Wenger: Lemar did not reject us, he just decided to stay

Date published: Thursday 7th September 2017 9:35

Arsene Wenger has discussed the situations surrounding Thomas Lemar, Alexis Sanchez and Arsenal.

The Gunners had a club-record bid accepted for Lemar on transfer deadline day, but an inability to sell Sanchez in time meant that negotiations were abandoned.

Speaking on Thursday, Wenger would not go into detail on how close Arsenal came to selling Sanchez on transfer deadline day.

“The transfer market is over, there was a lot going on on that front. It’s very difficult for me to speak about that because the most important thing now is our next game,” he said.

Asked whether any Sanchez sale hinged on bringing in Lemar, Wenger added: “That’s what I read everywhere, yes. My view is that it is too difficult to speak about that because Lemar is now in Monaco and of course Sanchez is here.

“I believe you have to keep a certain confidentiality about transfer negotiations. Many things happen at the last second.”

Wenger said it was “not true” the Lemar deal failed because the player was not interested in joining Arsenal.

“He decided to stay in Monaco and you have to respect that,” he said.

“The player has a three-year contract to go – so overall you have to respect that.”

“I have no doubt about Alexis’ mind and mentality, that people question,” the Frenchman added.

“He needs to come back to full fitness, which he was not (at) against Liverpool. It was his first game, and he has suffered a negative experience with Chile.

“But he is strong mentally and hopefully he will be back very quickly to his best.”

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