Wenger says he has ‘learned to cope’ with battling richer rivals

Arsene Wenger has hinted Jose Mourinho should stop complaining about being unable to match Manchester City’s spending power.

Arsenal boss Wenger has insisted he has “learned to cope” with battling richer rivals during his 21-years in charge of the Gunners.

A frustrated Mourinho reacted to Manchester United’s 2-2 Old Trafford draw with Burnley by insisting the Red Devils must increase their spending to catch runaway leaders City.

United have spent roughly £286million since Mourinho took the Old Trafford helm in 2016, compared to City’s £360million in the same time-frame.

When quizzed on Mourinho’s comments, Wenger suggested his United counterpart may simply have to accept that his side cannot match City’s riches.

“I have been in that position for 21 years so I can’t start to complain now,” said Wenger, of Mourinho’s frustrations with Manchester City flexing their financial muscles.

“There have always been three or four teams richer than I am. I’ve learned to cope with that.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
Wenger says he has ‘learned to cope’ with battling richer rivals (Adam Davy/PA)

“We deal with our own situation as well as we can. Man City, Chelsea and Man United are all richer than us.

“You have to find ways to be successful.”

United’s Portuguese boss Mourinho reacted to his side’s rallying draw with Burnley by insisting the Old Trafford club must increase their spending to return to the top of the world game.

A Jesse Lingard double salvaged a point for United, but an irked Mourinho later bemoaned City’s free-spending approach, heaping pressure on his own club’s board in the process.

Alexandre Lacazette
Alexandre Lacazette was a big-money signing in the summer (John Walton/Empics)

“Manchester City buy full-backs for the price of strikers,” said Mourinho. When it was pointed out that United have spent heavily during his Old Trafford tenure, Mourinho continued: “OK, (but) it is not enough.”

Arsenal will take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Thursday night, with Olivier Giroud, Nacho Monreal and Aaron Ramsey all sidelined.

New Everton manager Sam Allardyce this week claimed Arsenal striker Giroud’s wife was the driving force behind the France star rejecting a summer move to Goodison Park.

Gunners boss Wenger laughed off that claim however, while suggesting the 31-year-old himself wants to remain living in London.

Asked to respond to Allardyce’s claim that Giroud’s wife scuppered a summer Everton move, Wenger said: “No, I don’t think so.

“He could have joined Everton and stayed basically in London. I don’t think that was the problem.”

Olivier Giroud
Sam Allardyce believes Olivier Giroud rejected Everton because he wanted to stay in London (Adam Davy/PA)

Allardyce had said of Giroud: “He doesn’t want to move north of London, I don’t think. Or his wife doesn’t. It is very important to the wives you know. Normally they are the bosses, I say that with experience.”

Wenger also confirmed he expects progress on a possible new contract for England midfielder Jack Wilshere.

On Wilshere’s future, Wenger added: “I believe that if we can meet a point of agreement financially he will want to stay.”

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