Really surprising comments from Gunners chief executive Ivan Gazidis on Thursday that Arsenal have the financial capability to compete with the biggest clubs in the world on wages.
Gazidis was asked directly by the press about Wayne, and whether Arsenal could afford to buy a £20m-plus star on wages of over £200,000-a-week.
“Of course we could do that,” he replied. “We could do more than that.
“We have a certain amount which we’ve held in reserve. We also have new revenue streams coming on board and all of these things mean we can do some things which would excite you.
“If Arsene thinks signing big names is the right thing to do, yes. The fact is this year we are beginning to see something we have been planning for some time, which is the escalation in our financial firepower.
“We can look at some options that weren’t really in our financial capability. It’s a progression over the next two seasons. It’s quite significant for the club.”
Fueling Gazidis’s optimism is the Gunners financial condition. After years of paying off the stadium, and with new deals with Emirates and Puma, Gazidis is expecting to see Arsenal’s turnover grow from £234.9m in 2012 to more than £300m by 2015.
With that sort of turnover, Arsene Wenger should have a transfer budget of at least £50m a summer, with which to add one or two quality players every season to the squad. This is the approach that Bayern Munich have, who ironically have around £300m in annual turnover.
Now conspiracy theorists will say that by getting this story out early in transfer window, Gazidis is publicly putting pressure on Arsene Wenger to spend big this summer. When the chief executive says that Arsenal can afford to pay £20m-plus on a transfer fee and pay wages of over £200,000-a-week, then the manager is on notice that he has to deliver one of those big signings.
The question is who will it be?