Alexis Sanchez: Arsene Wenger admits Arsenal board could sell star to Manchester City

Posted Thursday, August 17, 2017 by

Alexis Sanchez: Arsene Wenger admits Arsenal board could sell star to Manchester City
Arsene Wenger admits the future of Alexis Sanchez may be a decision out of his hands

ARSENE WENGER has said he does not want to sell Alexis Sanchez this summer – but refused to rule out the Arsenal board striking a deal above his head.

The Chile international is out of contract next summer but has been the target of £50m interest from Manchester City after he refused to extend his deal at the Emirates beyond 2018.

However, Wenger has given his clearest indication yet that he feels the right move is to squeeze a final year out of him before allowing him to leave for nothing at the end of the season.

Nevertheless, he voiced the caveat that the ultimate power lies with his board.

"It's my decision, but after the board has to of course agree with me," he said. "If they don't agree, we will accept it.

"It is a financial sacrifice. It is a sacrifice that you have to calculate, how much it costs. If you let the player go and you buy somebody, you spend maybe more than you lose.

"Also, if you extend the contract, it costs you maybe more than you lose when you keep the player. So you have to consider the length of the contract as well that the players want. So when all that is into consideration, the financial sacrifice is not as heavy as it looks.

"I am a football manager, I want Sanchez to stay, and that's it. After that, all the financial implications is less important.

"At the end of the day you have to afford it as well, you must afford it. But I want Sanchez to stay, I want Sanchez to extend his contract."

Mesut Ozil and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are also out of contract next summer, and when pushed to say for certain that the three would still be Arsenal players after the transfer window shuts on August 31, Wenger was noticeably cagey.

"Today, yes, I think all the three will stay – I will fight for them to stay," he said. "But 100 per cent never exists, because in our job it never exists."

Wenger, an economics graduate from Strasbourg University, admits the transfer of Neymar to PSG from Barcelona for a record £200m was a game-changer and means the numbers no longer add up. The discrepancy, he maintains, is the price of success.

"The ratio between what the player costs and what he brings back, this has gone," Wenger declared.

"How can you quantify today what Neymar costs? Will he bring £200m back? It's impossible to say.

"There is a part that is rational, and the other part is completely irrational: it is passion, ego, pride, you can call that how you want. How much is that worth financially? Maybe that's down to every club.

"The part that is not rational – that is called success. How much are you ready to pay for success? But on the other hand, you face a reality as well. At the end of the month, you have to face the fact that you have to pay your players and everybody at the club."

However, even in the current climate Wenger refutes the suggestion there is such a thing as 'Player Power'. It all comes down, the Arsenal manager claims, to how prepared a club is to resist the demands put upon them.

"The club have as well resources to make their contracts respected," he explained. "Sometimes the media go a bit more in favour of the players maybe, so that makes sometimes the situation a bit more uncomfortable for the clubs.

"But overall, the powers are quite well balanced. You have a contract, the player has to respect the contract. You cannot really say it is player power."

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