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According to reports, Arsene Wenger has estimated that it will cost £70million to replace Sanchez if – or more likely when – he leaves next summer, despite having a £92m bid for Lemar accepted by Monaco on deadline day.
The Frenchman stood firm and rejected Manchester City’s deadline-day bids for his wantaway star player after failing to land Monaco’s Thomas Lemar as a replacement.
‘You take Sanchez into the final year of your contract, you sacrifice £60m-£70m income and then at the end of the season you will have to buy somebody for that amount of money,’ said Wenger in an interview with beIN Sports. ‘So it has a huge price. So at some stage you have to make a decision you have to sacrifice one or two [players].’
Mesut Ozil is another of Wenger’s stars who is in the final year of his contract and yet to sign a new deal, meaning he is free to negotiate with other clubs in January. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was in a similar situation before he moved to Liverpool for £35m on deadline day.
‘We have today 107 players in England who go into the final year of their contract,’ said Wenger. ‘It’s a complete rotation and change in the way people see their careers for two reasons. One, all the players expect higher wages because they anticipate inflation; [and two] because the transfer market has gone up so much but clubs do not want to pay so high prices on transfers for players who are good players but will not change their life.
‘The amount of money is completely disconnected to reality and the truth. I give you one example: no matter how well you work as a football coach, Dembele last year was €15m, this year €150m. No matter how well you work on the football pitch you cannot make a player go from €15m to €150m.
‘But the calculation between investment and what you can get back has gone. It’s just: can you afford to buy or not?’