Arsene Wenger insists that Alexis Sanchez was not close to a move to Manchester City on Deadline Day.
Contrary to reports, Wenger claims that Alexis was not actually close to a £60m move to City on Transfer Deadline Day.
“It was not very close, it’s very difficult for me to speak about that because what I want now is the player to focus on his career, on his season and Arsenal,” the boss told beIN Sports.
“I always think first, make sure that my commitment is at the level that is expected from people paying me and have confidence in me. On the player’s side it is exactly the same.”
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS) September 1, 2017
While almost everyone and their mothers expected City to move for Alexis, since they had been linked with a move for the Chilean all summer, I’m not sure many people expected them to leave it until the final day of the transfer window to put in a serious bid.
Reports on the day insisted that Arsenal were willing to allow the Chilean to leave since he does have under a year left on his current deal. However, only if the Gunners could find his replacement first.
Sure enough, Arsenal returned for Monaco’s Thomas Lemar, who they had been linked with all summer, and even had a package deal of £92m allegedly accepted. However, the 21-year-old chose to remain in Ligue 1.
Therefore, Arsenal have kept Alexis.
Perhaps we’ll never know how close Alexis actually was to a move to City. He was away with Chile and was probably concentrating on his World Cup qualifier against Paraguay. Reports from the local press that he’d told teammates of the move were obviously false.
However, it’s been clear that the 28-year-old hasn’t wanted to stay at Arsenal for a while so it’s doubtful that he wasn’t at least slightly aware of what was going on behind the scenes between City and his current club.