London: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has reportedly been allowed to run free on the club`s reserve accounts by their second-biggest shareholder to sign in troubled Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney.
With the approval of their shareholder Alisher Usmanov, Wenger, who is already closing in on the 22 million-pound signing of Real Madrid forward Gonzalo Higuain, is also set to land the 30 million pounds rated Rooney, to give the Gunners one of the most formidable strike-forces in the Premier League.
Giving his backing to a high-profile summer spending spree, Usmanov, who owns 29.9 per cent stake in Arsenal, said that Rooney is a great player and his joining the club would be good for both Rooney and Arsenal, adding that he believes that it is high time for the club to win the highest trophies in the Champions League.
However, Usmanov said that he felt that it is in the club`s future to win such trophies, adding that Wenger is a great coach and is helping the club progress in the commercial sense, although he added that it is the job of shareholders to point to drawbacks in the management of the club.
Usmanov`s comments are backed by Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis` earlier comments that the north Londoners are enjoying an `escalation of financial firepower` which would enable them to compete for players of Rooney`s ilk, adding that they are now financially sound with their reserve amount and new revenue streams.
Rooney`s capture would back up claims from the club in recent weeks that they are finally ready to re-establish themselves as a Premier League superpower.
Rooney, who is set for talks with new United boss David Moyes ahead of the new season, is said to be unsettled at United and is desperate to play as a central striker instead of the deeper-lying midfield role in which he was often deployed under Sir Alex Ferguson last season.