WENGER CON­CEDES OZIL AND SANCHEZ MAY LEAVE AR­SE­NAL

Ger­man mid­fielder and Chilean for­ward are both out of con­tract next sum­mer

The National - News - - SPORT - THE NA­TIONAL

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.”

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