Wenger perturbed by high player prices

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has insisted that the club remains active in the transfer market, but has admitted his frustration with the high cost of obtaining the best players this summer.

The Gunners have already brought in striker Alexandre Lacazette, but that alone cost them $60 million, while Sead Kolasinac was a free transfer. Wenger knows he has other holes to fill, such as central defense, but the prices have turned him off.

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“What’s next is to remain active. We are working hard,” Wenger said, speaking ahead of Arsenal’s Emirates Cup matchup with Benfica. “The difficulty is to bring top-level players in because you pay a huge amount of money for very normal players at the moment. As well, all the big clubs are chasing the same players and that provokes huge inflation.”

Arsenal has developed a reputation in recent years for a lack of willingness to spend, and although the Lacazette transfer bucked that trend temporarily, there are still plenty of needs the Gunners have failed to address through the transfer market. Since the summer of 2014, when the club brought in five players costing $17 million or more including Alexis Sanchez, they have made just four total incoming transfers above that mark.

“I think you have always to be on alert every day, because a good opportunity might turn up. Sometimes people you are after for a long time are not available and suddenly they become available. So you have always to be on alert. That’s what we do.”