Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has predicted that ‘not a lot will happen’ in this month’s transfer window, as he claims the difficult economic climate will affect the spending plans of club’s across Europe.
Wenger has vowed to be active in his search for fresh talent in the next few weeks, but his suggestions that transfer activity will be modest throughout the game will alarm Arsenal fans hoping for a couple of big-name arrivals in January.
“I’m expecting it to be very calm because first of all, I believe there is little money and what can happen is basically a transfer market within the English clubs,” Wenger told the Arsenal website.
“Overall, I believe that not a lot will happen. The economic situation could affect movement, because the clubs have to look at the finances.
"What makes the clubs are the fans and what makes the fans is the economy. On that front, nobody is really sure what will happen in 2013.”
Meanwhile, Wenger suggests the real transfer scramble may begin next summer, as a clutch of high profile players reach the end of their contracts and come up for grabs on free transfers.
Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole, Rio Ferdinand and Didier Drogba are among the veteran performers likely to be available next summer, with Wenger suggesting the race to land their signatures will be fierce.
“A lot (of the players available) are over 30,” he says of the potential summer market. “Of course, they are all great players. They have proven that. It shows that the market will be more difficult for the players because the fact that you have so many top-quality players available means that the clubs are cautious as well.”
Wenger admitted on Thursday that Arsenal no longer have the edge they once had on their Premier League rivals in the race to sign young players from all corners of the world, as he hinted at broadening his horizons in the hunt for fresh talent.
“We are trying to diversify much more where we are looking,” he added. “In England you are a bit limited and I find that a new market that is very interesting and very competitive is the Japanese market. Look at the number of Japanese players who play now in Germany for example.”