Arsenal boss Arsener Wenger predicts transfer fees will hit £200m but warns clubs not to lose identity and values

Joe Hall
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Wenger believes club risk losing their identity by focusing on the short term (Source: Getty)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes football clubs could soon be spending as much as £200m on a single player due to the sport's burgeoning popularity around the world.

Rivals Manchester United have broken the world transfer record with the £89m capture of Paul Pogba from Juventus this summer, while Premier League spending has already crossed the £800m mark ahead of the new season.

Wenger pointed to top level football's popularity around the world as similar to the global ubiquitousness of major technology companies Google and Facebook.

Read more: Wenger describes transfer fees as "scary" but still wants "one more" attacking player at Arsenal

"It won't be long before there is a £200m player," the Arsenal manager said.

"At some stage [the rise in transfer fees] has to stop but as long as football continues to develop and becomes more popular you would say more money will come in.

"It is interesting to see that in every single activity today you either have a local business and you struggle to survive or you have a world business and the money comes in. Be it Google, Facebook or football or any other sport. If football continues to be popular it might become much higher in the future."

In contrast to their rivals for the league title, Arsenal have been relatively restrained in the transfer market this summer.

Wenger argued that when clubs focus too much on spending big on new players they can lose sight of building long-term identity that can survive football's rapid rate of personnel change.

"I believe that despite all the money a club is about identity," said Wenger. "Identity is about values and values have been carried through the generations through somebody.

"Is it the chairman, is it the manager, is it some players who stay for a long period at the club? I hope it will always be the case. It's not only about spending money or sacking the manager.

"Football has to be bigger than that. That's why I believe the big clubs worry about values and identity. We have to be conscious that that is important as well."

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