Wenger: World Cup could hamper transfers

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is wary of the upcoming FIFA World Cup wreaking havoc with his transfer plans ahead of next season.

Wenger's men will go another season without a Premier League title after faltering in 2014, although they are seemingly set for a fourth-placed finish ahead of Everton.

The Frenchman failed to add any reinforcements during the January transfer window, which many believed played a part in the club's downfall as they slipped out of contention.

Speaking at his scheduled press-conference on Friday, Wenger said Arsenal needed to strengthen in order to claim their first league title since the 2003-04 season.

But he conceded the World Cup in Brazil, which kicks off in June, could hamper his transfer activity.

"It will be busy, but the main thing for us will be to keep the stability because we feel we are close," said Wenger. "We want to add something that makes us even stronger, but, number wise, it will not be massive.

"From my experience, the World Cup years have always been very quiet until the end of the World Cup, with no players reachable.

"Everybody is focused in the country on their national team and there's not a lot happening. People are away.

"I believe this year again you will have to wait until July 15 to start going.

"You are not the only one who decides when the business is done because it's down to availability of players and the clubs who sell decide that."

Arsenal have reportedly set their sights on Bayer Leverkusen star Lars Bender as they look to strengthen the midfield area.

Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic has also been linked to help ease the load on Frenchman Olivier Giroud, while rumours of a move for Schalke starlet Julian Draxler refuse to go away.