Arsene Wenger has been given permission to break Arsenal's transfer fee record for the second summer in succession just a year after the £42.5 million acquisition of Mesut Ozil.
The Gunners have become renowned for operating on a more stringent budget than those of their Premier League peers, but The Times (subscription required, h/t ESPN FC) quotes club director Lord Harris of Peckham as confirming that the Ozil fee could be beaten:
[...] We would. It would be easy. I wouldn't say it [the total transfer budget] is 100 million pounds, I wouldn't say it's 50 million pounds and I wouldn't say it's 150 million pounds.
If Arsene has asked for any player then we have always backed him to go and buy. With the exception of [Lionel] Messi, [Cristiano] Ronaldo or [Gareth] Bale, we could buy most players.
The North Londoners are still revelling in the success of last weekend's FA Cup victory over Hull City, the club's first trophy in nine years.
We want to win the Premier League and the Champions League. If we buy two or three players then I think we can. We want to win. We don't want to be second, we don't want to be third and we don't want to be fourth. We will support Arsene with the players he wants to buy. He has always been encouraged to spend.
The FA Cup triumph undoubtedly helped both Wenger and Arsenal decide on the terms of his new deal with the club, too, which Sam Wallace of the Independent indicates will be a three-year extension, with Goal.com's Wayne Veysey adding it will be his last at the Emirates Stadium:
It's a three-year contract for Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, affirmation of Stan Kroenke's long-term faith in him http://t.co/4CKmZwHFIS— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceIndy) May 19, 2014
Wenger contract set to be his last before he retires. Which might very well not be 2017. Backroom team get 2-yr deals http://t.co/PQcTjWdhBP— Wayne Veysey (@wayneveysey) May 19, 2014
Ozil had an impressive maiden season among the English top flight after making the move from Real Madrid last summer, with Squawka stats displaying his 76 scoring chances created, 10 more than any other Arsenal player.
However, there's a lot to be said for some of the side's cheaper, longer-term investments who showed signs of coming good in their own regard, such as Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny and, of course, Aaron Ramsey.
Those stars, and others in the squad, would have us believe that it's not necessary for massive amounts of money to be spent in order to garner success, something to which this season's Champions League finalists Aletico can attest.
The Associated Press' Rob Harris believes "wide spending" could lead Arsenal back to more glory days, however:
@Paulphillipson team needs to refresh often (city only won title by 2 points). if Arsenal spend & did widely could be their time again.— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) May 16, 2014
It's a contentious notion, and one that has points of evidence going both for and against it, with Premier League champions Manchester City showing that there is a certain power to be had with money at one's back.
Lord Harris of Peckham is at least buoying Arsenal fans by giving them the knowledge that the money is there to be spent, something which many around North London have been waiting to hear—and more importantly see—for a long, long time.