By Richard Clarke

Despite the best efforts of the English weather to convince us otherwise, it is officially summer.

And the onset of that season guarantees one thing for football fans - transfers.

Arsenal kicked off their campaign this week when Robin van Persie agreed to join the Club from Feyenoord. This acquisition came after the purchase of Jose Antonio Reyes from Seville in the January transfer window.

With the Premiership title already assured, Arsène Wenger today gave an early indication of his summer spending plans. An unbeaten of run of 34 games in the Premiership and getting to the business end of the other three cup competitions they entered would suggest little is wrong. But Wenger is forever looking for avenues of improvement.

"I have nothing to hide," he said, "basically we have finished our market. We have already brought in two offensive players with Reyes and van Persie.

"But I am alert and on the market. It will be one player or two maximum. We have good youngsters and I want to keep it open for them."

Wholesale change has never been the Wenger way and, unsurprisingly, that will not alter.

"We have always gone for stability," he said. "The players who are under contract will all stay.

"The players who are free - Bergkamp, Kanu, Wiltord and Keown - their cases have not been sorted out yet. We will do it in the next two or three weeks."

Much of the attention surrounds Bergkamp who at the start of this season was suggesting this could be the last campaign of his career. However he told Arsenal Plus recently that his form and fitness has convinced him to look to stay on.

"There is a good chance Bergkamp will stay," said Wenger. "At that age you have to accept it can go fast. We know he can not go up anymore, you can only go down. But Dennis has had a clean life and has a good way of preparing. He is still top class.

"Even with a little bit less physique, he can still be a good provider. Of course he will score less goals because he gets in the box less but, as a provider, he has been outstanding this year.

"He can be a great influence on players like van Persie. Dennis is an idol for him. [If he stays] he can practice with him everyday and give him the advice he needs."

Having led his side to the title three times in the last six years the manager is concerned about maintaining what he calls "the age balance".

"If you have all 20-year-old players you will go nowhere," he said. "The balance must be right.

"For example look at a player like Martin Keown. This year he has not played a lot but for me he had a tremendous season.

"He was great in the dressing room. He kept people sharp and alert. Plus he gave good advice to Kolo Toure when he needed it."

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 30 Apr 2004