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Arsene Wenger watched from the stands as Arsenal were beaten by Bournemouth

Arsene Wenger has explained why he decided not to include Alexis Sanchez in his matchday squad for Sunday’s Premier League game against Bournemouth.

Sanchez was left out of the group that travelled to the south coast amid rumours he is set to sign for Manchester United, and Arsenal – who were also without Mesut Ozil due to injury – failed to claim any points from Dean Court despite taking the lead through Hector Bellerin.

Arsenal fans had to watch a squad without Sanchez or Ozil put in a tepid performance on the south coast, treating fans to a rather grim view of the Gunners’ likely future.

In hindsight it seems a mistake to have left Sanchez out, but Wenger admitted he dropped the forward because he wanted to only select players ‘completely focused on the game’.

Speaking to talkSPORT, Wenger said: “His situation is not definitely sorted out, one way or the other. So, for this transfer period it’s been a nightmare on that front because you don’t know if the player is with you or not with you.

“So that is why I wanted to pick a team completely focused on the game, and it’s vital for us that the situation is resolved very quickly.

“We have [sic] a very bad result today, and that makes our situation very difficult, and it’s important that we have a squad that is focused on qualifying at the end of the season for where we want to be.”

Reports emerged on Sunday claiming Man United have won the race to sign Sanchez this month, as they are willing to pay wages of £400,000-a-week to the 29-year-old.

Manchester City were favourites to capture Sanchez, but have pulled out of a deal as they are not ready to match Arsenal’s £35m asking price.


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