Wenger on Alexis, Ox and the Neymar deal

Who’s in? Who’s out? 

Those questions will intensify as the transfer deadline approaches, and Arsene Wenger can expect to field plenty of enquiries at his press conferences before the window closes on August 31.

Ahead of our Premier League opener against Leicester, the boss was asked about Alexis, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, David Ospina and the ramifications of Neymar’s move to Paris Saint-Germain.

Here’s what he said:

on whether any players are closer to departing the club…
No. Yesterday I had the managers’ meeting and was talking with the other managers in the other clubs. It looks like everywhere there are many, many players and a bit of congestion at the moment everywhere. 

on the Neymar deal potentially benefitting clubs because of inflated transfer fees…
It has a consequence because the money will circulate and rotate from one club to another. The money that Barcelona got will go somewhere else. Will it come to the Premier League? I don’t know. Certainly, when you listen to the transfer rumours, some of it will travel to England. But at the end of the day it’s only numbers. Despite the numbers, the number of top players is not increasing. What you want is to have the best players in the English league and not in any other European league. We want to be the best league and therefore it’s important that the best players stay in England.

on whether he has spoken to [PSG president] Nasser Al-Khelaifi…
No, we have not. It’s a long time since I spoke to Nasser, because it’s certainly very busy to complete the transfer of Neymar and it’s a long time that I didn’t speak to him.

on whether he expects him to get in touch in the next few weeks…
No, no. I think if you read the French papers, they are on Mbappe’s case to finish their transfer market.

on whether he thinks they’d rather go for Mbappe than Alexis…
Look, that’s what I read in the papers and on my side I have had no contact at all with Paris Saint-Germain.

on whether Alexis will be signing a new contract…
All is possible you know. When a player goes into the final year of their contract we will try to extend the contract because there is no reason we shouldn’t do it, but we are not there yet.

on whether there have been any offers for Alexis…
I can’t tell you that at the moment. I just think we are not open - as I said to you many times - to any offers, anyway.

on whether Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is part of his plans for the future…
Yes, I think in his career he had some bad moments because he had some small injuries. Last year he was much more stable. Personally, I think he is a hugely talented player. He is on the way up and he will continue to move up because that potential is there. He is today very conscious of his qualities as well, which he was not always, and I personally believe he will be a very great player.

on David Ospina’s future and whether he needed convincing to stay…
It was not easy, because of course all these players want to play. They are top-level players, they want to go to the World Cup but he will get a number of games here and he will fight with Petr Cech. The fight is quite open. At the moment I play Petr Cech but this battle is not won definitely by Petr Cech because I rate Ospina highly and, anyway, we play other competitions and he will play.

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