Press conference

How does the boss feel about Alexis' departure?

Arsene Wenger has been asked about Alexis' future all season - and he made his final remarks on it in Tuesday's press conference.

The Chile international has completed his move to Manchester United, and his former manager had this to say:

on why Alexis left Arsenal…

I said here that he’s 29 years old going on to 30 in 2018, and that is was maybe his last contract. Of course the financial aspect is important. He could combine both. I think he’s going to a great club and he gets a great contract, so you can understand that a professional player can combine both aspects.

on if he’s worried other players could go for money over footballing ambition…

Alexis combined both. At the end of the day, we are a serious football club who have responsibilities and we want to spend the money we can afford. The maximum we can afford, we do, but as well you have some decisions to make at some stage - are you responsible in your management or not? If you cannot afford, you have to say ‘No, sorry, can’t do that’.

on whether Alexis had agreed a deal to stay at Arsenal at some point…

Look, I don’t want to come back on the history of his negotiations, but maybe one day. Alexis is a great guy and has always been committed, did the negotiations go well or not well? It has never affected him and I would just like to remind you I took him to the hotel on the night before the Crystal Palace game and he was completely focused and ready to play the next day until I told him, look you can go home, the deal is over the line. So, that’s what he did. No matter how the negotiations went he was always focused on football.

on whether his smile means a deal was agreed at some point…

You can interpret my smile, you know me well enough for years, so I leave you free to do that.

on whether he looks at Alexis’ interview at Manchester United and takes what he said with a pinch of salt…

Maybe it’s true, I have no problem with that, but Alexis is a professional player and he is a guy who loves football. When he is on a football pitch he has given he maximum for Arsenal and he will do the same for Manchester United. He was before at Barcelona, you know they are not small clubs, he has been at big clubs and he knows that at big clubs to survive you have to give absolutely your best.

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