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Wenger denies Arsenal training ground bust-up

Monday, 6 March 2017


Arsene Wenger has rejected claims that a training ground bust-up between Alexis Sanchez and an unnamed Arsenal teammate led to his omission from the starting line-up that lost 3-1 to Liverpool on Saturday.

The Independent revealed on Sunday evening that Wenger decided to leave Sanchez out of the side that started the Premier League encounter at Anfield due to disciplinary reasons, with the Gunners going 2-0 down before Wenger decided to bring the forward on at half-time.

Wenger claimed after the match that he made the decision to leave the Chile international out on a tactical basis as he wanted his side to play more direct with Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck leading the attack, and despite Sunday’s revelations offering a different reason for the Arsenal manager dropping his top goalscorer this season, Wenger was sticking with his original story.

Asked if he could now confirm the disciplinary issue, Wenger said: “I’m not aware of it. Nothing happened.”

Wenger was pushed to clarify if he could dismiss the reports, despite widespread knowledge of a row between Sanchez and one of his teammates that not only led to Sanchez walking out on a training session last week but a continued argument in the changing room at the club’s London Colney base, and he added: “Yes, completely false, but I understand that you have to feed the newspapers and we respect that.

“When you lose these games, it’s not always down to these stories, and we accept that.”

Wenger also said that his relationship with Sanchez remains “honest and normal”, but refused to clarify that Sanchez will remain at Arsenal next season as the club will decide his future given he has just 15 months left on his contract.

 “He has 15 months left on his contract,” Wenger said. “The decision will depend completely on Arsenal football club.”


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