There must have been thousands of Arsenal transfer rumours about Alexis Sanchez over the last 18 months and surely I am not the only one that is heartily sick of hearing about him. Oh how I wish we had sold him in the summer as we would probably have been better without him in the team anyway. He didn’t play at all for the first month while Arsenal tried to get a replacement, and after that he sulked and pouted and made it quite clear that he would rather be somewhere else.
He finally started playing as the January window approached as he tried to earn a move again, but now he isn’t in the team (again) as the drama rolls on. But at least Arsene Wenger has assured us that the speculation will end in the next 48 hours as he was asked after today’s awful display at Bournemouth if Arsenal could carry on without Alexis. “Look, if Alexis goes we need to replace him.” he said. “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.”
Well Alexis hasn’t been focused all season so just get rid! Wenger was then asked if he thought Sanchez was leaving. He replied: “I don’t master the rhythm of that, but it could happen today or tomorrow, or not at all, that’s why I didn’t take a decision. I didn’t want to travel with him and suddenly he goes somewhere.”
That answer begs the question as to why Wenger played Oxlade-Chamberlain against Liverpool earlier in the season? But Wenger was then asked if Alexis had actually refused to play today, but he denied that completely “No, I didn’t say that. Alexis would have played, but it’s a difficult period for him. 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.”
This is what I make of this interview. Wenger says he won’t sell Sanchez unless he’s replaced (by Malcom?) but before now he was certain to move to Man City. But Pep Guardiola’s side were more than happy to wait until the end of the season and Jose Mourinho is trying very hard to hijack the move by paying what Arsenal want right now. The rumours this morning were that Man United have given him a deadline to make up his mind, but I think it is Wenger that has given him two days to either accept Mourinho’s offer, or stay until the end of the season and move to City. Do you think Sanchez will move to United for the money, or wait to move to City in the summer for the medals?