Arsene Wenger has admitted that replacing Alexis Sanchez will cost Arsenal £140m next summer.

Arsenal took the decision on deadline to reject £60m from Manchester City and keep Alexis Sanchez at the club. He’s now likely to run down his contract and leave the club for free in the summer, leaving the Gunners with no extra funds to sign a replacement.

That could be significant, as manager Arsene Wenger has admitted it could take around £60m to £70m to replace him, while having lost a similar amount in the summer after his move to Manchester City broke down – effectively meaning Arsenal will lose £140m in total in 12 months.

“Take a Sanchez into the final year of the contract, you sacrifice £60m to £70m income and at the end of the season you will have to buy someone for that amount of money,” Wenger said, reports the Express. “It has a huge price. At some stage, you have to make a decision, to sacrifice or not to.”

Given that Arsenal bid £92m to sign Monaco’s Thomas Lemar, that might be an optimistic estimate by Wenger. Prices are only getting higher. Last summer saw two players move for over £100m. If Arsenal are to sign a player of Alexis’ calibre, they may end having to spend an extraordinary amount.

Wenger has been rather inconsistent lately about how much he wants to spend on a player. Being quoted a large fee always makes him think twice, but he seems willing to throw money around when he really has to. Whoever Arsenal choose to replace Alexis, they will need to spend a lot of money.

The worry will be that the huge fees will prevent Arsenal from replacing their best player.