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Transfer update: Wenger on Arsenal’s pursuit of Mustafi & Lacazette
Arsene Wenger has been in front of the press today and he’s given Arsenal.com his latest thoughts on Arsenal’s pursuit of Shkodran Mustafi and Alexandre Lacazette.
The boss insists that Sunday’s 4-3 opening weekend defeat to Liverpool at the Emirates hasn’t heightened the need for another defender, as he was already desperately trying to bring in another centre-back before the game.
Mustafi has been widely touted as Wenger’s prime target with various media outlets suggesting we’re in talks with Valencia over a potential deal to sign the German international.
A fee is yet to be agreed and Wenger has once again been portrayed as a ‘penny pincher’ with some reports suggesting he’s refusing to pay Mustafi’s £25m asking price, but the boss has reiterated that he’s ready to spend on the right player.
Wenger told Arsenal.com:
on if Sunday shows Arsenal need a centre back…
It was important before the game already. You do not sign players because you think it is important or not. I believe it is very difficult to identify people and find them. We have many examples in England of teams that spend a huge amount of money looking for central defenders. That is why everyone is in the market for the same players and very few players as well.
I believe it is better I don’t speak about any individual player. We are working very hard. You are absolutely convinced that I don’t want to spend the money, but I would like to reassure you that we are ready to spend the money we have. As always, not the money we haven’t got [because] it is not my money.
Another striker is also on the agenda as we need competition for Olivier Giroud up front and Lacazette has also been strongly linked with a move to the Emirates this summer.
Lyon are understood to be playing hardball and have reportedly upped his price-tag from around £40m to £60m in recent weeks, making it extremely difficult to see a deal being agreed for the French international.
When asked for an update on his pursuit of Lacazette, Wenger wouldn’t be drawn on individual names but hinted that Arsenal are being quoted inflated fees just because they are an English club.
We do not talk about individual players. I told you already what the are the criteria for the price of a player but you could add one more: the identity of the buyer. When the buyer is English, it is true that it multiplies the transfer by two or three or sometimes by 10 because if for the same player an English club does not come in, he is worth five million. But if an English club comes he is worth 35 or 40 or 50.
I think it’s fair to say that both Mustafi and Lacazette are Arsenal targets [particularly Mustafi] but Arsene is getting frustrated by clubs demanding silly fees for players simply because we play in the Premier League.
The problem is, time is running out if we want to get these deals done before the window closes and I don’t see Valencia or Lyon lowering their prices the closer we get to deadline day as it will leave them will even less time to find a replacement.