Arsenal will back Wenger in transfer market

Arsenal chief-executive Ivan Gazidis insists a takeover of the club is not imminent and that coach Arsene Wenger will have funds in the summer to boost his squad.

Wenger is set to strengthen his squad with at least three new additions and Gazidis is keen to point out that the cash will be there when the Frenchman requires it.

Arsenal finished third in the Barclays Premier League this season after losing their way in the final weeks of the season but Wenger's desire to rebuild will be backed by the board.

"I am often asked what our financial resources are," said Gazidis. "Arsene has done a terrific job in managing responsibly through a period of dramatic change for the club and the English game.

"Arsenal have not had access to the deep pockets of a wealthy investor and we have focused on a path of independence underpinned by a sustainable business model for long-term success.

"With Highbury Square coming to completion and some of our other property developments bearing fruit, we're now coming to a period where the financial health of the club is secure. That does not mean we have unlimited resources but it does mean we have sufficient funds to invest.

"One or two players are coming to the end of their contracts, William Gallas, for example. Whatever happens, Arsene has identified the fact the defence has been an issue for us this year so its not difficult to imagine that that's an area we're focused on in this transfer window."

Wenger will also be handed a new contract extension and although talks have not reached a detailed stage, Gazidis is confident the coach, whose current deal expires next year, will commit himself to the club once more.

"I think everybody knows that the board has always backed Arsene and believes in him totally," he added.

"Arsene in return has a great love for the club. There's no dimming in his desire and I've no doubt that we'll extend his contract but we'll do that very quietly and with the minimum of fuss. When it is appropriate to make an announcement we will do so."

Gazidis also insisted that a takeover was not in the offing despite Stan Kroenke now being able to save £87million on any formal bid.

Takeover rules dictate that once the 30 per cent threshold is reached, a formal offer for all remaining shares must be made at the highest price paid in the previous 12 months.

That figure stood at £10,500 each after Kroenke bought a large chunk of shares from fellow board member Danny Fiszman in May 2009 but that anniversary has now passed.

It means the American, who currently holds a 29.9 per cent stake, would be obliged to offer only £8,500-a-share.

Kroenke's decision to buy the St Louis Rams suggested no move was imminent and Gazidis insists the club remains committed to its present business model.

"Although there have been some share purchases here or there and probably will be going forward, there's been no substantive change," said Gazidis, who also answered questions at a meeting held with the Arsenal Supporters' Trust last night.

"The club is very comfortable with its multi-ownership model. We have four major shareholders who embrace that model and are supportive of what we are trying to do. For the foreseeable future, the multi-ownership model is providing us with a great base from which to develop the club.

"The atmosphere has been very healthy - the manager and the board have been very closely aligned and that is a fruitful environment in which to make progress."

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