Arsene Wenger: Arsenal manager feeling 'anxiety' over new season

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he is feeling "even more anxiety" as he tries to win a first Premier League title with the Gunners since 2004.

Arsenal, who finished second last season, open their Premier League campaign at home to Liverpool on Sunday at 16:00 BST.

The 66-year-old Frenchman's current contract runs out next June.

"The top clubs have new ambition so it promises to be a very exciting season and difficult one as well," he said.

The arrivals of Antonio Conte at Chelsea, Pep Guardiola at Manchester City and Jose Mourinho at Manchester United has seen the spotlight put on the number of high-profile managers in the top flight.

"It will be interesting but the quality on the pitch will be the most important thing and let's not forget we finished second," Wenger added.

"We need to skip one more place. The last four years we have been fourth, third and second, and we want to make progress again."

'At the moment on the pitch we can compete'

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This week Manchester United have signed Paul Pogba for a world record £89m, while Manchester City paid £47.5m for centre-back John Stones.

Prior to Pogba's move, Wenger had said the reported valuation of Pogba was "completely crazy" - a criticism Mourinho called "unethical".

Wenger, who has been in charge of Arsenal since September 1996, says his club can still compete with football's biggest spenders.

"We know that in England the transfers are very high because there's an influx of money. When you go outside England, it's very high because you're English," he said.

"So you're not too surprised about the transfer amount because the clubs don't need the money in England and maybe that's why they only weaken if the price is high.

"Manchester United are the richest club in the world along with Real Madrid. Not many people can compete with their finances but that doesn't make the difference because at the moment on the pitch we can compete.

"That is the most important thing. It's not a financial competition, football is a performance competition."

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