After refusing to be drawn yesterday over whether or not Arsenal were preparing a £300,000 a week deal for Alexis Sanchez, Arsene Wenger has insisted that the club has to respect its wage structure but has also dismissed the idea that the player could leave for a more lucrative deal in China.
It has been reported that the Chilean’s representatives have had a £400,000 weekly wage offer from an ‘unnamed’ Chinese super league club (reminds us of this, actually):
Chinese Super League side Lao Tzu have made an offer to Alexis Sanchez of £900,000 a week! [source: Jack Eechan – Shanghai Express] pic.twitter.com/KUT3SfGujd
— arseblog (@arseblog) January 4, 2017
But Wenger believes the uncompetitive nature of football there at the moment means truly top players will stay in Europe.
“Every club and every player has to make decisions,” he 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.”
Sanchez has been the team’s most effective attacking player this season, and heading into the final 12 months of his current deal – and at 28 years of age, it’s not surprising he’s looking for a significant wage increase comparable to those earned by top players at other Premier League clubs.
The Arsenal manager warned, however, that the club had to respect its wage structure – in terms of how much a player earns and how that compares to others in the squad too.
“You have many different opinions,” he said. “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.”