EPL: Arsenal plan summer buying spree after shock defeat

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London, Feb 18: Arsene Wenger faced heavy criticism from Arsenal fans after their shocking FA Cup exit to Blackburn Rovers but the board has backed the manager and are willing to extend his stay at the Emirates for another two years.

Wenger blasted his players for their poor performance and questioned their mental strength and ability as his side prepare for Tuesday's UEFA Champions League tie against Bayern Munich.

EPL: Arsenal plan summer buying spree

Fans booed and jeered as players left the pitch which shows their frustration having not won any silverware in the last eight years.

Though fans want their manager out, the Arsenal board still backs Wenger and are prepared to shell out millions in the summer. Wenger will be handed a £70million transfer budget to bring in reinforcements when the transfer window reopens. Wenger targets Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina, Marseille defender Nicolas N'Koulou, Toulouse midfielder Etienne Capoue and Fiorentina striker Stevan Jovetic.

Some of the players may already face the axe as the boss held a 45-minute dressing room meeting after the loss to Blackburn. One player who is sure to go is keeper Wojciech Szczesny, whose mistake led Colin Karim-Richards score a late winner.

The Polish keeper has not had a good season and Arsenal were eyeing a replacement in January. But the manager is now paying the price for not spending during last months transfer market.

David Villa, who is still on Arsenal's radar, was not allowed to leave the Camp Nou after Barcelona refused to sell the Spanish striker. However, the Gunners are now in for Fiorentina striker Stevan Jovetic, who is valued at £22million and is being followed by Manchester City.

The Gunners already dished out Maroaune Chamakh to West Ham on loan and Johan Djourou joined Hannover while Sebastian Squillaci, Tomas Rosicky and Andrei Asharvin are surplus at the Emirates.

Wenger had certain targets in mind especially attackers but backed out of making any deals in January to save it all for the summer. Wenger's plan may backfire if his side fail to make it to the Champions League next season. Arsenal has already gone through their worst season record since Wenger took over in 1996.

They are now out of the FA Cup and also faced a humiliating defeat to Bradford which put them out of the Capital One Cup in Decemeber.

Arsenal are still four points below rivals Tottenham in fifth place and face Aston Villa on Saturday after Tuesday's Champions League clash against Bayern.

OneIndia News

Story first published: Monday, February 18, 2013, 17:35 [IST]
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