Arsene Wenger was unable to offer an update on the future of Alexis Sanchez on Friday but the Arsenal manager did not deny suggestions Manchester United and Manchester City are both chasing the Chile international.
Sanchez is believed to remain a prime target for City after a switch to Etihad Stadium fell through late in the previous transfer window.
United have reportedly emerged as rival bidders in recent days and are said to be attempting to hijack the proposed move to Pep Guardiola’s Premier League leaders.
Addressing the media ahead of Arsenal’s match against Bournemouth, Wenger was asked if Old Trafford was indeed a potential destination for Sanchez.
“Look, honestly, I cannot tell you much more at the moment because nothing is really concrete,” he said.
Pressed on whether that meant United had also now expressed their interest, Wenger responded: “You conclude that. You could say at the moment – it’s not that I don’t want to inform you, I don’t want to give you wrong information. Nothing is decided one way or another.”
It was suggested fierce competition between City and United over the services of the former Barcelona forward could be to Arsenal’s advantage, but the manager gave little indication an auction is underway behind the scenes.
He said: “A bidding war is always beneficial to a club who can take advantage of it, but we are not in that. Normally, we want him to stay until the end of the season, we will see.”
The Frenchman also managed to offer a clever response when asked if he would prefer to play for Guardiola or Mourinho.
“I would want to play for the club where I am with 100 per cent commitment,” he said.
As for whether the Gunners supporters still care passionately about the future of Sanchez, Wenger said: “I don’t know honestly, what the fans want is for Arsenal to win and the only way to please the fans is to win the next game.”
The manager did acknowledge, though, that it would be impossible to secure a direct replacement for the 29-year-old, who was obliged to remain at Emirates Stadium in August when a deal to bring Thomas Lemar to Arsenal from Monaco collapsed.
“In the way we find exactly same the player, certainly not,” Wenger said.
“He’s an exceptional football player, a world-class player.”
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