Amid renewed criticism of his transfer policy, Arsene Wenger claims almost every player who has left Arsenal under his stewardship has asked to return to the club.
With less than a fortnight left before the window closes, Granit Xhaka remains the only senior addition to a squad which finished a distant second in the Premier League last season.
Frustration at another summer of limited transfer activity boiled over on Sunday as Arsenal lost their opening game of the season against Liverpool, but Wenger attempted to defend his lack of spending in bizarre fashion.
“We have plenty of players who want to join us, 99.5% of players who left us have asked to come back”, he said.
Wenger refused to elaborate on which high-profile stars had been keen on making a return, but he may well have been referring to the likes of Cesc Fabregas who joined Chelsea in the summer of 2014, despite Arsenal having inserted a buyback clause in his Barcelona contract.
Pressed on whether he would spend before the August 31 deadline, Wenger’s response was hardly one that suggested he was ready to break the bank to solve his side’s immediate and glaring deficiencies.
He added: “We are ready to spend the money we have as always – not the money we haven’t got. It’s not my money.”
Cesc Fabregas is reportedly seeking a move away from Chelsea.
The Spaniard hasn’t cemented himself a place in Antonio Conte’s starting XI as of yet and he is now said to be considering a move to Real Madrid.
The veteran midfielder was left out of the Blues’ Premier League clash with West Ham in their league opener as Antonio Conte’s men recorded a 2-1 victory over the Hammers.
Chelsea new boy N’Golo Kante started ahead of Fabregas and the latter is said to be concerned about where he features under Conte.
Spanish publication Sport suggested his representatives have made contact with Real president Florentino Perez to discuss the possibility of a move.
Fabregas has also been linked with a move to Juventus in recent weeks.