Rioch told Gunners magazine that "a top player who might be about to leave his club" had been targeted by the Highbury directors, who are responsible for buying players. "It was no good us then spending pounds 3m here, pounds 3m there, because that would erode the money we needed for this one," Rioch said.
The interview was conducted before the weekend when it became clear Shearer was moving to Newcastle. Shearer's name is not mentioned, but there can be little doubt that the England striker is the player concerned.
"I have signed a contract with Arsenal," said Rioch, after last night's 2-1 defeat by Celtic in a pre-season friendly in front of 47,300 fans in Glasgow. "I am now waiting for the club to counter-sign the document."
Shearer, meanwhile, joined his Newcastle team-mates for the first time yesterday for a light training session in Singapore where his home town club are on tour. Earlier, the Newcastle manager, Kevin Keegan, said Shearer will probably make his debut for Newcastle in the Charity Shield a week on Sunday.
Gheorghe Hagi has signed a three-year contract with the Turkish club Galatasaray. The deal is reported to be worth $1.3m (pounds 870,000) per year to the Romanian midfielder who ended his two-year contract with Barcelona earlier this month. The Belgian right-back, Regis Genoux, of Standard Liege, is set to join Coventry for pounds 1.7m.
Wolverhampton Wanderers have signed the Manchester City captain, Keith Curle, on a three-year contract for pounds 650,000, while the Sheffield Wednesday manager, David Pleat, has given the Juventus forward Attilio Lombardo until Saturday to complete a pounds 3.5m transfer to Hillsborough.
Bristol Rovers' move to the Memorial Ground has been delayed by safety work at the Bristol rugby union club. Rovers play their opening game of the season, against Peterborough on 17 August, at Twerton Park.
Celtic are facing a second investigation by Fifa, the world governing body, to determine the part Paolo Barbosa, an unlicensed agent, played in the signing of Jorge Cadete. The Parkhead club were also questioned yesterday about Alan Stubbs' move from Bolton.
Artur Jorge has been appointed coach of Portugal's national team for the second time, less than 24 hours after his seven-month term with Switzerland came to an end.
The West Ham manager, Harry Redknapp, is to report Torquay's Jon Gittens to the Football Association after an off-the-ball incident left the club's record signing, Florin Raducioiu, with blood streaming down his face during last night's pre-season friendly at Torquay which the home side won 3- 2.