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Wenger: Alexis Sanchez not 'very close' to leaving Arsenal

Wenger: Alexis Sanchez not very close to leaving Arsenal

Sanchez not 'very close' to summer exit - Wenger

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has insisted that star forward Alexis Sanchez was not 'very close' to leaving the Emirates despite the strong link with Manchester City on August 31.

The Chile international was understood to be on the verge of joining the Citizens after they offered an initial £55m for his services which was verbally agreed by the north London club.

However, they could not find a suitable replacement in the final hours of the transfer window with Monaco's Thomas Lemar turning down a British-record move to the Gunners.

Sanchez is said to be distraught as missing out on the move, but Wenger insists has claimed that the attacker was never close to leaving.

"It was not very close. It's very difficult for me to speak about that because what I want now is the player to focus on his career, on his season and on Arsenal football club," Wenger told beIN Sports.

"I cannot tell you everything that happened because after when you decide to let a player of that calibre go you need to replace him, because nobody would understand why you let the player go."

The 67-year-old added that the club had to take a financial sacrifice on the Chilean footballer in order to maintain the overall quality of the squad.

Sanchez could be in line to make his second Gunners appearance of the season when they host Bournemouth in the Premier League this weekend.