Commentary

Wenger won't break the bank to keep Sanchez

He’s yet to reveal what future plans he has for himself, but Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is adamant that he and the club will not overspend to keep forward Alexis Sanchez.

Earlier this year,, Sanchez made pointed remarks about perhaps moving to a nearby club with which he can win titles and trophies, which fanned speculation about a crosstown move to Chelsea.

Sanchez, 28, enters the final year of his contract this summer and is known to be the target of several big-spending clubs including Manchester City and Paris St. Germain as well as Chelsea, and according to the Guardian, he has been offered a contract worth 400,000 pounds ($500,000) per week by an unspecified Chinese club.

A contract of that value would roughly double his current deal, which is in the range of $11.5 million per year. (That’s net salary, not gross.)

“It certainly contributes to the imagination of the players,” Wenger in regards to the effect of wild spending by Chinese Super League in transfer fees and player salaries.

Wenger admitted the possible disruption of team cohesion in case of one player significantly out-earning his teammates, even on roster such as that of Arsenal.

“Always,” he replied, “but we must also accept that modern life has changed a little bit. We always had a wage schedule that was respected but players earn so much money now that the cases have become much more individual than global.

“You have many different opinions. Some people tell me: ‘Just give him what he wants.’ But then you cannot respect any more any wage structure and you put the club in trouble as well. You have to make the decision in an objective way. The club always has to be the priority. I understand top players are a big priority but, even for important players, you can only pay as much as you can afford.”

As Sanchez hinted in his comments about moving to a more successful club, his frustration is not solely about money. Many fans share his frustration and have targeted it at Wenger, who has only a few FA Cups to show for his work going back more than a decade. So far, the club has ignored the “Wenger Out!” movement that has sparked protests at each match and public displays outside the Emirates Stadium.

Wenger has steadfastly refused to sign a new contract and reveal his intentions. Many observers suspect he’s waiting until the club’s European fate is determined. Arsenal has qualified for the Champions League consistently for 17 consecutive seasons. That streak is in jeopardy, with the Gunners in sixth place, and seven points behind fourth-place Manchester City.

Wenger has reiterated his stance that the Chinese league is not a viable option for Sanchez, who leads the Gunners this season with 22 goals in all competitions. Among the many problems such a move would entail is the travel distances to play international games for Chile. He has scored 37 goals in 108 appearances since his debut in 2006.

But Sanchez is clearly a highly valued player surely to be in demand in many locales, not just the Far East.

“Every club and every player has to make decisions,” Wenger said. “Where are your priorities? Where do you want to play? The first priority for top players is to play with the best players and in the best league. After that, it is not about choosing to go to China because you earn big money. You make big money in England as well. You have the best combination of playing at the top and big money is in England, at the moment. So, for me, China is not a debate.” 

2 comments about " Wenger won't break the bank to keep Sanchez".
  1. I w Nowozeniuk, April 15, 2017 at 9:56 a.m.

    Sanchez is a hybrid player. He's a huge talent, fighter on the pitch, never quits, and makes things happen.

  2. Delroy Wallace, April 15, 2017 at 10:16 a.m.

    Let Sanchez go. Brilliant individual, not so briliant as a Team Player!

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