By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger is bewildered by reports of Manchester City's £100million bid for Kaka - because in financial terms the Arsenal manager inhabits the 'real world'.
The possibility of AC Milan's Brazilian star moving to the Premier League for a world-record fee dominated the sports pages this week.
Wenger has money of his own to spend during the transfer window but admitted that he found it hard to comprehend the prospect of a nine-figure transfer deal in a world beset by economic problems.
"First of all I don’t know if it’s true," he said. "We have not seen it and that is the difference. We have seen it in the papers but that doesn’t mean these numbers are true.
"It doesn’t look real to me at all. It is like an abstraction. If you say to me 'I am a billionaire', I say 'OK but I don’t know what it really means'. It [the offer for Kaka] doesn’t look in connection with today’s world because on one side we have the economic situation which is quite worrying and for me this is abstraction.
"I don’t feel in connection with that at all because we live in a football club which lives in the real world. That means we spend the money we make from our income.
"The implications [of a £100million transfer] would be disturbance on the market. Inflationary trend in a deflationary world.
"But it leaves Arsenal where we are now. That means we spend the money we produce and we make. We are in a world where we live from three kinds of income – gate receipts, the sponsors and the television money. That is the real world of football.
"The rest is exceptional and is not the rule of our world. It is a special income with unlimited resources, but it’s not the real world.
"Whether it is us, Sunderland or Coventry we live with the same rules. Manchester City are in a different world because they do not live with their income."Copyright 2015 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 15 Jan 2009