By Richard Clarke   
Many call the early part of the summer the "silly season" given the wild speculation in the newspapers during this time of the year. Arsène Wenger, however, has a different name - fishing time.
It is a cast-iron certainty that Arsenal will be linked with any number of players between now and the big kick-off in August. Only a couple are likely to join and even then they may not be the names trumpeted by the major headlines.
"The agents always get nervous in May and they calm down on August 31," explained Wenger at his pre-match press conference. "For them it's like going fishing. You're allowed to fish now, you know?
"And after August 31 they don't feel that way any more until January 1. It's like they take tranquilisers on September 1."
Of course, the major factor in many moves is money. The manager is on record as saying Arsenal's contract offer to Mathieu Flamini could not match Milan's. That was the one factor in the French midfielder's decision to move to Italy. But in the worrying global financial climate, Wenger is unsure that players' wages can continue to rise or even be sustained at the current level.
"I don't know about that really," he said. "It looks that wages that were good last year are not good any more this year and that cycle was much lower a few years ago. Now, from one year to the next, the wages go up, up, up, up.
"But the money available for the clubs is changing very quickly and we are in a world where it is a little bit strange. The whole world is suffering from deflation and we [in football] are in a world of inflation. How long can that last? I don't know."

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
Richard Clarke 9 May 2008