Wenger to keep summer cheque book closed

April 12, 2008

Arsenal's recent meltdown has failed to convince manager Arsene Wenger he must embark on a summer spending spree.

The Gunners face a third successive season without silverware if they fail to beat Manchester United in Sunday's crucial Barclays Premier League clash.

Critics have suggested Wenger must loosen the purse strings when the transfer window opens, but the Frenchman retains complete faith in his current squad.

'We will continue to do what we've done. I will buy but not too much in the summer,' he said.

'My priority is to keep this team together because we are still young, especially in some departments.

'If we can add one more body we will do so, not one in each department - just one experienced guy.'

With the benefit of hindsight, Wenger would have broken the bank to sign Cristiano Ronaldo, whose goals have driven United to the Premier League summit and a Champions League semi-final.

Ronaldo was pipped to the 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year award by Kaka, but Wenger believes the Portuguese winger has now surpassed the Brazilian at the pinnacle of the game.

'Cristiano is the best player in the world at the moment because he has the combination of the two most difficult things in life - style and efficiency,' he said.

'I have always loved efficiency and he had that in the goals he has scored. He plays as a winger but he's scored 37 goals. You cannot deny that.'

United lie six points above Arsenal with five games remaining and Wenger claims to win the title race from this position would be the finest moment of his career.

But the Frenchman also knows failure at Old Trafford tomorrow will effectively spell the end of Arsenal's season.

'It will be the greatest achievement of my career to win the Premier League now because we are swimming against the stream at the moment,' he said.

'But I still believe this team can produce it. For us the game on Sunday is the game of the season. If we do not win this game we have no chance.

'I can't understand people who say the team's season is over. Why is it over? We are not too far behind.

'What is at stake on Sunday is the work of a whole year. If we go there and don't believe in ourselves then it is over.

'But do you really think that we will go to Manchester United thinking that our season is over? That would be ridiculous.

'We have worked so hard since the first day of the season and we will fight until the last second of the championship.'