WENGER CONCEDES OZIL AND SANCHEZ MAY LEAVE ARSENAL
German midfielder and Chilean forward are both out of contract next summer
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger conceded yesterday 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 Premier League 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.”
Chile forward Sanchez, 28, joined Arsenal from Barcelona in July 2014, a year after 28-year-old Germany playmaker Ozil’s arrival from Real Madrid.
Sanchez has been linked with several major clubs, among them are Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.
Ozil, meanwhile, is reported to have attracted interest from Manchester United.
Earlier this week, Ozil’s agent, Erkut Sogut, indicated talks with Arsenal were progressing positively.
“That’s my understanding, yes,” Wenger said. “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.”
Arsenal are up against a Watford side who have lost only one of their opening seven games, and Wenger said he is impressed by the work of their manager Marco Silva.
“He has impressed,” he added. “Watford play good football. He has done very well.”
Meanwhile, Slaven Bilic, the West Ham United manager, has told striker Andy Carroll he needs to find his form for his club side if he is to be a part of England’s squad for the World Cup in Russia.
Carroll has played in West Ham’s past four games, but is yet to score this season, and has struggled with injuries since signing from Liverpool in 2012.
“He needs to be consistent, play well, score goals and make an impact on a regular basis for West Ham to think about an England call-up,” Bilic told reporters ahead of his side’s trip to Burnley tomorrow.
“Andy needs to concentrate on club football because only by playing well for West Ham will he force Gareth Southgate to give him a call.”