LONDON — Arsenal have given Arsene Wenger the green light to make a mega-money move for Wayne Rooney.
Gunners chief executive Ivan Gazidis insists the north Londoners are entering a new “escalation of financial firepower” — we can reveal the club’s commercial deals are likely to top £300 million with their upcoming Puma kit tie-up.
In the wake of Wenger’s recent comments about the player, Gazidis was asked directly about Manchester United and England striker Rooney — and whether Arsenal could afford to buy a £20m-plus star on wages of over £200,000-a-week.
“Of course we could do that,” he replied. “We could do more than that.
“We have a certain amount which we’ve held in reserve. We also have new revenue streams coming on board and all of these things mean we can do some things which would excite you.
“If Arsene thinks signing big names is the right thing to do, yes. The fact is this year we are beginning to see something we have been planning for some time, which is the escalation in our financial firepower.
“We can look at some options that weren’t really in our financial capability. It’s a progression over the next two seasons. It’s quite significant for the club.”
While Gazidis would not name names such as Rooney or Barcelona’s ex-Gunners captain Cesc Fabregas as specific targets, it is clear Arsenal have the financial clout to compete for such A-Listers as the summer transfer window kicks into gear.
The north Londoners are also being linked with Everton’s Marouane Fellaini, having reportedly lodged a bid that triggers his contractual release clause.
Gazidis even likened Arsenal’s set-up to that of European champions Bayern Munich, and insisted the Gunners — without a trophy since May 2005 — can be genuine contenders for silverware for next season.
“We should be able to compete at a level like a club such as Bayern Munich,” he said. “I’m not saying we are there by any means, we have a way to go before we can put ourselves on that level.
“I think we are an extraordinarily ambitious club. This whole journey for the past ten years has been about putting us up with the best in the world and now the question is turning that platform now into on-field success.”
Manchester City have completed the signing of Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fernandinho for a fee of about £30m.
The 28-year-old, capped five times by Brazil, has signed a four-year deal, ending an eight-year stay in Ukraine.
Fernandinho is City’s second summer signing after Sevilla winger Jesus Navas.
It is understood that Fernandinho waived about £4m owed to him by Shakhtar under the terms of his contract in order to complete the deal.
Chelsea’s search for strikers intensified on Thursday night after they opened talks over a move for £50million-rated Napoli striker Edinson Cavani just hours after placing a £34,9m bid for Zenit St Petersburg’s Hulk.
Manager Jose Mourinho has shortlisted four players with Fiorentina’s Stevan Jovetic and Manchester City Edin Dzeko also on his list.