'We were close to one more signature' – Arsenal boss Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed the club almost completed a second signing on January transfer deadline day.

The Gunners brought in Spanish left-back Nacho Monreal from Malaga in a late deal worth around €10 million, following an injury to Kieran Gibbs which will see him sidelined for up to six weeks.

The north London outfit were also heavily linked with Barcelona forward David Villa and West Ham midfielder Mohamed Diame throughout the window, though moves never materialised.

The Frenchman has indeed admitted that one other final transfer was near completion, though he did not name any names, while insisting it was not a lack of money that scuppered the signing.

“We were close to one more signature,” he told reporters. “It did not happen because of the desire of the clubs to sell or not sell. It is only linked with that.

“It was not a money problem, it was more a desire from other clubs to keep their players.”

The 63-year-old has declared himself “delighted” with the capture of Monreal, and has now stressed that, although they can always improve, his side has enough ability.

“I believe that we have top quality in our squad and that is what we want to show until the end of the season,” he continued.

“We have some aspects of our game that we need to improve and how active we will be in the market in the summer will be decided by how well we do now until the end of the season.”

A grand total of over €139m was spent by Premier League clubs in the January window this year, double that of last term (€70m). but less than in 2011 (€295m).

Wenger was not surprised that spending remains high and indicated he believes irresponsible spending cannot last much longer.

He added: “I agree football looks to be an exception to society – for how long?

“I am always tempted to say it cannot last much longer, but I must honestly confess I am always wrong on that front! But it is like that.”

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