Football: Arsenal director backs Arsene Wenger to break transfer record on striker

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger speaks during a press conference for the Barclays Asia Trophy 2015 in Singapore on July 14, 2015.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger speaks during a press conference for the Barclays Asia Trophy 2015 in Singapore on July 14, 2015.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (GUARDIAN) - Arsenal director Lord Harris has revealed that Gunners manager Arsene Wenger can break the club's transfer record to sign a top centre-forward, with "anyone but Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi" outside of their reach.

"Money was tight when we moved to the Emirates but it's a lot freer now," the 72-year-old Carpetright owner told the Daily Mail .

"We could go into the market and probably buy any player in the world, apart from half a dozen who are un-buyable. In the accounts, there's over £200million (S$425 million) in the bank.

"You could say to Arsene we've got no money and he wouldn't worry, or you could give him £100m and he might not spend it. At the moment there are no plans to sign anyone, unless he finds a real superstar like Mesut Ozil or Alexis Sanchez. He's looking for one of those but there aren't many available.

"We would back him to break the club's transfer record. If he wanted the man, he could have him. Apart from Messi and Ronaldo, he could have any player. We will probably have to break the club record to get the man he wants."

"We get a list of the players that Wenger wants," added Lord Harris. "On the list is a centre forward, but I'm not going to tell you who he is.

"You've got to get the other team to want to sell him, but I think he wants to come. It basically comes down to whether the other team can find a superstar to replace him, because they don't have to sell."

That man is thought to be Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema , but the France striker's agent, Karim Djaziri, has cast doubt on any transfer.

"Karim is very happy at Real Madrid and he will be a Real Madrid player by the end of this transfer window, 1,000 per cent," he told Sky Sports News. "Karim is not looking to move anywhere this summer."

Raheem Sterling was another player who interested Wenger, but Lord Harris was pleased the former Liverpool winger joined Manchester City in the end.

"Sterling is a very, very good player but I'm very pleased Arsenal didn't sign him. He's got a lot to learn. They were looking at him and the way he treated Liverpool wasn't good."