Press conference

Wenger on why he is so determined to keep Alexis

Arsene Wenger has made his position very clear on Alexis this summer: the Chilean will stay at the club, no matter the interest from elsewhere.

The Arsenal manager was once again quizzed about the Chilean’s future at Wednesday’s press conference, and he once again reiterated his stance.

on Alexis and whether he’ll sign a new contract…
Look, at the moment no, because we have not progressed on that front. At the moment he is a player who goes into the final year of his contract and prepares for the season. We have not made any progress on the other front.

on whether he is really willing to let Alexis leave for free next summer…
That is a consequence of what I say, yes, unfortunately. But we have to make a choice between efficiency on the field and financial interest and most of the time if you can find a good compromise, it’s better. But in this case, I think I prioritise the fact that he will be useful on the sporting side.

on whether there’s any comparison with Diego Costa at Chelsea…
No, I don’t think that Costa has only one year to go. I don’t think there is any comparison at all, because we want him to be with us and Chelsea does not necessarily want that.

on whether he would support an early closing of transfer window…
I support it, of course. For the regularity of the season, it’s better because you can have a player who you could play against three times if the transfer window is not closed when you start the season. That doesn’t look normal. Also, for the psychological comfort and focus of the manager. It’s difficult to start the season with a team and have some players in the squad who are not completely on board. You can understand that, once everyone’s on the train, they stay on the train. 

on whether it would give foreign clubs an advantage…
Do you give some foreign clubs an advantage? No, not really because you have enough time. I spent my whole summer in the transfer market, so I think six or eight weeks… we basically had 10 weeks. What people will do is adapt. What makes them decide is that there is only three or four days to go and suddenly everybody comes out of the bushes to say, ‘Yes, we are alive, we are here and we want to buy’. If the timing is shorter, they will adapt to that as well.