Arsene Wenger has admitted that he tried to sell Alexis Sanchez on deadline day, but could not sign “a player of that calibre” to “replace him”.
Wenger was adamant throughout the summer that Sanchez was not for sale, despite the Chilean having only 12 months remaining on his contract.
Manchester City courted Sanchez since the end of last season and were thought to be close to a breakthrough after agreeing a £60million fee with Arsenal.
But the Gunners failed to sign a replacement in time despite having a bid for Thomas Lemar accepted by Monaco
Wenger says that the club have decided to “make a financial sacrifice” by keeping Sanchez.
“Look, your interest is always to perform,” he told beIN SPORTS. “It was not very close, and it’s very difficult for me to speak about that because what I want from the player now is to focus on his career, on his season and on Arsenal Football Club.
“I believe as well, I spoke to you before about integrity and values, I always think to make sure my level of commitment is as expected from the people who pay me and who have confidence in me.
“On the player’s side, he is exactly the same. He will be 100% [committed].
“I cannot tell you everything that happened because when you decide to let a player of that calibre go, you need to replace him, because nobody would understand that you let the player go.
“When you cannot do it you keep the player. You make a financial sacrifice, because at the end of the day what you want is to have a team with a good potential and top quality.
“That leaves two things: Alexis Sanchez, like Mesut Ozil, will go in the final year of his contract, or during the season you find a way to extend his contract.”