Arsenal could rival Chelsea for the signature of Manchester United star Wayne Rooney.
The Blues admit to having had a bid for Rooney rejected by the Red Devils this week, although there are conflicting details emerging regarding the nature of their offer.
Initial reports suggested that Chelsea tried to bait United with £10 million in cash plus one of David Luiz or Juan Mata.
However, Blues boss Jose Mourinho insisted on Wednesday that there was no such offer, and that Chelsea are willing to pay as much as £20 million to make Rooney their only piece of silly season business.
Meanwhile, just across London, Arsenal are also scouring the market for a new striker, and have been linked to Rooney, Luis Suarez and Gonzalo Higuain.
Sceptics will only believe that Arsenal will buy such expensive players when they see it, especially Rooney, who may not have as high a transfer fee as the other two but has exorbitant wages.
However, Arsenal insisted before the transfer window opened that they have the funds to sign anyone, and Wenger is adamant that Rooney’s estimated £250 000 per week salary is not an obstacle in his path to the Emirates.
“We have not the problem of the wages of Wayne Rooney but it's very difficult for us to talk about any specific case,” Wenger said from Arsenal’s pre-season tour to Asia.
“We work well but we are not close to sign anybody. The competition in Europe is very hard at the moment. There's a lot of money and not many players."
Pushed on whether Arsenal could exact a measure of revenge on United by signing Rooney, after the Red Devils poached Robin van Persie from then, Wenger added mischievously: . "It happened to us. It can happen to them."
Meanwhile, Wenger admits that Arsenal would be “on alert” if Cesc Fabregas were certain to leave Barcelona.
Reports suggest that the former Gunners skipper’s future at Barca remains up in the air, with club and player partial to maintaining their relationship, but with the Spanish champions also keen on the money at stake.
Fabregas is not on Wenger’s tran sfer wish list, but he is clearly paying attention to events at the Camp Nou.
"Fabregas has decided to stay one more year at Barcelona," Wenger said.
"Unless he has changed his mind, I don't know … but that's what I've been told. We have the clause in the contract so we would be on alert but at the moment that's not something we're after."