Arsene Wenger says that Arsenal have to finish in the top three to make their summer one that isn’t overly affected by international tournaments.
The European Championships are the main event, but there’s also a Copa America to contend with, and the Arsenal manager is keen to avoid a qualifier in the early part of the season.
With the influx of TV money, the financial impact of the Champions League has been lessened, but he still wants his team to aim as high as possible in what’s left of this season.
“Top four is not Champions League, top three, yes,” he said. “That’s why it is important. What has changed over the years is that the impact of the finances in the Champions League is not as big any more. For a period in the past the money was vital.
“But the sporting impact, the planning of the next season, of course it changes completely, especially when you have a big summer tournament like the Euros which is now like a World Cup. When you have to play Champions League qualifiers the European Championship is still going on.
“You can play teams in the qualifiers who are in the middle of their league championship because they have started already in June. We are not guaranteed a top four and we have to fight for that.”
Arsenal will have plenty of players away at the Euros, so anything that avoids a qualifier is obviously a benefit.