Unai Emery admits Arsenal can only afford to make loan signings in the January transfer window — but insists he will be happy with his squad if the Gunners fail to add any new recruits.
With the club keen to add a defender and a winger to their ranks, head coach Emery has confirmed there is no money available to land permanent targets.
The Spaniard also said he would be happy if no signings were made throughout the month.
Arsenal sit fifth in the Premier League and travel across London to West Ham tomorrow (12.30pm) and have an upcoming FA Cup fourth round tie at home to Manchester United. Emery’s side are also in the last 32 of the Europa League where they will face BATE Borisov over two legs next month.
Five players were signed last summer — Bernd Leno, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi — but all came in for a total outlay of less than £75 million (€83m).
A new contract for Mesut Ozil, making him the highest-paid player in the club’s history, and signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 12 months ago for a club-record fee have played a part in the lack of funds as Emery conceded the winter window will be more frugal for Arsenal.
“We cannot sign permanently. We can only loan players. I can say to you that the club is working, the club is telling me the different situations in each moment. At the moment, we haven’t had any news today about that.
While the club work on loan targets, Emery said he would be content to work with the players he has over the remainder of the season.
Emery added: “We are working with the players who are with us now. Also, we are giving chances to the young players and finding with them the regularity to be consistent when we need them to be.
“I am very happy, I know it is not easy for us now in this transfer market and if we can find one player who can help us like we need, with the quality and a different player for getting in our squad, we are going to do it.
“But I am happy with every player today, it is really some injuries that didn’t help us in the last matches because we struggled with different injuries with the players.
“I am happy because another player can have chances when one player is injured and they are doing well, that is the reason for us being calm and my confidence with the club is big, they are working and if one or two players can come and help us, perfect.”
Arsenal have been linked with Barcelona winger Denis Suarez, former Atletico Madrid winger Yannick Carrasco of China’s Dalian Yifang and Ever Banega from Sevilla.
Asked specifically about a move for Suarez, Emery said: “I don’t know his situation now. We can only sign players later on. I know the club is working on possibilities of which players can help us with big performances.”
Emery also praised the attitude of Aaron Ramsey as the Wales international continues to be linked with a move away from the Emirates Stadium. Juventus are reportedly close to agreeing a deal with Ramsey, who can leave for free in the summer when his contract expires or in January if a fee can be agreed, but Emery is pleased with the continued application of the 28-year-old.
“My idea and focus, I say to him every day, is that we need his performance for us,” he said.
last match I was very happy with him. I asked in the last match at Blackpool (in the FA Cup) if he is okay to help us play and he said, ‘Yeah, coach, I want to play’ and he played with a very big commitment to us.
“After, his future belongs to him, his family, and agent. Every day he’s here with us, he’s working very well. I want his behaviour and his focus to be on West Ham on Saturday.”
There was better news for Emery ahead of tomorrow’s trip to London Stadium. Mesut Ozil, Laurent Koscielny, Hector Bellerin, Nacho Monreal. Shkodran Mustafi, and Konstantinos Mavropanos are all available.