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'Arsenal cannot compete financially'

28 July 2016, 18:18

Cape Town - Arsenal do not have the financial strength to "outgun" Premier League rivals in the transfer market and have to be careful in signing new players, according to the club's chief executive Ivan Gazidis.

Arsenal finished a distant second to champions Leicester City last season and fans have vented frustration at the lack of big-money signings.

Over the past few years, Arsenal have signed marquee names like Germany midfielder Mesut Ozil and Chile winger Alexis Sanchez, but they have still spent considerably less than many of their rivals.

"We can't afford to outgun competitors that have far more money - we have to be very careful, very selective," Gazidis told British media.

"That means we can't afford to make huge mistakes in the transfer market. The constraints within the Premier League are less and less about pure finances.

"More relatively important become things like how well you identify players, how well you develop players, what kind of sports science you have, your analytics, your psychology."

Manager Arsene Wenger has made three additions to his squad so far, in midfielder Granit Xhaka, defender Rob Holding and striker Takuma Asano, and, according to media reports, is actively looking for another forward.

Leicester's Jamie Vardy has already spurned the advances of the north London club in favour of extending his stay at the King Power Stadium, while Olympique Lyonnais said they rejected a £29m bid for Alexandre Lacazette.

Arsenal begin their new campaign on August 14, when they host Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium.

- Reuters


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