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Arsene Wenger ‘99 percent’ certain of Arsenal’s new summer signings

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is “99 percent” certain of completing new signings before the transfer window closes on Wednesday amid talks of imminent acquisition of striker Lucas Perez and defender Shkodran Mustafi.

football Updated: Aug 26, 2016 19:40 IST
Arsene Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger in action during the Premier League.(REUTERS)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is “99 percent” certain of completing new signings before the transfer window closes on Wednesday amid talks of imminent acquisition of striker Lucas Perez and defender Shkodran Mustafi.

Arsenal have endured a frustrating close season so far, snubbed by striker Jamie Vardy, who extended his contract with champions Leicester City instead, while Olympique Lyonnais rejected their bid for forward Alexandre Lacazette.

Injuries to captain Per Mertesacker and defender Gabriel have left the Gunners with only one experienced centre back in Laurent Koscielny.

According to media reports, Wenger is closing in on a 50 million pound ($66.02 million) double deal for Deportivo La Coruna’s Perez and Valencia’s Mustafi.

“We are working on the deals, we are not close enough to announce today. Will we sign anyone before the window closes? I’m 99 per cent confident,” Wenger told reporters on Friday.

“I’m more optimistic than before but I can’t announce anything yet.”

With the Premier League’s 5.14-billion-pound domestic television rights deal kicking in this campaign, Wenger said he expected an easier close season.

“It was a strange transfer market, I expected it to be easier than ever, it has been more difficult than ever.

“It looks like it will be frenetic in the last three days, everyone has sat on money but we know they will all splash out now.”

Wenger also hinted influential mifielder Mesut Ozil might be ready for his first start this season against Watford on Saturday but striker Olivier Giroud would start on the bench.

“He (Ozil) is not far now. I have a decision to make in the next 24 hours. Giroud is a fraction behind physically,” the 66-year-old Frenchman said.

Arsenal were drawn with Paris St Germain, FC Basel and Ludogorets in the Champions League group stages on Thursday and Wenger felt PSG were the favourites to finish on top.

“Maybe PSG is one of the favourites but we want to finish first. It is a good test for us to play PSG. Let’s hope we can get a good first result,” he said.