Wenger to be handed £70m budget
Arsenal will hand under-fire manager Arsene Wenger a £70 million summer transfer budget, according to various reports in the British media, amid claims he has made Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes his No. 1 target.
The Arsenal boss has come under increasing pressure as the Gunners’ trophy drought looks set to extend to an eighth year having been dumped out of the FA Cup by Blackburn and sitting 21 points off the top of the Premier League table. They still face Bayern Munich in the last-16 of the Champions League, but with fans venting their frustration this week, the Arsenal board are reported to be looking at boosting Wenger’s transfer warchest.
A report in the Sun insists that Wenger wants to add Spanish international goalkeeper Valdes to his ranks, while other papers believe that it is Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina who will come in to provide much-needed competition for Polish international Wojciech Szczesny.
Valdes has made it clear that he will not sign a new contract at the Nou Camp and will be available for a fee of around £10 million this summer, with his contract expiring in 2014.
Toulouse midfielder Etienne Capoue, 24, and Fiorentina striker Stevan Jovetic, 23, are also believed to be high on Wenger’s list of targets to supplement the ‘British core’ of players who recently signed new contracts at the club.
Meanwhile Fernando Amorebieta’s agent, Gines Carvajal, has insisted that the Athletic Bilbao defender could be set to move to the Emirates in the summer.
“We have had contacts with Russian side Anzhi, who are seriously interested in Fernando’s services,” agent Carvajal told Izvestia. “In terms of finances, we received a very good offer, but given the player’s desire to play in England, the transfer could not take place.
”We are also in contact with Arsenal, but the transfer window has closed and the transfer can only take place in June.”
However, Wenger’s own contract expires in the summer of 2014 and, while he has insisted that he will see it out, his own long-term future at the Emirates is unclear with his last piece of silverware coming in 2005.