Arsenal could afford £25m transfer fee claims club chief Ivan Gazidis, opening door for Wayne Rooney move

Chief executive ushers in new era saying Gunners will pay £25m and £200k a week for marquee signings

The Arsenal chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, has claimed the club are now able to compete to sign the best players in the world and within two years will rival Bayern Munich as one of football's financial powerhouses.

Manager Arsène Wenger has in excess of £70m at his disposal this summer as the club finally emerges from the spending constraints created by building the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners have found themselves unable to match the lavish spending of their rivals, frequently being outmanoeuvred during transfer talks due to money.

With Wayne Rooney unsettled at Manchester United, Arsenal has been spoken of as a destination – such talk, though, is undermined by the perception the club cannot afford to shop at the high end of the market.

Although Gazidis was very careful not to mention Rooney or any other player specifically, when he was asked if the club could afford to pay £25m and £200,000-a-week in wages to one player – the kind of deal required to acquire Rooney – he said: "Of course we could do that. We could do more than that.

"We have a certain amount which we've held in reserve. We also have new revenue streams coming on board and all of these things mean we can do some things which would excite you. What excites Arsène isn't necessarily what excites you."

Wenger has always viewed the free-spending approach of Manchester City and Chelsea with disdain but Gazidis insists there is no philosophical opposition to spending big money, despite the club's record transfer fee standing at just £15m for Andrei Arshavin from Zenit St Petersburg in 2009.

"There is no ideological narrative at stake here," said Gazidis. "The ideological narrative is we want to have the best possible players, the best possible team and compete for trophies and Arsène will do what he thinks is right to do that. There is no philosophical line in the sand and I suspect that he would pay £25m for Lionel Messi."

Arsenal would view any spree as different to that funded by wealthy backers because it would be sourced by money the club has generated itself. The club are expecting to add a plethora of commercial and marketing deals in the next two years which are estimated to take their revenues surging towards £300m per year.

Bayern currently turnover €368m (£312m) and Arsenal believe the high profit margin increases they will make to their balance sheet could give Wenger an additional £70m to spend every summer, not even including the dramatic increase in income provided by the Premier League's £5bn television deal. "This year we are beginning to see something we have been planning for some time, which is the escalation in our financial firepower," Gazidis said. "That's going to happen partly into next season. It's part way available now in the summer but the following season as well. It's a progression over the next two seasons. It's quite significant for the club.

"My own view is we are moving into a new phase where if we make our decisions well, if we get the right chemistry, and if we do a variety of other things as well, not just the new players that come in but the right kind of things on the football side, that we can compete with any club in the world.

"We've seen two clubs this year in the Champions League final [Bayern and Borussia Dortmund] both of whom run responsible financial models and they're pretty fantastic teams and exciting to watch. There's no reason why we can't do that."

The club are also in the midst of restructuring their wage bill. Arsenal announced on Wednesday that Arshavin, Sebastien Squillaci and Denilson will all be released at the end of the month, freeing up around £180,000-a-week in wages.

"Our biggest expense is our wage bill," said Gazidis. "There is a massive amount of thought that goes into it. It will continue to evolve with a new financial capability behind it, which means we can do some things perhaps that we haven't been able to do while we have had one hand tied behind our back."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Phillips Idowu, Stella McCartney and Jessica Ennis
fashionMcCartney to continue designing Team GB Olympics kit until 2016
Sport
Shinji Kagawa and Reece James celebrate after the latter scores in Manchester United's 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy
football
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
Farah returns to the track with something to prove
Commonwealth games
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism