Arsenal can afford anyone other than Messi or Ronaldo, says director

Arsene Wenger has been given the green light to sign anyone apart from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo by Arsenal director Lord Harris.

Arsenal can provide Arsene Wenger with the funds to sign any player apart from Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, director Lord Harris has claimed.

Goalkeeper Petr Cech is the only new arrival at the Emirates Stadium during the close-season, but Lord Harris says the club have enough money to break their transfer record and recruit anyone - aside from the Barcelona and Real Madrid superstars.

"Money was tight when we moved to the Emirates but it's a lot freer now," he told the Daily Mail.

"We could go into the market and probably buy any player in the world, apart from half a dozen who are un-buyable. In the accounts, there's over £200million in the bank. 

"You could say to Arsene we've got no money and he wouldn't worry, or you could give him £100m and he might not spend it.

"At the moment there are no plans to sign anyone, unless he finds a real superstar like Mesut Ozil or Alexis Sanchez. He's looking for one of those but there aren't many available. 

"We would back him to break the club's transfer record. If he wanted the man, he could have him. Apart from Messi and Ronaldo, he could have any player. 

"We will probably have to break the club record to get the man he wants."

Arsenal have been heavily linked with a move for Real Madrid's Karim Benzema, and Lord Harris admitted that a new striker represents Wenger's top priority for the rest of the transfer window.

He added: "We get a list of the players that Wenger wants. On the list is a centre-forward, but I'm not going to tell you who he is. 

"You've got to get the other team to want to sell him, but I think he wants to come. 

"It basically comes down to whether the other team can find a superstar to replace him, because they don't have to sell."