In another twist in what’s already been a pretty twisty and turny saga regarding Alexis Sanchez’s contract status, Arsene Wenger has come out and said that he will not sell Alexis to a Premier League rival and that he’s confident Alexis will stay, but if he doesn’t then Wenger has no issues letting his contract run out next summer.
Per The Telegraph:
“If he doesn’t sign a new deal, will I make him stay? Yes,” Wenger said. “Would I rather keep him than sell him to a Premier League rival? Yes. I don’t think you would sell him to any Premier League club, that is for sure. Why not? The question is more why would you sell him to another Premier League club? You want to be as strong as you can be and not strengthen the other teams.
“I think he will sign and stay because, first of all, he is happy here. His desire is to stay. That is what I deeply believe. The disagreements are purely contractual – not on the desire. Both parties have the desire to find an agreement, so I think it will happen.”
Well that’s positive! Wenger also discussed how a player is valued and how it isn’t exactly easy to find starting replacements in today’s world, especially replacements to replace someone of Alexis’ quality.
“You amortise a transfer during the length of the contract,” Wenger said. “So, when you pay an amount of money and when the player signs a four-year contract, you deduct every year 25% of a contract. The problem that you have to analyse, always, is: ‘Can you find better? For what kind of money?’ The inflation is so big that sometimes, even mathematically, there can be advantages to keep a player until the end of a contract.”
While it’s encouraging to see Wenger confident of keeping his biggest name happy and at the club, it can be somewhat concerning that he’s willing to forego selling him for a large sum all because of the difficulty in finding a replacement that he values highly enough. With this club potentially missing out on Champions League money next season, it’s important to consider any cash flow it can get and especially if it comes from the sale of a player who might no longer want to be at this club. Whether or not you want Alexis to stay, the idea of him leaving on a free, and potentially to a Chelsea or Manchester City, is about as last resort of a scenario as it gets so let’s hope the club is willing to proactively come to a conclusion to this saga this summer.