Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says he hopes to bring in around three players in the summer transfer window and that majority owner Stan Kroenke will not stop the club from spending big.
Arsenal earned their highest league finish in 11 years after pipping Tottenham Hotspur to second place in the standings on Sunday, but they still find themselves ruing a missed opportunity after a run of poor results during the run-in.
Mikel Arteta, Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini will leave the club this summer and Wenger said it is clear Arsenal will have to “add something” to the team next season, although he stressed that is not planning a major overhaul of the team.
“We want to keep the squad stable over the summer while strengthening where possible,” Wenger said in his prematch programme notes ahead of the 4-0 victory over Aston Villa.
“You want the group to be stimulated and to believe that we have improved the quality. Maybe bring in three players for example. That is the right level for me.”
With forward Danny Welbeck out for nine months, Wenger has already made it clear that he will be pursuing a striker in the transfer window, while Switzerland midfielder Granit Xhaka is reportedly close to joining the club.
Arsenal were the only team in the Premier League not to buy a single outfield player last summer, and then spent just £7 million on bringing in Mohamed Elneny in January, but the club have cash reserves of about £135m, and Wenger said he has the funds he needs if the right players become available.
“Stan Kroenke is completely behind the board and myself to invest as much money as we want,” Wenger told BBC Sport. “Of course it has to be in respect of a balanced budget.
“We have resources — it’s more the players that are difficult to find, because everybody has money in England, and everybody is after good players. And good players are not legion. You have to be shrewd, and a bit lucky as well.”
Arsenal have not won the Premier League since 2004, and Wenger has often pointed to the financial restraints he was under after the move to the Emirates Stadium in defending his record over the last decade.
With those shackles now gone, and Wenger said the title is the obvious target for next year.
“We know what our step is now. Last year we finished third and this year second, so hopefully we can go one better next season,” he told the Arsenal website. “I think it is not a disastrous season, but it sets the target for what we want to achieve and we have to add something to get first place.”