Unai Emery says Arsenal could recruit up to two players before Thursday’s transfer deadline – and may splash the cash this summer.
The Arsenal boss’ preference this month is for loan deals from players who can improve his squad, with Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic and Denis Suarez of Barcelona linked with moves.
Emery would not be drawn on specific names and insisted he would be content if the Gunners were unable to add to their squad in the challenging mid-season window.
“We are looking at two different players and the possibility they can come,” he said. “If they aren’t coming to help us like we want, I prefer they don’t come.”
Emery acknowledges the difficulty of recruitment at this time of the season and knows Arsenal may not succeed in landing their targets.
“The club is telling me that this moment is not good to buy players,” he added.
“But the club say to me in the summer it is going to be different. And we are going to have chances to take and spend money to buy players.”
The head coach was previously in charge of Paris St Germain when the Ligue 1 side spent more than 350million euros on two players, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, in the same transfer window. He insists he is happy with the more thrifty Gunners approach.
“I have had experience with different teams, teams like Sevilla and Valencia, where usually we sold players each season,” he said.
“And when I arrived at PSG it was different, because the team wanted to buy players. I can work with the two situations.
“The easiest thing for me is to ask for more players but I love to work with my players. My challenge is to improve individually, collectively, offensively, defensively.”
Emery hinted his reluctance to recruit defensive reinforcements, despite injuries to Sokratis Papastathopoulos (ankle) and Laurent Koscielny (jaw).
He does not want a bloated squad once his injured defenders, including Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding (both knee), return to fitness.
Sokratis and Koscielny were injured in last Friday’s FA Cup loss to Manchester United.
Sokratis is expected to be out for “maybe two or three weeks,” Emery said, while Koscielny’s jaw is bruised, but not broken.
The Frenchman could be back for Sunday’s trip to title holders Manchester City.
The FA Cup exit focuses minds, Emery says, with the objective Champions League qualification through the Premier League’s top four – or by winning the Europa League.
The Gunners are fifth, three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea ahead of the midweek fixtures, which come with 15 games remaining.
Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-0 in their most recent Premier League match, a result which will count for little if the Gunners fail to beat the relegation-threatened Cardiff, who will be emotionally charged with the search for Emiliano Sala ongoing.
“If you win against Chelsea and you don’t win tomorrow, you are losing three very important points,” Emery added.
“Tomorrow we need to impose and to adapt. I think they’re going to play with a big motivation, also and finding a lot of duels against us.
“We need tomorrow to be concentrated for the three points like we were against Chelsea.”