Sunday 23 October 2016

Arsenal signings 'not down to fan pressure'

Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger

Arsenal are closing in on a double deal for striker Lucas Perez and defender Shkodran Mustafi, but manager Arsene Wenger insists the signings will not be a reaction to fans calling out for new players.

With Granit Xhaka the only major signing of the summer transfer window to date, Arsenal supporters have been crying out for further new recruits.

Wenger's situation was worsened as the Gunners lost their opening Premier League game at home to Liverpool, before drawing 0-0 at Leicester last weekend.

Arsenal did sign Bolton defender Rob Holding and young Japanese striker Takuma Asano - who has not been granted a work permit - but a failed move for Foxes forward Jamie Vardy contributed to a difficult summer for Wenger - as the likes of Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, John Stones and N'Golo Kante were signing for their rivals.

But now Wenger looks like adding to his numbers with deals for Deportivo La Caruna's Perez and Valencia's Mustafi expected in the coming days, although not before this afternoon's trip to Watford.

Perez, 27, was reportedly close to joining Everton before Arsenal stepped in, but Wenger insists he was not reacting to the fans' lust for spending money.

"I'm happy when our supporters are happy," he said.

"But my job is to make the right decisions, if that is exactly similar to the contract of the players and that maintains the supporters being happy - that is even better. I focus first on making the right decisions for the club.

"We are working on the deals. We are not close enough to announce today that they will sign for us, and will we sign anybody before the end of the transfer window? I am 99 per cent confident."

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