bwin have installed Arsenal as the 5/1 favourites to be Wayne Rooney’s next club after chief executive Ivan Gazidis used the unsettled Manchester United striker as a hypothetical example of the calibre of player the Gunners will be able to sign this summer thanks to “an escalation in financial firepower”.
In news that will no doubt be music to the ears of the Emirates faithful, who have long been frustrated at the club’s inability (or refusal) to shell out major money on transfers and wages, Gazidis has gone on record to say that Arsenal will soon be able “to compete with any club in the world” when it comes to new recruits.
And Rooney, who manager Arsene Wenger has already stated his admiration for and hinted that he would be interested should the England striker become available, was highlighted by Gazidis as the type of player the Gunners will be trying to purchase during the summer window thanks to major commercial deals coming to fruition.
“We could do that (look to sign Rooney), we could do more than that,” said Gazidis. “We have a certain amount which we’ve held in reserve and we also have new revenue streams coming on board. All of these things mean we can do some things which would excite you. We can think about all kinds of things.
“I’m excited. Our capability to spend is going up and our efficiency of spend has always been good. We are moving into a new phase where, if we make our decisions well, we can compete with any club in the world.”
Arsenal signed a lucrative new stadium and shirt sponsorship agreement with Emirates last November and also recently secured a £30 million-per-season kit manufacturing deal with Puma – the largest of its kind in English football.
And with the debt from the construction of the Emirates Stadium reduced substantially in recent seasons and the remaining annual repayments now at an eminently affordable level, the Gunners look set to be major players in the transfer market in the coming years.
The talk of Arsenal’s new ‘spend big’ philosophy has been enough for bwin to cut them from 9/1 to 5/1 joint-favourites to sign Rooney, who has reportedly told United he wants to leave Old Trafford.
Champions League winners Bayern Munich, with whom the former Everton star has also been linked, are also 5/1 to capture his signature.
Chelsea, with new manager Jose Mourinho at the helm for a second stint in charge, are 7/1 to sign Rooney this summer, the same price as big-spending French champions Paris Saint-Germain.
Manchester City, who tried to sign Rooney from their neighbours during a high-profile transfer saga in 2010, are 14/1 to successfully rekindle their interest, while Mourinho’s old club Real Madrid are 16/1.
You are getting a big price on any other team being Rooney’s next club, with AC Milan and Newcastle United at 40/1, Monaco, Juventus and La Galaxy at 50/1, and his old club Everton at 66/1. Liverpool are priced up at 100/1.
If you think that Rooney will remain a Manchester United player beyond September 1st, 2013, you can get 2/5 on that eventuality.