Arsene Wenger rules out selling Sanchez and Özil in January
Wenger says they could leave in January only if ‘something unbelievable happens’
Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring with Mesut Özil. Photograph: Reuters/Paul Childs
Arsene Wenger has for the first time explicitly ruled out the possibility of selling either Alexis Sanchez or Mesut Özil in January, saying both players would remain at Arsenal until the end of the season “unless something unbelievable happens”.
Asked about the players’ futures on Tuesday, Wenger said: “I’m not the only one who can decide that. They have a say in that as well.” A few minutes later he was asked if he could, in fact, rule out a mid-season departure. “Yeah, I rule it out,” he said. “Look, I do not think every day about that. As long as they are here they have to give their best for the team and for the club. In my head, they stay until the end of the season. That’s the decision I took at the start of the season. Unless something unbelievable happens, there’s no reason why that should change.
Both players’ contracts expire at the end of this season; Sanchez came close to joining Manchester City in August and continues to be linked with them, while on Monday the former Arsenal striker Ian Wright said Özil’s rumoured move to Manchester United is “a shoo-in”.
However, Wenger insists that no moves will take place until next summer. “In press conference you’re always confronted with many speculations,” he said. “For me, they stay until the end of the season. That’s what I decided at the start of the season. Will they stay longer? That’s impossible to answer today. I don’t know.”
Arsenal go into Wednesday’s game against Huddersfield fourth in the table and with a 100 per cent home league record that runs back to a 2-2 draw against Manchester City on April 2nd, 11 consecutive home victories ago. They then host Manchester United on Saturday, a fixture on which Wenger said he currently has “zero eyes”. “We have a good chance tomorrow to take three points at home and that is the only thing that matters,” he said. “We can deal with the rest after this game.”
Huddersfield travel south having played a high-intensity match against Manchester City on Sunday, which they eventually lost 2-1, but Wenger said he did not expect his opponents to be physically enfeebled as a result. “It’s a massive game for me,” Wenger said. “I watched their game against Manchester City; they didn’t deserve to lose that game.
“These teams come from hell – they have to play 46 games in the Championship to get out of that. So when you play them you have to be ready for a fight. Especially in their first season, promoted teams have that kind of fighting spirit that makes them dangerous to any team they come up against.” – Guardian