Arsenal ready to splash 30 million to end silverware drought  

Monday, 14 June 2010

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, criticised by fans after his young side failed to win a trophy since 2005, is to splash out £30million on building a squad to end the drought.

Wenger will make the club's biggest impact on the summer transfer market for more than a decade, with Everton defender Phil Jagielka the latest target, along with Chelsea's England midfielder Joe Cole, Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer and Lorient defender Laurent Koscielny.

Wenger is finally ready to make major signings after almost 10 years of being constrained by the club's move to the Emirates Stadium.

And Everton centre-half Jagielka, controversially left out of Fabio Capello's 30-man preparation squad for the World Cup finals, is the latest player to be targeted by the Frenchman, although Everton manager David Moyes will fight to keep the 27-year-old defender at Goodison Park.

But Arsenal now appear to be confident of adding Cole and Schwarzer to the squad after the World Cup finals, even though negotiations with Cole's representatives have yet to reach a conclusion.

Fulham have rejected an initial inquiry for Schwarzer, but the Australian goalkeeper has only one year left on his contract at Craven Cottage and, at the age of 37, he will want to seize his last chance to play Champions League football.

Arsenal remain in talks for centre-half Koscielny but, with William Gallas out of contract and leaving the club, they are committed to signing another experienced Premier League defender.

Jagielka is their first choice and Wenger has been cleared to spend, with around £30m at his disposal plus any more he receives if Cesc Fabregas leaves for Barcelona.

Arsenal have rarely been major players in the summer transfer market since committing to building the Emirates Stadium 10 years ago, a project completed in 2006 at the cost of £380m.

But the club made £45.5m profit last year, making them one of the few in the Premier League to enjoy a substantial return.

Their financial outlook is much brighter than Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea, with more profits expected this year as stadium debts fall.

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