Depending on how credulous or gullible you are, you might be excited to learn that Arsenal will spend at least £150m this summer, targeting three positions. I’m not going to link to The Independent‘s reporting for reasons we’re about to get into. All they’ve done is looked at our transfer spending of the last two summers and come up with a number that a rough average of the two. They know as much as I do about Arsenal’s transfer budget, which is to say, nada.
Last summer, we spent roughly £168m. The summer before, roughly £145m. It’s reasonable to assume then that we may spend something similar, but why would any club reveal what it intends to spend? That’s just an invitation to other clubs to adjust their demands accordingly. West Ham have already come out and insisted that they won’t sell Rice for anything less than £100m, but if we were to officially announce how much we’ll be looking to spend, the club that employs Moyes for the foreseeable future might as well demand our full budget if only to negotiate upward from their original asking price.
Insisting on a player’s minimum fee is sound negotiation. While it might be intended to drive would-be suitors off, it also gives the club a chance at getting more than they hoped for. Of course, if Rice was truly untouchable, West Ham would make that clear by declaring he’s only available for something truly outlandish. £100m, while high, isn’t far off for a player of his profile & calibre. I suspect that they’ll be thrilled to get £80m (well, maybe not “thrilled”, maybe more like “content”). By contrast, a club announcing how much money it has to spend is foolhardy. It’s akin to agreeing to play three-card monte but saying you’re only carrying £50 banknotes.
We’ll find out how much the club will spend this summer when the transfer window closes 15 October. Given our needs and our Champions League qualification, I might go so far as to suggest our summer spend will exceed £150m.