Arsenal potentially selling one of their stars is nothing new for the north London club. From 2007 to 2012, the Gunners let go of Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas, Emmanuel Adebayor, Samir Nasri, and Robin van Persie at a time in which neither the team nor the fans really wanted the players to leave. However, these transfers followed Arsenal’s move to the Emirates Stadium, which were financially tight times.
The decision to sell these players eventually came down to both the willingness of the players to move, and also to capitalize on these sales with major profits as well. Arsenal brass, including manager Arsene Wenger, used these outgoing player transfers to help finish paying off the sizable debt from building the state-of-the-art Emirates Stadium.
While the talented aforementioned quintet were eventually allowed to move on from the Gunners, manager Arsene Wenger was fairly vocal in these players remaining with the club prior to the transfers. This is why many Arsenal fans are still feeling a bit uneasy when Wenger has recently shut down the idea of selling Alexis Sanchez, one of the team’s top players, during this summer’s transfer window.
Sanchez, 28, only has one year remaining on his current contract and will be free to leave at no cost to any team he wishes following the upcoming 2017/18 season. Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain have been been widely rumored to be interested in Sanchez’s services, despite Wenger claiming that his superstar is not currently for sale.
Wenger addressed the situation over the weekend by claiming that the PSG rumors are completely false. “I read L’Equipe in the last three or four days,” said Wenger. “It has moved from Sanchez to Neymar. Today they speak about Neymar, three days ago they speak about Alexis. They need as well, like you [reporters], subjects. [PSG] cannot get Sanchez so they go for Neymar.” The Arsenal manager also gave reporters a flat out “no” when asked if Sanchez has expressed a desire to depart the club.
Reporters in the room, aware of Arsenal’s previous dealings in similar situations, also asked Wenger if the club can take a different stance on transfers due to the club’s financially stable position. “We are in a strong financial situation,” claimed the Frenchman. “So we want to keep our best players. You can see that there is a fight everywhere to get top players.”
Assuming Sanchez is still an Arsenal player with the transfer window slams shut, Wenger is taking a bit of a gamble. Sanchez has made it abundantly clear that he wants to play in the Champions League. If the Gunners finish outside of the top four (or fail to win the Europa League this coming season), Sanchez will surely walk away from north London free of cost. However, Wenger is banking on Sanchez helping his team get back into a Champions League place and also at least challenge for the Premier League title. This could possibly persuade the Chilean to sign a new deal with the club prior to the end of the 2017/18 campaign.
With the Gunners in a solid financial position, they theoretically do not desperately need the £50 million that Sanchez could conjure up if Arsenal were to sell him. Wenger has already brought in two very talented players so far this summer that will strengthen the team (Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac), and is still on the lookout for one or two more top talents as well. This is already one of Wenger’s most important summers as the Arsenal manager, and the actual upcoming season will be just as important.
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