Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis: 'I want the club to be successful'
Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has insisted that the club are "looking for top-quality players" this summer and defended the Gunners' decision to stick with manager Arsene Wenger.
The longtime Arsenal boss came under fire from supporters during a campaign in which the club finished outside the top four for the first time since 1996, Wenger's first year in charge.
However, Wenger was given a new two-year contract after leading the Emirates club to the FA Cup title in May. And Gazidis believes it was the right decision for the club.
"It wasn't a sentimental decision," Gazidis said at a Q&A with fans.
"It was a mutual one."
Arsenal have traditionally been reluctant to spend big on transfers compared to the likes of Premier League rivals Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea, which has become a point of frustration for fans of the club.
The club spent more than £30 million for each of Granit Xhaka and Shkodran Mustafi last summer, and are looking to make further investments into the team this summer.
"We spent an unprecedented amount. Over £110m during that summer," he said. "We signed one of the players in the Bundesliga team of the season.
"We're looking for top-quality players. We've got three times as many scouts as we had four years ago. I believe that to be a world-class football club you've got to be world class off the pitch.
"I care about the club and those values. I want the club to be successful."
Gazidis also defended Arsenal majority owner Stan Kroenke, who last month received a bid of $1.3 billion for his shares from minority owner Alisher Usmanov, a source confirmed to ESPN FC.
Kroenke has faced increasing criticism from Arsenal supporters in recent years, with some fans viewing him as an absentee owner who is more interested in profit than trophies.
"He hasn't put debt on the football club," Gazidis said. "He's been nothing but supportive. If you think it's all about money, there are far more easier ways than owning sports teams.
"I think we do need a better connection with our fanbase. I was telling someone recently I hadn't had an hour of my time since the end of the season which wasn't about club business.
"The goal is to win things for this football club and do it in a way which is consistent with our club values."
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