Arsene Wenger gives transfer update after claims Arsenal “have $300 million to spend”


Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has given an update on his plans for the summer transfer window.

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The Gunners manager was speaking in a press conference ahead of the Emirates Cup this weekend, as plenty of speculation over new signings has arisen following comments from club director Lord Harris on Thursday.

Harris told the Daily Mail that Wenger could buy any player “apart from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo” and that “there is over $300 million in the bank.”

Here is what Wenger had to say following Harris’ surprise comments, with the gossip columns continuing to link Arsenal with strikers Karim Benzema, Edin Dzeko and Gonzalo Higuain.

“We are working hard if an opportunity comes up to do something but we do have a strong squad,” Wenger said. “We are in a strong position with a strong squad which I am happy with. If the opportunity turns up we will still do something.”

“I don’t come out with names anyway. I believe we have built up something special last season. That is a good team dynamic, a good confidence level, a convincing and efficient style of play. We want to work on that and not expect too much from outside now.”

Wenger was then asked if he would make another splash on Deadline Day this summer: “I cannot guarantee you that… and I cannot rule it out as well,” Wenger said.

So, the Arsenal chief is playing it cool and is quite content to let that bank balance build up.

[ MORE: Should USMNT fire Klinsmann? ]

Is that a wise move from Wenger? With the Gunners well-stocked throughout their squad, for the most part his self-control is admirable given plenty of big spending from some clubs in the Premier League this summer. Arsenal definitely need another forward to take them to that next “elite” level in Europe and also to turn them into serious PL title contenders. Olivier Giroud can finish but is he really going to score 30-plus goals a season? As for Danny Welbeck, his injury issues have made his first year at the Emirates a stop-start affair.

[ USA 1-2 Jamaica: Recap | Player ratings ]

In central defense the Gunners also look short as Per Mertesacker, Gabriel and Laurent Koscielny are the only recognized center backs but the likes of Calum Chambers and Nacho Monreal can slot in there if needed. Right now its clear that the money is there to spend if Wenger wants it, but now everyone knows that, will the Gunners struggle to get a good price for a player they want?

WATCH, STREAM: Wilson, Pukki score screamers amongst 10 a.m. ET kicks

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This season is going to be a challenge for Norwich City, but one of last season’s true heroes made sure the Canaries fans got a bit of home delight.

[ STREAM: All 10 a.m. ET kicks ]

Newcastle is visiting town on Saturday, and Teemu Pukki scored a delightful opener to give the Canaries a halftime lead.

It’s appropriate, as the volley takes a page out of Newcastle hero Alan Shearer’s playbook.

Norwich City 1-0 Newcastle UnitedSTREAM

Aston Villa 0-2 BournemouthSTREAM

And how about this from Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson, who is making Villa’s home return to the Premier League less than ideal.

VIDEO: Sadio Mane scores screamer for Liverpool v. Saints

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Sadio Mane has started the season in sensational fashion.

After scoring twice for Liverpool in their Super Cup final win against Chelsea on Wednesday, Mane curled home a stunning shot right on half time.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]  

Mane was playing against his former club and after Southampton had created the best chances, it was a huge boost for Liverpool to go in ahead at the break.

Click play on the video below to see Mane open the scoring in style.

Emery impressed with versatile Ceballos as Arsenal stays perfect

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Despite the score line, Unai Emery can be fairly happy with Arsenal’s performance in a 2-1 defeat of Burnley at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

On midfielder Dani Ceballos, though, Emery will be very pleased.

[ RECAP: Arsenal 2-1 Burnley ]

The Real Madrid loanee was the easy Man of the Match, his silky skill on the ball and quality industry endearing himself to Arsenal faithful. From Football.London:

“It’s to use his quality in the best position in our team. I spoke with him before coming here, it’s to play as an eight and a No.10. He started like a 10 but changed with Willock. He can feel better on the pitch.”

Emery will be less than pleased with his defense, who allowed a goal to early season Golden Boot candidate Ashley Barnes.

“We won in our moments we did the difference for 2-1. A lot of moments we couldn’t impose our gameplan because they pushed and their gameplan was a struggle for us.”

Watch Live: Saints v. Liverpool headlines five PL games

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Five Premier League games are coming up at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday, as the second Matchweek of the new campaign comes roaring at us.

[ STREAM: Every PL game live here ] 

Southampton and Liverpool clash at St Mary’s in the main game at 10 a.m. ET, while two new boys have their first home games back in the PL.

Aston Villa host Bournemouth at Villa Park, while Norwich host Newcastle at Carrow Road. Elsewhere, Everton host Watford and West Ham travel to Brighton.

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You can access additional games by purchasing the new “Premier League Pass” via NBC Sports Gold which also includes an extensive selection of shoulder programming such as Premier League News, Premier League Today and NBC Sports originals such as Premier League Download and much more.

[ STREAM: “Goal Rush” here ]

For those of you familiar with the Premier League Breakaway Show during busy days (Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, Championship Sunday etc.) in the PL, this will follow that model of being similar to the NFL RedZone with action shown from all of the games in the 10 a.m. ET window. More info is available here.

The schedule for all five games at 10 a.m. ET is below and you can stream each game live by clicking on the links.

10 a.m. ET: Southampton v. Liverpool – NBCSN [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Aston Villa v. Bournemouth – CNBC [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Brighton v. West Ham – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Everton v. Watford – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Norwich v. Newcastle – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]