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Arsenal boss Arteta defends Aubameyang release; explains wage budget battle


Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has defended their transfer work since he took charge.

The Gunners face missing out Champions League qualification again after a late season collapse.

"We are going to have certain resources, not unlimited resources, some resources," he said in Friday's press conference. “And with our resources we have to play and do what we have to do in the best possible way. We don't know what the rest are going to have in terms of resources, which I'm assuming is going to be challenging because now it's not a top three or top four league. Now it is a top eight or 10 teams that are involved. That's why we have to find a way to do again what we did last summer."

Arsenal could bring in as many as seven players this summer, with strikers a particular priority. Arsenal failed to find a replacement for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who left for Barcelona in January, but Arteta said he did not regret the club's approach in the mid-season transfer window.

“Everything that we did do, was trying to reach the objectives that we had after January – which was to try to be challenging the top four, and the way we were going to do it," he said. Arsenal's failure to land Dusan Vlahovic, who left Fiorentina for Juventus, left them with Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah as the only strikers left at the club.

Both are out of contract on July 1, meaning the urgency for forwards has been heightened further, while a central midfielder, centre-back and full-backs are also understood to be on Arteta's wishlist. Arteta refused to put a figure on the transfer budget technical director Edu is working with this summer.

“It's not only about that amount," he said. “If you see the wage (bill) that we have and we had, it's night and day. So it's not only about spending, it's about what you have sold. We had 28 players and we ended up with 19 in the squad, so it's about the total expenditure. Because if not that figure is irrelevant. Because what is the total annual cost of the squad you are building?"

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