Arsene Wenger gradually seems to be feeling less and less certain that Alexis Sanchez will in fact be staying at Arsenal this season.
Wenger has gone from reiterating several times that Alexis will be staying at Arsenal whether he signs a contract extension or not, to admitted that the Gunners’ board could go over his head and sell him if they calculate that keeping him is too much of a financial risk.
“It’s my decision, but after the board has to of course agree with me,” the boss said, reports the Express. “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.”
In recent weeks, Wenger has gone from feeling confident that the Chilean will still extend his contract in north London, to ‘not optimistic’. And now it’s sounding increasingly likely that Arsenal will in fact allow the 28-year-old to leave in favour of a decent fee.
At the moment, there are two clubs in the frame: Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain. City are a direct rival and Arsenal would be making them stronger. There’s no positive outcome from that situation other than the Gunners will have offloaded a player who quite obviously doesn’t want to be at the club, and got a bit of cash.
PSG, on the other hand, have just bought Neymar from Barcelona for a world record £198m. Could they possibly fork out another £50m+ for Alexis?
City are reportedly willing to pay up to £60m for the forward, who has under a year left on his current contract, which is a pretty decent sum and you can understand why the Arsenal board would find that hard to turn down.
Pep Guardiola is allegedly encouraging Alexis not to ‘kick up a fuss’ (how good of him) but still, Arsenal selling to City just doesn’t sit right with me.