London - Arsene Wenger
moved to allay the fears of Arsenal fans on Tuesday saying he would replace
both Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil with world-class players should they end up
Both Sanchez, who came
close to moving to Manchester City on the final day of the last transfer window
in August, and Ozil's contracts are up at the end of the present season.
Sanchez's attitude and
commitment to the club have been questioned by fans and some of his team-mates
did not congratulate the 29-year-old Chilean after he scored a double in the
3-2 Premier League win over Crystal Palace last Thursday.
Wenger, whose transfer
dealings have been a sore point with sections of the Arsenal support, said he
would also be on the look-out for players in the present transfer window.
"We are open to
any position for the exceptional player that can give us a plus. It depends a
little bit on the injuries as well," said the Arsenal manager on the eve
of their match with reigning Premier League champions Chelsea.
"On the other hand,
it depends if we manage to extend the contracts of the players who are at the
end of their contracts in June.
"It will depend
on that as well. We have to take the consequences of those decisions and
respond to it.
"How we cope with
that, first of all we have not lost them yet, and secondly we will respond to
that by bringing in players of top quality.
"This club has
lost many, many big players and has always responded well."
68-year-old Frenchman refuted suggestions he was targeting Chelsea's Brazil
centre-back David Luiz or French international midfielder Thomas Lemar from
The failure to sign
22-year-old Lemar back in August led to the collapse of the Sanchez move to
"I don't want to
think about any special names, but these reports are wrong," said Wenger,
whose side are currently fifth in the table, six points behind Liverpool in
fourth but with a game in hand.
As for catching
runaway leaders City, Wenger said there is the slimmest glimmer of hope for
their rivals given their two recent performances -- a 1-0 win away at
struggling Newcastle United and then a 0-0 draw on Sunday against
relegation-threatened Crystal Palace.
"They have shown
signs of being less dominant," said Wenger, whose side are 21 points
"One of the teams
behind need to have a perfect run and they (City) need to collapse a bit."