Alexis Sanchez’s move away from Arsenal could be confirmed “in the next 48 hours”, Arsene Wenger has suggested.
Arsenal left Sanchez at home for Sunday’s 2-1 Premier League loss at Bournemouth, which sealed the club’s relegation from the ‘Big Six’.
Wenger insisted the Chile striker was willing to play. The 29-year-old appears to be closing in on a move to Manchester United, with Manchester City reportedly dropping out of the race.
“Alexis would have played,” said Wenger, after Arsenal leaked two goals in five minutes to slip to defeat at Dean Court.
“Alexis would have played, but it’s a difficult period for him.
“He’s always been committed until now but he could have gone yesterday and he could go in the next 48 hours.
“It was difficult for him because he was on standby. That’s why I decided not to do it.
“He did not refuse to play.”
Wenger confirmed on Friday that Sanchez will not sign a new contract, with his current Arsenal deal expiring in the summer.
That has paved the way for a January move, and United appear best-placed to secure the prolific forward’s services.
Asked if Sanchez will be replaced if he leaves, Wenger said: “Yes. Look, if Sanchez goes we need to replace him.
“If players like Sanchez go we have of course to respond.
“Will he go or not, I don’t know, but at the moment it’s the transfer period.
“In this kind of period we try to use the players completely focused on being at the club.
“I don’t master the rhythm of that but it could happen today, tomorrow, or not at all.
“That’s why I didn’t want to travel with him, and then suddenly he could go.”