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Arsene Wenger says an Alexis Sanchez-Henrikh Mkhitaryan swap deal is “likely to happen”. He adds that if it doesn’t go through, the Chilean will play on Saturday.
Alexis finally looks to be edging closer to a move away from the Gunners after three-and-a-half years.
The Chilean agreed terms with Manchester United earlier this week, according to reports. However, the deal is dependent on Henrikh Mkhitaryan going the other way, as Arsenal don’t want to sell without a replacement.
Journalists asked Wenger about the status of the deal in his pre-match press conference. The manager responded: “I worked on transfers for 30 years so it is likely to happen, but at any moment it can break down. As long as it’s not over the line you have to accept it may not happen. These kind of things are not guaranteed.”
On Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Wenger added: “I like the player. We played many times against him when he was at Dortmund. He appreciated the quality of our games. The wages would not be a problem.”
If the deal doesn’t go through, the 68-year-old said: “I have no problem with Sanchez’s attitude. He was in training yesterday fully committed. He is 29 years old and the next contract will of course be very important to him.”
None of that sounds final, but it does seem the most likely outcome is that the transfer goes through. Hopefully before the game at the weekend, because whatever Wenger says about Sanchez’s commitment, I don’t really want a player who agreed terms with Manchester United this week starting that match.
It’s a similar situation on United’s end. Mourinho had to leave Mkhitaryan out of his squad for Stoke City, because of all the speculation. They’ll want to get a deal done just as much as Arsenal do, so hopefully that helps push it over the line.