Arsene Wenger admits allowing Alexis Sanchez to see out the final year of his contract could cost Arsenal as much as £140million.
On the day that Sanchez spoke of his disillusionment over the criticism he receives, Wenger revealed the numbers involved if the Chile forward leaves at the end of the season as expected.
Sanchez’s desired moved to Manchester City broke down on transfer deadline day after Arsenal failed to sign Monaco’s Thomas Lemar, who had been identified as his successor.
Wenger admits the Gunners will miss out on a fee of up to £70million should he depart in June – and will have to spend that much again to ensure he is adequately replaced.
“You take a Sanchez into the final year of his contract, you sacrifice £60-£70million income and at the end of the season you will have to buy somebody for that amount of money,” Wenger told beIN Sports.
“It has a huge price so at some stage you have to make a decision, you have to sacrifice one or two.”
Wenger insists recent transfers led by Neymar’s £198million move to PSG have distorted the market to the point that value for money has become a secondary consideration.
“We have today 107 players in England who go into the final year of their contract,” Wenger said.
“It’s a complete rotation and change in the way people see their career for two reasons.
“One, all the players expect higher wages because they anticipate inflation.
“All the clubs, because the transfer market has gone up so much, the clubs do not want to pay so high prices for all the transfers for players who are good players, but will not change their life.
“The amount of money is completely disconnected to reality and the truth.
“One example – no matter how well you work as a football coach, (Ousmane) Dembele last year was €15million, this year €150million.
“No matter how well you work on the football pitch, you cannot make a player go from €15million to €150million.
“The calculation between investment and what you can get back, that has gone. It’s just, ‘can you afford to buy or not?'”
Arsenal continue to navigate choppy waters with an underwhelming summer in the transfer window compounded by a poor start to the season.