Wenger will look beyond Suarez deal
Manager Arsene Wenger has moved to reassure Arsenal fans the club are "ready to spend the money" on the right players - and will look elsewhere if they cannot push through a deal for Liverpool's wantaway striker Luis Suarez.
Despite chief executive Ivan Gazidis having talked up the club's new ''financial firepower'' at the end of last season, so far the free transfer of France Under-21 forward Yaya Sanogo from Auxerre remains the only confirmed summer signing at the Emirates Stadium.
After failing to deliver Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuain, given the Argentinian striker eventually opted for Napoli instead, Wenger does appear to have several other players on the radar apart from Suarez, with reports in Romania suggesting a free transfer deal for forward Ciprian Marica was close following his release by Schalke.
The Arsenal boss admitted it had not been as easy to do business as he had hoped, but remains determined to bolster his squad, which faces a crucial Champions League play-off later this month.
''We try and get what we want; if that doesn't work we will look somewhere else,'' Wenger said in an interview with Al Jazeera Sport. ''The clubs with talented players don't want to lose them.
''Some clubs acted very early so the choices were reduced and there is more competition coming from France with Paris St Germain, who buy big players for huge amounts of money, so it's tough, difficult and slow.
''I can assure the fans we will try very hard to keep them happy. We are certainly ready to spend the money, but the process is going slowly, but surely.''
The Gunners have seen a specific offer of £40million plus £1 - which was believed would trigger Suarez's release clause - rejected out of hand by Liverpool.
However, Suarez has made it clear he wants to leave and, in a wide-ranging interview, complained of what he saw as broken promises from Reds manager Brendan Rodgers.
The 26-year-old - currently serving a domestic 10-game ban imposed by the Football Association for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic at the end of last season - could yet force the situation by handing in a formal transfer request, or even asking the Premier League to intervene over the interpretation of the now infamous get-out clause.
Whatever transpires, if Arsenal are to be able to field Suarez in their crucial two-legged Champions League play-off, the draw for which will take place on Friday morning, then the final squad list must be registered with UEFA by 11pm on Monday, August 12, leaving little time for the finer details of what has become one of the summer's most protracted transfer saga to be thrashed out.
On the pitch, Arsenal - who failed to win a match as they hosted the Emirates Cup last weekend - will finalise their pre-season build-up with a friendly against Premier League rivals Manchester City in Helsinki on Saturday.
By then, the club are expected to have confirmed the departures of Ivory Coast forward Gervinho to Roma and Morocco striker Marouane Chamakh to newly-promoted Crystal Palace, further reducing the wage bill.