Arsenal have money to spend in summer - manager Arsene Wenger
LONDON -- Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says "money will be available" to strengthen the team in this summer's transfer window, but insisted he is more focused on fighting for this season's league title with the current squad.
Wenger opted not to buy a single outfield player last summer, with goalkeeper Petr Cech the only addition to the first team.
But Arsenal have cash reserves of about £135 million pounds in the bank and the Daily Telegraph reported on Tuesday that £75m will be handed to Wenger as a transfer kitty.
"I think if we want to buy at the end of the season, money will be available," Wenger said on Tuesday at a news conference. "But at the moment we want to influence our performances and results. The money, until the end of the season will not help us."
Arsenal are five points behind leader Leicester going into Wednesday's Premier League game against Swansea, and three behind Tottenham ahead of Saturday's North London derby.
Wenger also denied reports that Arsenal are close to handing star duo Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez new contracts that would make them the highest-paid players in the club's history.
"That's not close, no," Wenger said.
Ozil and Sanchez are both tied to the club until 2018. Ozil signed a five-year deal when he joined Arsenal for £42.5m from Real Madrid in 2013, while Sanchez was given a four-year contract when he joined from Barcelona the following the year.
Ozil is on course to break the Premier League's single-season assist record this campaign, needing just two more to tie Thierry Henry's mark of 20.
Sanchez was Arsenal's leading scorer last season but has struggled for form this campaign. He has just one goal in eight games since returning from a hamstring injury, but Wenger backed the forward to rediscover his scoring touch soon.
"He is just coming back from injury, I believe he is fighting to come back to his best. His second half was quite positive and encouraging at Manchester United," Wenger said. "So what we want from him is that he doesn't lose confidence and continues to fight."