Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger "ready to spend" but warns Premier League clubs risk "suffocating themselves" by paying over the odds

Joe Hall
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Wenger: "To buy in itself is not a quality" (Source: Getty)

Arsene Wenger has warned that wealthy English clubs risk straggling themselves with sub-par players on high wages by paying over the odds on European stars.

The Arsenal manager has promised fans he is ready to spend big on the right player but added that he was against buying new players for the sake of it.

Arsenal were beaten by Liverpool in their Premier League opener on Sunday and many fans are keen for Wenger to reinforce the squad with new signings.

The Gunners have been outspent by rivals Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea this summer and have so far failed to secure deals for targets Shkodran Mustafi, Jamie Vardy and Alexandre Lacazette.

Yet Wenger has warned he will not be panicked into buying a player he is unsure of.

Read more: Wenger predicts transfer fees will soon hit £200m

"I would just like to reassure you we are ready to spend the money we have, not the money we haven't got," he said.

"It's not my money. It's important to spend and more important to spend in the right way. First of all you have to be convinced of the quality before you pay over the odds. You have to be convinced he is good enough to strengthen the squad. Then you must have the money available to pay. We have already invested at a high price and we will do it again.

"What I fight against is to think the only way is to buy. To buy in itself is not a quality. To buy good players is a quality."

With the Premier League's new found broadcasting riches dwarfing those in Europe, Wenger believes clubs on the continent are vastly inflating the price tags on players once an English club comes knocking.

The 66-year-old's fear is that by meeting large asking prices, clubs will then be obliged to pay huge wages which could become a suffocating noose around their neck if the player is not a success.

"You have two markets, one for the English clubs and one for the rest of Europe," said the Frenchman.

"The danger is that English clubs can suffocate themselves in the longer period. If you pay a high transfer fee you also pay high wages.

"If they are wrong, they will have these players with high wages and they cannot go anywhere. When it is an English club, it multiplies the transfer by two, three or even 10. If a player is worth £5m and an English club comes in, he is worth £35m or £40m."

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