Wenger may be forced to sell star duo to avoid them leav­ing for free

Evening Express (City Final) - - Sport -

ARSENE Wenger has ad­mit­ted that Ar­se­nal may be forced to sell Alexis Sanchez and Me­sut Ozil in Jan­uary to avoid the pair leav­ing for free next sum­mer. Striker Sanchez and mid­fielder Ozil are both out of con­tract at the end of the sea­son and, de­spite lengthy ne­go­ti­a­tions, nei­ther have agreed to ex­tend their cur­rent deals. The stale­mate leaves Ar­se­nal fac­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of their two star play­ers de­part­ing for free and Wenger con­ceded sell­ing mid­sea­son is one so­lu­tion. “It is pos­si­ble,” Gun­ners boss Wenger said. “Once you’re in our kind of sit­u­a­tion, we have en­vis­aged ev­ery so­lu­tion, yes.” Asked if the club had set a dead­line for talks to be re­solved, Wenger said: “No. Not at the mo­ment.”

Ozil’s agent Erkut Sogut in­di­cated this week his client was keen to stay in the Pre­mier League and that ne­go­ti­a­tions with Ar­se­nal were pro­gress­ing “in a pos­i­tive way”. When that as­sess­ment was put to Wenger, the French­man said: “That’s my un­der­stand­ing, yes. “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 is back in train­ing af­ter re­cov­er­ing from a knee in­jury and could play against Wat­ford to­mor­row but Sanchez will have to be as­sessed fol­low­ing Chile’s ag­o­nis­ing de­feat to Brazil.

Chile’s loss on Wed­nes­day meant they failed to qual­ify for next year’s World Cup. There was dis­ap­point­ment too for Ar­se­nal de­fender Shko­dran Mustafi, who suf­fered a thigh in­jury play­ing for Ger­many against Azer­bai­jan last week­end and will be out for four to six weeks. Mustafi’s ab­sence may at least be off­set by the re­turn of Lau­rent Ko­scielny, how­ever, who is close to over­com­ing an Achilles prob­lem.

con­tract talks:

Ar­se­nal striker Alexis Sanchez.

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