Arsenal has been relatively quiet during the summer transfer window, but now Arsene Wenger wants to spend big to sign either Robert Lewandowski or Antoine Griezmann — just three days before the club’s first Premier League match on Sunday, according to The Sun.
It says Wenger is willing to spend more than £60 million ($78 million) to get a new superstar striker. His dream pick is Lewandowski, who currently plays for Bayern Munich, but failing that he wants Greizmann, of Atletico Madrid.
Lewandowski, who also plays for Poland, has yet to make a deal with Arsenal because of his huge weekly wage demands. But Greizmann, Wenger’s second choice, may also be too costly for the club given his £85 million buyout clause with Atletico Madrid, which signed a five-year contract with the striker this summer.
Arsenal has only made one high-profile signing during this transfer window — Granit Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach for £34 million — far fewer than rivals Manchester United, Manchester City, and Chelsea.
Wenger has recently been critical about how expensive transfer fees have become. He said on Wednesday that United’s record-breaking signing of Paul Pogba for £89 million “ticks all the boxes” but played into the problem that players are overvalued by rich clubs with too much money:
“We are in a system that we don’t master. We have to follow the prices paid by other people. That has gone up because the availability of money is much higher. That’s why we may have crossed the £100m bar for the first time. It makes the market more unpredictable. Where you could approximately value a player before, today the identity of a club that comes in for a transfer is more important than the rest.”
The remarks follow Arsenal’s chief executive Ivan Gazidis admitting to The New York Times last month that the club could not afford to ‘outgun’ its competitors and could not make big signings lightly.
But it seems with the new Premier League on the horizon Wenger is finally willing to play the transfer game, and either of his choices would certainly be exciting additions to the league. Lewandowski has scored 47 goals in 63 appearances at Dortmund, while Griezmann has converted 44 goals in 75 appearances for Atletico.
Arsenal’s Premiership game is at home to Liverpool on Sunday August 14.
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