Arsene Wenger says that the departure of Alexis Sanchez to Man Utd won’t be as painful for him or the fans as that of Robin van Persie back in 2012.
The Arsenal manager believes almost everyone has already come to terms with the fact that the Chilean has no intention of extending his contract, whereas there was some hope over Dutchman until he released his now infamous ‘you guys’ statement.
Add to that the fact the Gunners will be getting Henrikh Mkhitaryan in exchange, and it adds up to a less traumatic situation according to the Frenchman.
“Our fans know Alexis will not extend,” he said. “they have accepted that idea and the fact it will not be one-way traffic.
“It will be other-way traffic as well and that makes the whole thing a bit smoother, maybe a bit less disappointing.
“We lose a player, yes, but we could gain another player. I think one would replace the other.
“We took Van Persie when he played in the reserve team at Feyenoord. We made a long work with him.
“When you get them there and, after they leave, that is the most painful.”
The Sanchez/Mkhitaryan swap is expected to go through tomorrow, although if both clubs want to play their new men at the weekend, the deals must be completed by midday.
Arsenal are also set to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after the striker was left out of the Borussia Dortmund squad for their game against Hertha Berlin on Friday night.
There are suggestions that Olivier Giroud could be part of the deal, which would make him the fourth first team departure after Francis Coquelin, Theo Walcott, and Sanchez.
It’s mad, Ted!