By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger has explained how he avoided the temptation of adding to his first-team squad during the January transfer window.
The window slammed shut on Thursday night, bringing to a close the usual frenzy of transfer activity and speculation. Wenger's only new recruit was Luke Freeman, a 15-year-old striker from Gillingham and, in the Frenchman's words, "one for the future".
Lassana Diarra's move to Portsmouth was the only notable transfer involving Arsenal's senior squad. At his pre-match press conference on Friday, Wenger revealed how close he came to making a major signing.
"I did flash on one player who was available," he admitted. "I got lots of calls because the agents are always [calling], especially in the final four or five days, but nothing hit me.
"In fairness as well, when the transfer market opens you think 'Oh, a lot will happen' but at the end of the day, look at what happens - not a lot.
"I never count how many calls I get, it depends on the days as well. You can get 10 to 20 to 30. When you are busy as well with one player, you can call the same agent 10 times in one day.
"I must say I have done less calls than ever this year, because I was really in a position where I knew I didn't want to buy, and I didn't really want to sell. The only problem we had was with Diarra and that was sorted out quite quickly."
Diarra's departure ensured that Arsenal made a net profit during the transfer window - not for the first time since Wenger has been manager. The Frenchman admitted that he gets extra satisfaction from balancing the books.
"I feel that your club being in a good financial situation is very important, for your stability, and you have a responsibility not to get the club bankrupt," said Wenger. "I would not like to come out here and say the club is absolutely on bare bones.
"[Being in credit] is down to the quality of work. I don't feel managers get enough credit for that."Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source