Arsene Wenger says Manchester City ‘s deadline-day deal to land Alexis Sanchez ‘was not very close at all’.
The Arsenal manager’s claim comes as he insists the Chile striker will be ‘100 per cent’ committed at the Emirates despite his move to City breaking down at the 11th hour .
Sanchez, currently on international duty, is said to be ‘devastated’ the transfer was derailed.
And Wenger’s insistence that it was a long way from happening is sure to raise eyebrows with City bosses who felt they were very close to getting their man.
Arsenal accepted a £55million bid on deadline day with the proviso they could bring in a replacement.
City were denied a player Arsenal knew they had wanted for four months, yet Wenger told beIN Sports: “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 on Arsenal football club.
“I cannot tell you everything that happened because after when you decide to let a player of that calibre go you need to replace him, because nobody would understand why you let the player go.
“And when you cannot do it you keep the player and make a financial sacrifice, because at the end of the day what you want is to have a team with a good potential and top quality.
“So that means Alexis Sanchez will go, like Mesut Ozil, in the final year of his contract, or you think that during the season you find a way to extend the contract, or at the end of the season the player goes for free.”
Wenger – who never wanted to lose Sanchez – believes the player will be committed for the remainder of his time at Arsenal, despite being said to be angered by the outcome.
“100 per cent. I have no doubt about that,” said the Gunners boss.
“I spoke before about integrity and values, and I always think first: make sure my commitment is at the level that it is expected from people who pay me and have confidence in me, and I think on the player’s side it is exactly the same.”
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