Ozil, Sanchez likely to stay put

LONDON • Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has ruled out selling star duo Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez in the January transfer window "unless something unbelievable happens".

Both players are out of contract in the summer and have been the subject of repeated speculation that they may leave, with Ozil a reported target for Manchester United and Barcelona, and Sanchez the subject of a failed bid from Manchester City last summer.

Speaking ahead of today's Premier League game with Huddersfield, Wenger was asked whether he thought both would still be at the club when the January transfer window closes.

"Yes, of course," he said at his pre-match press conference.

"I rule (a move away from Arsenal) out. I don't think every day about that. As long as they are here, they give their best for the club. In my head, they stay until the end of the season, unless something unbelievable happens, I don't see that changes."

If neither player signs a contract extension, each could begin negotiating with other clubs in January ahead of a summer move.

When asked whether he thought the pair would remain at the club for the long run, Wenger added: "I am not the only one to decide that. They have to decide that as well."

  • 11 Consecutive home games Arsenal have won at the Emirates.

Arsenal go into today's match with a 100 per cent home league record that runs back to a 2-2 draw with Manchester City on April 2, 11 consecutive home victories ago.

They then host Manchester United on Saturday, a fixture which Wenger claimed he currently has "zero eyes" for.

"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."

The Gunners are currently 12 points behind Premier League leaders City, but the Frenchman insisted that there is still time to catch Pep Guardiola's side.

"No, I don't think so," he said, when asked if his team were out of the title race.

"It is too early to say that.

"I feel that every team has its vulnerabilities, even Manchester City. They've had a good start, but it is too early. We are only in November."

REUTERS, THE GUARDIAN

ARSENAL V HUDDERSFIELD

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 29, 2017, with the headline 'Ozil, Sanchez likely to stay put'. Print Edition | Subscribe