By 90Min
July 27, 2019

Arsenal's managing director Vinai Venkatesham has refuted claims that manager Unai Emery has been restricted to a tight transfer budget after failing to qualify for this season's Champions League.

Reports throughout the summer have suggested the Spaniard has been given just £40m to remould the squad in his vision, a tall order for a club that is currently heading backwards after missing out on a top-four finish for a third consecutive year. 

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The rumour appeared to be supported by the Gunners lacklustre transfer business despite the squad looking in desperate need of a fresh injection of quality, but things have drastically altered in the last week or so.

After signing 18-year-old Gabriel Martinelli for £6m earlier in the window, Arsenal have now followed that up with the loan signing of Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid, as well as sealing a €30m deal for highly-rated Saint Etienne teenager William Salib - though he has headed back to Ligue 1 on loan.

They also appear to have reached an agreement with Lille for Nicolas Pepe, despite competition for the 24-year-old's signature from a number of clubs around Europe.

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With north London rivals Tottenham finishing ahead of the Gunners for the past three seasons, fans have understandably been frustrated - but Venkatesham has moved to defend the board's position, insisting there is a lot of misinformation in the press.

"I don’t recognise this £40m figure, I have read it a lot. That doesn’t come from us," he said, as quoted by the Metro. "We never talk about how much money we have to spend because that’s the least helpful thing you can do. If you go into a negotiation and everyone knows how much money you’ve got, it doesn’t really help.

"It is true that our funds are more limited after three years in the Europa League, but the budget isn’t £40m. We have the budget to make a difference. This is a particularly tough window. I sense and understand the frustration, but there is a huge amount of misinformation out there. 

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"I read and am sent articles about players we’re supposed to have missed out on and they’re players we’ve never even talked about. I get why sometimes it’s hard for fans to understand what we’re doing, but I’d say that’s because about 85% of what you read just isn’t true."

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