Football

Complete madness

It's hard to justify United's world-record bid for Pogba, says Wenger

Arsene Wenger believes Paul Pogba's proposed world-record £100-million ($177m) move to Manchester United represents the "complete madness" of the modern transfer market.

France midfielder Pogba is reportedly set to join United for a nine-figure sum and Arsenal manager Wenger suggested he would not pay over the odds for any player.

Quoted in Tuttosport, he said: "It's complete madness when measured against real life, but we live in a world in which everything that happens is geared towards moving money around.

"It's complete madness but, it seems that if you can afford to do it, you can justify it. Football has become a global competition and that is why clubs are chucking these kinds of sums around.

"Does it make sense because the player can deliver a return on that investment? I don't think anyone can make that call.

"Since I've been in the game, I've always thought there would be a limit to how much clubs could spend on a player, but it looks like I've been proved wrong.

"Maybe in a few years, we'll be talking about fees of £200m or £300m."

Wenger was speaking before the pre-season friendly against Chivas Guadalajara in Los Angeles yesterday morning (Singapore time), when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored with a brilliant solo effort as Arsenal defeated the Mexican side 3-1.

Oxlade-Chamberlain scored just five minutes into the second half, 
using a back-heel flick to fool a Chivas defender, and then cut to the middle before hammering a left-footed shot into the far corner.

New signing Rob Holding and England Under-21 striker Chuba Akpom scored the other goals for Arsenal at the StubHub Center Stadium.

Wenger said after the match that Oxlade-Chamberlain must add extra self-belief to reach his full potential in an "important" season with Arsenal.

COMEBACK

"This is a very important season for Alex," Wenger said of the 22-year-old, who has finally made his playing comeback from the knee injury that kept him out of Euro 2016.

"He was out for a very long time. I'm cautious with him at the moment, but he's getting better in every game and that's good to see.

"Power and penetration - he has it all. That's why I would like him to get to the level he can go to. Maybe he doesn't completely believe himself how good he can be and that's the final step for him."

Arsenal will conclude their pre-season schedule by facing Manchester City in Gothenburg on Sunday, before opening their English Premier League campaign against Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium on Aug 14.

Wales star Aaron Ramsey and Chile's Alexis Sanchez are expected to feature against Pep Guardiola's side in Sweden, with both then in contention for the league opener. - PA Sport.

eplenglish premier leagueManchester United