Arsene Wenger: Arsenal boss seeks Euro glory more than riches

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger says Arsenal have always adapted to their finances
Champions League play-off first leg
Venue: Ataturk Olympic Stadium Date: Tuesday, 19 August Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: BBC Sport website and BBC Radio 5 live

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says the prestige of playing in the Champions League is more important than the financial rewards it brings.

The Gunners, who have reached the group stage for the last 16 seasons, meet Besiktas in Tuesday's play-off first leg in Turkey.

Wenger said: "Financially it's a big game, but we want to compete at the top and want to fight with Europe's best."

Defender Kieran Gibbs, 24, is out for three weeks with a hamstring injury.

Gibbs was hurt in Saturday's 2-1 win over Crystal Palace, Arsenal's opening match of the Premier League season. Nacho Monreal will be a likely replacement.

Striker Yaya Sanogo will not be in the starting line-up, but central defender Laurent Koscielny is fit after recovering from an Achilles problem.

Qualification to the Champions League group stages will bring Arsenal £6.8m in prize money, with each subsequent group match worth in the region of £2.4m in additional match-day revenue.

Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez scored 47 goals in 141 appearances for Barcelona

Arsenal, who finished fourth last season, brought in Chile forward Alexis Sanchez in a £35m deal from Barcelona this summer, following on from the club-record signing of Mesut Ozil for £42.4m in September 2013.

Wenger added: "We have always in the history at the club adapted to our finances. What's very important is that we want to play against the best."

Besiktas are managed by former Everton and West Ham defender Slaven Bilic , and the Croat is confident his side will give the Gunners a stiff test.

"We are ready with everything for this game," said the former Croatia boss.

"We know the opponent very well and have prepared well. We have respect for our opponents, because we are playing against one of the strongest teams in Europe.

"Arsenal are the favourites, but we will also try our best. We have a dream and we will do our best to make it happen."

The play-off second leg takes place at the Emirates on Wednesday, 27 August.

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