Ozil, Sanchez could leave in Jan­uary: Wenger

The Phnom Penh Post - - FOOTBALL -

ARSE­NAL man­ager Arsene Wenger con­ceded yes­ter­day that he may have no op­tion but to sell star play­ers Alexis Sanchez and Me­sut Ozil in the Jan­uary trans­fer win­dow.

The pair are both out of con­tract at the end of the sea­son and are yet to agree new deals.

As things stand, they will be able to leave the Emi­rates Sta­dium for free, mean­ing Jan­uary will be Arse­nal’s last op­por­tu­nity to cash in on their two most high-pro­file play­ers.

“It is pos­si­ble,” Wenger told a press con­fer­ence ahead of his side’s trip to Wat­ford on Satur­day. “Once you’re i n ou r kind of sit­u­a­tion, we have en- v is­aged ever y so­lu­tion, yes.”

Asked if Arse­nal had set a dead­line for con­tract ne­go­ti­a­tions with the pair to con­clude, Wenger replied: “No. Not at the mo­ment.”

Chile for­ward Sanchez, 28, joined Arse­nal from Barcelona in July 2014, a year af­ter 28-yearold Ger­many play­maker Ozil’s ar­rival from Real Madrid.

The sign­ings elec­tri­fied Arse­nal’s fan­base, but for all their qual­ity, the duo have thus far been un­able to end the club’s 14-year wait for the Premier League ti­tle.

Sanchez has been linked with a num­ber of ma­jor clubs, among them Manch­ester City and Paris Saint-Ger­main.

Ozil, mean­while, is re­ported to have at­tracted in­ter­est from Manch­ester United, who are man­aged by his for­mer Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho.

Fit­ness test for Ko­scielny

Ear­lier this week, Ozil’s agent, Erkut Sogut, in­di­cated talks with Arse­nal were pro­gress­ing pos­i­tively.

“That’s my un­der­stand­ing, yes,” said Wenger.

“I al­ways said the fact that we didn’t find an agree­ment last year doesn’t mean the player will nec­es­sar­ily leave. Both play­ers look happy here and over­all I hope the sit­u­a­tion can be turned around.”

Ozil could fea­ture at Wat­ford, hav­ing re­turned to train­ing fol­low­ing a knee in­jury.

But Sanchez is due to be as­sessed af­ter play­ing in Chile’s 3-0 loss to Brazil on Wed­nes­day, which ended their hopes of qual­i­fy­ing for the World Cup.

“I will have to speak to him,” Wenger said. “Yes­ter­day af­ter­noon I watched the whole Brazil against Chile game to see how dif­fi­cult the game was.

“I must say he got some spe­cial treat­ment – it was a very phys­i­cal game and men­tally I will have to as­sess the sit­u­a­tion when he comes back to­mor­row.”

Cen­tre-back Shko­dran Mustafi also en­dured a mis­er­able in­ter­na­tional break, the Ger- many in­ter­na­tional suf­fer­ing a thigh in­jury against Azer­bai­jan that will side­line him for four to six weeks.

But his ab­sence will soon be off­set by the re­turn of Lau­rent Ko­scielny, who is clos­ing on a come­back from an achilles in­jury.

“Ko­scielny has a def­i­nite fi­nal test to­mor­row,” Wenger said. “At the mo­ment, he’s not avail­able. He trained on his own and the first signs are pos­i­tive, so we de­cided to give him a test to­mor­row.”

Striker Danny Wel­beck is back in con­tention af­ter a groin in­jury, while left-back Sead Ko­lasinac faces a late fit­ness test on a hip com­plaint.

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