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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has conceded star attacking duo Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil could leave the club in January, but he said both are still happy at the Emirates Stadium.
The 28-year-old pair are both in the final year of their contracts with Arsenal and, although Wenger hinted attempts are ongoing to get them signed to new deals, he said the Gunners could cash in come the new year, per Mattias Karen on ESPN.co.uk:
“Once you’re in our kind of situation, you envisage every solution, yes. It’s possible. I always said that the fact we didn’t sign an agreement [with Sanchez and Ozil in the summer] doesn’t mean that the player will leave—because both players look happy here. Overall I hope the situation can be turned around.”
Wenger, 67, was speaking ahead of Arsenal’s Saturday trip to Watford in the Premier League, the north London club’s first match following the international break.
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Sanchez’s Chile side failed to secure qualification to the 2018 FIFA World Cup during the break, and Wenger said he will assess the forward following a physically and mentally challenging period, per Liam Prenderville of The Mirror: “I will have to speak to him. Yesterday, I watched the whole game and I must say he got some special treatment. It was very physical and mentally I will have to assess the situation.”
The former Barcelona and Udinese star was close to leaving the Emirates back in the summer, with Arsenal’s Premier League rivals Manchester City heavily linked with a deal worth up to £60 million, per BBC Sport’s David Ornstein.
Ozil, meanwhile, has recently been linked with a move to Manchester United to reunite with manager Jose Mourinho, under whom he played at Real Madrid, per The Independent’s Miguel Delaney.
It is becoming abundantly clear that the likelihood of Sanchez and Ozil penning new deals at Arsenal are minimal.
Clubs will likely look to take advantage of Arsenal’s potential desire to recoup some money for two of their biggest signings by making moves for the pair in January.
But, given they could be available for free come next summer, it seems unlikely any bids will come close to the £60 million City offered for Sanchez, and Arsenal may have to decide whether to cut their losses.