Arsene Wenger says he didn’t include Alexis Sanchez in his squad for the game at Bournemouth because the striker is on the cusp of making a decision about his future.
The Chile international is being heavily linked with a move to Manchester City and Manchester United and the boss admitted he was reticent to use a player not completely focused on Arsenal.
“Alexis would have played, but it’s a difficult period for him,” Wenger told his post-game press conference.
“He has always been committed until now, but he could have moved yesterday, today or not at all.
“It will be decided in the next 48 hours, it was a bit different for him because he was on standby a little bit, that’s why I decided not to do it. He did not refuse to play.
He went on: “If Alexis goes we need to replace him. When you look today we missed many players in our squad and you see that we have a weight in the team, and if players like Alexis go, we have of course to respond to it.
“Will he go or not? I do not know, but at the moment it’s the transfer period and in this kind of period you try to use the players that are completely focused at being at the club.”
The Gunners have been tipped to sign Bordeaux’s winger Malcom as a possible replacement. Unsurprisingly, the boss was coy on about his interest in the 20-year-old.
“There’s nothing concrete there. It’s better that I don’t come out on any specific name.”
However, it’s believed that the Brazilian has had discussions with the club today, and if personal terms are agreed then the deal should go through imminently.