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Arsene Wenger has admitted that Alexis Sanchez is in his final days as an Arsenal player. The Arsenal manager confirmed that Sanchez’s future will be “decided in the next 48 hours”, after leaving him out of Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat at Bournemouth this afternoon.

Sanchez is on the brink of a big money move away from Arsenal, with Manchester United in pole position for his signature. Sanchez wanted to play this afternoon but Wenger did not take him to Bournemouth because a move could happen at any moment, and Wenger admitted Sanchez was now on “stand-by” for a transfer.

Wenger only wanted to pick players who are “completely focused on being at the club”.

At the end of his post-match press conference at the Vitality Stadium, while defending Sanchez against an accusation he did not want to play, Wenger let slip that Sanchez will likely be sold on Monday or Tuesday.

United are currently favourites because they are willing to pay the £35million asking price and City are not. The onus is on City to come back with more money tomorrow or else Sanchez will go to United.

“Alexis would have played,” Wenger said. “But it’s a difficult period for him. He’s always been committed until now but he could have moved yesterday, today or not. It will be decided in the next 48 hours. It was a bit difficult for him because he was on stand-by, a little bit. That’s why I decided not to do it. He did not refuse to play.”

Sanchez trained normally yesterday but Wenger did not want him to come to Bournemouth then have to travel up to Manchester, so he was left back in London instead. “I don’t master the rhythm of it, but it could happen today, tomorrow or not at all,” Wenger said.

“That’s why I didn’t take a decision [to pick him]. I didn’t want to travel with him and suddenly he goes somewhere. At the moment, it’s transfer period and in this kind of periods, you try to use the players who are completely focused on being at the club.”

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