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Are Arsenal Ready To Break The Bank?

Arsenal’s chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, says that club has entered an era of the “escalation” of their “financial power”, which means they are now ready “to compete with any club in the world” in the transfer market.

Those words will excite Gunners fans, who have grown accustomed to the club being linked to a who’s who of top stars, only for manager Arsene Wenger to frequently sign wet-behind-the-ears French kids that only he has heard of.

It remains to be seen if Wenger has it in him to break a career’s worth of tight-fistedness by breaking the bank on players. But at least Gazidis has suggested that for once, links to players like Manchester United star Wayne Rooney are realistic.

Arsenal have never spent more than £15 million on a single player, but asked if they would be willing to spend the £25 million it could take to sign Rooney, Gazidis was emphatic.

"We could do that, we could do more than that," he said.

"We have a certain amount which we've held in reserve and we also have new revenue streams coming on board. All of these things mean we can do some things which would excite you. We can think about all kinds of things."    

Sponsorship revenue from Emirates and Puma has swelled Arsenal’s coffers, and Gazidis has predicted that the North London club will soon be competing with “pretty exciting teams” who are “fantastic to watch” like Champions League finalists Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

"That's why I'm excited," he said, "because our capability to spend is going up and our efficiency of spend has always been good."

And according to Gazidis, Wenger should be the man to pull Arsenal’s purse strings for seasons to come.

PSG are known to covet the dapper Frenchman, but Gazidis says that Arsenal want their manager to stay a long while yet.

"We have got a fantastic manager," Gazidis said. "We hope that he wants to do what he is doing for the long term. I believe he does. I think he is still ambitious, still driven and sees the potential of the club.

"We have a great relationship and he has a great relationship with the board as well. So, quietly and at the right time, we will make an announcement on that when things are all put in place."

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