Wenger sets out Arsenal transfer plans

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The Independent Football

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger intends to have his summer transfer business concluded sooner rather than later - and has warned it would be "dangerous" to buy a player just because they are a hit at the World Cup.

The Gunners are set to finish third following another campaign which promised so much, yet has failed to delivery a trophy for the fifth successive year.

While the impact of the loss through injury of key men like Holland forward Robin van Persie, captain Cesc Fabregas and centre-half William Gallas for various stages of the season is understandable, the failure for those left standing to produce a performance when it really mattered most has left Wenger with some tough questions to answer.

The Arsenal manager accepts "one or two" additions are needed to help turn the undoubted potential of youth into a side capable of staying the distance.

However, the Gunners boss is also aware of the impact the new Premier League squad restrictions will have next season, while also not wanting to hamper the continued development of young players like Alex Song, Denilson, Wales international Aaron Ramsey and England Under-21 defender Kieran Gibbs, who are both recovering from broken bones in a bid to return stronger next season.

The long-anticipated arrival of Marouane Chamakh is set to be officially confirmed once the Morocco striker's contract with Bordeaux expires in the summer.

With the future of Gallas, Sol Campbell and Mikael Silvestre unclear as their current deals all expire, Wenger could well look to bolster his rearguard.

Fulham centre-back Brede Hangeland is a player the Arsenal manager admires, along with Gary Cahill at Bolton.

Elsewhere, Everton starlet Jack Rodwell has been linked with a £15million move, while reports in Spain suggest Lassana Diarra - whom Wenger reluctantly sold to Portsmouth during 2008 - is ready to leave Real Madrid and return to the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal had initially been hampered in terms of the amount of funds available to Wenger following their move from Highbury in the summer of 2006.

However, with sales from the redevelopment at their former home having helped pay off some £133million of the bank debt, the Gunners boss - who still has money to spend following last summer's surplus in selling both Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure to Manchester City - is set to receive more funds once further property deals have been completed which can be ploughed back into the squad.

Wenger, however, maintains he is not about to splash out on new talent unless he is absolutely certain they can add the extra quality needed to his squad - whatever happens on the world's biggest stage in South Africa this summer.

"With the season drawing to a close, people are inevitably looking to discuss our transfer targets," said Wenger.

"I do have targets and have been talking to people, but I cannot mention any names at the moment.

"What I can say is that the World Cup will not affect our recruitment, unless there is an exception that nobody could foretell."

Wenger maintained: "In my view it is dangerous to buy on the back of a World Cup - for one thing the prices afterwards are always artificial, and for another you have to bear in mind that anyone can have three weeks of glory on a football field. To have 10 years of success is quite different.

"All told, I believe that the earlier you settle your teams for the next season, the better it is and the less anxiety you have."