No stratospheric Arsenal spending – Wenger

The Frenchman insists that he will not join the bidding for the likes of Paul Pogba or Gareth Bale, but says that he is not against dipping into the club’s vast resources

Arsene Wenger says Arsenal will not be drawn into spending “stratospheric” money this summer as they look to strengthen their squad ahead of an assault on the Premier League title.

The Gunners won their second successive FA Cup with a thumping 4-0 win over Aston Villa on Saturday, but are expected to be active in the transfer window.

Wenger has repeatedly said that he “is not in transfer mode” but Goal understands that Karim Benzema has been earmarked as an ambitious target.

The coach has also targeted a goalkeeper and a defensive midfielder as he seeks to build on this season’s third-placed finish but he insists that he will not join the bidding for the likes of Paul Pogba or Gareth Bale.

“We have not spent that kind of money,” he told reporters. “People forget that for years we had to sell our best players and that was a very difficult period. That is the reality.

“Since we started to buy again, we have slowly come back to a more competitive level. But you speak maybe about stratospheric numbers where we will not be involved.

“Not at that level. It’s simple. I do not want to tell you how much money we have. But I have not made a clear decision yet for what I will do.

“Don’t rule anything out and I will not tell you as well how much money we will spend. But I’m always more focused on quality.”

Wenger acknowledges that the years of financial prudence that once typified the Gunners are behind them, though he remains keen to drive a hard bargain.

“I want a good rapport between price and quality,” he added. “Santi Cazorla was voted man of the match in the FA Cup final. I don’t think he cost €150 million. Francis Coquelin was one of the best players on the pitch.

“I am not against spending money. I have shown that recently.”