Arsene Wenger says that Manchester City withdrawing from their pursuit of Alexis Sanchez because they weren’t prepared to meet his financial demands shows that Arsenal could not hope to keep the Chilean.
The 29 year old had been made substantial offers by the Gunners, with wages of up to £300,000 on offer, but that wasn’t sufficient to convince him to stay – leaving aside the sporting element of the Chilean’s decision.
Sanchez will be unveiled as Man Utd player in the next 48 hours, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan coming the other way, and it’s believed he could be earning around £400,000 a week at Old Trafford.
Speaking about the deal today, Wenger said, ““We did what we tried to do and went as far as we could.
“Even Manchester City moved out of it in the end. That tells you we had no chance to give him a contract.”
Wenger was asked if he understood why the Chilean would want to leave, and said, “I understand nothing. I cannot understand anybody wanting to leave Arsenal – but in 30 years of doing transfers you learn a lot about human beings.
“As a professional, it was perhaps his last contract at the top level and an important contract. After that, I accept that because we accepted that we would let him go. After that, we analyse the pros and the cons.
“There is always life. Arsenal Football Club is 130 years old and many big players have left.
“Will it go a bit less good? We will see but there is always life afterwards.”
And he tried to sound a reassuring note about life after Sanchez.
“Let’s not forget that if Alexis Sanchez goes, somebody else will come in who has quality as well,” he said.
“It is not that we are only losing a player, we are gaining a player as well. And we are still active in the transfer market and trying to bring players in.”
Arsenal are expected to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund, after Ivan Gazidis and former Dortmund employee Sven Mislintat travelled to Germany on Sunday to conclude negotiations with the Gabon international.
A bid of £60m is expected and it’s possible that Olivier Giroud could move the other way.