The Arsenal boss takes his side to Old Trafford on Sunday and admits he is fearful the Red Devils will provide tough competition in the market this summer
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits he is fearful that Premier League rivals Manchester United will splash the cash on his potential targets this summer.
United, who have already announced the addition of PSV winger Memphis Depay for a fee of €27.5 million ahead of next season, spent heavily at the same stage last year, bringing in Angel Di Maria, Ander Herrera, Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind for a combined fee of close to €200m.
And Wenger believes Louis van Gaal’s side will adopt a similarly big-spending approach this time around.
“I expect Manchester United to be active in the transfer market,” he told reporters. “Every player I am offered, Man Utd are already on his case!”
Arsenal travel to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United on Sunday, with the Gunners two points ahead of the Red Devils in third place.
Van Gaal endured a difficult start to life at Old Trafford but has now all but secured United’s return to the Champions League, and Wenger believes the Dutchman will help the club attract big names in the coming months.
“He has shown that he has the personality to be at a club of that size. We expect them to buy some strong players.”
A win for the Gunners on Sunday will secure a top-three finish, therefore seeing them avoid the Champions League playoffs in August, and Wenger admits he is keen to seal an automatic spot.
“Not to have that stress over your head from the first day again is vital. We have good, fantastic and very bad memories but want we want is to show we are a solid team.
“To win at Old Trafford again would convince us that we have the strength and help us be stronger next season. We feel we have made progress. Only one thing shows you have made progress and that’s the continuity in your performances.
“We want to bounce back from our defeat against Swansea and put in a good performance. Any positive result, a win or a draw would be great. Mathematically we can put distance between United and us in the top four and secure a top-three place.
“I think as well it would be a symbolic statement if we won. We won there in the FA Cup and to replicate that would be important psychologically.”
Wenger has mixed news on the injury front, with Aaron Ramsey in line to feature on Sunday despite training on Friday for the first time since Monday’s loss to Swansea but Danny Welbeck remains out.
He said: “Welbeck is short for Sunday … I would love to have him available but we will have to do without him. I think Aaron Ramsey will be alright.
“It was [Mathieu Debuchy’s] first day back [training on Thursday]. He had a hamstring problem. [Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain] won’t play next week. If he can be available for West Brom then he may play the FA Cup final.”