Arsenal’s chief executive has suggested that the club can now afford to launch a bid for Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney.
Rooney’s future has been the subject of much speculation ever since Sir Alex Ferguson had confirmed that the forward had asked to leave Old Trafford for the second time since he joined the club from Everton.
Arsenal have emerged as one of the surprise candidates to sign him and Gazidis believes the club is finally in a position to pull it off.
“We could do that, we could do more than that. We have a certain amount which we’ve held in reserve and we also have new revenue streams coming on board,” he told the Guardian.
So Arsenal have the financial power to make a move for one of the highest profile strikers who could be available this summer but there are big problems with their interest.
Manchester United, unlike Arsenal, are not a club that seem willing to sell their best players to Premier League rivals when it has the ability to hurt their own chances of success.
Carlos Tevez did join Manchester City but his future was partly determined by the bizarre and confusing world of third party ownership and they have been proved right with that player.
Sir Alex Ferguson has retired but the trend shouldn’t change under the reign of David Moyes, who made a huge fuss when he was manager of Everton over the future of Joleon Lescott who subsequently joined Manchester City.
The only possible thing which could see Rooney heading off to Arsenal is if he pushes for the move himself after admitting that he wants to play as a centre forward and not in midfield.
“In the years to come, that might be somewhere I could play, but, right now, I’m definitely a centre forward. I’m after more goals. I’ve played up front on my own a few times for Manchester United and it’s a role I’m very comfortable with,” Rooney told FourFourTwo Magazine.
Despite these comments sparking various Arsenal and transfer rumours, it still doesn’t mean he’s an odds on certainty to leave United.
If the problem he has at Old Trafford is his playing position, that’s something David Moyes can easily rectify as there is a very good chance he could be a key centre forward for the club alongside Robin van Persie next year.
Manchester United are expected to make a midfield signing this summer, which would solve the problem of Rooney having to dip into the United midfield, allowing him to stay at the very top of the attack.
Gazidis is perfectly right to point out that Arsenal can afford him because he needs to whip up excitement and support from the club’s fan base to cover over the cracks of the lack of success at Arsenal.
It seems to be nothing more than an attempt to make other side sit up and take Arsenal more seriously heading into the summer transfer market but for one of the best strikers in Europe to turn his back on United for Arsenal seems bizarre.
“We are moving into a new phase where, if we make our decisions well, we can compete with any club in the world,” added Gazidis.
This deal would be a lot more realistic in maybe two or three years time if Arsenal have proven they can buy well alongside competing with the other big English sides and also making a severe dent in European football.