Arsene Wenger has confirmed he is open to doing more business, but is not close to securing any more deals at present.
The Gunners have enjoyed a successful transfer window so far, bringing in four senior signings in the shape of Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy, David Ospina and Calum Chambers. But Arsenal face the possibility of captain Thomas Vermaelen departing and squad deficiencies may come to light over the coming weeks, meaning Wenger could dip further into the transfer market as his side prepares for the new Premier League season.
The Frenchman expressed his happiness today at how the current summer window has unfolded, and is open to strengthening even further if the need arises.
Wenger provided his latest thoughts on the transfer window so far to the media ahead of this weekends Emirates Cup tournament:
I’m very happy because I did what I wanted, and I am still open to do more.
Let’s not forget that we are at the first of August today, and the transfer window closes on the 31st. For years… I didn’t sit with [the media] here on the first of August having done quite a lot [of business].
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We are a bit ahead of what we usually do, because the availability on the market was bigger and earlier than before.
The bigger clubs have done their deals earlier, and when one starts everybody follows, and that’s why it was a bit quicker. Many clubs decided to do it before the World Cup, and since the World Cup was over, not a lot has happened. But I think the second half of August, the 15th to 30th, will be busy again.
Everyone takes a breather at the moment because everyone checks in their preparation games what they still need. People have done the biggest part of what they want to do and the last part will be done after the preparation games to see what you miss.
Arsenal captain Vermaelen has been on the periphery of the first team lineup for over a year now namely due to the form of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker, he still holds the armband but there have been plenty of murmurs that the Belgian could depart this summer.
Wenger confirmed the suspicions, but is eager to retain the centre backs services if he can. If not, he will certainly be dipping into the market to provide sufficient depth and cover at the back.
At the moment, Thomas Vermaelen is here, he is injured at the moment for a short-term injury.
It could happen, yes it’s a possibility that he goes, if he goes we have to replace him because he’s an important player in our squad.
I expect him to stay but he, of course, did not play enough games last year. For me he’s a very important player but I couldn’t guarantee him the games he wanted last year.
The Arsenal boss also dismissed speculation surrounding Colombia attacking midfielder Juan Quintero, suggesting to take what the media claim with a pinch of salt.
That’s wrong [on Quintero]. For weeks we were buying [Mario] Balotelli from one minute to the other and it was all wrong. We do not master all the noises that come out.
I don’t want to give you any names but at the moment we are not after anybody in particular. Are we close? It depends what you call close. What I call close is imminent. On that front, we are not close.
Arsenal are expected to field many of their new signings this weekend in their annual pre-season tournament at Emirates, however new stopper Ospina will not be available due to a minor thigh injury.
In terms of transfers, we can expect it to be relatively quiet over the next couple of weeks, with Wenger likely to focus solely on the squad in front of him and prepare for the upcoming campaign. We may not dip back into the market at all, one of the main factors remains the future of Vermaelen. Hopefully he stays, but it seems likely he’s heading out of the door.. In crutches as usual.