LONDON — Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said he would not make any panic buys before the transfer window shuts on Monday and aimed a sly dig about inflated fees at bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur before tomorrow’s north London derby.
The Frenchman has failed to bring in any of his top targets in the close season and said he was still in the market for some new talent before Monday’s transfer deadline.
“We will not panic buy, that is for sure,” he told a news conference. “It’s not my strength to panic.”
Spurs, who visit the Emirates tomorrow (1500 GMT), have by contrast been very active in strengthening their squad while their Wales forward Gareth Bale is on the verge of a move to Real Madrid for a world record fee, according to media reports.
Asked if Bale, who could join the Spanish giants for as much as ₤100 million ($132,25 million), was as good as his price tag, Wenger did not exactly rush to put him in the same bracket as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
“I don’t think at all that the prices are linked with the quality of the players, during this summer especially,” he said. “The prices today are just linked with the financial power and the desire of the buyer.
“For me, there are very, very, very, very few players who are economically justifying, or (it) makes sense to pay, over £50 million.”
Arsenal’s only business so far in the close season has been bringing in French youth international forward Yaya Sanogo and re-signing midfielder Mathieu Flamini five years after the Frenchman left the club for AC Milan, both on free transfers.
The club failed with a 40 million and one pound ($61.97 million) bid for Liverpool striker Luis Suarez and were linked with Gonzalo Higuain before his move to Napoli from Real Madrid.
Spurs have splashed out on striker Roberto Soldado, midfielders Paulinho and Etienne Capoue and winger Nacer Chadli and on Friday announced they had reached an agreement to sign Romania centre back Vlad Chiriches.
Wenger declined to say how many offers he had on the table to buy players and said his mind was on tomorrow’s derby.
“I’m completely happy with what we do and how we do things,” he said. “When you see our team play I think what is the most important is what is happening on the pitch and the way we play and we have good players so let’s focus on that.
“It’s a big game because it’s a special rivalry between the two teams, but as well for me it’s three points that are vitally important because we want to play the top of the league and after our start it’s important of course that we win the game.”
Arsenal suffered a shock 3-1 loss at home to Aston Villa on the first weekend of the season before winning at Fulham last Saturday, while Spurs have maximum points from their two games.