Looking at happenings this January transfer window from the point of view of Arsenal, nothing much has changed since the departure of Arsene Wenger. Unai Emery who calls the shot at the club has disclosed a precarious financial situation that is plaguing Arsenal despite the fact that they stand as number six on the list of top football clubs in the world. For that reason, Emery said Arsenal can only make loan signings this month.
Traditionally Arsenal is seen as one of English football’s superpowers, but the new manager on Thursday told the press: “We cannot sign permanently. We can only loan players.” The situation places further scrutiny on the state of the club’s finances under owner Stan Kroenke. Arsenal are ranked sixth in the Deloitte money league in terms of revenue. But their huge wage bill is having a significant impact on what money is available.
Mesut Ozil’s mammoth £350,000-a-week deal is a hefty strain on finances, particularly given that he is no longer an automatic starter. The arrivals of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who earns close to £200,000 a week and Henrikh Mkhitaryan last January have pushed the wage budget to breaking point. Arsenal also spent close to £200million on transfer fees during the previous three windows, contributing to Emery’s hands being tied this month. Funds are likely to be released for the summer, but how much will depend on whether the Gunners can qualify for the Champions League.
Barcelona midfielder Denis Suarez is a target, but the Spanish club would rather sell him permanently this month. Arsenal are exploring the possibility of taking Suarez on loan with an option to sign him permanently in the summer. Emery said: “I don’t know his situation but we can only sign on loan and I know the club is working on which players can help us.” Emery also appeared to confirm his long-standing interest in Sevilla midfielder Ever Banega.