Arsene Wenger has conceded he won’t be able to sign Luis Suarez from Liverpool this summer – and says it is unlikely he will land a major signing before the close of the transfer window.
The Gunners have endured a difficult transfer window to date and go into their first fixture of the new season against Aston Villa without having made a major signing.
After Arsenal had their second bid rejected, Suarez gave an interview in which he said he would be happy to force his way out of Anfield, but since then quotes attributed to the Uruguayan suggest he is willing to stay put for another season.
Wenger, who also missed out on Luiz Gustavo to Wolfburg this week, rubbished suggestions that he was either unprepared or unable to clinch deals, and said Arsenal’s woes were nothing to do with a lack of funds.
“The issue is that the club sometimes does not want to sell at any price,” the Arsenal boss said. “And in the example of Suárez and you are Liverpool, you have to calculate if you want to get into the Champions League, who are our rivals and do we want to sell to them?
“Unless they need the money or they have a clause or things like that, things [do not always work] just because you put the money up.”
The Frenchman added when asked why he had pursued Suarez for so long when a positive outcome looked unlikely: “I will explain [why] in my next book”.
Despite failing to land any major names this summer Wenger remains adamant that he won’t splash the cash unnecessarily ahead of the window closing on September 2, even if he does concede that his squad is a little light.
“You know all the names that we are chasing,” Wenger said. “There is not many in Europe honestly. I don’t disagree that we are a bit light at the moment. There is a shortage of top talent and many clubs who have money.
“We are ready to spend the money if we feel that the players make us a better team tomorrow morning. We are guided by the quality of the player.
“If you absolutely want to describe me as a tight person and you would live with me, you would see that I am not. I am rather generous.
“Today we look for the quality and not necessarily the money that we spend. We have to still respect equity, if you have international players paid a certain level of money. I understand every frustration, you have so many frustrated people.”
Wenger’s pre-season woes worsened ahead of their opening-day clash against Villa when midfielder Mikel Arteta was ruled out for six weeks through injury.