Arsene Wenger has hinted that Alexis Sanchez had agreed on a new deal at Arsenal at some point before his move to Manchester United (via Arsenal.com).
The transfer has finally been confirmed and we can now dissect the reasons behind the Alexis Sanchez/Henrikh Mkhitaryan swap deal.
The swap deal is a rare thing in football, especially between two clubs as big as Arsenal and Manchester United.
However, Arsene Wenger has hinted in his pre-match press conference that this deal probably should not have even happened as the Chilean had agreed on a new Arsenal contract at some point during the negotiations.
“Look, I don’t want to come back on the history of his negotiations, but maybe one day,” he said with a smile. When asked if that smile meant theat a deal was agreed at some point, he said this to the Evening Standard‘s James Olley:
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“You can interpret my smile, you know me well enough for years, so I leave you free to do that.”
He may not have explicity said it but there is certainly the suggestion from Wenger that Alexis Sanchez had agreed on a new deal at Arsenal at some point in the last few months.
“Alexis is a great guy and has always been committed,” Wenger continued.
“Did the negotiations go well or not well? It has never affected him and I would just like to remind you I took him to the hotel on the night before the Crystal Palace game and he was completely focused and ready to play the next day until I told him, ‘look you can go home, the deal is over the line.’
“So, that’s what he did. No matter how the negotiations went he was always focused on football.”
It’s an interesting insight into a fascinating football story. Perhaps one day we will learn of the full details if Arsene Wenger ever gets around to writing that book.