December 15, 2017 / 11:05 AM / in 9 months

Wenger says Sanchez, Ozil will not be sold in January

LONDON (Reuters) - Arsenal will not sell Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil during the January transfer window, manager Arsene Wenger has said.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Southampton vs Arsenal - St Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Britain - December 10, 2017 Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez after the match REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Both players are out of contract at the end of the season and are yet to agree new deals, and there has been speculation that Arsenal could sell the influential pair in January to avoid seeing them leave for free in the summer.

But when asked in a news conference on Friday if Sanchez and Ozil would see out the season at Arsenal, Wenger said: “I can tell you a global answer — yes. They will all stay. 

“I will analse every case individually and separately, but overall I would say my wish and my desire is that everybody stays.”

Jack Wilshere is another player whose Arsenal contract expires at the end of the season and Wenger revealed he will begin talks with the 25-year-old midfielder later this month about the possibility of a new deal.

Wilshere spent last season on loan at Bournemouth and has made only eight starts so far this campaign, all but one in cup competitions, with his only Premier League start in the 0-0 draw against West Ham United on Wednesday.

“I was impressed,” Wenger said. “It was an encouraging performance. He suffered in the last 20, but we had to attack. He has been patient and worked hard.

“I will talk to him at the end of December. It is, of course, for him as well, to be happy to be here that is important. I consider him an Arsenal man.”

Arsenal lie seventh in the Premier League table, 19 points behind leaders Manchester City, ahead of a home match against an out-of-form Newcastle United on Saturday.

After winning and drawing their opening two fixtures, City have won their next 15 fixtures — a Premier League record — and Wenger believes they can emulate his 2003-04 Arsenal side and go through the league season unbeaten.

The Frenchman thinks their financial strength, which he referred to as “petrol” on Friday, will be key to avoiding defeat.

“We had no petrol but ideas; they have petrol and ideas,” he said.

“They have everything they need to be to successful. Everyone expects that they will last the season, so why not? Everything goes for them in games, but they have the quality to turn it in their favour.”

Reporting by Matt Westby; Editing by John O'Brien

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