Arsene Wenger has admitted that Alexis Sanchez is on the verge of joining Manchester United.
The Chile forward has been heavily linked with a £35m move to United from Arsenal in recent days after Manchester City reportedly ended their interest.
“That is a story where you are well documented in the media so I do not have a lot to add to that,” Wenger said during his pre-match press conference on Thursday ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash against Crystal Palace at the Emirates. “It can happen, it can as well not happen.
“If it doesn’t happen he will play on Saturday. I worked on transfers for 30 years so it is likely to happen but at any moment or minute things can break down. As long as it’s not over the line you have to accept it may not happen. These kind of things are not guaranteed.”
When Wenger was asked if Henrikh Mkhitaryan will join Arsenal from United as part of the Sanchez deal, the Frenchman said: “It’s a possibility it’s because I like the player. We played many times against him when he was at Dortmund. He appreciated the quality of our games. The wages would not be a problem.”
There have been reports that United could pay Sanchez as much as £500,000 a week, but Wenger would not be drawn into condemning the staggering amount.
“I wouldn’t like to come out on the numbers, that’s a United problem,” he added. “I respect United because they generate the money they pay by their own resources.
“United is a club very well managed financially and of course on the pitch so that’s why I don’t have any problem with the money they pay.”
Wenger was then asked if Arsenal fans have to accept the club cannot compete with the financial power of United and City.
He said: “Financially yes. That doesn’t mean we can’t compete on the pitch.
“We did the maximum we could afford to do.”
Wenger insisted Arsenal would like to keep Jack Wilshere whose contract is expiring at the end of the season.
Wenger said: “We know what we want. We want him to stay.
“After that we have to find a financial agreement with Jack that is good for him. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
When asked about the potential arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Wenger said: “I have nothing to add on that. This kind of thing is better when it’s secret and when you don’t comment before announcing it when it’s over the line.
“Would he fit in? Yes because character can be a very positive note and negative but overall you look at the achievement of a player over his career and when it’s been positive the character has been used in a positive way.”
Wenger dismissed the reported signing of Bordeaux forward Malcom in January.
“No. I don’t think we are close to doing that. No, I don’t think so,” then added concerning Jonny Evans: “There’s nothing to add at the moment.”