Just yesterday, I was pondering whether or not if there's an actual transfer market for Wayne Rooney right now. I ruled out the possibility of an Arsenal move because I assumed that they wouldn't want to shatter their transfer fee record, nor would they be willing to pay a single player over twice more than what anybody on their current squad makes.
I guess I was wrong.
According to Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis, their increasing financial power would enable them to sign a player like Rooney. When specifically asked if Arsenal could sanction a bid for Rooney if it required a transfer fee in the region of £25 million and wages of £200,000/week, Gazidis responded this way:
"We could do that, we could do more than that. We have a certain amount which we've held in reserve and we also have new revenue streams coming on board. All of these things mean we can do some things which would excite you. We can think about all kinds of things."
This comes just a few days, as well, after Arsene Wegner had this to say about Rooney:
"Rooney could be an interesting player for everybody in the world, who would turn him down?"
Now this doesn't necessarily mean that Arsenal will be making a bid for Rooney, even if he would make the Gunners a better team. In fact, it's still hard to imagine a scenario where Arsenal would make this kind of purchase for a Manchester United player. Arsenal's revenue streams are going up so perhaps this will be a new era of higher spending for them. In the specific case of Rooney, this might categorize them in the same scenario as Chelsea and Manchester City*: if United do sell their 27-year-old England international, then they probably would prefer to do so to a club outside of England -- if they sell to a domestic rival, those clubs may be forced to pay a premium.
* This is not to say that Arsenal will suddenly be outbidding Chelsea or City for players they're interested mutually in -- because they won't.
This still doesn't change the market much for Rooney if United decide to sell him. Things can change in a hurry, though, as one interested club (lets say Arsenal if they wanted to bid for Rooney) can drive the price higher for another interested party (e.g. Paris Saint-Germain).