LONDON, United Kingdom, May 22 – Arsenal have enough “ammunition” to sign their top transfer targets regardless of whether they qualify for the Champions League, according to head of football Raul Sanllehi.
Unai Emery’s side will book a place in next season’s top-tier European competition if they beat Chelsea in the Europa League final in Baku on May 29.
Having missed out on a top four finish in the Premier League, the match in Azerbaijan is Arsenal’s last chance to end their two-season exile from Europe’s elite club competition.
Competing in the Champions League would undoubtedly be an incentive for players to move to the Emirates Stadium, but Sanllehi is confident the club’s planning has set them up for a good transfer window even if they lose to their London rivals.
As part of an interview with Arsenal Media alongside managing director Vinai Venkatesham, Sanllehi revealed how the Gunners will continue building following the impending close-season departures of Danny Welbeck, Aaron Ramsey and Petr Cech.
“What I can tell you is that we have identified very clearly and unanimously with our head coach and technical people, we know what we want to prioritise and we’re very clear on what our priorities are,” Sanllehi said.
“We’re already in the market and we’re already talking with the people that can help us to cover those positions and I feel quite strong.
“It’s going well and the image that Arsenal has in the football world is very strong.
“Vinai was mentioning we’re a top world club and we are, so we need to go where we belong and that’s the Champions League.
“Many players really want us to be there also when we’re talking with them, but I feel quite strong on the inputs that I’m getting so far.
“I do believe that we have a very good plan to cover those positions to be much stronger next year, to deliver the success that we’re all hoping for.”
Arsenal finished fifth in the Premier League, one point behind fourth placed Tottenham, after Emery’s first campaign at the helm.
Getting back into the Champions League has been Emery’s main goal, but Sanllehi is sure Arsenal are still an attractive proposition for potential signings.
“I don’t feel in disadvantage with anybody. The Premier League is exciting for any player in the world. London, Arsenal, the history, the dimension of the club, the stadium, the facilities at Colney, the fan base, the followers around the world and the exposure,” he said.
“Really, I feel like I have a lot of ammunition when I talk with players to engage them in our project.”