Arsene Wenger followed his pre-match press conference on Tuesday by sitting down with newspaper reporters - and Alexis was top of the agenda.
The boss said he was hopeful and confident that Alexis would agree a new deal with us. Even if he doesn’t, the manager would rather keep Alexis for the final year of his contract than sell him - and especially not to a Premier League rival.
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“You amortise a transfer during the length of the contract,” explained Wenger. “So when you play an amount of money, every year you deduct, when he signs four years, 25 per cent of a contract.
“The problem as well that you have to analyse, always, firstly, is: can you find better and for what kind of money? The inflation is so big that sometimes today even mathematically there can be advantages to keep a player until the end of a contract.
“But I personally think he will sign and stay here. First of all he is happy here. His desire is as well to stay. That is what I deeply believe. The disagreements are more purely contractual. Not on the desire. Both parties have the desire to find an agreement, so I think it will happen.”
We sold Robin van Persie to Manchester United in 2012 but Wenger says the Alexis situation is different.
“I let Van Persie go in the last year of his contract because Van Persie was 29, going on 30, and he was signing a long-term contract. That is not the case with Alexis. Alexis is 28. So that is a bit different.
“I don’t think that you would sell him to any Premier League club, that is for sure. Because you want to be as strong as you can be, and not strengthen the other teams.
“But I just told you that I think Alexis will stay here and sign a contract. You are in your job [in the media] where you are always painting the most dreadful situation. But we are not necessarily in that situation.”
And Mesut Ozil? “It will be similar,” said the boss. “It will all be decided in the summer.”
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