Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has explained why he is willing to gamble on taking a financial hit over the futures of Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as they look to make free transfers away from the club next summer.
The Gunners Boss, Wenger have had to put up with speculation over a number of their star players throughout the summer, with Mesut Ozil’s situation also a cause for concern, while clubs have also shown an interest in Olivier Giroud and Hector Bellerin.
Still, Arsenal have done well to hold on to these key figures, with Wenger insisting time and time again that, in the case of Sanchez in particular, he is prepared to lose the player on a free next year to avoid selling now.
Sanchez has been linked with Manchester City while Oxlade-Chamberlain is a top target for Chelsea, but Wenger is determined not to lose two key players to Premier League title rivals.
‘It is a financial sacrifice,’ he said. ‘It is a sacrifice that you have to calculate how much it costs. If you let the player go and you buy somebody, you maybe spend more than you lose.
‘And if you extend the contract it maybe costs you more than you lose when you keep the player.
‘You have to consider as well the length of the contract that the players want. So (when) all that is into consideration, the financial sacrifice is not as heavy as it looks.
‘It’s my decision, but the board has to, of course, agree with me. And if they don’t agree we have to consider it as well, and I will accept it. But the board is behind me on that.
‘I am a football manager, I want Sanchez to stay, and that’s it. After that, all the financial implications, for me, is less important.
‘But at the end of the day you have to afford it as well — you must afford it.
‘I want Sanchez to stay, I want Sanchez to extend his contract. But as well you have to be capable to afford to pay him.
‘There is a part that is not rational, that is called success. How much are you ready to pay for success?
‘But on the other hand, you face a reality as well. At the end of the month, you have to face the fact that you have to pay your players and everybody at the club.’
Wenger has previously cashed in on unhappy players or players nearing the ends of their contracts, losing Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie in successive summers to Manchester City and United, respectively
However, he feels the situation is different with Sanchez, Ozil and Oxlade-Chamberlain and that in this case he will not be budging on his stance on keeping them.
‘You analyse the age and the money you get, and I don’t say I never do it because I did it with Robin van Persie at the time when he was at the end of his contract and Man United paid good money,’ Wenger added.
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