Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits the Premier League finds itself operating in a two-tiered transfer market. The Gunners boss thinks foreign teams are inflating asking prices for players as soon as a Premier League club expresses their interest.
Wenger has been widely criticised for his relative inertia in the transfer market this summer, but the Frenchman has observed that English clubs are being treated differently because of their financial muscle.
"Today in Europe you have two markets," said Wenger, according to The Telegraph. "One for the English clubs and one for the rest of Europe. The danger of the English situation is that the English clubs can suffocate themselves in the long term.
"Why? Because they buy players at a very high price. That means there are very high wages linked with it and, if they are wrong, they will have these players with high wages who cannot move anywhere else."
Wenger - who has been strongly linked with a move for Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi in recent days - claimed the identity of the buying club has become a key part of transfer negotiations, too. "I have told you before the criteria for the price of a player but you could add one more: the identity of the buyer," the Arsenal manager explained.
"When the buyer is English, it is true that it multiplies the transfer by two or three or sometimes by 10. If an English club does not come in, he is worth £5m but, if an English club comes for the same player, he is worth £35m or 40 or 50."
Despite his gloomy outlook, Wenger insisted he is currently doing all he can to strengthen the Arsenal squad before the transfer window closes. "Buying calms the fans down. It is important to spend but even more important to spend it the right way," the Arsenal manager shared.
"We have no limit in age. If it is a guy of 32 and we think he has the quality then we will do it. This club has been built around the quality of the signings. I have to make decisions that are right for the club."