“Show me the money!” So goes the famous line from the 1996 film Jerry Maguire, screamed by Tom Cruise who plays the title lead. Are those the same words Arsene Wenger used to make an appeal to the Arsenal board? Perhaps so, with news the Gunners boss has been told he can have whatever funds he needs to get his transfer targets to sign on the dotted line (via The Times).
The North London club had reportedly set aside £100m to bring in players this transfer window. With £30m having gone on luring Granit Xhaka away from Borussia Mönchengladbach, that leaves some £70m to play with. But Arsenal, says The Times, have acknowledged that it may need to come up with more cash if it is to secure the big names in the key positions, namely in defence and attack.
As far as the back line is concerned, Shkodran Mustafi is the man in Wenger’s sights. But Valencia don’t appear to be willing to let him go cheap, with the Germany international said to have a £45m release clause in his contract.
Up front, Alexandre Lacazette still appears to be a possibility following a summer of virtually non-stop rumours linking him with a move to North London. The Lyon star carries a price tag of around £40m. It’s a big number, but par for the course in the current inflated market. The French club rejected a bid for the forward of £29m from Arsenal last month, and went as far as to release a public statement in which they said he was ‘irreplaceable’ and not for sale. Since then the tune has changed, with coach Bruno Genesio saying, “He can leave if Lyon want him to. There are some offers that you cannot refuse” (via The Mirror).
It’s interesting to note that positions, once apparently so hardened, quickly appear to melt away in the face of large amounts of cash. In this light, Wenger’s policy to keep quiet on transfer activity appears wise, if frustrating to the Arsenal faithful. ‘Show me the money’ seems a fitting slogan in the today’s transfer market. That, or ‘money talks.’ Either way then, it’s all about the money.