Wenger unhappy to lose striker, but admits sale is likely

Matt Stead

Arsene Wenger says there is “nothing to announce” on any new deals but did reveal he expects forward Lucas Perez to leave.

The 29-year-old has been frustrated at a lack of first-team opportunities since arriving from Deportivo La Coruna last August.

His agent told Press Association Sport last week that Perez has been left “angry and sad and upset” by some of the decisions taken by the club, including reallocating his number nine shirt to new signing Alexandre Lacazette.

When asked if he saw Perez’s future elsewhere, Wenger replied: “Yes, because we have a congestion of strikers.

“I don’t like to lose him because, for me, he’s a top-quality striker but we have many strikers. At some stage, too much competition is not competition any more.

“You cannot give the chance to everybody, so if he finds a satisfying solution at least for a short time, he will do it.”

Perez, who is likely to seal a return to Depor, is not expected to be involved at Wembley on Sunday as Arsenal look to replicate their FA Cup success over Chelsea by beating the Blues in the Community Shield.

Sanchez may also sit out having only just made a return, with Shkodran Mustafi in a similar position having also played at the Confederations Cup with winners Germany.

Francis Coquelin will not play after suffering an ankle injury in the Emirates Cup win over Benfica, with Wilshere missing out after just returning to full training.

Gabriel and Santi Cazorla are long-term absentees but there are likely to be places in the team for summer recruits Sead Kolasinac and Lacazette.