Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted he made a mistake not selling Alexis Sanchez for £60million last summer.
According to The Mirror, the Frenchman conceded if he ‘had his time again’ he would not have stood in the way of Sanchez joining Manchester City after they lodged a mega bid on deadline day in August.
It was football’s worst kept secret that Sanchez was desperately unhappy at the Emirates Stadium and was intending to run down his contract to leave on a free at the end of this season.
And his desire to be elsewhere shone through in his performances. He managed only eight goals in 22 games for Arsenal before he left the club for United last month.
Wenger pointed to his drop in goals and assists compared to previous seasons as the main reason why the gamble to keep him at the club backfired.
The Arsenal boss said he should have allowed him to leave but was determined to bring a suitable replacement and ran out of time to land Monaco’s Thomas Lemar.
Instead, Arsenal ended up doing a swap deal with Sanchez moving to Old Trafford and Henrikh Mkhitaryan moving in the opposite direction.
In a way, Wenger did replace Sanchez with Mkhitaryan but could have received a lot more money if he had let the 29-year-old leave last summer.
Sanchez, on the other hand, has hugely benefited from holding out to join United instead of their arch-rivals City. He penned a deal to make him the highest paid player in the Premier League.
Reports suggest he is earning around £600,000 a week, but during a Q&A session for the club’s executive box holders, Wenger indicated he could be on even more by pointing to the ceiling.
However, when it came to his own future, the 68-year-old was a lot more reluctant to give away any hints, and just insisted his focus is placed on qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
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