless he finds a real superstar like Mesut Ozil or Alexis Sanchez. He’s looking for one of those but there aren’t many available.

"We would back him to break the club’s transfer record. Apart from Messi and Ronaldo, he could have any player. We will probably have to break the club record to get the man he wants.”

Read more: Comment: Why Arsenal will win the Premier League title this season

Read more: Arsene Wenger: 'Things have changed now, Arsenal can win the Premier League this year'

Lord Harris also told the Daily Mail that Wenger was interested in Petr Cech last year.

“Chelsea couldn’t sell him because they didn’t know how Courtois was going to settle in,” he said.

“[Raheem] Sterling is a very, very good player but I’m very pleased Arsenal didn’t sign him. He’s got a lot to learn. They were looking at him and the way he treated Liverpool wasn’t good."

Wenger’s long-term future – as well as major transfer decisions – will be decided by Wenger himself, owner Stan Kroenke and chief executive Ivan Gazidis but Lord Harris hopes he stays beyond 2017.

“I see no reason why Arsene shouldn’t stay beyond his contact,” he said. “I’m sure we will want him to stay. Two or three years ago, when the crowd came after him, you could tell he was concerned but I wouldn’t say he came close to leaving.”


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