Arsene Wenger says that although it’s his decision to keep Alexis Sanchez this summer, he could be overruled by the board.
However, he believes that he has the backing of those above him despite the fact that selling the Chilean could bring in a substantial amount of money this summer.
The Arsenal manager’s message has been consistent all through the off-season about his desire to keep Sanchez at the club, although there have been some whispers that the prospect of losing such a valuable asset for free has given some of the people at board level pause for thought.
“It’s my decision,” he said, “but after the board has to of course agree with me. And if they don’t agree we have to consider it as well, and I will accept it.
“But the board is behind me on that.”
Wenger also hinted that the wage demands sought by Alexis and Mesut Ozil, who has yet to commit to a new deal, could be in excess of what the club can afford to pay, and even if the players leave for free it might be more costly to keep them if they sign new deals.
“If you let the player go and you buy somebody you spend maybe more than you lose,” he said.
“And as well if you extend the contracts it costs you maybe more than you lose when you keep the player.
“So you have to consider the length of the contract as well that the players want. So all that is in consideration, the financial sacrifice is not as heavy as it looks.
“You can have an estimation of what it costs if you lose the player, what it costs if you extend the player, and all that. What it costs if you buy a new player. You can do that, approximately.
“After that, the ratio between what the player will cost, what he brings back, this has gone. How can you quantify today what Neymar costs? Will he bring €300million back? It’s impossible to say.
“There is a part that is rational, and the other part is completely irrational: it is passion, ego, pride, you can call that how you want. How much is that worth financially?
“Maybe that’s down to every club.”
If nothing else, he’s put it up to the board because it’s clear that any sale now will be them going over Wenger’s head.