Unai Emery says Arsenal could recruit up to two players before Thursday’s transfer deadline and said the club “are going to have chances to take and spend money to buy players” in the summer.
The Arsenal manager’s preference this month is for loan deals for players who can improve his squad, with Internazionale’s Ivan Perisic and Denis Suárez of Barcelona linked with moves to north London.
Emery would not be drawn on specific names and insisted he would be content if the Gunners were unable to add to their squad in the challenging mid-season window. He acknowledged the difficulty of recruitment at this time of the season and knows Arsenal may not succeed in landing their targets.
“We are looking at two different players and the possibility they can come,” Emery said. “If they aren’t coming to help us like we want, I prefer they don’t come. The club is telling me that this moment is not good to buy players but the club say to me in the summer it is going to be different. And we are going to have chances to take and spend money to buy players.”
The Spaniard was previously in charge of Paris Saint-Germain when the Ligue 1 side spent more than €350m on two players, Neymar and Kylian Mbappé, in the same transfer window. Emery insists he is happy with the more thrifty Gunners approach.
“I have had experience with different teams, teams like Sevilla and Valencia, where usually we sold players each season,” he said. “And when I arrived at PSG it was different, because the team wanted to buy players. I can work with the two situations.
“The easiest thing for me is to ask for more players but I love to work with my players. My challenge is to improve individually, collectively, offensively, defensively.”
Emery hinted his reluctance to recruit defensive reinforcements, despite injuries to Sokratis Papastathopoulos (ankle) and Laurent Koscielny (jaw).
He does not want a bloated squad once his injured defenders, including Héctor Bellerín and Rob Holding (both knee), return to fitness. Sokratis and Koscielny were injured in last Friday’s FA Cup defeat by Manchester United.
Sokratis is expected to be out for “maybe two or three weeks,” Emery said, while Koscielny’s jaw is bruised but not broken. The Frenchman could be back for Sunday’s trip to the holders, Manchester City.