Wenger: Stars could leave us

The Citizen (KZN) - - INTERNATIONAL - Lon­don

– Arse­nal man­ager Arsene Wenger con­ceded yes­ter­day he may have no op­tion but to sell star play­ers Alexis Sanchez and Me­sut Oezil 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 to­mor­row. “Once you’re in our kind of sit­u­a­tion, we have en­vis­aged ev­ery so­lu­tion, yes.”

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

Chilean forward Sanchez, 28, joined Arse­nal from Barcelona in July 2014, a year af­ter 28-year-old Ger­man play­maker Oezil’s ar­rival from Real Madrid.

The sign­ings elec­tri­fied Arse­nal’s fan base, 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.

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

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

“That’s my yes,” said Wenger.

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

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