With an extensive summer rebuilding job required, Arsenal’s football executives are still in the dark about how much money they’ll have to spend when the transfer window opens.
What happens between now and the end of May clearly plays some part in that, as it’s still possible for the club to qualify for the Champions League by winning the Europa League, but at this moment in time there’s still doubt and uncertainty about what level of funding will be available.
Raul Sanllehi was recently summoned to the US to meet with Stan and Josh Kroenke, but after two days of discussions returned to London none the wiser about how much money there would be to spend – with or without Champions League football.
Arsenal are currently telling agents that they’re not yet ready to discuss potential deals and contracts, just one week from the end of the current season, and with a lot of work to do between now and the start of the new campaign.
The reported appointment of Edu as Technical Director is welcome, but due to his involvement with Brazil at the Copa America he won’t be taking up the role until July. Also, it’s worth remembering that Arsenal were confident of securing the services of Monchi until his 11th hour decision to go back to Sevilla.
There is pressure from KSE to trim the wage bill significantly, with high earners like Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan considered under-performers and expendable, on top of the confirmed departures of Aaron Ramsey, Danny Welbeck and Petr Cech. The difficulty is finding buyers willing to take on salaries of that level.
Arsenal do have a list of summer targets, but in keeping with a club whose owners won’t guarantee a transfer budget it mainly consists of young players who won’t break the bank. Those expecting big-name signings this summer will likely be disappointed, but an investment in youth may signal a strategy to build over a couple of seasons to make the team competitive again.
Ultimately though, an already complicated summer is being made even more so by KSE’s lack of clarity and commitment to providing the money necessary to invest in a squad which badly needs it.